Summer 2019

48 Apr19384 Forging the Future of the Furniture Design Industry Made by Michael is a modernist design studio based in Sydney, Australia. Named ‘Sydney's Most Outstanding in Artistic Furniture Design’ in the 2019 Leading Designer Awards programme, we spoke with Michael to find out more about his design inspirations, studio and portfolio of work. Perhaps most striking about Michael’s work is its refinement. It’s precision: every line and curve has a reason for being there that contributes to the whole. Of course, that is always the case in design – purpose. But, in Michael’s work, which plays with the idea of function and form, this reason ascends to new heights. Its ‘cleanliness’ is refreshing, especially in a time where exploring the very opposite seems to be a trend: chaos controlled, given life and meaning. To start, Michael offers more background on his work and studio. “I’m a designer with experience in graphic, object and industrial design. Using this experience, I create designs with a high degree of refinement. As a result, the clients I currently work with vary from furniture companies, to graphic design jobs to one-off bespoke furniture designs.” This diversity has really driven the success of the studio, as Michael wields keenly honed adaptability and practised skill to forge his innovative designs. “I’ve just completed my studies at the University of New South Wales and Enmore Design Centre. Ultimately, as I’m still establishing myself, I’m eager to develop as many skills as possible to be a strategic asset to any business.” Michael continues, offering more insight into the current design industry and how young designers like himself are shaping the future of the sector. “As a designer in Australia, there is a growing industry for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture. People are steering away from copies, or on-mass produced items. This is really promising as a young designer looking to gain a solid foothold in the industry.” However, for Michael, the future of the design industry is defined by innovation – on rewriting the rules of design in ways that were previously considered unimaginable. “I see a lot of designers paying homage to previous designs, whether this is through furniture or products. As a designer and a creative, I feel that we should be helping to write the next wave of history and hopefully -one day- the next generation will be studying our objects.” In his closing comments Michael discusses the role of technology on the modern design sphere, as it becomes an ever-more essential tool in a modern designer’s arsenal. “I use a variety of software in my work, from creating prototypes and sketches to forming a 3D model. Combining this adaptability with an ability to think creatively and solve problems allows for unique forms and ideas.” By all regards, the next generation of designers will be utilising these new technologies to forge creations that were, previously, almost unimaginable, bolstered by their incredible talent and skill. Michael is certainly one of these designers, ‘the next wave’, inspiring future generations in turn to create better, more innovative, sustainable and beautiful designs. Name: Michael Papanikolaou Address: Sydney, New South Wales, 2024, Australia Website: Telephone: +61 04106 56446