The Hunting Wajima Project responds to the brief from CHL to design furniture for manufacture in Timor Leste. The name, Hunting Wajima, refers to two aspects of the brief – to develop timber furniture and to develop furniture craft skills in the workforce.
Hunting visually connects the project to the values of the work of Borg Mogensen the Danish designer of the Hunting Chair. Wajima connects the project to the workmanship values of the craft community of Wajima on the west coast of Japan.
Community Housing Limited (CHL) is an Australian non-profit agency that builds and manages affordable housing. Currently CHL has 28 offices around Australia and manages 5700 houses.
CHL is keen to utilize spare capacity in the timber fabrication workshop in Timor Leste and to provide a source of employment to the workers currently employed in that facility. Towards this end CHL is interested in exploring the possibility of setting up a furniture enterprise centered around the facility and the employee group. The development over the years and the current prestige and brand values of Timorese coffee provides one trajectory for this enterprise to emulate.
CHL is keen to engage with RMIT staff and students to support a project that will do the following:
1. Develop designs for furniture to be made in the Timor Leste facility. The furniture is to use local timer and to contain values – such as aesthetic and cultural references – unique to Timor.
2. Develop a graphic brand identity for the furniture business.
3. Develop a merchandising concept that utilizes the 28 offices of CHL to generate a retail experience for the sale of the furniture.
The Hunting Wajima project is to be run as a cross sector (VE and Higher Education) student engaged collection of five projects responding to key aspects of the brief.
The five students groups and the staff from the Industry Partner (CHL) will periodically interact to: explain the brief, receive feedback and validate strategies proposed by the various projects.
Hunting Wajima Industry Studio
This will be a project to design and prototype furniture designs in the mode of work-integrated-learning (WIL). WIL projects are designed to simulate professional design work contexts and the projects follow the brief set by the industry partner closely. The outcomes of these projects are focused upon being manufacture ready and therefore the final prototype is accompanied by drawings and manufacturing program-process.
Pioneers of 20th Century Furniture Design
This will be a project to research key masters of. The project will give students exposure to and an understanding of furniture history, tradition and context of studio practice and craftsmanship. Students will undertake an autopsy of key furniture pieces to understand both construction and design features of the selected pieces.
Furniture Design Project
This project is informed by an earlier experience of the Furniture Design student group to develop ergonomic furniture designs for the Salvation Army for manufacture in Melbourne as part of a supported employment scheme. Students will design, model and prototype furniture pieces targeted at manufacture in Timor Leste.
The merchandising project will aim to develop aesthetically appropriate and appealing ways for the furniture to be displayed within the offices of CHL. CHL offices are located in the market strips around Australia and present a unique opportunity for the office shop windows to be used as a merchandising outlet.
Graphic Design Project
The Graphic Design Project will aim to develop an engaging signature and associated visual communications to form a strong and meaningful brand identity for the enterprise.