Emerging furniture and lighting designer Duncan Meerding has returned to Australia after a successful debut on the international design stage at the 2016 Messe Frankfurt Light + Building tradeshow, the world’s largest of its kind. Duncan and his work have featured on Recycled Interiors a few times, with one of my posts creating a viral pin on pinterest, launching his work onto the international stage! It is such a wonderful thing to see the power of blogs and social media in helping support our artists and crafts people to reach for the stars.
The positive response to Duncan’s work at the show was overwhelming, with his sustainable, handmade designs showcased alongside global industry leaders. Among the 216,000 visitors from over 55 countries who attended the show, were a number of architects, lighting designers and retailers who travelled specifically to view Duncan’s products in person, after they recently gained the spotlight on social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram – I am so proud to have a hand in that! Messe Frankfurt also provided the perfect venue for Duncan to launch the two latest products in his range; Stump, a light/stool/table, which can be installed in either an indoor or outdoor setting and the Propeller Pendant Light, a lightweight, contemporary flat-pack design crafted from Tasmanian Eucalyptus or powder-coated aluminium.
Attending a tradeshow of this calibre is no mean feat for a 29 year old, small-scale sole trader such as Duncan with significant barriers such as high participation fees, travel and freight costs as well as other challenges such as differences in language to overcome. Duncan’s designs offer others an insight into the way in which he experiences the world. Being legally blind with less than 5% vision concentrated around the peripheral fields, his designs concentrate on over all form rather than intense detailing, with an interest in light and its dispersion through and around objects.
Duncan is also passionate about the impact of his practice on the environment. His designs center on sustainability, with many of his materials salvaged from so-called waste product once destined to be burnt and faster growing robust timbers. Duncan hopes that by expanding his customer base internationally, he will be able to further educate people about the importance of small-scale, ethically made products that are built to last.