About this project
Grant Featherston: Stretch target of $40,000 met - thank you all
LIMITED EDITION BOOK SOLD OUT (Except copies 3,4 and 5 - see rewards section)- Plenty of the standard edition left
Great news - the target has been reached and this book will definitely be printed and published by the end of July this year. I have set a stretch goal to help cover the costs of design and layout. More importantly this also means the printing specs can be increased so you get an even better quality product.
Congratulations on your carefully researched and thoughtful publication. I particularly welcome the extensive coverage of of Grant's lesser known but very significant and prolific work with Aristoc Industries. Mary Featherston
The curves of Grant Featherston’s Contour chairs have seduced admirers for over 60 years and yet remarkably little has been published on this Australian designer. A fact that is even more remarkable when you consider that some Featherston designs sell for $10,000 or more at auction.
The result of over four years of research, covering the period from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s this monograph draws upon archival research and interviews with his peers, including Ian Howard, the former Managing Director of Aristoc, the Melbourne based manufacturer who made many of the Featherston designs.
Featherston designed literally hundreds of chairs. Some designs were so commercially successful that it is no exaggeration to claim that nearly every Australian has sat on a Featherston chair. Proof that he is one of Australia’s most important and successful industrial designers. Working in wood, steel, rubber, and plastics, Featherston embraced new materials and technologies, working with Australia’s leading manufacturers to bring his creations to life.
Featherston, with his wife, Mary, and Aristoc, developed the incredibly successful Talking Chair for the Australian Pavilion at the 1967 World Expo in Montreal. The couple became fascinated by the potential of plastics and developed several award winning designs exploring this game changing material during the next decade.
The Featherstons worked closely with the leading manufacturers of the day to produce both cutting edge and popular designs for the residential and commercial markets. Access to the Aristoc archives has allowed the 13 year partnership, with this market leading Melbourne based manufacturer, to be explored in depth and illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs.
The astonishingly diverse output from this Australian design partnership has gone largely uncelebrated. Critics have accused Featherston of being derivative. However, this fails to recognise his genius in creating mid-century designs and developing production methods that allowed the tiny and remote Australian market to experience the Modern look. Australia posed unique challenges - markets were tiny and distances great. The ingenuity required to succeed and consistently deliver successful modern designs is the real, previously untold, story revealed in this book.
The text is beautifully illustrated with 250 photographs, including original photography and previously unpublished material from the Aristoc archive.
Funding is required to finance the printing of the book (high quality printer already sourced) and shipping to Australia. In the event the first target is reached a stretch target will be set to claw back some of the other costs already invested in this project.
This hardback book will measure 290mm(h) x 240mm(w) with the interior on quality 157gsm matt art paper. Over 250 photographs and nearly 300 pages.
Featherston is a thorough exploration of the career of this remarkably gifted (and self-trained) designer. Geoff Isaac examines his multi-faceted career in detail to reveal Grant Featherston possessed talents in every direction including marketing, graphics, photography and styling. Isaac’s contextual comparisons with other designers of his era in Australia, the USA and the UK are illuminating. A very rewarding read. Michael Bogle, PhD Design Historian
All supporters pledging $10 or more will receive a high resolution electronic copy of this handy chart to help identify the entire Contour range - simply download and print.
Preview more pictures on Instagram.
If you want to order a different quantity or you live in another country please contact me and I will tailor a reward to your needs.
Risks and challenges
The risks for this project are minimal - all the hard work has already been done! The manuscript was completed long ago and has been professionally edited and proof read. I have invested my own funds for an experienced graphic designer to layout the book and the results are stunning. Quotations for the provision of all remaining services have already been obtained so final costs are known.
Original photography has been commissioned for the project and additional, previously unpublished, images have been sourced from the Aristoc archive.
Printing is the largest cost associated with this project. As the printing will be undertaken overseas the actual cost will vary with the exchange rates. In the unlikely event of a dramatic change in the exchange rate this project might be affected.
Please note that due to overseas printing this project is not scheduled to be available until the middle of the year - most likely end of July 2017.
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