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Richly illustrated monograph on Grant Featherston, best known for his Contour chairs and creator of hundreds of mid-century designs
Richly illustrated monograph on Grant Featherston, best known for his Contour chairs and creator of hundreds of mid-century designs
Richly illustrated monograph on Grant Featherston, best known for his Contour chairs and creator of hundreds of mid-century designs
393 backers pledged AU$ 47,360 to help bring this project to life.

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Grant Featherston book - Australian mid-century designer

AU$ 47,360

393

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.

 

Grant Featherson's R160 Contour chair - rear view
Grant Featherson's R160 Contour chair - rear view

 

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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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 5 or more About $4

    Grant Featherston book supporter

    Not ready to buy the book but want to support this project celebrating Australia's greatest industrial design team?
    Your donation will help this project meet its target and ensure that this important design team receives the recognition they deserve.
    Plus I will be very grateful!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 10 or more About $8

    Contour poster

    Pledge just $10 or more and you will be sent an electronic print ready copy of a full colour A3 poster showing the Contour range - great to help you identify rarer models. Simply download and print.
    Your contribution will help ensure this project gets over the line and that this great design team get the recognition they deserve.

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    6 backers
    AU$
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 65 or more About $50

    Grant Featherston book

    Your own copy of the the hardback book (290mm x 240mm). Over 70,000 word text accompanied by over 250 full colour photographs. The book will be posted out hot off the press.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    178 backers
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    Pledge AU$ 100 or more About $77

    Limited edition signed copies in case

    195 only - collectors edition (see below for numbers 1-5). The first 200 copies will be signed by the author and numbered. Supporters receive hardback book (290mm x 240mm) in 3mm cardboard case. Over 70,000 word text accompanied by over 250 full colour photographs. The signed, limited edition books will be posted out hot off the press.

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    Reward no longer available 173 backers
    AU$
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 130 or more About $100

    2 copies of the Grant Featherston book

    Two copies of the the hardback book (290mm x 240mm) delivered to one address. Over 70,000 word text accompanied by over 250 full colour photographs. The book will be posted out hot off the press.

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    14 backers
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    Pledge AU$ 200 or more About $154

    2 x limited edition signed copies cased

    From the collectors edition - 2 copies from the 195 signed edition delivered to one address (see below for numbers 1-5). The first 200 copies will be signed by the author and numbered. Supporters receive hardback book (290mm x 240mm) in 3mm cardboard case. Over 70,000 word text accompanied by over 250 full colour photographs. The signed, limited edition books will be posted out hot off the press.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    AU$
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 240 or more About $185

    4 copies of the Featherston book

    Save on books and postage. Four copies of the hardback book (290mm x 240mm). Over 70,000 word text accompanied by over 250 full colour photographs. The books will be posted out hot off the press for you to share with family and friends or retail.

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    3 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 440 or more About $338

    8 copies of the Featherston book

    Save more on books and postage. Eight copies of the hardback book (290mm x 240mm). Over 70,000 word text accompanied by over 250 full colour photographs. The books will be posted out hot off the press for you to retail or share with family and friends.

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    Ships to Only Australia
    1 backer
    AU$
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 500 or more About $385

    2nd to 5th copy of the limited edition

    If you really want to support this project why not make a significant donation and grab yourself one of the first copies of the book. Four only (numbered 2 to 5 out of the 200 limited edition) will be signed by the author and presented in a 3mm cardboard slip case for protection. FREE shipping to selected countries! Hurry - only 4 available.

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    Limited 1 backer
    AU$
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 800 or more About $615

    16 copies of the Featherston book

    Save even more on books and postage. Sixteen copies of the first edition of the hardback book (290mm x 240mm). Over 70,000 word text accompanied by over 250 full colour photographs. The books will be posted out hot off the press for you to retail or share with family and friends.

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    Ships to Only Australia
    0 backers
    AU$
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,080 or more About $831

    24 copies of the Featherston book

    Save the most on books and postage. Twenty four copies of the hardback book (290mm x 240mm). Over 70,000 word text accompanied by over 250 full colour photographs. The books will be posted out hot off the press for you to retail or share with family and friends.

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    Ships to Only Australia
    1 backer
    AU$
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 2,500 or more About $1,923

    First copy of the first edition

    and your name in print! OK it is a big ask - but if you really want to make this project happen why not take advantage of this unique opportunity? There can only be one - the first copy of the first edition - signed by the author and in a 3mm cardboard slip case to protect it. You will be thanked on the acknowledgement page (with your permission of course) for you support in making this project, celebrating our greatest mid-century industrial design team, happen. I will even throw in FREE shipping (to selected countries)!

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Funding period

- (45 days)