Australian Exhibitions & Conferences , organisers of furnishings and furniture trade fairs, have recently organised the FURNITEX and DECORATION + DESIGN 2008 trade fair. Over 16,000 buyers from across the globe had attended the four day event held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Southbank from 17 to 20 July. Buyers came from all states of Australia as well as countries including New Zealand, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, Canada and USA.

The entries in this year’s VIVID – Vibrant Visions in Design furniture competition at FURNITEX, comprised of over 90 products from emerging designers across Australia.

The VIVID awards were announced and presented by the Victorian Premier, John Brumby on Thursday 17 July at the official opening of FURNITEX in the categories of Concept, Commercial and Student. This year also saw the introduction of an exciting new award called the VIVID Green Award.

The VIVID 2008 Concept Award winner was Cocoon Couch, which had been designed by Victorian designer Damien Hipwell. The judges had commented for the Cocoon Couch as a visually exciting piece that has potential for further development.

The VIVID 2008 Student Award winner was AURA Coffee Table designed by New South Wales student Kieran Choy.

The inaugural VIVID 2008 Green Award winner was BAMBOO Nesting tables designed by Adelaide-based designer Takeshi Iue (SA).

Material Inspirations, a new feature to the Fair for 2008 proved to be successful. Curated by Barbara Marshall, Material Inspirations incorporated a textile sample bank with the latest in fabrics from Australia’s fabric houses under the trend themes of rock, paper and scissors.