The HSC students at Freshwater Senior Campus in Sydney’s Northern Beaches have combined their talent and passion for sustainability to shape Tasmanian Blackwood from Britton Timbers into a series of furniture pieces that are pushing the bounds of design.

Working under the tutelage of leading Sydney based furniture designer Ben Percy, these aspiring young Australian furniture designers transformed the Tasmanian Blackwood timber donated by Britton Timbers into artistic pieces ranging from a surfboard showcasing hand-cut marquetry to a pod chair inspired by biomimicry, and a chair constructed of entirely curved components. Percy has gained national recognition for his signature Mantis Table in Tasmanian Blackwood and Pod Chair in Celery Top Pine among others.

Known for his expert craftsmanship and commitment to sustainability, Percy not only religiously sources sustainable timbers, but also considers the additional hardware, finishes and manufacturing processes that have the greatest impact on the environment.

For this year’s HSC projects by student designers at Freshwater Senior Campus, Percy teamed up with Britton Timbers who donated 5 cubic metres of Tasmanian Blackwood. A recent exhibition that celebrated the students’ achievements over the year revealed how this next wave of talent has placed environmental impact at the forefront of their design philosophy.

Percy observes that his students are becoming much more passionate about sustainable design and sustainable living. As a furniture designer, he is able to give his students a real understanding of just how much responsibility designers have in creating sustainable designs, and the control they can have over what consumers are offered.

The 10 students completing their HSC in Design and Technology were given a brief to create a product that addressed a genuine need in society and also minimised the impact on the environment. The 13 students in Industrial Technology Timber had to pursue the development of a piece of furniture, which showcased both technical skill and attention to detail.

The students were allowed to choose the piece of timber that best suited their project from the packs of rough sawn timber supplied by Britton Timbers. Percy believes every designer who works with timber needs to have this experience of sorting through rough sawn timber.

He added that the students were absolutely thrilled about being able to create their pieces from such a beautiful timber, with the finished works really showcasing the beauty of Blackwood.

The projects have all been externally marked by the NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) and are free to go home with their makers.

All images by @misteraoy