Maxton Fox partnered with Western Sydney University’s School of Engineering, Design and the Built Environment to introduce a competition for Year 2 Industrial Design students that could literally launch a career.

Maxton Fox’s brief for the students was to design a ‘feature chair’ that could work in a variety of settings across hotel lobbies, residential spaces, workplace receptions or hospitality venues. The brief also required the designs to adhere to what could be made in-house by the Maxton Fox production teams at the Western Sydney facility.

To better understand Maxton Fox’s capabilities, the students were given a tour of the company’s manufacturing facility.

For the competition, the students would not only create a 3D drawing of their designs but also write a synopsis that included the details of their inspiration, as well as submit a pitch video and a physical 4:1 scale model of their chairs.

Out of 40 entries and models received, 12 were shortlisted and presented to a voting committee consisting of architects, interior designers and key Maxton Fox personnel. The committee decided on the top 3 winning chairs: The Ada Chair by Meg Dortmans; The Sínte Chair by Harry Williams; and The Super Tree Stool by Anthony Cham.

Maxton Fox is committed to working with each student designer to showcase the manufacturing of their prototypes, provide advice on key finishes and finalise their prototypes ready to launch to market.

Maxton Fox founding director and owner Dennis Hall says: “As a family-run Australian manufacturing business based in Western Sydney that has been manufacturing furniture and joinery for over 50 years, we’re pleased to partner with Western Sydney University to support the next generation of emerging designers.”

Karen Yévenes, lecturer and academic course advisor in industrial design, said the program at Western Sydney University is committed to providing students with rich opportunities in work-integrated-learning.

“Our partnership with Maxton Fox has been a very rewarding experience for our talented young designers; students have applied their understanding of product semantics, sustainable materials, and lean manufacturing processes to create unique and functional products, as delineated by the client brief. We’re proud of the students’ achievements and in the collaboration with vibrant local industries such as Maxton Fox.”