Mercedes-Benz is a company to which beautiful design and synergistic, ergonomic solutions are more than just good practice; they’re what drive the designers to consistently produce vehicles that are better in every sense of the word.
With this dedication to holistic design principles, the German marque four years ago launched the Mercedes-Benz design award; an award to celebrate some of Australia’s best names in design, and the outcomes of their ideas and labour.
Announced at an exclusive event last night at Chippendale’s much-celebrated CULT furniture boutique, this year’s award went to Sydney’s very own Zachary Hanna, for his entry ‘Stacks’–a combined lamp, bookcase and side table structure. He was shortlisted alongside James Walsh–also from Sydney–, for ‘Blocks’ – a range of vases, bowls and water pitchers, and Tom Hewitt from Melbourne for his ‘OK-I Lounge Chair’.
‘Stacks’ created from certified sustainable timber such as ash or walnut, and incorporates a lamp above a side table and a bookcase in an attractive, streamlined form. Judge Adele Winteridge commented: “A compact and beautiful product and well-thought-out piece of design. Combining several functions, this product would also be brilliant for tight apartment-living spaces and in higher density living situations.”
Other judges included Richard Munao–managing director, Cult–, André Dutkowski–Senior Product Manager at Mercedes-Benz, Katya Wachtel–Editorial Director at Broadsheet–, and Tom Fereday–the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Design Award winner.
With a background in design which started at Sydney’s University of Technology, Hanna worked closely with Berto Pandolfo–course director of product design–and has since worked at Adam Goodrum Studio, and for the past three years at Bang Design.
“Stack came from an image I had in my head of an old, dusty lamp sitting on a tablecloth-clad side table”, he says of his winning design. “I thought it would be interesting to take an ostensibly ugly combination and elevate it to the level of fine furniture.” Hanna said.
Winning the Mercedes-Benz Design Award will see Hanna have his Stacks design prototyped, produced and sold by Cult Design, as well as receiving mentorship from Australian design leaders. He will also receive a Mercedes-Benz car to drive for the duration of 2019.