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Maker Profile: Hunt Furniture 

March 09, 2018
Maker Profile:  Hunt Furniture

I really love the furniture that Hunt Furniture is making. I love the clean lines that echo really good mid-century design; I love the design philosophy behind it, and that the design is so closely aligned with the manufacturing process. But what I really think is so attractive about Hunt Furniture is that it’s just really well designed without being tricky or pretentious, and I can easily imagine several of Max’s pieces fitting right in at our place.

Max Hunt, owner of Hunt Furniture, trained as an industrial designer at the University of South Australia, and was drawn to specialising in furniture design because of its human scale. Furniture design is an interesting space – we all have furniture in our homes, but there are actually very few well known Australian furniture brands, let alone Australian furniture brands that have developed their own distinct visual style. Hunt furniture is definitely on the path to changing that.


Hunt Furniture’s Distinct Style

When you see a piece or a collection of Max’s furniture you notice a very distinct style – the majority of his pieces are a happy marriage of sustainably sourced timbers and formed metal legs. The styling echoes mid-century design, in a good way. It’s pared back, and simple, and each piece is a strong graphic statement. The bar stools and tables that make up the majority of the collection are solid pieces, that happily combine form and function in equal measure. They are furniture pieces that are very easy to live with.


Locally Made

The other great thing about the furniture that Max designs is that it is very distinctly of a place. Max’s studio and workshop are in Brompton, just beyond Adelaide Oval, and all of his suppliers are close by. Max really values being ‘able to jump on my bike, or get in my car, and not have to go very far at all’ to see everyone involved in the different stages of his furniture making. He has been very savvy in tapping into the skilled manufacturing workforce in SA, particularly at a time when some of those jobs were disappearing in other sectors. And it’s this link between the design of each piece of furniture in the collection and capitalising on available manufacturing techniques and materials that reminds me of the mid-century aesthetic. Max’s furniture is stylish and exceptionally well made, but also at an affordable price point.

In the same way Max loves using technology to keep evolving both his designs and production methods, so its no surprise that robot controlled welding and CNC bending play a big part. In the long term, technology will be important in keeping Hunt Furniture not just Australian, but Adelaide made into the future.


Being a part of the story

Hunt Furniture is quietly building on its successes. Architects and designers alike are recognising the distinctive form of Max’s furniture designs and the locally sourced materials. Max has been commissioned to supply numerous commercial project fit-outs like the Mantra Hotel, Westfield Group, Casa Rio, Greenheart Espresso, Mckinn Architects, the Hilton hotel and many more bars, cafés, wineries and restaurant fit-outs.

Hunt Furniture is equally popular with people buying furniture for their own homes - these are pieces that are easy to live with and that you would be proud to own, as well as being a part of the story of Max’s passion for great design and local manufacture.


What’s next?

The TOM Planter was Hunt Furniture’s very first collaboration, with Adelaide based Graphic Designer, Tom Crosby. It was released nearly two years ago at Denn Fair in 2016 and has been really well received. Since then Max’s business has continued to grow and flourish, and the strong relationships Max has forged with other Adelaide designers and craftsmen help to drive this.

The exciting news is though, that there is a new collaboration in the pipeline – this time with a Japanese maker. Watch this space.

Hunt Furniture started with Max asking two simple questions – “How can I design products that I can afford?” and “How can I close the gap and draw everyday Australians to authentic design.”. Looking at the quality of design and manufacture in Hunt Furniture’s pieces we are so glad that he found a way to answer them.

Max’s Tips for choosing furniture:

  1. Fall in love with the piece and then build your room around it
  2. Learn about the maker and how they make so that the piece becomes a part of your family. It's all about the story
  3. Think about the big picture and how that piece can adapt to your changing life style.
  4. Picture the piece of furniture you like in a room 50 years ago. Does it work? If it looks good in the past hopefully it will look good in the future.
  5. Shop small, shop local.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you’d like to take a look at all the custom makers and the projects they are creating then be sure to check out our custom makers section.

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