with Ronnie LachamSoumitri Varadarajan

The Hunting Wajima Project responds to the brief from CHL to design furniture for manufacture in Timor Leste.

The name, Hunting Wajima, refers to two aspects of the brief – to develop timber furniture and to develop furniture craft skills in the workforce. Hunting visually connects the project to the values of the work of Borg Mogensen the Danish designer of the Hunting Chair. Wajima connects the project to the workmanship values of the craft community of Wajima on the west coast of Japan.

Community Housing Limited (CHL) is an Australian non-profit agency that builds and manages affordable housing. Currently CHL has 28 offices around Australia and manages 5700 houses.

CHL is keen to utilize spare capacity in the timber fabrication workshop in Timor Leste and to provide a source of employment to the workers currently employed in that facility. Towards this end CHL is interested in exploring the possibility of setting up a furniture enterprise centred around the facility and the employee group. The development over the years and the current prestige and brand values of Timorese coffee provides one trajectory for this enterprise to emulate.

CHL is keen to engage with RMIT staff and students to support a project that will do the following:

  • Develop designs for furniture to be made in the Timor Leste facility. The furniture is to use local timer and to contain values – such as aesthetic and cultural references – unique to Timor.

  • Develop a graphic brand identity for the furniture business.

  • Develop a merchandising concept that utilizes the 28 offices of CHL to generate a retail experience for the sale of the furniture.