Submitted by: MOTLEY CREW (Rebecca Cullen, Karmen Torralba, Paris Berry)

Type: Student
Category: Eat, Play, Sleep
Date: Feb, 2017


Submitted by: MOTLEY CREW (Rebecca Cullen, Karmen Torralba, Paris Berry)


Motley is a series of modular yet playful objects that draws a connection to nature while cleverly engaging the curiosity and imagination of its users.

The Whole Story

Motley Designers: Karmen Torralba, Paris Berry, Rebecca Cullen, Sophie Hart from QUT.

Motley – to make something more diverse and varied. Our design is inspired by strong linear lines of the planks of Meranti timber found for re-purpose in our University workshop. This material was and is the hero to this piece. The triangular form is a result of extensive experimentation and play. Considering the theme- How we really live? we considered how furniture dictates behaviour and what it is we really want and need. In the age of high density urban living, do we need modularity yet strive for a stronger connection to nature?

Motley is versatile in use, colour and texture. As a set of eight, the whimsical puzzle like nature of the components enables users to experience the material and its versatility. The uniqueness comes from one component (spanning 450mm) we coined a ‘mot’ to form a series, a ‘motley’ a group of diverse and varied things, which once clustered grows a little wider and little taller. The geometric symmetry provides diversity in how the collection is enjoyed be it seated or stacked, the transformations are endless. Is it a chair, table or sculpture divider? It’s up to you!

Motley celebrates the true natural beauty of Meranti timber through linear geometric forms, exposed structural detailing and a natural bee’s wax finish. The multi-coloured quality of the Meranti timber is indicative of the density and weight of the timber. The light grey and pink hues being lighter in weight than their darker and heavier counterparts.

With authenticity in mind, details of how best to join components was a source of great experimentation through our design process. To highlight the timber, we kept the meeting points simple and strong. Each Mot has stubbed joints at the right angle and dowel joints at the Forty-five-degree angle. The exterior edges are chamfered, protecting the soft timber and giving a clean, modern finish. The rainbow colour, chamfer edge and soft natural waxed finish provides for complete sensory experience and appreciation of the true craftsmanship of this piece. We must thank modern-day technology for streamlining the construction of this collection. Whilst some elements were refined by hand, cutting, drilling, chamfering and sanding timber was made more precise by power tools.

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