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Furniture designers in NZ

We celebrate the work of three terrific gifted New Zealand furniture designers we think you should know about.

At just 27, Tim Webber has already won awards for his fresh, innovative furniture design. Based in Hawkes Bay, David Trubridge exports his furniture and lighting concepts around the world. And Shane Hansen may be primarily an artist but you'll find his art on coffee tables, lamps and even coffee machines.  We celebrate the work and lives of three gifted Kiwi designers. 

Terrific Kiwi Designer #1: Tim Webber, Auckland

 Furniture designers

Photo: ArchitectureNow



In 6th form woodwork, Tim Webber designed and built a coffee table for his parent's living room. It was the start of an interest in furniture design which led him to set up this working studio in Onehunga, Auckland, after graduating with a Bachelor of Design degree in 2010. In 2012, he won the Design Folio Incubator Award, which took him to Milan, renowned as the centre of avant-garde furniture design.
'It was an amazing experience,' says Tim. 'I got around all the sites and looked at ideal places to, hopefully, display in the future.'

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Photo: Tim Webber Design



Tim's designs are known for their simplicity, strong lines and often vivid use of colour.

 Furniture Designer NZ - Tim Webber 3

Photo: Wallpaper Magazine, Thai Edition, June 2014


Little wonder, then, that Tim's concepts are now being featured in design magazines throughout the world. This one is the Thai edition of the uber-cool Wallpaper magazine. 


You can find more of Tim's concepts on his website and blog.



Terrific Kiwi Designer #2: David Trubridge, Hawkes Bay


 Furniture Designer NZ - David Trubridge 4

Photo: Time Magazine


David Trubridge is a man with a mission. He sees himself as a global ambassador for sustainability and New Zealand design. He regularly exhibits and speaks overseas and all of his works are eco-friendly, made mainly from plywood that is milled from government-controlled timber sources.


 Furniture Designer NZ - David Trubridge 5

Photo: Time Magazine


This steamed-bentwood seat, Body Raft, is considered his breakthrough piece. It was designed by David in New Zealand in 2000 but is produced by the Italian manufacturer Cappellini out of ash and hoop pine plywood.


Furniture Designer NZ - David Trubridge 6

Photo: Inhabitat


Originally from Newcastle in northern England, David began his career as a naval architect. He taught himself furniture making while working part-time as a forester, and went on to develop his own designs which were exhibited around Britain. When he moved to New Zealand, he chose Hawkes Bay because of its 'big skies and sense of openness'.

You can find more of David's furniture, lighting and sculptural concepts at his website.




Terrific Kiwi Designer #3: Shane Hansen, Auckland

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Photo: Essenze New Zealand Design



One of the things we like about Shane Hansen is the way he doesn't take himself or his heritage too seriously. He delights in taking cultural icons from both his Maori and European background and mixing them up with a mischievous and sometimes wicked sense of humour.


 Furniture Designer NZ - Shane Hansen 8

Photos: Shane Hansen


The artworks above (clockwise from upper left) are: Pania Toddler, Fly Bee,  Aotearoa Fresh, Childs Play, McRangi, Whanau Shimmer, Me & Asterix, and Shanvis '56.

 Furniture Designer NZ - Shane Hansen 9


Shane started his career as a self-taught fashion designer, setting up his own label at the age of 19, then going on to work for labels such as Canterbury International and Town & Country Surf Designs. Today, he considers himself an artist, but as the photos above show, he is also a talented designer of furniture, lamps and even coffee machines and coasters.

You can find more of Shane's work on his website.

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