Tasmania-based furniture designer Duncan Meerding loves the outback wilderness, which comes across in his work – his most popular pieces are simple logs whose natural cracks emit soft, warm light. Meerding is also legally blind (he retains 5% of his vision in his peripheries), so the use of light in his pieces helps him communicate how he sees the world.
“Many of my designs reflect my interest in light and its dispersion, represented by my simplistic forms and different lighting designs,” he writes on his website. “Being legally blind, this vision of light emanating from the peripheries and the highly tactile nature of my work reflect the alternative sensory world within which I design.” At his design school, he learned to adapt by feeling the grain of the wood and listening to hear when his chisels stopped cutting properly. He works with a speaking tape measure that he calls his “old mate.”
His cracked log lamps, as with many of his other pieces, are sourced from sustainable materials in order to preserve the wilderness that he loves so much. “My work should not merely be seen as something that looks nice, it should remind us of our intrinsic connection with nature and the effect that we have upon it.”