The Australian Furniture Industry Awards (AFIA) provide an opportunity to recognise individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to furniture manufacturing in Australia.

The Furniture Industry Master award is one such category enabling the recognition of those who have forged this vibrant and long-lasting industry.

The winner of this award will be someone whose legacy has been to the benefit of the entire Australian furniture manufacturing industry – a pioneer, innovator, master craftsman or promoter of the Australian furniture industry.

2014 AFIA Furniture Industry Master
Mr Ian Howard (Aristoc Industries) 

Mr Ian Howard is the founder of Aristoc Industries, an internationally renowned and recognised pioneering manufacturer and designer of Australian furniture.

During his time as Aristoc Industries’ former Managing Director and head of product development, Ian Howard led a significant operation, with some 30 furniture products designed by Grant Featherson manufactured during the 12 years through 1968. Of these products, the Industrial Design Council Australia (IDCA) accredited 14 chairs and 9 other products for incorporation in the Australian Design Index as examples of ‘Good Design’.

One particular furniture item of some esteem produced by Aristoc is the iconic Expo 67 chair, dubbed "the Talking Chair".

The “Expo Talking Chair” was made especially for the Expo 67 event. The chairs were seen and used by over 30 million people passing through the main pavilion at the Montreal World Exposition in 1967 where they were located.

The concept, developed by Robin Boyd, the Curator and Interior Architect for the project, was for a chair which would provide a personal, intimate atmosphere and at the same time exclude outside noise.

Further demonstrating his immense value to a thankful industry, Mr Howard announced his support of the 2015 AFA International Pavilions project through a perpetual prize supporting emerging designers in their overseas endeavours.  

To nominate your Furniture Industry Master for this prestigious award in 2015, simply complete the nomination form at and return it to the AFA via email or fax (03) 9856 1611.

Entry is FREE, so what are you waiting for? Nominate your Furniture Industry Master today!