Sit with us: MPavilion 2019 stool by Chris Connell

MP Stool by Chris Connell Design. Photo by Tom Ross.

When you visit MPavilion this coming season, you’ll of course experience the work of a great Australian designer—our 2019 architect is Glenn Murcutt AO, after all. Keep an eye out, too, for the work of another Australian great: this year we’re honoured to have Melbourne-based designer Chris Connell creating a very special series of stools for use at MPavilion.

In keeping with this season’s celebration of Australian design, the Naomi Milgrom Foundation commissioned Chris in collaboration with grazia&co to design and manufacture the ‘MP Stool’ in response to Glenn’s MPavilion design. The collaboration furthers the Foundation’s commitment to supporting excellent Australian art and design practices.

MP Stool by Chris Connell Design. Photo by Tom Ross.

Naomi Milgrom AO, founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, said: “Celebrating Australian design is at the forefront of this year’s MPavilion commission and event season. To have Chris Connell design the MP Stool inspired by Glenn Murcutt’s architecture is a unique collaboration in Australian design and we’re excited to have brought these outstanding practices together. Along with Grazia Materia’s Melbourne-made support, this is local creativity and craft at its best.”

Making reference to Murcutt’s MPavilion 2019 design and materiality, the steel MPavilion stacking stool is influenced by the subtle curvature of the pavilion’s roof canopy. Steel fabricated oval tubes form the stool’s outer frame, with a perforated steel skin moulded overtop. The ‘primer red’ colour of the MP Stool creates a ceremonious contrast to Murcutt’s all-white MPavilion and symbolises Australia’s red earth, a reference to the regional nature of Murcutt’s architectural practice.

Chris is an icon of Australian design. His practice, Chris Connell Design, has been celebrated near and far for almost thirty years, known for its innovation and dedication to local creativity and craft. Chris’s achievements include his Pepe chair designed in 1992, now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Chris’s work is uncomplicated, timeless and quality-driven.

MP Stool sketches by Chris Connell Design. Image courtesy of Chris Connell Design.

Likewise, grazia&co is dedicated to the design and manufacture of furniture in Australia. Founder Grazia Materia’s success over the past twenty-five years has been the result of a true passion for design. Servicing architecture and design professionals, the practice’s signature collections marry aesthetic simplicity with a focus on detail and finish, manufacturing locally in Melbourne.

We couldn’t be more excited to be working with Chris Connell Designs and grazia&co this season.

MPavilion 2019 opens in the Queen Victoria Gardens on 14 November 2019 – 22 March 2020. MPavilion is an initiative of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation in partnership with City of Melbourne, Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and Development Victoria, and ANZ. 



Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the Yaluk-ut Weelam as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. Yaluk-ut Weelam means ‘people of the river camp’ and is connected with the coastal land at the head of Port Phillip Bay, extending from the Werribee River to Mordialloc. The Yaluk-ut Weelam are part of the Boon Wurrung, one of the five major language groups of the greater Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.