UTS Library

Exhibition - Reading Room Chair by Adam Goodrum

Adam Goodrum

UTS Library’s Artist-in-Residence program ensures the ongoing relevance and development of our vision to connect people, knowledge, technology and culture at the heart of the UTS campus. Since 2012, the Library has invited artists and designers to engage in a dialogue between the Library and our community through their practice. Sydney-based furniture designer Adam Goodrum completed a residency with UTS Library in 2016, where he considered how daily visitors might engage with design objects within an academic space. As the result of his residency, Adam produced the Reading Room Chair.

On display Wednesday 6 September – Friday 10 November
Level 2 UTS Library foyer

Exhibition opening
5pm, Wednesday 11 October 

All are welcome, refreshments will be served


UTS_Chair_01The Reading Room Chair came about through discussions with UTS Library where it was recognised that there was potential for a UTS-designed chair to be a feature of the reading room planned for the future UTS Library due to open in 2019. Throughout the year, four digital renderings and models for prototype chairs and their many iterations were produced. However, we are unable to show these owing to Australia’s copyright laws for artists and designers. To make these designs public would allow others to reproduce and sell Adam’s designs without any attribution or compensation to the original designer.

The chosen chair design, crafted from ash, has a traditional aesthetic in line with the future reading room – a space dedicated to the reading of printed books and texts. Particular consideration was given to the shape of the armrests and the capacity to hold a book comfortably. In producing a custom designed chair, Adam was able to consider from the outset the functionality of the chairs for study, their comfort and how they will be situated within their intended environment. Adam explains:

It is a challenging pleasure to design a ‘new’ chair, I am always excited by the opportunity and at the same time overwhelmed by the rigorous and extensive process it entails to bring into fruition a new object. For each design I endeavour to fulfil my personal aims to achieve uniqueness, structural and ergonomically sound structure, integrity, a product sympathetic to the environment, engaging local makers, to enhance and consider the environment where it will be housed and to create functional objects with a personality.

Passionate about the manufacture of quality design in Australia, Adam ensured the chairs were handmade by an Australian craftsperson, partnering with Canberra-based maker Rolf Barfoed on the production of the chair. The original digital designs were produced by Rolf through traditional woodworking techniques where he handcrafted components and jigs to shape the final components in his Australian Capital Territory workshop.

Adam’s work is internationally recognised, and has been published and showcased around the world and collected by many museums. Since graduating UTS Industrial Design in 1993, Adam has received many accolades including the 'Young Designer of the Year Award' (1997) and the prestigious ‘Bombay Sapphire Design Award’ (2004). In 2015, Adam received the ‘Indesign Luminary’ award and his installation ‘Unfolding’ won the ‘NGV Riggs Prize’. The Library is delighted to include the residency outcome of the Reading Room Chair to our Special Collections and hopes to commission a larger number of the chairs to furnish the future Library reading areas.


UTS Library curates a series of exhibitions each year that showcase works produced by UTS students and staff. The Library is a point at which the entire University connects and these exhibitions create opportunities for cross-disciplinary encounters, encouraging the exchange of knowledge, ideas and research between academic groups and faculties.