900(H) x 450(W) x 500(D) mm


The Riptide Chair is part of a series of furniture pieces, which explore the technical possibilities of moulding wood veneers into three-dimensional forms.

This piece expresses the visual power of the surging waves and pounding surf of the seas, which surround our island state. The chair is structured from single sheets of laminated plywood with Huon Pine veneer on the surface to arrive at an economy of form that provides both great comfort and resilience.


John Smith studied Furniture Design at High Wycombe College of Technology and Art. In 1970 he emigrated to Hobart to establish a new Centre for Furniture Design at the Tasmanian School of Art (now a part of the University of Tasmania).

The Centre for Furniture Design was to become a highly active locus for Tasmanian design and was widely acclaimed as the premier program of furniture design in Australia. John continued his own design work, undertaking many private and public commissions. John has been an effective advocate for design, serving on the boards of numerous design, industry and educational organisations including the Visual Arts and Crafts Board and the Design Committee of the Australia Council. A founding member of the Australian Academy of Design, he was one of the original members of the FDA (Furniture Designers Association).

Born: 1948, Chesterfield England, migrated to Australia, 1970.

Training: Pre-Diploma of Art, Chesterfield School of Art, 1967. Bachelor of Fine Arts (Furniture), High Wycombe College of Art and Technology, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, 1969.

Represented: International Design Centre, Berlin; Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria; Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart; Parliament House, Canberra; Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart; Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston; Hobart City Council.