Fossil Coffee Table

  • 2019

  • Social Impact

Designed By:

  • Liz Doube of Newline Design

Commissioned By:

Manapan Furniture

Designed In:


The Fossil Coffee table is a feature piece of the Manapan Series of Furniture. Designed in Australia and hand made in Millingimbi NT, Manapan is a not-for-profit initiative established to promote and nurture the manufacture of furniture and teaching the indigenous people in the area furniture making skills.

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  • The design brief was established to enable Manapan Furniture to produce products with distinctly Australian and Indigenous references. The aim was to enable a fledgling not for profit initiative to establish itself in the fine furniture market place. The Manapan factory was established to teach locals form the Millingimbi community a skill and a lifelong means of support for the community at large. The design brief established the need to challenge these young trades people to produce fine furniture pieces from locally sourced materials that could hold their own in the Australian Furniture Market.

  • The response to the brief initially drew references from from the local flora and fauna and the artistry of the local community . The references to the Indigenous Australian Flag, the sun and the shape of the boomerang also become apparent in the forms of the final product. The use of locally sourced timber, stone and leather pay tribute to the local landscape of the Top End of Australia. The colour, texture,shape and form all come together to produce a distinctive and yet almost obvious association with the region from where it was produced.

  • The Fossil Coffee Table is one of the pieces which forms the Manapan Furniture range. This product has contributed significantly to the prosperity of this fledgling organisation. The result of which has had a direct impact socially and economically on the initiative and subsequently on all those associated with it. The local and indeed the broader Indigenous Community have benefitted from this organisation both financially and spiritually. There is no doubt the design of this piece has been fundamental in this journey . This has been renforced by the public’s response to the piece.

  • The design of the Manapan Fossil Coffee table has enabled this organisation to move from a factory making coffins and undertaking repairs and maintenance to creating furniture that places it in the category of an Australian Fine Furniture Manufacturer. The first three young men to take part in this program are the first in three generations of their respective families to have been taught a trade and to have held a job. This has been a monumental moment in their lives and has had a far reaching positive impact on their broader community- psychologically, socially and economically. The long term tenure of this initiative will impact on this community's quality of life and prosperity. The design of this piece of furniture for this organisation which it now produces has been fundamental to its success. The design here has been the catalyst for this initiatives success.