1960 BRUCE HALL Steel framed furniture throughout student areas

Dining hall from gallery.

The MITZI chairs in the dining hall were designed by Grant Featherston, made by Aristoc Industries, pioneers of circular tapered metal tube legs at that time, but with some shape modifications to seats and backs to impart a more collegiate character. The table tops and framing were my design with solid blackwood tops and cruciform jointing strips in kauri. Still in use 55 years later – good value!

1960 Bruce Hall dining

Bruce Hall was our first trial of steel framed furniture for use in the first ANU student’s residence.

Steel framed furniture was in its infancy in Australia at that time and we had to overcome some public prejudice that “it didn’t look strong enough”. Fred’s and my experience of steel furniture was not strong but we recommended that Aristoc Industries in Melbourne (Grant Featherston, designer) be used with modifications was quite appropriate.


Typical study bedroom furniture – steel framed items by Aristoc Industries. Wooden items, soft furnishings by Fred Ward and myself. Architect, Noel Potter, Bunning and Madden.

Note – no computers around in 1960 !


Junior Common Room steel framed furniture designed by me.

Chairs were also used in the Haydon-allen lecture theatre with folding tablet arms – probably the first in Australia.

Made by Jarvis Industries, St Leonards, Sydney (no steel frame furniture manufacturers in Canberra at that time)