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2007 Award of Distinction Recipient

Furni­ture Maker

Mr. Fortune’s award was presented June 22, 2007 jointly by Alan Elder, Cana­dian Museum of Civi­liza­tion’s Curator of Cana­dian Crafts, Deco­ra­tive Arts and Design; and by Edward S. Cooke, Charles F. Mont­gomery Profes­sor of Amer­i­can Deco­ra­tive Arts, Depart­ment of the History of Art, Yale University.

Fortune Michael Headshot

Michael Fortune’s furni­ture has been described as contem­po­rary with a strong histor­i­cal influ­ence. Working primar­ily in wood, he draws inspi­ra­tion from many forms, whether it is an histor­i­cal vase or a leaf from nature. His Number One Chair, a piece he has repro­duced over 350 times, includes, among others, the influ­ences of Frank Lloyd Wright, Hans Wegner, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Michael is acknowl­edged for both his tech­ni­cal and design exper­tise, honed over 30 years through sketch­ing, making scale models and build­ing full-size proto­types. His is a marriage of indi­vid­ual design and produc­tion-oriented methods, of taking what is diffi­cult and making it simple and effi­cient to build.

Michael has found a broad degree of social and economic rele­vance to his work as a designer and tech­ni­cal consul­tant on projects in third world coun­tries that employ local people to manu­fac­ture wood prod­ucts. Typi­cally spon­sored by inter­na­tional aid agen­cies or private parties, these projects provide sustain­able economic oppor­tu­ni­ties from mate­ri­als (woods) native to the region.

For his many contri­bu­tions to the field of studio furni­ture and his life­time achieve­ment in this arena, The Furni­ture Society was pleased to present its 2007 Award of Distinc­tion to Michael Fortune.