Friday Files – Designer Discovery – Jeff Maas From Map International

Friday Files – Designer Discovery – Jeff Maas From Map International


Designer Discoverymap

This week we had a wonderful time in conversation with Jeff Maas the manager of MAP International, it was brilliant to meet again with the MAP team at the DEN fair in Melbourne.

A Huge congratulations to Chris Connell for be awarded the ‘Designer of the Year’ and such success on the new product Graphio 3 .

MAP International has been established for over 20 years in the industry, having experience and knowledge covering all areas of furniture manufacturing, Wood, Metal, Upholstery, and composites.

Creating a personal classic range of furniture for the domestic individual and commercial clients alike.

With MAP’S personal sensibility towards both individual and commercial clients and their incredible vision we just love MAP INTERNATIONAL.


You recently re-launched the brand, what is the new direction for the brand?

MAP has been at the forefront of Australian design for over 20 years. With its acquisition by Schiavello last year, MAP has newfound support to produce products which compete on a global scale. The response to Chris Connell’s latest collection at DEN was overwhelmingly positive and an encouraging sign of a deepening appetite for high-quality Australian design.

Who is the MAP customer?

MAP’s uncompromising and experimental approach to form, materials and production has always appealed to forward-thinking designers working on residential and hospitality interiors. With Australian consumer tastes becoming increasing sophisticated and design-conscious, MAP’s appeal has broadened and led us to open a showroom in Melbourne’s CBD. Astute customers are increasingly becoming collectors of MAP, with pieces being acquired by museums such as the Powerhouse in Sydney and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Describe your role at MAP?

To remain competitive, MAP continues to innovate. My challenge is to connect market trends, design possibilities and factory potential. I work closely with Chris Connell’s studio in Melbourne, our in-house engineering team, and Schiavello’s advanced manufacturing capabilities at Tullamarine, to realise new designs. A lesser known part of our business is custom work for large-scale projects such as a number of chapels for the Australian Defence Forces. It’s very rewarding to see how design can transform such traditionally conservative spaces.

What type of fabrics do you choose for upholstery of MAP sofas and chairs?

MAP products cross-over between residential and hospitality use, so when selecting a fabric we’re always trying to balance commercial strength with a more relaxed appearance. For our new Super 5 sofa we selected a wool-blend with viscose and linen. The sweeping curves of the sofa needed a wool fabric with some inherent stretch to upholster well, while the blend of viscose and linen gave us a soft handle, gentle lustre and some subtle colour variation in the yarn. The final effect was not unlike natural linen upholstery, but features all the benefits of wool.

What is your favourite piece in the collection?

This is a hard question … like someone asking which of your children your favourite is! Perhaps the most surprisingly satisfying piece from the new collection has been the Duke stool in solid walnut. Walnut is synonymous with American mid-century modernism; however this is something which feels entirely new. The gentle contours of the seat and frame make a solid timber piece appear light and soft, and the shape accentuates the dramatic variation in grain and colour of walnut. The overall effect is enhanced by a unique low lustre finish which  makes it wonderful furniture to touch. I can imagine that this will only improve with age.

Congratulations on den fair win, tell us about the winning piece?

Chris Connell was awarded ‘Designer of the Year’ and his new Graphio 3 shelf received an honorable mention in the category of Best New Product. Graphio 3 is a contemporary container for objects, and features a collection of various sized frames which intersect in unconventional ways. For the exhibition, Chris designed a series of beautiful turned timber bowls and painted artwork to demonstrate the effect. The judges’ comments were that it was one of the few shelves which look good with less in it.


DEN Fair 2015 DEN Fair 2015
DEN Fair 2015 Graphio 3
DEN Fair 2015 DEN Fair 2015
The Duke Stool Beautiful turned timber bowls hand crafted by Chris Conell