Industrial Design graduates launch social enterprise

Splinter founders Dr Sam Canning, Natasha Dennis, Natalie Haskell and Kaecee Fitzgerald in the not-for-profit store.

Three Griffith industrial design graduates have opened an interactive store in the Gold Coast Hinterlands to showcase creative work and designs by fellow alumni.

Kaecee Fitzgerald with some of the products.

Griffith graduates Natalie Haskell, Kaecee Fitzgerald and Natasha Dennis joined forces with Industrial Design Program Director Dr Sam Canning to create the space they’ve called Splinter, which will serve as a launchpad for emerging industrial designers on the Gold Coast.

“The idea for starting something like this came up in conversation numerous times over the years,” Natalie said.

“There was a transition where students, who were graduating, had work they were producing but it was really difficult to get it into the market, particularly if they were doing low volume production.

“We wanted to create a space that supported local and emerging designers on the Gold Coast.”

Splinter is a not-for-profit exhibition space and shop, nestled on Tamborine Mountain’s Eagle Heights Rd, and displays wares created by 10 Griffith graduates.

Furniture by Evan Jurd.

“There are products crafted by Griffith graduates which include lighting and ceramics, to jewellery and 3D printed items on display,” Natalie said.

However, it is more than just a store.

“Each item has an interactive experience, with voice recordings from each designer explaining their creative process and the meaning behind it,” she said.

Griffith alumnus Evan Jurd graduated with a Bachelor of Industrial Design in 2020 and was excited to have his items featured in the store.

Even the light fitting is made by Griffith industrial designers.

“Initially, I will be displaying furniture, although I have designs for lighting and artworks that utilise 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC (computer numerical control) routing that I would eventually like to have in the store too,” Evan said.

“It’s so important to have community support for emerging designers and Splinter is the perfect space to create and display our work.”

Natalie said it was important to support Griffith alumni.

“We had a lot of incredible experiences available to us due to our affiliation with Griffith University, so this is our way of paying it forward to other people like us.”