Mr Simon Ancher

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Mr Simon Ancher

Simon Ancher

University Associate

Architecture & Design, Inveresk Campus

+61 3 6324 4488 (phone)

+61 3 6324 4477 (fax)

Simon Ancher is an established award winning designer. He was the Program Director of Furniture Design at the School of Architecture and Design in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology for 10 years until July 2016.


Simon Ancher is self-employed at Simon Ancher Studio in Launceston. Simon was previously the Program Director of Furniture Design at the School of Architecture and Design from 2006 to 2016.

Career summary


DegreeUniversityCountryDate of Award
BEnvDesUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia20/12/2003
BFA (1st Class Hons)University of TasmaniaAustralia13/12/2000


Professional practice

  • Design Institute of Australia
  • Furniture Designers Association
  • NAVA – National Association of Visual Artists

Administrative expertise

  • Program Director
  • Business owner – Simon Ancher Studio


Design, Furniture, Interiors, Public seating, Boat building, Veneering, Contemporary joinery, Furniture technology, CNC router technology, CAD drafting, Drawing, Project Management, Commissions, Bespoke Furniture, Exhibition design, Curating.

Teaching expertise

Simon has been teaching furniture design for 10 years and has professional practice experience of 15 years. Conceptual approaches to design and ideation, developing hands on methodology to design development are strength areas of his teaching capabilities. He teaches units and develops course material for 1styr through to Honours.

View more on Mr Simon Ancher in WARP


  • Industrial Design
  • Furniture Design

Research Themes

Simon's practice is driven by a passion for design and some idiosyncratic fascinations, which return in different forms. At present he is enjoying a shift to more collaborative work and finding ways to upscale production and deal with the manufacturing end of making furniture. This seems to be one of the greatest challenges to Tasmanian Designers if we are to make an impact on the world market. Simon believes that good design is fundamentally about creativity and self-expression, but with that comes a need to be strongly disciplined in terms of quality and craftsmanship. Function is critical, and that includes the functionality of production and transport, as well as usability.

Since 2000, Simon has undertaken commissions and interior fit-outs through his design business, Simon Ancher Studio. The majority of this work has been designing and making one-off pieces for private clients, restaurants and companies. However, the business has started to expand and is now generating a line of domestic furniture designs - able to be tooled, manufactured and marketed on a larger, more economical scale. Designing one-off pieces and undertaking commissions is an important part of Simon's work and he is involved in both national and international exhibitions each year. Recent public art commissions have let him investigate his interest in morphed bench seating, such as those commissioned for Moorilla Winery. In works such as 'Plied Rocker', he was able to take advantage of the structural nature of plywood, make a feature of its decorative qualities and explore ways of giving it a sense of volume.


  • 2014: Design Tasmania Award – Highly commended
  • 2011: Clarence Prize – Winner
  • 2009: Clarence Prize – Highly commended
  • 2006: Premiers Award 'Best in Show', Design Centre Biennial exhibition
  • 2004: University of Tasmania, faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology Dean's Roll of Excellence
  • 2001: Inclusion in 'Interiors' CD-Rom profiling 80 leading Australian designers and makers, Jam Factory and Object Galleries
  • 2000: Winner, MBF Arts Award, Young Australian of the Year 2001; Finalist, Tasmanian Career Achievement, Young Australian of the Year 2001; Winner, Re-Designing Pine Competition, Australian Wood Review – Albatross bench seat

Current projects

Currently Simon is working through a long list of private commissions and public works. One of the private commissions is exciting and pushes the boundaries of 'nursery furniture'. It's a change cabinet that can be used in a wide variety of configurations and also includes 6 drawers for storage. After it's 'change table' life the cabinet converts to either a chest of drawers or sideboard. The most distinctive and innovative aspect of the design is the 'valley' top that naturally cradles the child and restricts their movement resulting in a very safe and stable changing environment.

In his public projects, Simon is project managing and designing a series of bench seating forms [21] with 10 second yr students for the Tasmanian Three Capes Walk. The internationally significant walk is due to open in November 2015.

Fields of Research

  • Industrial Design (120305)
  • Design Innovation (120302)
  • Fine Arts (incl. Sculpture and Painting) (190502)
  • Timber, Pulp and Paper (091210)
  • Architectural Science and Technology (incl. Acoustics, Lighting, Structure and Ecologically Sustainable Design) (120104)
  • Architecture (120199)
  • Tourism (150699)
  • Design Management and Studio and Professional Practice (120303)
  • Building Science and Techniques (120202)

Research Objectives

  • Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design (970112)
  • The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft) (950104)
  • Environmentally Sustainable Manufacturing (869899)
  • Wood, Wood Products and Paper (860599)
  • Wood Sawing and Veneer (860505)
  • Learner and Learning Achievement (930101)
  • Syllabus and Curriculum Development (930302)
  • Commercial Services and Tourism (909999)
  • Construction (879999)
  • Timber Materials (870305)
  • Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Construction Activities (879802)
  • Residential Energy Conservation and Efficiency (850704)


Total publications


Conference Publication

(2 outputs)
2013Loy J, Ancher S, 'Creative camaraderie: Promoting a shared design culture for staff and students', Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Design Education - Growing Our Future, EPDE 2013, 5-6 September 2013, Dublin, Ireland, pp. 550-555. ISBN 978-1-904670-42-1 (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]


2011Loy J, Ancher S, 'Bridging the Gap between Aims and Objectives for Business Clients and Academic Course Planners in 'Linked' Learning Projects', Proceedings of E&PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, 8-9 September 2011, City University London, UK, pp. 64-70. ISBN 9781904670346 (2011) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]


Major Creative Work

(21 outputs)
2014Ancher SJC, 'Charred Memories', Margret Lawrence Gallery, University of Melbourne and Academy Gallery, University of Tasmania (2014) [Curated Exhibition]

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2013Ancher SJC, 'THINKtent BENCH', University of Tasmania, Burnie, Launceston Design Centre, MONA, pp. 1-2 (2013) [Curated Exhibition]

[eCite] [Details]

2013Abberton L, Ancher SJC, Brown S, Combes J, Balcombe A, et al., 'Objects in Place', Designed Objects Tasmania, Mawson Place, Waterside Pavillion, Hobart (2013) [Curated Exhibition]

[eCite] [Details]

2011Abberton L, Ancher S, Brown S, Dunsmuir R, Van Der Meer C, et al., 'Flat Stack Fold', Design Forum Tasmania, Design Centre, 1 (2011) [Curated Exhibition]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Prince MD

2011Ancher SJC, 'Life Specifics', Design Forum Tasmania, Launceston, 1, pp. 1-9 (2011) [Curated Exhibition]

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2011Ancher SJC, 'The Clarence Prize', Clarence City Council, Rosny Barn - Clarence, 3 (2011) [Curated Exhibition]

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2011Malone P, Kaye A, Dobinson J, Muir Wilson T, Finlayson ML, et al., 'Furnished', Designed Objects Tasmania, Waterside Pavillion, Hobart, 1 (2011) [Curated Exhibition]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Finlayson ML; Prince MD

2009Ancher SJC, 'SCW (Stool crate wood)', Workshopped09, Chiffly Plaza, Sydney , 2009 (2009) [Repeat Curated Exhibition]

[eCite] [Details]

2008Ancher S, ''Clipped Wing' Timber Bench Seat ', Workshopped08 , Chiffly Plaza, Sydney , 2008 (2008) [Published Creative Work]

[eCite] [Details]

2008Ancher S, 'SCW (Stool crate wood)', Out of This World , The Deloraine Community Complex, 2008, pp. 1-4 (2008) [Repeat Curated Exhibition]

[eCite] [Details]

2008Ancher S, 'SCW (Stool crate wood)', Design Made Trade, Royal Exhibition Building , 2008 (2008) [Curated Exhibition]

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2007Ancher SJC, ''Flash' Stool', Workshopped07, Queen Victoria Buidling [ QVB ] Sydney , 2007 (2007) [Curated Exhibition]

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2006Ancher SJC, 'Biennial Acquisitive Exhibition', TMAG & Design Centre (2006) [Curated Exhibition]

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2006Ancher SJC, 'Leather Chair ', Design Island, State Government , Mawson's Place, Waterside Pavilion, Hobart , 2006 (2006) [Curated Exhibition]

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2005Ancher SJC, 'Chocoholic ', Workshopped05, The Strand Arcade, Sydney , 2005 (2005) [Curated Exhibition]

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2005Ancher SJC, 'Horny Bar Stool ', Young Designers month , Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hunter Street, Hobart, 2005 (2005) [Curated Exhibition]

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2004Ancher SJC, 'Design Island', Object - Australian Centre for Craft and Design, Sydney Opera House, TMAG, Design Centre, pp. 42-43 (2004) [Curated Exhibition]

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2004Ancher SJC, 'Rockindaboat ', Young Designers month , Mawson's Place, Waterside Pavilion, Hobart , 2004 (2004) [Curated Exhibition]

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2004Ancher SJC, 'Plied Rocker ', Design Island, State Government , Sydney Opera House , 2004 (2004) [Curated Exhibition]

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2004Ancher SJC, 'Rockin'Da Boat ', Hobart City Council , TMAG (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery), 2004 (2004) [Curated Exhibition]

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2003Ancher SJC, 'Low Shelf ', Young Designers month , Mawson's Place, Waterside Pavilion, Hobart , 2003 (2003) [Curated Exhibition]

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Other Creative Work

(1 outputs)
2006Ancher SJC, 'Plied Rocker', TMAG & Tasmanian Design Centre, Hobart & Launceston, pp. 1 (2006) [Acquisition]

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Other Public Output

(2 outputs)
2011Ancher SJC, 'The Clarence Prize', The Clarence Prize, Clarence City Council, Hobart (2011) [Award]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Pocock CA, Stell MK, Frost L, Crozier JM, Ancher SJC, 'Living memory and the interpretation of heritage: Developing a multimedia interactive to record and store personal stories for use in heritage interpretation and research', CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd, Gold Coast, Queensland, pp. 1-45. (2010) [Government or Industry Research]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Pocock CA; Stell MK; Frost L; Crozier JM

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Market and material characteristics of recovered eucalypt and myrtle timber (2013)$18,000
This project involves the recovery and use of log and other wood resources from land inundated by Hydro Tasmanian dams. The intention is to sell the logs to mainstream timber producers. Information will demonstrate that recovered myrtle and eucalypt logs can be economically converted into suitable appearance and other sawn products. This information is essential to determining the project economics. There are considerable unknowns in this. Timber submerged for long periods may have acquired characteristics both beneficial and detrimental to milling with the processes and major equipment suite currently used in the Tasmanian industry. Preliminary results from a partial literature review note factors such as: bacterial degradation and discolouration of the wood; the removal of water-soluble extractives and its impact on drying & wood colour; relief of internal stress; potential mineralization of the wood. Work has been conducted, mainly on softwood logs in North America that have sunk as they were rafted or transported over water to sawmills. These is also work on forests flooded as part of hydroelectricity schemes and also logs are often stored under water (pond storage) as standard practice before processing. Wood degrading organisms such as insects and fungi cannot survive if the temperature is too low and/or there is insufficient oxygen. However bacteria can survive in very cold (but not sub-freezing) and zero oxygen conditions. Therefore anaerobic bacterial degradation is a potential concern. Changes in wood quality/properties are related to bacterial activity. There are varying results as to whether the wood quality is enhanced or deteriorated after being submerged. It varies depending on time under water, depth and temperature, water quality, etc. and on tree species. Some report changes in wood colour or discoloration or staining. Other report changes in drying rate and wood permeability. Some findings describe increased collapse, honeycombing and ring failure. There is some information that resin leaches out of the wood whilst under water. Apparently acoustic properties can be enhanced and this is advantageous for instrument manufacture. In some cases, a certain amount of mineralization of the wood has occurred. There is some information about densification of wood during long term water storage probably related to mineralization. In some cases in North America some mills dont like to process logs that were submerged because of concerns of damage to equipment caused by the mineralization, densification or other factors.
Sustainable Forest Management Pty Ltd ($18,000)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Leggate W; Ancher SJC; Lee MW