Johan H Naess - Architectural Designer


Johan H Naess

Graduated from Bergen National Academy of the Arts in Norway.

Professional background:

1967 Peddle, Thorpe and Walker, Architects, Sydney
1973 John Anderson and Associates, Interior Designers, Sydney
1975 Stephenson and Turner Architects, Sydney
1977 Overseas working vacation in Norway
1978 Jackson, Teece, Chesterman & Willis, Architects, Sydney
1980 Framac Industries Pty Ltd. Commercial Furniture Manufactures, Sydney
1989 Maxton Fox Commercial Furniture Pty. Ltd. Sydney
1994 Start of Naess Design Pty Ltd
1998 Start of TecnoSeat Australia Pty. Ltd. Sydney
2009 Continuing to be employed by Naess Design Pty Ltd


Study Trips:

Orgatek, Commercial furniture fair Cologne, Germany:
1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998
Interzum, Commercial furniture components, Cologne, Germany:
1985, 1991, 1995, 2005, 

Exhibiting own designs:

1970 Commercial furniture, Sydney
1986 Commercial furniture, Sydney
1993 Chair design, Tusculum Gallery (AIA), Sydney
1994 Marine Seating, Fast Ferries, Singapore
1995 Marine Seating, Cruise & Ferry, London
1996 Transport Seating, Sydney
1997 Marine Seating, Fast Ferries, Hong Kong
1997 Marine seating, Cruise & Ferry, London
1998 Marine Seating, Fast Ferries, Singapore
1998 Marine Seating, Work Boat World, Sydney
1999 Marine Seating, Cruise & Ferry, London
2001 Marine Seating, Cruise & Ferry, London
2002 Marine Seating, Work Boat World, Venice, Italy
2002 Marine Seating, Work Boat World, Singapore
2003 Marine Seating, Work Boat World, Singapore
2003 Marine Seating, Cruise & Ferry, London
2003 Marine Seating, Work Boat World, Brisbane
2004 Marine Seating, Work Bout World, Singapore
2005 Marine Seating, Cruise & Ferry, London
2006 Marine Seating, Work Bout World, Singapore
2007 Marine Seating, Cruise & Ferry, London
2008 Marine Seating, Work Bout World, Singapore


Working with firms of architects in Sydney, CBD. The work included all types of Architectural associated design from presentation drawings, to project Architect for multi-storey projects. Australia’s production of good commercial furniture was at this time very basic, so a strong need existed for furniture that was well designed and made. With a Scandinavian background and education, Johan designed several successful pieces of furniture in this period, however, the main part of the work was multi-storey buildings and office interiors. Interior design and planing, also involving Hotels, Clubs, Banks, Shopping Centres, Hospitals, etc.

Working vacation in Norway. The work in this period mainly consisted of designing and documenting of private residences. (One of his favourite types of design work)

Mainly involved with the design, development, and manufacturing of commercial And transport furniture and seating. Graphic design and photography for brochures and general presentation are an important part of the work. CAD as well as the use of computer tools like graphic and photo editing are also extensively used.

Johan is strongly involved with the design of production systems, tooling and machines. Several radically different production methods has been successfully introduced for the latest transport seating . From a long association with aluminium extrusion designs (from his extensive work with major office partition and desking systems,) this has also become a speciality, and a strong part of the design to produce seating. Universally, all transport seating today requires to be classified, and the weight to strength ratio is exceptionally important. The aluminium extrusion technology fits this requirement.

Another important area that Johan has been working with for many years is the use of membranes and elastomeric mesh fabrics for seating. He strongly believes that for the best in comfort and support as well as many other advantages like the elimination of foam, this technology is here to stay.

From 2006, Johan has also been designed a very Comprehensive Sustainable House Building System, adapting known energy saving principals like the cool room technology to use as a base for a modern high tech super fast building system that will drop the standard housing cost considerably. This building system will include high quality architecturally designed components combined with an exceptionally high “R” rating for maximum energy savings and comfort. Again, the design of aluminium extrusions and aluminium castings are a major part of the development work.

In the last six months the work has also involved a considerable amount of graphic design including brochure design and product photographing. Another area of resent design work has been bus shelters, picnic shelters, kiosks and other urban street furniture like seating and tables, adopting the latest production technologies.

How long does Johan intend to stay around designing commercial furniture? His answer is: “I have only just started”.