Free, No Booking Required


Thu 17 Mar
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Blender Studios
Fri 18 Mar
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Blender Studios
Sat 19 Mar
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Blender Studios
Sun 20 Mar
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Blender Studios
Mon 21 Mar
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Blender Studios
Wed 23 Mar
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Meat Market Stables
Thu 24 Mar
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Meat Market Stables
Fri 25 Mar
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Meat Market Stables
Sat 26 Mar
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Meat Market Stables
Sun 27 Mar
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Meat Market Stables


Blender Studios, 33-35 Dudley St, West Melbourne (17-21 March) & The Meat Market Stables, 2 Wreckyn St, North Melbourne (23-27 March)

The possibilities to create new objects from the materials of an unwanted piano are only limited by the imagination

The Piano Transformation Design Challenge and Exhibition Past Event

Presented by Pianos Recycled

The Piano Transformation Design Challenge and Exhibition is a showcase of works created from the materials recovered from unwanted pianos. Each of the exhibition objects will have been designed and created by local professional and amateur artisans. The Design Challenge also includes transformation and experimentation workshops and supported by information sessions through the exhibition period. The information sessions will be presented online and will mostly comprise recorded interviews with experts in design, piano history, innovation and sustainability. In a collaboration with the Swinburne University of Technology’s KIOSC (Knox Innovation Opportunity and Sustainability Centre), new learning programs are being designed where Melbourne secondary school students are challenged to creatively and innovatively transform some of 12,000 parts from an unwanted piano, while learning about sustainability issues. The Piano Transformation Design Challenge and Exhibition will also be used to engage communities in the design stage of a pretotype build of a collaborative arts project delivering a transportable amphitheatre made of piano-materials.

This exhibition will be presented at two venues across the course of Melbourne Design Week. Visit the Facebook event page for more information.

Thu 17 – Mon 21 Mar, Blender Studios, 33-35 Dudley St., West Melbourne

Wed 23 – Sun 27 Mar, The Meat Market Stables, 2 Wreckyn St., North Melbourne



Frank Duyker

Frank Duyker is a sculptor, wood carver, designer and wood craftsman. After graduating as an electronic engineer, he studied sculptural and furniture carving and then went on to obtain an Industrial Design degree; reasoning that it was the ideal way to bridge the gap between sculpture and engineering. Since then he has studied an eclectic range of arts related subjects such as: stone carving, ceramic sculpture, bone carving and computer multimedia production. For environmental reasons he favours using reclaimed wood and found objects. He also believes that these materials have a lot more character. During the COVID lockdowns he pivoted to a new direction and began designing and making clock faces.

Casey Smith

Casey Smith is a passionate Melbourne-based woodworker and has been collaborating with Pianos Recycled in developing prototypes from upcycled piano materials. The beauty and quality of piano timbers and veneers are enhanced through Casey’s attention to detail and crafts skills. Casey celebrates the spirit of the piano.

Anton Gerner Furniture

Anton Gerner Furniture designs and handcrafts beautiful bespoke contemporary furniture for Australian and international clients. Based in the Melbourne suburb of East Hawthorn, award-winning designer and craftsman Anton Gerner and his small team of highly skilled furniture makers are committed to producing heirloom quality handmade furniture. The side table featured in this exhibition was made from piano timber panels and the pianos stunning veneers, and highlight an uncompromising attention to design and detail.

Benjamin Reddan

Benjamin Reddan is a wood artist with a penchant for intricate inlays and marquetry. He is an award winning wood practitioner who makes heirloom quality timber products such as cabinet furniture, keepsake boxes and jewellery. With a strong Japanese design influence, Benjamin uses the practice of Yosegi, creating timber patterns from a variety of different coloured thinly sliced woods. His resulting designs are hand made with longevity in mind, confirming his practice of striving for a non-throw away society by acquiring an item once and treasuring it.

Carl Lutz

For years Carl Lutz has been a mentor to woodworking students, many through the Victorian Woodworkers Association programs where he is a tutor. Carl’s first creative thoughts were during play in a huge wooden Polynesian Bowl which could be anything from a sailing ship to a space ship. Born in New Zealand, he attended the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design. Carl worked for a wood carver and period furniture maker where he gained practical experience in cabinetry, chair making, wood carving and French polishing. He immigrated to Australia in 1967 as a passionate furniture maker and spent his early years involved in management and hands-on work for architectural specials, reproduction traditional Australian furniture and very high-quality custom-made pieces. By 1975 Carl had established his own workshop, which continues to this day. Carl is sought out for his knowledge of furniture through the ages.

Birgit Jordan

Birgit, an engineer through the working day, explores other outlets to express her creativity outside the corporate world. In 2019 she entered the Do-Re-Mi Treasure Box in Pianos Recycled’s inaugural Piano Transformation Challenge (Competition and Exhibition). Needless to say, the Treasure Box was an award winner. Since discovering the potential of piano materials, Birgit’s curious mind has seen her make unique pieces from kaleidoscopes to sculpture pieces. Now wood crafts workshops are open again after lockdown, Birgit’s creative talents have been unleashed and we can count on seeing some fantastic projects coming from her handcraft.

Port Phillip Mens Shed

Port Phillip Men’s Shed get it. Pianos ending in landfill are not only bad for the environment but the 80-120-year old-growth forest timbers and the exotic wood veneers used in the making of those pianos need to be enjoyed by new generations that not only appreciate quality, beauty and handcraft skills, but also respect the heritage of the host piano. Port Phillip Mens Shed are enthusiastically exploring many projects ranging from musician accessories, pens, storage boxes and models to picture frames. The possibilities are only limited by the imagination.

Rodney Horsfall

Rodney has fallen in love with the up-cyclable materials a piano can offer up. From his workshop in Euroa Rodney had built a solid following for his musical instruments made from reclaimed wood, particularly piano timbers. More recently he has branched out to produce a range of objects, all made from pianos. An irrepressible creative.

The Reimaginarium

Based in Geelong, The Reimaginarium focuses on bringing together the best reclaimed, remade, reimagined and recreated products from across Australia.  The Reimaginarium sets out to prove that old can be better than new. Showcasing some of the best re-makers from across Australia. The Reimaginarium takes used items and transforms them into unique, beautiful and durable ‘new’ products. The reuse hub is the brainchild of frustrated designer and engineer Ryan Mischkulnig who, fed up with the waste associated with the production of new goods, set out to find a better way.

William Hancock Guitars

Will Hancock has been handcrafting bespoke acoustic guitars since 1993. Believing the sound of the instrument is paramount, Will strives to create a range of sonically superior guitars from high-grade native Australian Tonewoods, lovingly crafted, custom made and uniquely tailored to the individual needs of musicians and collectors. Will has been experimenting with many forms of wood for his guitars from pianos to coloured pencils.

Maton Guitars

From a small backyard workshop started in 1946 Maton Guitars has grown into a truly great Australian success story. From the initial selection and grading of rough sawn timber to the careful levelling and polishing of the frets, every step of the guitar making process is overseen by Maton’s luthiers in Melbourne. Maton specialises in creating superbly crafted guitars from Australian timbers such as Blackwood, bunya, Queensland Maple, Queensland Walnut and now Satin Box. Bill May pioneered the use of many Australian wood species in guitar construction and is regarded by many Australian luthiers as the founding father of their industry. The Maton team are constantly investigating new materials and techniques in the pursuit of creating the world’s finest guitars and accepted Pianos Recycled’s challenge to design and create a pretotype guitar from piano materials.

KIOSC (Knox Innovation Opportunity and Sustainability Centre)

KIOSC, a campus of Swinburne university of Technology, is an innovative, shared learning environment which inspires students to prepare for the careers of the future. Students take part in enriched opportunities that excite their thinking about the myriad of emerging career opportunities before them, with a particular focus of STEM. KIOSC are partnering with Pianos Recycled for Melbourne Design Week to create learning programs and creativity catalyst through re-use of piano parts. Students will learn about piano design and innovation and be challenged to create new objects from century-old piano parts. Through this interaction they will also learn about sustainability, design thinking and the circular economy. KIOSC will conduct learning events and collaborate on shared information sessions. KIOSC will run their design-focused education programs at thier campus, 369 Stud Rd, Wantirna South

Tim Denshire-Key

Tim, works out of a collaborative studio space in Coburg (Melbourne, Australia), has been working across across the creative fields including exhibition work, bespoke recycled timber furniture and experimental sculptural practice since 2008. Tim is owner of timtdesign and Tall Sticks Furniture and co-owner of Plank Audio (customized audio production studio furniture). With formal qualifications in industrial and product design, and a passion for the circular economy and sustainability, Tim, not only likes to create things but also wants to help others realise they can do this too. Tim shares his talents between community projects, education, exhibitions and making bespoke recycled timber furniture and some of his works include:

Tim has recently constructed customized studio furniture for performing artists including for Melbourne-based singer-songwriters Tash Sultana and Toni Watson (Tones & I).

Tim is an educator. He imparts knowledge to RMIT design students and in 2019 ran DIY timber repurposing workshops for the Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum in 2019. Tim was helping the Museum’s aspirations to become a “Breathing Museum” where it “can take in information and stimuli from outside and produce new kinds of stimuli while growing and developing through interactions with the surrounding community and environment”.

Tim works as part of the exhibition team for Dutch artist Theo Jansen. Theo Jansen creates large scale kinetic sculptures called Strandbeest. (‘Strandbeest’ means ‘beach animal’ in Dutch).

Vinko Markoski

Neel Dey Recycled Timber Furniture, Collingwood, VIC, Australia

Stefano Chindamo

22 Custom Furniture, Mount Evelyn, VIC, Australia

Rachel Burke

Rachel Burke from Patturn Studio, Geelong, hand crafts lamp shades & lighting designs ​featuring lacquered papers. Pianos Recycled exhibited some of Rachel’s player-piano roll lamp shades at our Piano Transformation Challenge Exhibition & Competition. The Pianola is the most well-known player-piano brand name but the player-piano became so popular around the turn of the 20th Century that all the main piano manufacturers fell over themselves to include player models in their catalogues. The Great Depression, broadcasting and electric recording brought about the ultimate demise of the player piano.

Michael Atherton

Michael Atherton, AM, Professor Emeritus, BA Hons, MA Hons, PhD . Michael is considered an expert in musical instruments and sound making objects, especially those of Australia and the Asia-Pacific.  He is also composer, performer and researcher with broad experience in music for the concert hall, film, television and radio. Michael has authored several books. In Australian Made, Australian Played (1990 and re-released in 2014 as an e-book), Michael was the first to draw attention to Australian luminaries in the design and construction of musical instruments. His book Musical Instruments and Sound Producing Instruments of Oceania (2010), provides a systematic analysis and catalogue of 1,219 Pacific sound-producing devices held in the Australian Museum. Michael explores the socio-cultural history of the piano in Australia in his publication, A Coveted Possession: the rise and fall of the piano in Australia (2018). This book tells the curious story of Australia’s intimate and intrepid relationship with the piano and charts the piano’s fascinating adventures across Australia – on the goldfields, at the frontlines of war, in the manufacturing hubs of the Federation era, and in the hands of the makers, entrepreneurs, teachers and virtuosos of the twentieth history – to illuminate the many worlds in which the ivories were tinkled.

Kulari Lokuge

Kulari heads KIOSC. As a leader in the education sector, she inspires, enables and empowers educators to be innovative and help them to inspire the world to learn! Kulari has a strong background in educational design and has worked in both Higher Education and VET sectors Leveraging her information technology background, she has used technology to enhance students’ learning experiences. Kulari enjoys challenges that challenges that employ her skills in education, educational design, instructional design and information technology.

Mike Hendry

40+ year Piano technician. Industry evangelist. Piano saviour (from landfill). Transformation agent

John Monument

John Monument is a respected woodworker in Melbourne. He has steered interest in woodworking in Victoria through his involvement on the board of the Victorian Woodworkers Association. John has finally given in to Pianos Recycled’s persistent requests for him to build a special “lifecycle” project. We await the result, which, given the veneers selected for it, will undoubtedly be spectacular.

Brian Falkenberg

Brian is a master woodturner who lives in, appropriately, Woodend. Brian began wood turning 20 years ago and is a member of the Woodend Men’s Shed where he teaches. (He also runs classes at his home). He loves sharing his skills and encouraging others to enjoy learning this craft and creating fine objects. Brian’s work has been exhibited at the Stoneycreek Gallery in Daylesford; the Treehouse Gallery in Birregurra and at “Artisans at the Mill” in Woodend. He has always loved wood as a natural element and while his favourites are native timbers, Brian is up to the challenge of unleashing the potential waiting to be found in a piano’s quality, ancient materials. And we can’t wait to see the result.