Martin Tauts.

Martin Tauts is an Estonian born industrial design graduate from Design Centre Enmore, Sydney. In 2015, he started his design firm Red Block, which is currently based in Newcastle. Martin has exhibited his furniture and lighting works in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this year and has been a finalist in various design competitions in Australia, including his most recent shortlist in the "emerging designer" category at the 2016 IDEA Awards.

Red Block started off with designing and making custom handmade concrete lamps coloured with earth from regional Australia, while Martin was still undertaking his design studies.

For the past two years, together with his partner Priscilla, Martin has worked on building a furniture and lighting brand that focuses on tying in Scandinavian and Japanese minimalism with Australian materials and modern manufacturing. All works produced are 100% designed and made in Australia, and he wants to build Red Block into an organisation that collaborates with emerging local designers while supporting Australian makers and manufacturers. All Red Block products are designed around the requirements that materials and manufacturing are all locally sourced and hand finished by the designers.

Currently, he has set up a studio/showroom and is collaborating with other industrial designers based in Newcastle, and is continuously seeking new collaborations with like-minded industrial designers and architects.

With the $29K grant, Martin would like to invest in a 3D printer and a Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) Routing machine. With the two machines, Martin would have the ability to really experiment and create fun, new, and unique products to add to Red Block’s lighting, furniture, and industrial design range. It would also allow him to experiment and manufacture a few designs that he has yet to build due to the high outsourcing costs involved. The grant balance would be used for participating in the Denfair 2017 Design Exhibition and marketing for brand building purposes.

Winning the MINI Bright Rays Grant would give Red Block the boost it needs going into its third year and it would also provide the ability to continue manufacturing locally.