On Wednesday 27th February, Sydney-based product designer Zachary Hanna won the 2018 Mercedes-Benz Design Award. Here, we take a look at his winning design, Stack and the Award ceremony held in our flagship Chippendale showroom.

Now in its fourth year, the Mercedes-Benz Design Award is a launching pad for emerging talent in Australian design, offering creatives a special platform to radically expand the scope of their careers. The winning designer is entered into a comprehensive mentorship program, with their winning design manufactured and sold by Cult.


This year, the brief called for innovative designs for the living space that have a strong focus on sustainability. Hanna beat a competitive group of entrants with his sophisticated design, Stack, which combines the functionality of several living room objects – a lamp, a bookshelf and a side table – into one simple product.


‘Zac’s design met our brief perfectly – he’s used sustainable materials innovatively and encapsulated three products in one, giving us a unique and simplified solution to home living.


Stack combines functional design with a minimalist aesthetic and is a great example of Australian design that fits well into the nau collection.’ – Richard Munao, Founder and Managing Director, Cult.


The finished product will become part of the nau collection, and will be available for purchase in June 2019.




Stack – a lamp, side table and bookcase – combines several functions to simplify living-room furnishings. The entire construction of Stack is made from renewable timber, and the light is provided by LEDs to reduce power consumption.



On Wednesday 27th February, over 120 guests attended the Mercedes-Benz Design Award ceremony at Cult Sydney.

Katya Watchel, Editorial Director of Broadsheet, lead a panel discussion with the Award judges.

The panel discussed design, sustainability and gender.

On the panel was Cult Founder and Director Richard Munao; Mercedes-Benz product manager André Dutkowski; Foolscap Studio founder and director Adele Winteridge; and 2017 Mercedes-Benz Design Award winner Tom Fereday.

The three finalists included James Walsh, Tom Hewitt and Zachary Hanna.

The Award trophy was designed by Adam Goodrum and made by Rolf Barfoed.

Zachary Hanna with 2018 mentors and judges – from left to right: Tom Fereday, André Dutkowski, Katya Watchel, Zachary Hanna, Richard Munao and Adele Winteridge.


In addition to receiving an intensive mentorship program and the manufacturing of his design, Hanna also won a Mercedes-Benz to drive throughout 2019.



O-KI Lounge Chair by Tom Hewitt// When designing O-KI Lounge Chair, Hewitt focussed on comfort, visual appeal and sustainability. The chair is made from locally sourced timber and has an interchangeable sling. It comes with a matching ottoman with a removable slung seat that can be replaced over time. Hewitt’s design impressed the judges with its modern take on nostalgic design and potential for longevity.

Blocks by James Walsh// Blocks is a range of vases, bowls and water pitchers all made from the same dynamic mould in either ceramic or glass. Each is interrelated but can stand alone both practically and aesthetically. Walsh took inspiration from Roman design, and was commended by the judging panel for the items brutalist aesthetic and considered execution.


Stack will be manufactured and sold by Cult, becoming part of the nau collection, and will be available for purchase in June 2019.


A Mercedes-Benz Design Award exhibition showcasing the finalist and winning design, as well as the winning design from 2017 – the SIA chair by Tom Fereday, will be on display at Sydney Design Festival’s Home.Grown.// Exhibition from 8-10 March. Click here for tickets and more information.


Photography by Steven Woodburn.