MATT Prince had no qualms about shelving his design practice to lead a university summer school course in furniture technology.
But his work is still very much in the spotlight, with two of his designs putting him in contention as Australia's emerging designer for 2012.
One of Australia's leading interior design magazines, Inside Out , in conjunction with homewares company Temple & Webster, have nominated Mr Prince for his Lever stools and Fit shelving system.
Mr Prince is one of 10 finalists in the running for the $5000 design award, which is partly decided through the number of public votes his nomination receives on the magazine's website by January 26.
The former shipwright turned furniture designer's attention for the past fortnight has been fully engaged as lecturer for the furniture assault course, part of the school of visual and performing arts' summer school 2013 program at Inveresk.
His course has drawn a cross section of students, from qualified furniture makers and architects as well as people who have never before held a plane or chisel.
``Each of these students bring a very different skill base, but it's sharing knowledge and tips and working together to help everyone develop their skills that makes summer school so much fun,'' Mr Prince said.
``Those who have a design background need to be pushed to advance their skills and take risks with technique, while it's wonderful to watch beginners gain confidence.''
In this course students have been making their own flat-pack round coffee table on a tripod base.
All nominations can be viewed for voting on the Inside Out website.