One of our ambitions for DesignFreo is that none of our events feel the same. Our launch event took place in the slightly weird COVID-reactive surrounds of NDU’s Tannock Hall. What that event lacked in atmosphere, it made up for in substance, fulfilling our remit to engage with design matters that affect us all. 

Conversation #2 couldn’t have felt more different – an intimate event in a furniture making workshop in semi-industrial outer Fremantle. Joining us in conversation were furniture maker Angus McBride, of Remington Matters, Gabrielle Scott of Gabrielle Scott Studio and DF Chair, Pippa Hurst. We invited Angus and Gabi to discuss their individual practices, joint collaborations, and accessible ways in which we can all dip into good, local design. 

Gabi kicked the evening off, describing her passion for the place in which she lives and works and her ‘accidental’ expertise in hospitality projects. She defines the offering of her studio – from styling through to full interior services – as broad and exciting, striving to create interiors that are ageless and welcoming to all.

My favourite part was the story of her own home renovation. Gabi and her husband own a classic 60’s Italian ‘palace’, which they have been restoring slowly using Gabi’s eye and the fruits of Gumtree. Houses in this style are integral to the character of Fremantle’s domestic streetscape but are too often maligned and viewed as a knock-over job. I’m glad this one’s safe in their hands.

Angus spoke about his shift from studying architecture to becoming the Perth-based director of Remington Matters (RM). Describing himself as a ‘glam version of a chippy’, Angus leads a team making some of Perth’s most beautiful furniture and lighting. RM contributes to both domestic and commercial projects and collaborates with our favourite local designers.

Angus and Gabi spoke at length about their collaboration on The Raft, Perth’s new floating events space currently parked at Elizabeth Quay. Keen to avoid anything overtly nautical, Gabi devised a sophisticated scheme that lightly nods to its maritime context, whilst RM provided a range of elegant furniture that will withstand the harsh environment. Together they have created a space that is both robust and beautiful.

Gabi says that what she likes most about working with Angus and the team at RM is their flexibility – they have a keen eye for design but are willing to give anything a go. As well as providing bespoke solutions to individual projects, RM has just launched their first range of made-to-order furniture. If you’re anything like the DesignFreo team, you’re going to spend the next 6 months ruminating over which piece to buy first. 

We’d like to thank all of you who ventured out to an untested location on a chilly night. Conversation #2 exceeded our expectations, both in the generosity of our speakers and the way the audience connected with what they had to say. DesignFreo is here to build meaningful connections between designers, makers and the general public. We’ll be hosting more of these conversations in the near future – join our mailing list if you haven’t done so already!

Emma Brain
Photography by Dean Smith

This event would not have been possible without the support of:

+ Grainchanger Mobile Pizza Catering for the supply of the most delicious gluten-free pizza.

+ Old Bridge Cellars for keeping our drinks flowing.

+ TheFulcrum.Agency for the PA system.

+ ICS Australia for their ongoing support as our Principal Sponsor.

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