Tom Fereday Interview
The SP01 Outdoor collection was designed by Tom Fereday, a rising star of Australian industrial design.
Here Matt Lorrain, Head of Design & Product Development of SP01 Design, talks to Tom about the new SP01 Outdoor collection and the design process behind the range.
Hi Tom, why don't we start by you sharing with us a little about the new SP01 Outdoor.
Tom Fereday: Sure, SP01 Outdoor is a collection which includes chairs, stools and tables, designed specifically for the outdoors, however are also equally at home indoor.
What was the brief originally?
Tom Fereday: The original brief was for a 10 piece collection specifically looking at a side chair, a stackable chair, an armchair and tables. Outside of that it was flexible. The bar stool came as an extension of it. But the general direction was that we want them for an outdoor collection.
Matt Lorrain: There were really three collections that Tom proposed to begin with, and out of the three this was the one we thought that was most in keeping with what we were doing.
Tom Fereday: When we started the process there was a question of where we should start with the range what material should it be. We considered working with plastic or rattan but I really wanted to do a wire range as you can get a lot of detail within a wire collection. This also however requires manufacturing excellence as it also means you can’t hide any imperfections.
So my first reverse brief to SP01 after I engaged with the project was to have the constraint of sheet metal and wire bending product and timber as elements. This gave the collection a nice consistency.
Had you done any outdoor collections before?
Tom Fereday: I had made one-off pieces and a couple of custom products so I had experience in outdoor furniture but this is the first outdoor range that I have designed specifically for a manufacturer or client which is really exciting.
How does the outdoor collection relate to the launch collection for indoor?
Tom Fereday: I think the first SP01 collection is really elegant, it was very pared back but with a lot of detail as well. I think the decision for this collection was that it should also be very pared back and minimal but with a lot of refined details to it. It was a similar design approach.
Matt Lorrain: Yes, the whole SP01 style is a crossover so that it should work in soft commercial or residential.
I can see a similarity in form between the launch collection and the outdoor pieces. If you look at something like the Chee chair and look at it as a vector or a silhouette there is something there that relates very well to the Thomas chair from the first collection.
While they were intended for the outdoors, as it evolved we realised this collection works just as well indoors.
Tom Fereday: Yes, the brief I set myself was to make them detailed – while it was intended as an outdoor collection, I wanted the detail of it to be that of a detailed interior product.
With all the pieces the design intent was based around the principal of honest design, that’s the process I apply to every piece. That’s why we worked with raw materials like stone and timber and just metal. That is the driver or direction for the material selection.
Are the tables and chairs able to mixed and matched?
Tom Fereday: Yes, the idea was always to have this two table and two chair collection that are tied together but can also be mixed.
The Chee and Parisi collections are slightly more ornate whereas the Jeanette and Eileen - you see the frame details – they are meant to tie in together. When we first saw them in real life we realised they all look really good interchanged, but the original idea is that they would be paired.