Fomu – Developing Design
Feature Interview
Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Words James Lyall Smith
Photography Lillie Thompson
Through A Truly Collaborative Process Both Gabrielle And Andrew Draw Upon Their Experiences Living In Tasmania And Melbourne

The Local Marketplace in collaboration with Catapult Design proudly presents Fomu – the Melbourne based design studio that uses locally sourced materials to create timeless pieces of Australian design.

A lot has happened in the lives of Gabrielle Beswick and Andrew Beveridge of Fomu since we last interviewed them in early 2018. They have spent the past year further refining their craft and preparing for the launch of an exciting new furniture collection due for release later this year. Throughout this time Fomu has become one of Australia’s most highly sought after design studio’s – a testament to all that is great about a young and idealist generation of emerging Australian designers. Whilst their business has continued to grow Andrew and Gabrielle have maintained their commitment to the creation of beautiful handmade products designed with a minimalist approach. We sat down with both Andrew and Gabrielle to discover why 2019 will be one Fomu’s biggest years to date.

I Have Always Enjoyed Making Things And I Think Growing Up In Tassie Taught Me To Be Resourceful Whilst Developing A Strong Appreciation For The Natural
Pictured The Low Stool by Fomu. Photography by Lillie Thompson.
A Lot Has Happened In The Lives Of Gabrielle Beswick And Andrew Beveridge Of Fomu Since We Last Interviewed Them In Early 2018
Pictured The High Stool by Fomu.

Both Andrew and Gabrielle are natives of Tasmania before moving to Melbourne to further their formal education in the field of design. “We both enjoyed a simpler upbringing in Tasmania”, explains Andrew. “I have always enjoyed making things and I think growing up in Tassie taught me to be resourceful whilst developing a strong appreciation for the natural environment”. This deep respect for nature is displayed through the sustainable production of all Fomu pieces. “Ultimately the most sustainable piece of furniture you will ever design is a timeless one”, elaborates Gabrielle. “We design our products to be very considered timeless pieces that will continue to be relevant from a design perspective for many years”.

A Testament To All That Is Great About A Young And Idealist Generation Of Emerging Australian Designers.
Oval Side Table by Fomu.
Andrew Beveridge And Gabrielle Beswick Of Fomu
Pictured The Low Stool by Fomu. Photography by Lillie Thompson.
Both Andrew And Gabrielle Are Natives Of Tasmania Before Moving To Melbourne To Further Their Formal Education In The Field Of Design.
Side Table Range by Fomu. Photography by Lillie Thompson.

Whilst Fomu furniture can be considered modernist in design and minimalist in approach, we were intrigued to discover that a major inspiration for the designer couple is the influence of antique furniture and classic art deco style. Through a truly collaborative process both Gabrielle and Andrew draw upon their experiences living in Tasmania and Melbourne, different backgrounds in design and a love of antique furniture to formulate their design inspiration. “Andrew was originally a carpenter in Tasmania and I have a background in Fashion textiles and merchandising”, states Gabrielle. “We each have a way of seeing things differently and our alternative skills sets help to bring unique perspectives to the design process”.

Local Australian Furniture & Lighting Design Inspiration
Pictured The Low Stool by Fomu.
Melbourne Furniture & Lighting Inspiration
Pictured The Stool Range by Fomu.
The Local Marketplace In Collaboration With Catapult Design Proudly Presents Fomu
Pictured The High Stool by Fomu.

All Fomu products are crafted using locally sourced materials. “Part of our commitment to producing timeless pieces of sustainable furniture is the use of a highly considered design approach and working with multiple quality materials”. Explains Gabrielle. The Fomu stool and side table range, known for their clean lines and minimal aesthetic, were both created from powder coated steel and solid American Oak timber. Both the stool and side table were designed through the removal of unnecessary components to develop a function. “We design with a view towards practicality and affordability”, says Andrew. “Every aspect is taken into consideration so our furniture can be displayed in all manner of environments, from small café’s to large residential properties”.

The Melbourne Based Design Studio That Uses Locally Sourced Materials To Create Timeless Pieces Of Australian Design.
Pictured The High Stool by Fomu. Photography by Lillie Thompson.
They Have Spent The Past Year Further Refining Their Craft And Preparing For The Launch Of An Exciting New Furniture Collection Due For Release Later Th
Pictured The High Stool by Fomu.
Throughout This Time Fomu Has Become One Of Australia’s Most Highly Sought After Design Studio’s
Double Side Table by Fomu. Photography by Lillie Thompson.

So what does 2019 have in store for Fomu? “This year we want to push the boundaries of design”, exclaims Andrew. “We are determined to expand our knowledge base by using materials we haven’t traditionally worked with in the past”. With a new range currently in the prototyping stage we can expect Andrew and Gabrielle to keep things interesting by working with different types of timber, fabric upholstery and leathers. Whilst certain details of Fomu products will be redeveloped to keep things fresh from a design perspective Andrew and Gabrielle will place renewed emphasis on practically, affordability and simplistic beauty.

Timeless Design Crafted From Sustainable Materials
Pictured The High Stool by Fomu.
Were Both Created From Powder Coated Steel And Solid American Oak Timber
Pictured The High Stool by Fomu. Photography by Lillie Thompson.

Fomu is part of the Catapult Design family of local Australian designers. Over the years Catapult has developed a strong reputation for supporting emerging local designers and working directly with local manufacturing. Catapult prides itself on representing authentic Australian products that are made from quality, durable materials making Fomu a natural and welcome addition to Catapult’s impressive collection of local furniture and lighting designers.

The sophisticated American Oak Timber Stool and solid American Oak Timber Side Table can be viewed and purchased online at The Local Marketplace.

Whilst Fomu Furniture Can Be Considered Modernist In Design And Minimalist In Approach
Pictured The High Stool by Fomu.
Whilst Their Business Has Continued To Grow Andrew And Gabrielle Have Maintained Their Commitment To The Creation Of Beautiful Handmade Products
Double Side Table by Fomu. Photography by Lillie Thompson.
The Fomu Stool And Side Table Range, Known For Their Clean Lines And Minimal Aesthetic
Photography by Lillie Thompson.
All Fomu Products Are Crafted Using Locally Sourced Materials.

Whilst their business has continued to grow Andrew and Gabrielle of Fomu have maintained their commitment to the creation of beautiful handmade products designed with a minimalist approach.

Published 22 January, 2019
Photography  Lillie Thompson
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