Gabrielle & Andrew of Fomu
Feature Interview
Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Words Alana Perin
Photography Lillie Thompson

Brand names have the ability to shape a company’s success and overall presence. These names are significant to the products they represent and also act as a reflection on the brains behind the scenes.

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Gabrielle Beswick and Andrew Beveridge of Fomu. Photographed by Lillie Thompson.

So when it came to selecting a name for their furniture brand Fomu, Gabrielle Beswick and Andrew Beveridge had only one objective: to keep it simple. “We just kind of looked for short words,” says Beswick. “We wanted the brand to not have another meaning because I want to think about the furniture when I think about the word. We wanted it to resemble our brand and stand on its own,” adds Beveridge. From the first few minutes of speaking with these two it is clear to see where the minimalistic tone in their furniture stems from.

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The Double Side Table by Fomu. Photographed by Lillie Thompson.

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Originally from Tasmania, the couple relocated to Melbourne to pursue a future in design. The couple enrolled in courses at RMIT with Beveridge studying Furniture Design and Beswick studying Fashion and Textile Merchandising. After a few years making furniture and working within the fashion industry, the pair decided to combine their knowledge and began designing furniture together. From there, Fomu was born.

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The Oval Side Table. Photographed by Lillie Thompson.

The creative couple have loved working as a team over the last couple of years and as Beswick explains, their strengths have enabled them to thrive. “Working together has been quite positive for us. Andrew has the furniture background where I’ve got the textiles and business background so we’re actually able to complement each other in that way,” she says. The Fomu capsule collection is made up of simple, beautiful, and functional pieces that are developed with a minimal approach akin to its creators. “We try to pair back an item to its main function. We don’t want to lose the parts that excited us with the first concept or idea. Our pieces are minimal in looks, form, and material use,” says Beveridge.

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The Low Stool by Fomu.

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Details of the Double Side Table by Fomu.

This initial idea for a piece is the starting point of the Fomu design process and can take up to six months to refine and develop the concept. Beveridge aims to build a prototype early in the process as a way to visualise what the final piece may look like. From here, several models are created until the couple is happy with the outcome. “Sometimes a simple idea can be enough and other times it will need a lot more work so it can really take up to six months to developing one idea. There can also be different furniture pieces within one idea, so it’s also about figuring out which direction to take the idea,” Beveridge explains. The materials used to bring these ideas to life are simple and essential to achieving the minimal Fomu design aesthetic. You will find timber and metal in almost every piece. Beveridge particularly enjoys working with steel as he says a defined silhouette and clear form can be easily achieved.

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The Double Side Table & Oval Side Table. Photographed by Lillie Thompson.

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Photographed by Lillie Thompson.

As designers and creators, the couple find excitement in experimenting with new materials and technologies. “We’re always looking for new materials and technologies and I try to involve those modern techniques as much as I can because they’re just so exciting,” says Beveridge.

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The Low Stool.

The couple fit perfectly in the current Australian design landscape with their eagerness to design functional and beautiful pieces fit for any home or space. Their laid-back nature is reflected in the pieces as they strip back an item to its intended purpose, and complement this with a refined sense of design. This sense of design can be attributed to their ‘no-boundaries’ approach, as anything is possible. And as Beswick explains, “we always make sure that a piece is aesthetically pleasing but we really don’t have any rules to it.”

It’s as simple as that.

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The Double Side Table. Photographed by Lillie Thompson.

Published 9 April, 2018
Photography  Lillie Thompson
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