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It’s all in the process: Tom Fereday’s ‘External Review’

The American Hardwood Export Council and Tom Fereday recently launched External Review – a reflection of the Cove Lounge’s design process, from start to finish.

It’s all in the process: Tom Fereday’s ‘External Review’

The finished product is usually what we see. But sometimes, the design process is kept behind the curtains. External Review, hosted by The Australian Centre of Design, is an exciting collaboration between the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and renowned designer Tom Fereday, furniture manufacturers Evostyle and upholstery specialists Swiss Design. A collaboration that follows and celebrates the design process rather than the finished project. 

Rod Wiles, director of AHEC, Oceania, says of the collaboration, “Australia is home to some of the world’s most accomplished designers and manufacturers. American hardwoods continue to be very popular with those for whom solid and proven environmental credentials matter. “

“We are very fortunate to work with Tom on this project, who is genuinely curious about how to continue to develop his craft despite already having achieved an incredible level of recognition and success,” says Wiles.

Launched during Sydney Design Week, the exhibition showcased the sustainable process of Fereday’s latest work, the Cove Lounge, made from AHEC’s staple American Hardwood. And while Cove lounge is striking in form and finish, it was the process of its entire creation that served as External Review.

Related: American hardwood answers a growing demand for sustainable timber

“It is important for me as a designer to stop and reflect on some of the processes that have become somewhat intuitive in my work,” says Fereday. “We have become accustomed to working at a fast pace to respond to the demands of the market. Opening my work up to external review is an opportunity to consider what I know, what I don’t know and what I need to learn to continue to build an environmentally considerate design studio.”

And in an external review, the exhibition gave a stunning design process presentation. Shown in four segments, External Review followed Cove Lounge’s creation, laid out as raw material, finished as a manufactured piece, and presented in its final form.

Visitors at the launch had a chance to reflect and understand the various elements that go into a design process. It also allowed a valuable conversation on Cove Lounge’s creation from American red oak. The sustainability behind AHEC’s hardwood and transportation gave us all an exhibition to reflect on our preconceptions of good practice, good Australian craftsmanship and environmentally responsible design.

American Hardwood Export Council

Tom Fereday


Swiss Design

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