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5 Minutes With… Angela Ferguson

Interior designer and futurespace Director Angela Ferguson takes 5 minutes to share her design favourites and sources of inspiration with Indesignlive.

5 Minutes With… Angela Ferguson


March 19th, 2012

Angela Ferguson is an interior designer and Director of design firm futurespace. Dividing her time between Melbourne and Sydney, Ferguson has been involved in projects for a range of high-profile clients including Qantas, Google and McCann + CMG Advertising.

Ferguson is also a published writer and has a passion for typography and the written word.

Describe your design philosophy.

My design philosophy is pretty simple – I like things to be both practical AND beautiful. My definition of this is pretty broad though – if a chair or an object or a design makes you happy, then I consider having that thing to be a very sensible, practical decision!

Your top 3 influences.

Fashion (especially some of the breathtaking photo shoots that are created in print and other media); Travel (it’s always good to get away and see beyond our own daily lives, I find this incredibly refreshing and inspiring);
My little boy (who is 5). He is so creative and free and has so much joy in him. I know it’s a cliché but he really does put what is important into perspective for my husband and I.

The moment you knew you wanted to be a designer.

I remember very clearly walking home from my temporary ’data entry’ job at a publisher’s to my apartment in St Kilda one cold and dark winter’s evening. I was thinking that I didn’t want to have to work in a horrendous soul destroying office with ’government green’ painted walls for the rest of my life. I thought that there must be some course of study I could do, and did some research before I discovered then undertook the Interior Design degree at RMIT.

Favourite local landmark/building.

In NSW it’s the Sydney Opera House. I think this is the last architectural risk that NSW took. It’s also still an incredible feat of engineering. In Melbourne it is Federation Square. No matter what you think of it aesthetically it’s an extraordinary public space that serves the community very well.

Favourite international landmark/building.

The High Line in New York would have to be my favourite international piece of design. It works on so many levels – architectural, sustainable, human – it incorporates many different types of spaces, including performance spaces, and a person’s experience of it is different every time you walk along it depending on whether its day or night, who you are with, the climate, who else is there … It would be inspiring to see something similar in Sydney, perhaps along the harbour.

Dream project to work on – real or imaginary.

I would love to design sets for the Sydney Dance Company. I have seen almost every show SDC has done in the last 10 years and I am always inspired by the whole experience of the performance, lighting, sets, music and audience’s reaction.

Dream person to collaborate with.

Rafael Bonachela, Artistic Director of the Sydney Dance Company.

Favourite decade of design.

Mid Century modernism is my favourite period of architecture and design (roughly between the 1950s and 1960s). Many of the original designs from this period are still beautiful and practical today, and there is also a lot of current work around that references this era.

Favourite chair.

The egg chair with footstool that my husband gave me to celebrate the birth of our son.

Your #1 concern for the design industry in the coming decade.

That the entire world will become too politically correct and uncreative because nobody is able to think for themselves or take responsibility for their actions any more. Our physical spaces will be ’dumbed down’ by excessive rules and regulations implemented by fearful and small minded governments.

One item in the workplace you can’t live without.

My iPhone and my Stelton water jugs – I have a collection of these and they are beautiful accessories as well as entirely practical. A jug of water on my desk means I don’t have to keep getting up to rehydrate.

The most unusual/interesting thing about the way you work.

That I never stop! Design and writing is my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been really lucky to have the career I’ve had so far and the opportunities to see the things I’ve seen, travel to the places I’ve been to, and meet the people I’ve met!


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