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WATCH NOW: The new bronze age of Engineered Beauty

Savage Design’s approach to understanding the relationship between design concepts and user experience, particularly with metalwork, transcends traditional boundaries, blending timeless craftsmanship with digital innovation to create enduring elegance in objects, furnishings, and door furniture.

When creators and makers breathe life into concepts and materials, imagining the human being who will cherish and interact with the final objects in a crucial part of the design process. Savage Design take this to the next dimension with their approach to understanding the relationship between the lines on the drawing page and the experience it will provide.

For over a century, the company has been working with one of the most timeless of materials – metal – to forge a union of aesthetics and function. From the early years as a blacksmith shop crafting products including cast iron lace for Sydney’s grand homes, the business has continued to evolve to adopt new technologies and push the boundaries of what is possible with metal.

The third generation of the Savage Family, Joel Savage, in partnership with industrial designer James Groom, has brought the techniques into the digital age, while still retaining the timeless quality of enduring elegance in the range of objects, furnishings and door furniture.

Joel Savage and James Groom of Savage Design | Photo by Fiona Susanto.

The design ethos of ‘Engineering Beauty’ defines every stage of the process from the first pencil strokes. Hand-drawn designs are translated into digital models, then into instructions for the workshop’s state-of-the-art CNC machining. The digital-enabled manufacturing process enables infinite precision and care, delivering exceptional quality of detail.

Engineered Beauty Savage Design
Maddox shelving unit with integrated drinking glass rack | Photo by James Groom.

Time-tested skills are still required, however, with every piece hand-finished and polished before careful packaging for delivery. Pride in the work and passion for aesthetics and the characteristics of metals are obvious in the practical yet opulent results.

A deep understanding of the interactions between metals and human touch is also embedded in the crafting. Brass, bronze and stainless steel all respond to human touch, developing a unique patina with time and interaction. This means the works have a living finish, whereby their surface becomes richer, deeper and develops a warm burnished glow that is unique to that object.

Engineered Beauty Savage Design
Detail of the Maddox shelving unit with integrated drinking glass rack | Photo by James Groom.

Ethics are also foundational for Savage Design, with a curation of the supply chain that ensures metals are responsibly sourced, handled with care and products crafted to endure for decades. All are designed and manufactured in Australia, responding to local trends and the desire for impeccable design that is given form and function. The team call it “honest design”, something achieved when purpose, material section and proportions come together with simplicity to create a “timeless form”.

Engineered Beauty Savage Design
Detail of the under side of the Maddox drinking glass rack | Photo by James Groom.

One of the most popular ranges is the Maddox system of shelving, display and railing solutions. This customisable suite of hanging rails, shelving, footrails and intersecting components can create limitless solutions for architectural and interior applications in homes, hotels, restaurants, retail and commercial workplace. The sleek, visually cohesive elements represent the epitome of Engineered Beauty with the combination of elegance, strength, robustness and precision. There is flair in the shapes and the intricacy of the knurling, panache in the rich living finishes and exemplary crafting on connections to ensure the system is adaptable as spaces and needs evolve and change.

Machining Maddox rails at the Savage Design factory in Fairfield, western Sydney | Photo by Anthony Geernaert.
Machining Maddox components at the Savage Design factory in Fairfield, western Sydney | Photo by Anthony Geernaert.

In a world where a new respect has emerged for longevity and stewardship of materials and the work of human hands, Savage Design speaks to the times with its unique fusion of creative artistry and impeccable honouring of the metalworking craft.

Savage Design

Savage Design showroom in Surry Hills, Syndey | Photo by Anthony Geernaert.

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