- 2018 Fuorisalone, chatting with Matt Lorrain from SP01
In the constantly evolving world of design, one trend seems to be consolidated - the value of handcraftsmanship. One example of this trend is SP01, a new furniture brand established in 2016, showcasing a collection of indoor and outdoor furniture designed in Sydney, Australia then made in artisan workshops in Italy. Matt Lorrain is the brand's founder and his vision was to create a collection inspired by the Australian lifestyle with an international appeal. Designs that would be as relevant in a New York studio as they would be in a London terrace or a beachside home in Sydney. The result is a collection with embracing lines made from finely crafted materials with a warm, harmonious elegance and subtle references to the 1950s.
Matt Lorrain graduated in Furniture Design from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. For a number of years, he worked as an interior designer, honing his talents with projects for restaurants, cafés and home interiors. Ten years ago he joined Space, an Australian-based, high-end furniture showroom and in 2016 he developed the SP01 brand that brings together a range of design influences with a love of handcrafted products.
We asked Matt Lorrain if being Australian helps to give a more “balanced” view of design. We noticed the very fresh approach of Australian design firms and they have been winning so many awards recently.
Since its genesis, Australia has always incorporated the many influences from its inhabitants. Let's not forget how close we are to South-East Asia which has a great culture of design. Australia is a large country but most people live in the big cities, where the cosmopolitan, urban environment is a breeding ground for creativity. The mild climate also means people combine an indoor and outdoor lifestyle, which opens up a whole range of design opportunities.
What does the concept of sustainability mean to you? We know that SP01 focuses a great deal on the selection of materials and on the completely made in Italy craftsmanship.
The quality of the materials and their craftsmanship. This is why we decided to manufacture our furniture in Italy. On the one hand, because of the network-based production and the high degree of coordination between artisans whose range of skills mean they are each responsible for a different part of the product; on the other hand, Italy's strategic position for our marketplace, basically, it's the centre of the world! From here we can easily send our products all over the world.
We read that at first, you wanted to study landscape architecture. What parts of this passion did you retain in your present work and how do they manifest?
Yes, landscape architecture is my first passion and who knows what the future holds! In any case, greenery is always really important in creating pleasant environments and I try to use native Australian plants and flowers so I can introduce them to the world because although they are becoming more common, plant lovers still have so many species to discover. So I always add significant flowers and plants to our settings, enhancing the experience of the users.
Could you explain the success of the pastel colours that are all the rage again this year?
People have always loved pastel colours, in different versions at different times. In the '50s, in the '80s and for the last couple of years too, because they are harmonious. The introduction of earthier colours like brown and warmer tones showcase transitions but the trend continues. Of course, there are always going to be people who prefer neutral colours like white, grey and black when they buy furniture but the colour palette has definitely expanded. The brand awareness in our collections is between “posh and pop”.
SP01 @ Archiproducts-Milano
Via Tortona 31, Milan
Open daily 10am - 9pm
Open daily 9 am – 7 pm