Q&A: Ben Savage of Squarepeg Home

Manchester-born Ben Savage moved to Australia in the mid-1990’s, spending his weekends off from his day job as a geologist in the shed to feed his life-long passion for making furniture. The Fremantle local has since gained a loyal following throughout WA with his original designs and fine workmanship.

Name: Ben Savage

Occupation: Designer/Maker

Location: MANY, Fremantle

Company: Squarepeg Home

When did you know you wanted to work in the design industry?
I knew I was interested in design from an early age. It was my favourite subject at school but it took me a while to make it my occupation.

What interests you most about your particular area of design?
Designing and making is a very immersive job. You are involved in every stage, from developing a concept through materials selection to making and delivering to the client. I like this holistic approach to the job. You know the product intimately by the time it is completed. It’s a cliché but every day is different.

What is unique about the way you work?
I like the traditions of woodwork – the hand tools that haven’t changed much in centuries and the challenges of using a natural material. In lots of ways there are rules or parameters, so that means you are using techniques and equipment that are widely used. How you apply those techniques makes your work unique. We all have different life experiences and influences, so our work should be unique to us.

Favourite material?
Wood! Wow that was an easy one.

Biggest career moment?
I wouldn’t say there is a single moment and no equivalent of a furniture design Oscar, but I’m proud of the fact that our business continues in tough economic times and I still love what I do.

Who/what are your top influencers?
I have a long-standing respect for Danish Modern Design and we have continued to bring furniture from this authentic design movement to WA for the last five years to complement our own work. The integrity of design and construction, and the understated nature of the pieces from this era is impressive. Put simply, the proportion, detailing and use of natural materials are the foundations and I really relate to this in my own work.
There are many contemporary practitioners whose work I admire such as Adam Cruickshank, Jon Goulder and Khai Liew.

If you could collaborate with anyone on any type of project, who would it be?
I’d like Jasper Morrison to give me a call to work on his next furniture project.

How/where can people get a hold of your products?
You can see our work at MANY 6160 in Kings Square, Fremantle.
Our workshop is upstairs and we can be contacted for an appointment via email at info@squarepeghome.com.au.

Squarepeg Home