In a talk on Tuesday 26 May at 7pm at The Lab, Simon Macro shared his story of building a successful design studio in Pembrokeshire.

Freshwest are an award winning local design duo, celebrated for their experimental and playful touch. Operating from their studio and workshop just outside Tenby, Freshwest’s output is an eclectic mix of furniture, lighting and design for the public realm. Their work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world, and has appeared in several design publications. Regularly gaining international press coverage, Italian journalist and curator Maria Cristina Didero has described Freshwest as “one of the most daring and visionary design studios you can find on the international design scene”.

Marcus Beck and Simon Macro gained first class honour’s in fine art from Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Brighton respectively. After graduating in 2000 both Simon and Marcus separately began the transition from their fine art roots to the design arena. Simon worked with renowned designer Thomas Heatherwick while Marcus began to produce a series of experimental furniture pieces. Having known each other since childhood, and sharing the same creative ideals, Marcus and Simon combined to establish Freshwest in 2006.

In 2007 Freshwest won an Elle Deco Design Award and in 2009 gain international recognition when their celebrated Brave New World Lamp was launched by Marcel Wanders’s Dutch design company MOOOI. They have worked with Luxury brand Louis Vuitton and continue to produce work that is licenced for manufacture or sold as limited edition design pieces. In recent years they have been invited to work on larger scale projects from restaurant interiors to a public foot bridge. They are currently working on several public realm projects including; a range of seating for the promenade development in Colwyn Bay, a gate commission for Swansea’s Museum Park and a new public square in Gloucester.

Freshwest’s work often involves a sculptural response to materials, designing and prototyping objects without a preconceived design in place. Much of their work contains a narrative or plays on scale, offering the observer a sense of discovery. Describing their work Marcus and Simon put it simply, “we aim to make objects of intrigue and fascination, objects to make you stop, smile and consider”.