Interview: Herbert & Mason

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'By George!', an installation by Herbert & Mason.

‘By George!’, an installation by Herbert & Mason. Image: Florian Groehn

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Reuben Hills, Sydney, a Herbert & Mason project and 2012 AIA NSW Interrior Architecture Award winner.

Reuben Hills, Sydney, a Herbert & Mason project and 2012 AIA NSW Interrior Architecture Award winner. Image: Florian Groehn

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Reuben Hills, Sydney, a Herbert & Mason project and 2012 AIA NSW Interrior Architecture Award winner.

Reuben Hills, Sydney, a Herbert & Mason project and 2012 AIA NSW Interrior Architecture Award winner. Image: Florian Groehn

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Reuben Hills, Sydney, a Herbert & Mason project and 2012 AIA NSW Interrior Architecture Award winner.

Reuben Hills, Sydney, a Herbert & Mason project and 2012 AIA NSW Interrior Architecture Award winner. Image: Florian Groehn

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The Ksubi store in Melbourne; another design  by Herbert & Mason.

The Ksubi store in Melbourne; another design by Herbert & Mason. Image: Ben Glazer

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The Ksubi store in Melbourne; another design  by Herbert & Mason.

The Ksubi store in Melbourne; another design by Herbert & Mason. Image: Ben Glazer

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The Ksubi store in Melbourne; another design  by Herbert & Mason.

The Ksubi store in Melbourne; another design by Herbert & Mason. Image: Ben Glazer

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The Ksubi store in Melbourne; another design  by Herbert & Mason.

The Ksubi store in Melbourne; another design by Herbert & Mason. Image: Ben Glazer

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The Ksubi store in Melbourne; another design  by Herbert & Mason.

The Ksubi store in Melbourne; another design by Herbert & Mason. Image: Ben Glazer

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Bleu, a Melbourne interior by Herbert & Mason.

Bleu, a Melbourne interior by Herbert & Mason. Image: Peter Bennetts

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Bleu, a Melbourne interior by Herbert & Mason.

Bleu, a Melbourne interior by Herbert & Mason. Image: Peter Bennetts

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Bleu, a Melbourne interior by Herbert & Mason.

Bleu, a Melbourne interior by Herbert & Mason. Image: Peter Bennetts

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The Association in London, by Herbert & Mason.

The Association in London, by Herbert & Mason. Image: Peter Bennetts

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Doggett House by Herbert & Mason.

Doggett House by Herbert & Mason. Image: Herbert & Mason

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Joining the first ever Semi-Permanent Wellington as guest speakers on Friday 16 November (Paramount Theatre) are award-winning Melbourne-based architects, Herbert & Mason. Established in 2006, the clever team of architects and interior designers has already notched up an impressive portfolio, which includes everything from commercial projects - boutique fashion stores, hospitality and public projects - to stunning contemporary homes. (Scroll through the image gallery above for a few of the highlights).

Urbis took a moment to chat with Herbert & Mason Director, Matthew Herbert, about design and what they do.

How did Herbert & Mason come about? 

It was formed by myself and my partner Lucinda Mason in 2007. We met at university and started working on small projects together until eventually we had the opportunity to start our own small practice.

In a few words, sum up your design aesthetic/approach. 

We problem solve through thinking of new ideas.

Tell us about what you’re working on at present.

Currently we are working on a new precinct on a rooftop in the Melbourne CBD. It encompasses approximately 150 small stores, design offices, cafes and bars all craned up on top of a city block.

What makes a design work for you?

Well thought out function with an understanding of where it is and what its intention is. If you can get it to this point, it is designed.

What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen, read or heard in the past month?

Landscapes outside of the office are always inspiring. We spend so much time at a screen so when you get a chance to experience a landscape outside of ones norm they are always memorable.

What do you love most about your job?

I love how the lows make the highs so high. Then there is the hard work and the achievements and being able to think freely and problem solve alongside other people.

What’s your favourite design item that you own? 

I have an old Bang & Olufsen radio that I bought at a market whilst studying at the royal Danish Academy. They [B&O] still reflect and refer to it in their new products. That in my mind is good design. It’s our kitchen radio and gets used everyday for what it was designed for.

Do you have a favourite architect?

My favourite architects are Arne Jacobsen and Kenzo Tange.


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