architect & interior designer thomas jacobsen

Sailing from Australia to America three times, island hopping along the way, after finishing high school had a big impact on architect and interior designer Thomas Jacobsen. It taught him to appreciate design, and make the best use of the limited resources around you. Thomas went on to study architecture and interior design, and now has his own award-winning practice, designing venues such as the Beresford Hotel in Sydney's Darlinghurst and North Bondi Italian Food. He also creates furniture, which is available through his website.

Which five words best describe you? Caring, headstrong, understanding, resourceful, independent.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My career started from my love of sailing at an early age - it taught me about designing, building and fixing things. It was a good test to make use of the limited resources around you. It also gave me an understanding of nature and it's forces. After high school and one year into my university studies my family decided to go sailing across the Pacific, which we crossed from America and Australia three times visiting numerous islands. This gave me an appreciation of the sea and all the different cultures. It also taught me how really small we are in the scheme of things and how to be practical. These lessons have been very useful in designing structures to furniture and how to pare design down to the simplest form while having longevity against the environment it will be living in. Once I finished my studies I landed my first interior architecture job which was awarded by the SIDA which is now the DIA. With this recognition other projects followed. During this time I started designing furniture and manufacturing it myself. Dedece decided to represent me, which then followed with eight years of Space Furniture being my reseller in Australia and Asia. I've been very lucky that my career to date has been very versatile ranging from components and furniture, to commercial and domestic projects.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To listen to my clients and my team, understand their needs and apply these to my ideas.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Being able to work in so my disciplines from furniture to architecture to building to manufacturing.
What’s been your best decision? To believe in myself and my ideas.
Who inspires you? People who survive, create and problem-solve.
What are you passionate about? Integrity and honesty in people and design.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Arne Jacobsen. I would like to have met him as he had a similar design aesthetic, faced my difficulties and detractors during his career but still created beautiful practical designs which are still sold and used today, from his furniture to his architecture.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? To teach my children to sail, and to appreciate the beauty and uncompromising harshness of nature, and share this as a family.
What are you reading? Nothing at the moment. Really, I just have time to read about architecture, sailing and engineering on the internet and in magazines.

images courtesy of thomas jacobsen

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