In Conversation With — Ashely Evans, Eco Outdoor
At Wyer & CO. it can be said that our best work is often achieved through collaboration with like-minded creatives. Welcome to In Conversation With, a novel series highlighting the processes and philosophies of our suppliers, collaborators, and industry partners.
Featuring prominently in our work, Eco Outdoor has established a reputation for sourcing and supplying innovative, natural materials that are harmonious with contemporary Australian architecture. “For me, it’s all about building relationships,” says Ashley. “We believe the best results are achieved by collaboration. We’re also passionate about design, so we enjoy being heavily involved in the design process.” Read as Ashley explains the elements that inspire, inform and diversify the Eco Outdoor brand as well as the role of hard materials in design.
Q—Can you provide insight into your sourcing and procurement process?
A—In the Australian market, there’s a high level of expectation when it comes to the performance of outdoor materials. Therefore, when we’re sourcing materials from around the world, we’re looking not just for aesthetically interesting materials we know will perform in an outdoor environment. We work from quarry to project meaning that we are heavily involved every step of the way. This helps us to really understand the material, which is important when it comes to natural, viable products such as stone.
Q—What inspires, informs, and diversifies your product selection?
A—Understanding the raw material source and how that stone naturally forms and is extracted from the ground is important when it comes to the selection of colours, sizes, and textures. By knowing this, it enables us to work with our supplier firstly in minimising wastage and secondly in maximising the use of the stone. For inspiration, we like to look at materials and formats that have been used throughout history.
Q—What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
A—When sourcing materials we like to select products that display natural variation in colour and texture. Our biggest challenge is to ensure that expectations are managed with regards to this and that what we supply is consistent. Again, it all comes back to being involved in the project early and building a strong relationship with good communication.
Q—What role do hard surfaces and materials play in the success of a design?
A—Materiality is crucial to the success of a project. Cohesive use of materials that complement the design style, the surrounding landscape, and the application, are all elements that determine the difference between good and great design. Our aesthetic focuses on organic, raw, and textural materials and we feel that works well with other hard surfaces such as timber, steel, copper, and glass as well as alongside the Australian landscape.
Q—When collaborating on a project how do you approach the relationship between interior and exterior, architecture and environment?
A—We strongly believe the best results are achieved by collaboration and we like to be involved in a project with all the parties. We’re passionate about design, so we enjoy being heavily involved in the design process.
Q—And finally, what value does landscaping bring to a home?
A—We consider the landscape to be just as valuable as any other part of the home. With all, that’s going on in the world at the moment, we’re being forced to spend more time at home, it’s never been more important to make the most of those outdoor spaces. There’s nothing quite like days around the pool or long summer nights under the stars.