Matt Eastwood, an Australian advertising executive and the blogger behind things i have seen, shares his Sydney home and office.
You work as creative director of DDB Group but you also blog from home. How long have you worked from home…and where is ‘home’? I started “things I have seen” about 12 months ago. What originally began as an online scrapbook of my favourite things has gradually turned into something resembling a second job. I work in a creative industry already, but I’m extremely passionate about design and architecture, especially having renovated 3 houses over the years. Home is a two bedroom terrace in Paddington, NSW, which was once an art gallery. It’s my sanctuary. I’m surrounded by some of my favourite design pieces, from furniture to art to sculpture to objet d’art. I feel very creative there.
What is the biggest difference between your office and home workspaces? Home is just for me. In an office environment you are forced to accommodate a variety of tastes. At home, it’s all about me and my partner. I love an uncluttered, minimal space, with heart. At work I spend most of my day in meetings, helping channel creativity on behalf of client’s. At home, it’s all about my own personal creative journey. The view from my study at home is stunning. I look out over the whole property, right down to the garden and swimming pool at the back. And because my study is on the mezzanine level, I feel like I’m up in the trees. It’s extremely relaxing.
Is there any form of technology that really inspires you and helps you in your work? I’m a Mac man through and through. I remember reading a quote, “the best technology is the technology you don’t see.” That’s what Mac is all about for me. You’re never aware of the technology invading your workspace, it just sits quietly behind you and enables you to be creative. The iPad is the thing I’m waiting for. I haven’t been as excited about a piece of technology for a long time. As a blogger, I feel like it really free me up. It will me allow to “create” from wherever I like. I can’t wait.
How do you organize your home office? I’m thinking here of your physical space but also your virtual space. My home office is extremely organised. “Freedom from Chaos” is one of my mantras, at home and at work. At home, everything except my rather large collection of design and architecture books, is hidden away. The same is true of my virtual space. My desktop is empty, apart from 2 icons – the hard drive icon, and a folder marked “blog”, where I keep reference images of things I’ve stumbled across. I use Apple’s “Time Capsule” to ensure that everything is backed up. Another brilliant example of technology you don’t see. It just works away in the background, without any involvement from me. I love it.
What item from your desktop can you not do without? What item do you wish you had? I couldn’t do without my “Magic Mouse” (Mac’s new mouse). It really is the perfect device. It gives my total control over my online experience. I feel like it is perfect. Although I wish I had a Wacom Bamboo Tablet. I’m considering one at the moment. But I’m also waiting to see if the iPad will perform some of the same tasks.
What is your favourite piece of furniture in your office? I sit on an Eames Aluminium Group Chair that I had specially upholstered in white mesh. I saw them in The Sanderson Hotel in London and had to have one. It’s such a beautiful piece. Of course, it’s wonderfully comfortable, but it’s also beautiful as a piece of sculpture.
What inspires you? I’m inspired by simplicity, in architecture, design and art. Van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion is like my version of a chapel. It borders on a religious experience. I’m humbled by its brilliance. But it also inspires me to create beautiful things. I guess that’s why I created “things I have seen”. I wanted to share the things that give me that same feeling of humility.
Photos: Jason Busch