Evie Group

Evie Group

Sometimes rivals make the best partners.

Alex Gilmour and Dominic Chong, the two young guns behind Sydney-based design studio Evie Group, started out as classmates with a razor sharp competitive edge.

“We discovered early on we had a similar design style and skill sets but worked very differently,” says Alex. “Our marks were always similar and we were very competitive to come out on top.”

Little did they know, as they battled it out for top dog in their industrial design course at UTS, that ten years later they would be pooling their experience, knowledge and contacts to create one of the most respected young design studios in the country.

The creators behind the now-famous Spun lights (which bedeck some of the best restaurants and hotels in the country), Alex and Dominic say they are influenced by American Modernism and the simplicity of Scandinavian and Japanese designs.

“We like things that appear simple, refined and have a sense of classical minimalism,” says Alex, kind of mysteriously.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the first products that the Evie Group produced: the zen, ceramic Emily teaware and the smokey, curvy Frederick glassware – manufactured by one of the last remaining glass blowers in Sydney.

It was these two designs that won Alex the 2010 Qantas SOYA Product Design award, as selected by Marc Newson, which led to her career-jolting internship with him in his London studio.

Since then, Alex and Dominic have had their work exhibited around Australia and in a permanent collection Shanghai, released a swag of new products, garnered a following for their graphic design work, and even designed the look and feel of a five day Microsoft conference in Cairns. (As you do.)

But with their collective experience in manufacturing, design and engineering, it's no surprise that the product design projects are the ones closest to their hearts – despite their inevitable nail biting challenges.

Hand made from bamboo and fitted with hexagonal powder coated aluminium lids, Evie Group's new Hex boxes posed quite a few.

“There were some difficulties in the early prototypes getting the tolerance of the hex shape perfect when made by hand,” says Alex. Not to mention the quality control of the bamboo to ensure a perfect fit.

But these two are nothing if not determined, and the geometric and squeaky clean Hex boxes are some of their best and most popular work yet.

Not bad for a pair of frenemies.