Toby graduated from Melbourne School of Design in 1999 and spent nine years learning his trade at John Wardle Architects. He worked on numerous large scale projects, such as the Westfield Sydney City office building and perfected a niche skill, designing creative patterns on glass and facades.
In 2008, Toby made the ambitious move to set up his own Melbourne based architecture firm, Toby Horrocks Architecture. In the same year, Toby set up a consumer business called Freefold Furniture.
Freefold was conceived when Toby was faced with furnishing an empty rental apartment. He wanted to create furniture with a focus on sustainability. His designs, made from cardboard, are affordable and easy to transport, while also being functional and attractive. Toby’s architectural background and keen eye for design were the catalysts behind this innovative idea and have made Toby into a successful businessman with two companies in his portfolio at the age of 39.
Toby has traditionally constructed once off pieces as per specific client requirements but he has now grown the business and embarked on factory production to yield higher volumes and meet market demand.
Toby enjoyed his time at the University of Melbourne because of the people that he encountered during his student years. He says, “The people I met reconfirmed my sense of being a good person. I met like-minded passionate people and realised that I wasn’t weird and different just because I was funny, a little bit nerdy and into my own thing. I met other people like me, people who wrote, directed and performed in the Archi Review, and who played hacky-sack when we should have been studying. I also met some wonderful mentors in the professors and tutors at the university, such as Graham Coop and Jeff Turnbull, amongst many others.”
Toby takes each day as it comes and is continually striving to achieve bigger and better but he says he doesn’t really plan for the future; he sets short term, achievable goals and waits to see where they lead him.
Toby is also a regular contributor to architecture magazines, fulfilling his other passion, writing. Is there anything this man can’t do?