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Home Stories: Dave Caffery

Ashley Feraude

Instead of a home visit, I decided to catch up with Dave Caffery at the office of his cultural consultancy Dionysus, nestled at the bottom of the Hotel Hotel Building in New Acton.

Now before you say, “but hang on Ash, your series is called ‘Homes Stories’ not ‘Work Stories’… why mess with the superb formula that has made you the amazingly brilliant and gifted writer you are now?” just relax and know that I have a good reason.

You see, Dave practically lives at work. He’s there 24/7 and the Dionysus office reflects his personality more than his messy apartment does (plus, his carpet hasn’t quite recovered from a series of legendary parties). So please push the strongly worded letter aside and let’s enjoy the journey of Dave’s Dionysus together.

Many of you know Dave as the creative genius behind Art, Not Apart and some of our city’s best cultural events. However, you might not know that Dave is a philosopher and—unlike many who studied a philosophy minor at uni and forgot most of it three pub crawls later—Dave practices it every day.

I can admit; I did philosophy as a major part of my Psychology degree and love listening to Dave applying the process of philosophical thought to everyday reason. It doesn’t mean he questions the existentialist meaning of life while putting on his socks in the morning, but he does find a common thread of thought to the actions he takes.

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At first glance of his workspace, you’d think an op shop had decided to use the space as storage … but upon a closer look, you’ll see a common thread that binds vintage with industrial chaos though colour, style and theme. From the red velvet drapes to the cherry chairs; the honkytonk piano to the turntables; the faux-retro Smeg fridge to the authentically retro chandelier …and so on.

Plus, note that there are no ‘dead zones’ where no one wants to be—of course, the interesting architecture has a lot to do with it, but so does knowing where to stick a pot plant and an occasional chair.

Without skilful execution, an environment that stimulates you with so many artistic, quirky, vintage and modern elements can often be too much. However, when the balance is right, it’s actually very comfortable and peaceful. In fact, it is very conducive to creative work because your senses are stimulated, yet your mid is at ease.

To prove the point, during my chat with Dave I ended up not only discussing his work and the cultural landscape of Canberra, but I also managed to Shazam about three albums worth of supreme ambient electronica and—as you can see from the photos—serenade Emily with a few bars on the piano.

It’s spaces like these that inspire you to be alive, push yourself creatively and do all the things. No wonder Dave lives there … with a workplace like this, who needs to go home?

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Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here

Photos by Victor Tawagi

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Ashley Feraude

Ashley Feraude is a creative consultant, music producer and man-about-town. Under his Sound Technique agency, he provides award-winning consultancy services ranging from branding design, creative content development and event music direction for events and hospitality venues. Under the alias Magnifik, he produces award-winning original music filled with electronic soul and performs melodic DJ sets at numerous night spots, events and festivals. And if that wasn’t enough, Ashley is also the author of this insightful interior design editorial series. So is he suffering from split personality disorder and has an obsession over pointy awards? Not really...he just loves design, music and getting an insight into people’s personalities. Plus he likes being really busy. More about the Author

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