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Welcome to Distillery — a design studio with a passion for crafting spaces rich with narrative and inspiring details. We shape expressions that are fresh and timeless, tailored to the specific needs of our clients, and shaped for the audiences they serve. We believe delightful and meaningful experiences can emerge from the thoughtful distillation of knowledge, inspiration and style.

As of July 2015, Distillery has merged with
international design practice HASSELL.

HASSELL is an integrated practice of architects, interior designers, landscape architects and urban designers with studios in Australia, China, South East Asia and the UK. This merger has brought together two like minded creative teams. Our practices share common values and this integration has been a natural evolution. We believe this is great news for our clients as they will have access to the collective design talent, knowledge and resource base of the combined practices.

Distillery's way of working and ethos will now continue under the HASSELL name – so it’s a genuine coming together signified in both name and joint sense of purpose.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our merger or would like to know more about our combined capabilities. Visit the HASSELL website or find out more here

Our ideas are driven by insight. Distillery’s design process has a firm basis in deep research and exploration. We work to understand each client, their market sector, and the needs of their guests before identifying the most meaningful design influences and narratives for each space and programme. Hand-in-hand with our clients, we invest in this process until we distil the most appropriate and innovative design ideas.

Building on solid planning, we apply idea and inspiration with consistency across the duration of project development at all scales. As a result, our completed projects allow for a continual uncovering of layers of engagement – a constant interaction with articulated form. We blend custom-designed and specified furniture, finishes, and objects with finely crafted details to produce inherently strong and unique environments.



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Distillery is more than a design team. We are thinkers and strategists with a belief that the potency of style rests on the intelligence of its application. Distillery’s directors each draw on backgrounds of international practice in high-profile firms, with varied skill sets underlined by a common passion that has driven the studio forward since its establishment in 2008.

Matthew Shang
Founder and Creative Director

Matthew is Distillery’s creative beacon. He provides the inspiration and unique creative direction for every project. Matthew experiences design as a journey formed by context, requirements, personal intuition, experience, and culture. He leads the team in design thinking from the macro scale (narrative creation) to the micro scale (the application of finishes).

Before focusing on interior design, Matthew was active in production design and art direction for commercials, television mini-series, and the feature film The Quiet American. Through his interior design practice, he has worked at firms in Singapore, London, and Australia including WOHA, James Park Associates (where he worked on airline and train cabin redevelopment, and the restoration of a historic Rajasthan hotel), and Collins Verngard (where he worked on commercial and hospitality projects).

Paul Semple
Founder and Project Director

Paul is the champion of Distillery’s clients. As the chief point of communication between Distillery and the client’s team, Paul ensures that clarity is attained in the development of the brief and high-quality work is consistently delivered – from design development to delivery. His practical construction experience, strong project management skills, and extensive design talent are the ideal complements to Matthew’s creative skills.

Paul previously worked in Australia and Asia, honing his skills with a diverse range of firms, from boutique design studios to one of the world’s largest shopping centre developers. His background of work with Kerry Hill Architects, Westfield Corporation, Woods Bagot, and maverick Sydney architect Misho Vasiljevich has equipped him with diverse practical knowledge.

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Successful and inspiring spaces emerge from invigorating relationships. We look forward
to connecting with you.