IMPACTING GLOBAL DESIGN
When talking escape hives, nests, or whatever term you fancy for tranquil regenerative home surroundings post-party, we couldn’t not pay homage to the gargantuan talent of Montrealer PHILIPPE MALOUIN in Vol. 6, who, from his base in London, is making quite the impact on global design:
The truth is I wasn’t acquainted with Philippe’s revolutionary work in the world of design until recently, when my dear friend and creative collaborator / designer / visualist Rad Hourani (whose respective ingenuity can be felt throughout this volume and others) suggested I consider Philippe for a profile in this technology-themed edition.
“What he’s doing on the design front is impressive,” Rad said.
And, as is often the case with Rad (and my mother, but we digress), he was right. Spot on.
Fascinated by the concept of building things from a young age (a workshop in his childhood home served as the perfect backdrop from which to explore earlier inspirations), Philippe continued to pursue his passion for and interest in design at the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven and École nationale supérieure de création industrielle in Paris. He also studied at the Université de Montréal.
Given his colossal creativity and thirst for knowledge, Philippe’s more formal studies were, not surprisingly, soon supplemented with several years of European travel, as well as experimentation in a variety of fields.
Eventually, the ambitious young Montrealer made his way to London where, thanks to the drill and table saw stashed in his suitcase, he was able to morph a warehouse space he found online into a functional living space. How, you ask? By crafting necessities – including a shower, kitchen and sleeping area – out of the scraps he found on London streets.
Yeah, pretty amazing stuff and we haven’t even scratched the surface.
Next, Philippe went on to spend some exceptionally enlightening and formative time working with English designer Tom Dixon, before setting up his own studio in 2009 and quickly emerging as a one-to-watch in the design arena, while garnering a bevy of awards and accolades along the way – from the likes of W Hotels (Designer of the Future) and Wallpaper (Best Use of Materials) – and attracting the attention of big name companies seeking creative collaborations, like Hem, Ace Hotel, Izé, Roll & Hill, 1882 Ltd., Kvadrat, Established & Sons, Matter, Umbra Shift, Caesarstone, Swarovski, Bloomberg, Aesop, and Touch Digital.
As for the award-winning fruits of his labour and passion, like WOW. Constantly deriving inspiration from the smallest and biggest things in his midst (even a simple concrete wall takes on special meaning for him), Philippe continues to amass a body of work so impressive and distinctive in its minimalist, pragmatic and enduring beauty that you don’t know where to look or what to order first! (I’m contemplating a big reno of my personal hive, so the latter was admittedly an issue.)
Some of his most awe-inspiring pieces (in my humble opinion, and despite loving it all) are the ones he made for his recent Connection collection, for homeware brand OTHR, as well as the Mollo armchair for Established & Sons, Ace stool for Ace Hotel, Eclipse lighting for Roll & Hill, and Typecast chair and table for Matter.
Striking too, but not unexpected, is his use of innovations in technology. While state-of-the-art materials certainly assume a pivotal role (layered, pigmented medium density fiberboard, or MDF, is a favourite material), it’s evolutions in production like 3-D printing that are arguably most significant for him. In fact, the aforementioned Connection series (plus another one he created for like-minded, forward-thinking clients) were made with 3-D printing, inspiring Philippe to build his very own 3-D printer.
Told you the story keeps getting better. Who makes their own 3-D printer?! 😉
And even luckier for us, Philippe’s contributions to the earthscape don’t stop at astonishing objects. Like many of the creators he greatly admires, he views creativity in a more fluid, expansive manner, seeking to create in many ways (he prefers a process-based approach over more conventional linear modes of production), and across many platforms.
Philippe is currently the director of POST-OFFICE, an architecture and interior design practice, which gives him the opportunity to enjoy a host of other design challenges, such as a chic café that he and his team designed for Artek called Fernandez & Wells in London’s Clerkenwell district.
Clearly, as Rad initially noted, Philippe is really impressive, and it’s truly an honour to feature him and his work in this edition.
For more of Philippe’s mastery, head to philippemalouin.com.
RAD HOURANI ZIP BLACK DENIM JACKET (radhourani.com, 231 St. Paul St. W, Montreal).
Grooming SASHA ANDY.
Featured pieces, photography courtesy of PHILIPPE MALOUIN