Head in the stars, one foot in Milan and the other in Lebanon and creations on all fronts, here is the duo David / Nicolas. The retro-futuristic aesthetics of the two Beirut-based designers can be seen from the Carpenters Workshop Gallery to the offices of Vogue Italia, from the crockery of Vista Alegre to the carpets of Iwan Maktabi and cc-carpets.
Recently, the duo took off with their Monocle and Constellation collections. Two series thought as reflections on materials, light and the life of the stars. Creations at the crossroads of East and West, marked by the intermingling of materials, which would almost remind us of spaceships – deciphered here by the rising stars of design!
What are your latest projects?
« We have recently completed a series of carpets with the cc-tapis editor called Plasterworks. We also redesigned the office for Vogue Italia’s editor Emmanuel Farneti for the temporary exhibition Life in Vogue. Finally, there is the ORIENTATIONS carpet collection that we created with Iwan Maktabi after being amazed by the textures, the simple elegance and the rarity of his creations ».
How do you get inspired for your collections?
« Our collections are directly inspired by our fascination with time and the universe. They evoke the beauty of regeneration in a retro-futuristic way.
How does your hometown inspire you?
« Beirut is constantly rising from its ashes, it is a place where time and space are different, where beauty lies in little things or even in one’s memories. We find this work on the changes in our creations. Our Supernova exhibition is a reflection on the death of a star that results either in a black hole or a supernova. Here, death is only a transformation, it eclipses everything else and evolves towards a new life. »
An inspiring period?
« Ancient Egypt. »
A creative neighbourhood/city?
« Beirut, of course! »
Your favourite address in Lebanon?
« Beiteddine Palace, a 19th century Lebanese palace. »
The last location that inspired you?
« The Egg » in the centre of Beirut, one of the greatest remnants of Lebanon’s modern history. It was to become the largest shopping centre in the Middle East under the direction of architect Joseph Philippe Karam, but its construction was interrupted during the 1975 civil war ».
Your last purchase?
« David: a photo by photographer Myriam Boulos.
Nicolas: vintage hangers found at the Navigli flea market in Milan. »
A timeless design piece?
« Dieter Rams’ calculator for Braun. »
Your favourite designer duo?
« The Campana brothers and Barber & Osgerby. »
What are your wishes for the next few weeks?
« Now that we have presented the ORIENTATIONS carpet collection, we look forward to unveiling our latest collaboration with the French publisher De Gournay. »