David des Moutis, Furniture Designer
Like many of his peers, 29-year-old Parisian David des Moutis is obsessed with finding new possibilities for traditional handicrafts, and if he could, he’d probably spend all of his time geeking out in workshops watching glass being blown, stone being carved, or metal being spun. One of his pieces — an eyeball-shaped bentwood stool he showed at IMM Cologne in 2010 — even came about after he discovered an old manual wood press in the back of a local shop that its own employees didn’t even know how to operate. One could say he’s the ultimate tinkerer; even when he’s not the one fabricating his own designs, he can’t help but leap in and try to learn the ropes. Check out some of the results here. (Above: Balance Lamp by David des Moutis, 2011)
Describe your most recent project and how it was made.
“I realized this table during a residency in Taiwan at the National Taiwanese Craft Research and Development Institute. I was invited for 20 days to explore the country’s traditional craftsmanship and to share our vision and knowledge. The island was incredibly rich, a mix of traditions and industrial development. That’s what I decided to deal with in this project. The stone base and the wood top are connected with a rope made from an old technique (originating with the country’s indigenous Atayal people), but using industrial ropes. The chair was made in the same way: using handicrafts and natural materials, here bamboo sticks, woven through with industrial ropes.”
Describe your next project and how you’re currently making it.
“I have always three or four projects going on at once that I develop slowly while exploring materials and gathering inspiration. At the moment, I’ve been making ropes in different sizes and patterns for a lighting collection that’s soon to come. I also developed a chair in leather and a collection of objects made with combination of stone, glass, and porcelain.
The second part of my activities is scenography projects. I like to alternate between furniture or objects and spaces or exhibition designs. It allows me to change my approach, scale, and focus. With the exhibition designs, I make everything in situ. I come one to three weeks before the opening and I produce displays and elements in every material. The projects are more spontaneous and elaborate, day after day. I’m currently the scenographer of temporary exhibitions at the Saint Bernard permanent exhibition at the Villa Noailles.”
Tell us one thing that’s been inspiring you lately and why.
“I love learning techniques and aspects of other specialties and assimilating that knowledge as much as possible, like a sponge. To do that, I spend as much time as I can in the workshops of whatever makers or craftspeople I’m collaborating with on projects. I like to participate in the production of different pieces, understanding gestures and processes. It gives sense to all sketches I accumulate in the sketchbook that I carry all the time.”
Show us your studio and tell us what you like about it.
“For awhile I was traveling so much I felt like my car was my studio, with all its disadvantages, like not being able to use the phone! Luckily I’ve been sharing a real studio for the past three years now with some friends. There are three of us, and everyone works in different specialties (graphic design, photography, etc). Sharing a space means sharing knowledge and discussing our experiences; we also try, when the project allows it, to collaborate. The studio is a working place as well as a talking and meeting place. So don’t hesitate to come for a coffee!”
Balance Lamp by David des Moutis, 2011 XAV vases by David des Moutis, 2008-2009Plant series by David des Moutis, 2008 ILO vase by David des Moutis, 2010Ratio desk by David des Moutis, 2010