Max Lipsey always begins his design process by holding a material in his bare hands. He then pushes it, massages it, and experiments with it. “Before I even sketch, I need to get to know the material. Then the ideas come.”
Raised in Aspen, Colorado, and schooled at New York University and Design Academy Eindhoven, Lipsey got his start working for Maarten Baas in 2007 and then struck out on his own in 2011. His work, which has been showcased at DMY Berlin, Depot Basel, the Fuorisalone in Milan, and Matter, is heading in two directions that seem fascinatingly at odds with each other. He is best known for his Acciaio series, furnishings inspired by racing bicycles and made from fillet-brazed steel bicycle tubing and perforated saddle leather over an aluminum frame (right). The series represents his production-oriented side with the angular and tapering qualities of the long metal cylinders. The second direction Lipsey is exploring is a very handmade and rough aesthetic, as evidenced by his organic, branching Inside>Out coat hooks project. “I know they’re two opposite directions, and I don’t know what it’s all about exactly yet. But I’m watching what happens.” We are, too.