Philippe Malouin

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By Diana Budds / Published by Dwell
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From his studio in London’s Hackney Central borough, Philippe Malouin is constantly testing ideas. “It’s sort of a cross-pollination of failed experiments that eventually leads to something interesting,” he says. Malouin and his team of three often extrapolate a lesson and apply that to something else, like a “failed” attempt to create electronic components. From that emerged a structural system of sorts, which then yielded the truss-like Gridlock furniture series.

Canada native Malouin studied industrial design at the University of Montreal, where he learned his chosen field’s building blocks: materials and how they function. After he embarked on a fellowship at Hermès —"it was a totally different experience, much more of a stylistic effort," he says—he eventually landed at the concept-driven Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Malouin repurposes chain mail to create a geometric rug.

Malouin repurposes chain mail to create a geometric rug.

Malouin is recognized for his pioneering materials work, including a rug made from chain mail and a stool crafted solely from fabric, with no interior skeleton, for Kvadrat. His latest work is a line of bone china for British ceramics company 1882 Ltd. Using a turntable-like device, he modeled the shape of dunes and translated the texture and fluid mechanics into ceramics. "I like the fact that you can extrapolate an idea from a material-driven concept, then do something completely different with it," he says.

Colored stools Malouin crafted solely from fabric, with no interior skeleton for Kvadrat.

Colored stools Malouin crafted solely from fabric, with no interior skeleton for Kvadrat.