Office Furniture Reimagined Using Industrial Materials
London-based designer Philippe Malouin has reimagined the archetypal office suite using industrial materials and processes. His experimental collection of furniture and accessories – in nylon, rubber and polyurethane-coated steel – was a particular highlight at this year’s Design Miami/Basel (June 11-16).
Debuted with New York gallery Salon 94 Design, the Industrial Office collection is a complete room set of nostalgic and playful forms in vibrant colours. It includes a desk, sideboard and armchairs, as well as smaller items such as coat hooks, pen pots and a telephone.
Nylon, a self-lubricating plastic commonly used to make ball bearings and cable holders, is used for several of the pieces. The Swivel Armchair rotates smoothly thanks to its nylon swivel mechanism, while drawers in the Executive Desk and Sideboard pull out easily without the need for complex runners. Malouin makes use of the standard range of colours available, including bright yellow and ivory.
Sculptural chairs made from translucent red rubber are cast in a single mould, using a process typically applied to concrete. While the seating appears heavy and solid, it has a measured amount of flexibility, and unexpectedly contorts when used. A rug, made from galvanised steel-wire rings in an intricate Japanese chainmail pattern, is also surprisingly supple.
Other pieces – such as a bench, side table and bookends – are handcrafted in steel, then coated in a coloured and textured polyurethane. Weld marks are left visible to celebrate the simple fabrication technique.
The collection is an inspiring exercise in exploration. Whether ergonomics, movement, engineering or materiality, it showcases how material properties and manufacturing processes can be exploited to create inventive outcomes.
See more colour and material highlights in our full coverage of Art Basel & Design Miami/Basel 2019.