French designer Mathieu Lehanneur is a pioneer in the international world of design. His multi-disciplinary approach pushes the envelop through creativity, artisanship, and technology, and has made him one of the modern design’s most awe-inspiring names within the span of his career. Lehanneur, who is characterised by “humanistic” projects that ingeniously combine design, science, art, and technology, views humans being complex creatures who need breathable air and sustainable, natural susistance in order to lead healthy lives, and who always prefer living decently, as opposed to being mere furniture-hungry consumers. Although he is inspired by nature, Lehanneur is not interested in biomimicry, but rather in the symbiosis between living and synthetic materials, often to solve environmental problems. Lehanneur’s more recent projects delve into natural stone and mimic ocean waves. Using marble, he succeeds in unleashing its energy, movement, and power. First, studies synergy between geometry and organic form. Then, he plays with our sense of perception by sculpting furniture and statues that allude that give the illusion of liquidity.
Back in 2013, Lehanneur had created a 7.5 metre-long installation as part of series dubbed “Liquid Marble” that he created for Turkish Stones. Showcased at the Milan Design Week, and referencing the Loire River, he tried to capture the event of rippling water caused by the wind. Intrigued victors claimed experiencing a “magic portal” of sorts because the black/green marble from which it was sculpted looks like the sea at night. Lehanneur’s “Ocean Memories” is a functional art collection comprised of low tables and benches in spired by the surface of the sea. Currently on display at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in New York, each piece of furniture was created using 3D software. Once cut with a machine, they were polished until they obtained their unique oceanic character. The project combines advanced technology with traditional artisanship to freeze the ebb and flow of the ocean onto marble before being presented to the viewer. The artist has erased the boundary of transition between what is solid versus what is liquid to put forth a form that is neither and yet both. The result is a surreal passage between the static and dynamic. Now ranked among the world’s top 100 designers, Lehanneur’s work is on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), and the Design Museum Gent (Belgium).
For more information: www.mathieulehanneur.fr