One of the most sensitive advocates of organic design, Jean-Marie Massaud seeks the perfect balance between the room and the object, thus creating objects so that they no longer appear as functional products, but rather as ceremonious sculptures dispossessed of technology and integrating themselves into his spatial concept through their beauty and emotionalism.
Jean Marie Massaud is fascinated by scientific imagery, and as a child dreamed of becoming an inventor. He graduated from ENSCI (Paris) in 1990 and began collaborating immediately with Marc Berthier. While working on urbanism issues, he discovered the intimate link between design and architecture, relating to similar implications in the creation of our environment and life experience. The key to his continued success lies in his ability to create magical designs that are full of vitality, and never ordinary.
Massaud refers to influential “masters” such as Enzo Mari, Paulo Rizzatto and Alberto Meda. “I’m intrigued by Mari’s sense of material, by his simplicity of vocabulary and his highly emotional approach. Rizzatto and Meda are both known for their attitude of reserve, which allows the product to take precedence over all the rest. Charles Eames is an absolute must as well.”
In 2000, he founded Studio Massaud together with Daniel Pouzet, and soon became immersed in architecture as well, creating edifices for Lancôme, Renault and Poltrona Frau. Other commissions include large-scale projects such as the Vulcano Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico and the Tribeca Condominium Towers in New York.
Jean Marie Massaud’s inventiveness and wide-ranging enthusiasms have allowed him to cross boundaries and succeed in various design fields, from furniture design to industrial products. Companies with whom he has collaborated include Armani, Axor, Baccarat, Cappellini, Cassina and Yamaha Offshore. He has redefined the architectural brand images of Lancôme and Renault and has directed large-scale projects such as: the Tanabe House (Fukuoka, Japan), a 50,000 seat stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico.
In 2006, Massaud participated in PuppyLove by blessing Eerno Aarnio’s plastic white puppy and turning it into an angel. Propped on it’s tail, with wings toward the heavens, PuppyLove Angel was sold at auction to help raise funds for cancer research, a cause very close to the Kassamali’s hearts. And in 2008, Massaud once again joined Luminaire in the fight against cancer by creating a piece for PaperLove, titled ‘1/52’ weeks. The piece was a simple and sophisticated stack of original works and technical drawings by Massaud himself, expressing how paper is often the medium of the creative process and a vessel of creative memory.
In addition, two new pieces by Massaud were unveiled in 2008. With the Seven table, named after the number of people intended for seating, Massaud created an asymmetrical for, which crushes the traditional hierarchy and creates practical arrangements. Another design is Terminal 1, an unmistakable Massaud piece, complete with a fluid form floating on a minimal frame. Functioning as an armchair or a chaise, Terminal 1 is inviting in any space. Luminaire continues to look forward to the new ideas Massaud will explore in 2009 and 2010.
Honored with numerous prizes and awards, his creations are found in leading museums of art and design in Amsterdam, Chicago, Lisbon, London, Paris and Zurich.
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