Designer Philippe Malouin was the guest of honor at the Index Design Masterclass series, February 19 at Espace Infopresse in Montréal. The conference focused on the entrepreneurial process. The Québec born designer of 33 is now based in London after obtaining degrees in Paris’ en Eindhoven’s design schools. Baron took the opportunity to chat with Malouin about his journey and creative process.
“I thought it was pretty amazing to be invited by Index Design. I ‘m happy to be chosen to give a lecture, I guess the fact that I’m from here (Québec) and that I went to work abroad might interest people“, says Philippe Malouin, to brake the ice.
For him, this forum is a welcomed chance to share his experiences, creative process and views on design with the crowd: “I find it more interesting than a simple interview in a newspaper. Here, you can interact with the public and show pictures of achievements from the beginning to the end, it demystifies design somehow.“
After his studies, Philippe worked for designer Tom Dixon. This led him to move to London, to set up his own studio. “In London, explains Malouin, there is a great network and market for design galleries that you won’t find in Quebec. Through art galleries who wanted to sponsor my work, sell it, publicize it, I started to make a name for myself. In Montreal, I would probably have ended up as a bartender and design would have been my hobby!“
In perpetual experimentation, Malouin rarely starts a project from a single, precise idea. By testing different materials and models of productions, he manages to clarify an initial blur to achieve the final result: “While working with wood, we have, for example, sanded 15 different materials. We tested sanding just because we were curious. So we ended up starting a project from sanding samples!” Philippe Malouin calls his designing style experimental and minimal: “My priority, says the designer, is to give the public the impression of subtlety and simplicity as much as possible, without them knowing that, behind the final result, is an impressive creative research.“
As far as future projects go, Philippe Malouin will try his luck with a new audience, hoping to distribute designed objects he created via shops worldwide. “We’re doing tests toward industrial production, explains Malouin. Lamps, sofas, chairs and other designed items will be made more accessible. Working for galleries was the luck of the draw and, thanks to that, I survived in the beginning. But I’ve always wanted to do production on a larger scale.“
Until his plans of having his art scattered all over the world come into fruition, you can still visit Philippe Malouin’s online shop and purchase some of his work.