Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Occupation: Furniture designer/maker and entrepreneur.
Studio location: Union City, New Jersey.
Describe what you make: Functional artwork that poses as furniture that poses as artwork.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: The Les Fleurs Collection—my first official collection of collectible design items being presented under my own moniker. Les Fleurs includes a 12-person dining table, center table, wall-mounted design object, lamp, and skateboard. I’m so proud of this collection not only because it’s the biggest and most technical body of work I’ve ever created, but also because I was able to evolve my patented technique of embedding natural materials in resin to now include pinecones. The delicacies of nature are something I feel are often overlooked in our world of consumption and technology, so it makes me happy to dissect a common item found in nature and reveal the beauty within.
Describe the problem your work solves: I’m sure I’d think of my work as problem solving, however I do believe that good design constantly evolves, which aids society. Evolution, in essence, is problem solving for survival.
Describe the project you are working on now: Now that Les Fleurs is complete, and my business partner is pitching the collection to galleries around the world, I’ve since had the time to draw my attention back to my company ABDB Designs, which focuses on creating made-to-order pieces for residential and commercial applications. Currently we’re working on a series of 11 large table tops for a luxury hotel and restaurant opening in Doha, Qatar, for the World Cup.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: This fall we’re looking forward to releasing a collaborative line of ottoman-style coffee tables with Brooklyn-based Stitchroom. Long term, I’d like to create a “Central Park” collection featuring only pieces of recycled wood from the park itself.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Over the last several years we’ve had the privilege to continuously expand our studio, which I have enjoyed constantly evolving as a creative haven. In my opinion, the spaces we inhabit are reflected in the work we create. Our studio is wall-to-wall covered in both my and other artists’ pieces, as well as lined with 40+ plants which grow with me. Music of course constantly keeps the vibes high and keeps me motivated in continuing to push the dial.
What you do when you’re not working: I try to see as much live music with friends as I can (it’s baaaaaack!!!!!), as well as restore my 1992 Ford F150 Flareside Pickup. Before the pandemic I did a lot of concert photography which unfortunately settled in the last year but I look forward to getting back to that side hustle as well.
Sources of creative envy: Andy Warhol, Steve Jobs, Daniel Arsham, and my father and fellow designer, Antoine Schapira.
The distraction you want to eliminate: The uncontrollable angst of feeling the need to compare oneself to others.
Concrete or marble? Marble when it comes to natural beauty, but concrete is much more versatile as a material.
High-rise or townhouse? Ever since I moved to New York City I’ve been obsessed with the scale at which humans are able to build… however when it comes to creating a homey environment, I’m a townhouse guy.
Remember or forget? Reminiscing.
Aliens or ghosts? Aliens. Can’t wait to reunite with the boys.
Dark or light? Light cannot exist without darkness however it’s how we perceive each where we find comfort. Balance is key.