Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Hometown: Rabat, Morocco.
Studio location: Casablanca.
Describe what you make: I create functional artworks. One-of-a-kind pieces in noble woods, where I explore the limits of the material and techniques. Works created by hand, with a strong identity yet pure and elegant.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: I often ask myself this question, but it is impossible to answer. Each piece is different and incomparable. Each has its own energy, its own identity. Each is the culmination of an idea and a long process of experimentation and research. I often work on several works at the same time, totally different works. It’s only when I’m satisfied with the result that a piece can leave my atelier to enter other people’s lives.
Describe the problem your work solves: What I create solves a personal problem: the need to create complex and original pieces that can inspire powerful emotions in those who see them. Everything begins with the necessity to bring an idea into reality, even if it first seems unrealistic. I would even say especially if it seems unrealistic. Most of all, I love pushing past the limits of material and balance. Too bad that it requires months of work!
Describe the project you are working on now: I’m currently showing the Eros Brut table at Design Miami with Les Ateliers Courbet. After that, I have an exhibition of seven pieces that opens on Jan. 12 in New York, also at Les Ateliers Courbet.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: These last months have been a real whirlwind of exhibitions and unrelenting work. Today I feel the need to take a break, to find the resources to take on a new process of reflection. I want to reinvest myself in sculpture and installations.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: In my studio, I work essentially with old machines from the 1940s and old tools that I find in Morocco and abroad. It’s moving to see the marks left behind by the artisans who once owned them. I like the idea of prolonging the life of these tools and bringing them into the world of contemporary creation. I also feel that they have a soul and strong energy that nourish my atelier. I cannot imagine myself creating my work in a high-tech studio!
What you do when you’re not working: Sometimes I can go for several days in my room, without going out or doing anything at all. Other times it’s the opposite: I can’t get enough socializing, gallery and museum visits, and urban landscapes. Between these two extremes, there’s a constant need to walk by the sea, to feel the wind on my face. I live on the Atlantic coast. I could never live far from the ocean—it’s a physical thing.
My other passion is for culinary creation. Like many Moroccans, I love to invite my friends and my greatest pleasure is to welcome guests in my kitchen. Wearing my kimono and wielding my Japanese knives, I explore the world of sushi for them, to offer them some unexpected culinary experiences.
Sources of creative envy: My passion is driven by discovering new wood species, and I want new experiences. I also like to know that the wood I use for my creations will mature, and acquire a patina that makes them even more beautiful with the passage of time.
The distraction you want to eliminate: Without hesitation, I’d say recurrent phone calls and messages on social networks. Today’s world expects us to always be available and reactive, but creative work requires concentration. Is there any way to stop time sometimes, or be two people at the same time?
Concrete or marble? Concrete.
High-rise or townhouse? High-rise.
Remember or forget? Forget.
Aliens or ghosts? Ghosts.
Dark or light? Light.