By Kelly Bai
Translation by Emily Tan
You have to admit some people are born geniuses, like Christophe Delcourt, the French furniture designer who is seated in front of me. It wasn’t until he was in his thirties before he discovered his love in furniture design and turned to the industry. Without any training in design or furniture making, he designed and made several pieces, brought them to Maison & Objet, the international home decor fair in Paris, and won the Designer of the Year award.
Christophe described his experience in an understatement and shrugged at my fuss as if to say, “What’s so amazing?” Christophe was born in 1966 in Saint-Maur-des-Fosses, France. After graduating in 1988 from Cours Florent, a theatre school in Paris, he furthered his studies in École du Passage in Paris in 1989. If he continues down this path, he may become a star on the French stage. However, his career took a surprising turn when he suddenly realizes his true passion in designing. He left the theatre, became a furniture designer and found his first studio in Paris’ Marais area in 1998. A year later, his first works were showcased at Paris’ international home decor fair and he won the Designer of the Year award. Isn’t it astonishing? The world of a genius is this incredible.
It didn’t take long for Christophe to be known for his fine handcrafted furniture. He designed for France’s premier luxury furniture brand, Roachburg, Cartier’s Tokyo showroom, Saint Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami, and LV’s offices in Paris, Barcelona and Hong Kong. “I designed and made every piece of work from scratch.” Christophe explained, “This is different from industrial designers, who need to work with different companies to manufacture their designed products.” His customized works meet his clients’ needs and tastes. Like the popular slow food culture in France, he works slowly to ensure each piece of work is an art boutique.
Christophe’s furniture is simple, clean and creative. Natural lines and materials along with superb craftsmanship makes his furniture a low-key luxury. Like his natural born design talent, he strongly advocates nature and the use of natural materials. “Nature is the number one element in my design process. If you look closely at nature, you will find many shapes, colors, texture, and the way they intertwine and arranged can be used in furniture design.” he said. Various natural materials such as wood, ceramics, steel and textiles are used extensively in his collection. “Wood is my favorite material for it has life and can be sublimated by the craftsman.” Christophe said.
Besides drawing inspiration from nature, architectural designs also nourish his creativity. He incorporates into his designs the straight or curved lines, and the simple, rustic qualities found in buildings. He strives for simplicity in his designs and materials used.
Christophe’s design is showcased in many high-end art galleries and showrooms around the world, including Ralph Pucci in the US, Avenue Road in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, and Le Cadre Gallery in Hong Kong.