Pierre Gonalons

Awarded « best breakthrough designer » at the Wallpaper* Design Awards in 2007, Pierre Gonalons’ inspiration ranges from decorative arts to minimalism. A graduate from the Camondo School in Paris, Pierre Gonalons founded his brand Ascète in 2003 at the young age of 25. Ascète offers a collection of furniture, lamps and decorative objects. His favourite material: marble.

In 2012 and 2015, the designer presented solo-exhibitions of limited-edition furniture titled PAVILLONS and PALAIS at the Armel Soyer Gallery and in the context of the gallery’s presence at Design Miami Basel (2012).

In 2016, he introduced a new production of furniture, lights and objects mixing Pop culture with his classical inspiration under his eponymous brand.

How would introduce yourself: artist, designer, innovator?
I love the term “designer” although it is quite overused. I find it simple and effective, and the word covers an array of creative potentials. Depending on the project, the term takes on different meanings. I understand it to convey the act of conceiving, regardless of whether there is a major innovation associated to it; the key is to be relevant according to the purpose.

Please tell us about your exciting new projects
I am preparing a new line of wood furniture to be presented at a New York gallery. I am also working on an exhibition in Los Angeles for early 2018, which will be more of an environment than solely furniture. A third project, which is the most exciting: the creation of jewellery line for a gallery in Paris.

Where and how do you find inspiration?
I always find inspiration through the encounter of things from the past. Places, museums, books, and memories are my main sources. I am also very interested in the concept of chance, which I believe is a very modern approach. A bundle of inspirations and information for a single idea.

How did it all start?
Very early on, I wanted to create my own vision, my own environment, my own pieces and offer them with as few intermediaries as possible. I started at the age of 24 with concrete furniture launched through my own label Ascète.

Your favourite project to date?
My recent collaboration with Paradiso Terrestre, the relaunch of a mythic Italian design brand displayed at the last edition of Salone del Mobile in Milano, for which I designed marble furniture as well as my first fabric.

Who would you ideally love to collaborate with?
I would love to design a stage or a movie set.

Favourite museum show you’ve seen so far?
The exhibitions curated by Axel Vervoordt several years ago at Palazzo Fortuny in Venice during La Biennale.

How many projects do you have at the moment?
About a dozen, which range from products, spaces, limited pieces… Right now, I’m focusing on new pieces for Pierre Gonalons Editions, which I develop as a collection of concepts related to a specific material. Marble is my favourite subject.

What are you excited about in the near future on the cultural agenda?
The Irving Penn exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris.