COLLECTIBLE: What are the key questions you ask yourself before starting to conceptualise a new piece?
Charles Kalpakian: My work is like a « fil rouge », or ‘common thread’, there is always a link with the past projects and they in turn leave the door open for the next one. I create a collection of furniture and objects and for me, it is very important to have a common approach both sculpturally and aesthetically. Each shape and colour is an echo of the collective memory of each person.
“The material is the strong link to the creation process.”
C: What is your favorite material?
CK: For me, there are two materials, wood and aluminium. There is a duality and a connection. The warm and the cold, both can be used in industrial processes and also in craftsmanship. You can use them in different scales of project. They are also materials that I can easily make prototypes with and research in my workshop. The material is the strong link to the creation process.
C: Where do you take your inspiration from?
CK: At the moment, I’m always drawn to visiting workshops and factories. Meeting the people behind the scenes is very important to me. Also sometimes I work a day with them on a prototype and sampling the materials and the colours. There is a very deep, strong human energy in those magical places. Sometimes I feel that everything is possible.
C: Can you briefly describe your process?
CK: A process is always linked to the project. I work with different types of clients, so it’s important first to talk and exchange because I need to understand their expectations. It’s also very important to me to highlight my relationship between handcrafted, craftsmanship and industrial techniques. I explore different visual support techniques such as photography, 3D work, writing, and sketching. Sketching is the method that I use most commonly.
About Charles Kalpakian (France)
Franco-Lebanese designer Charles Kalpakian’s chiselled geometric lines are the signature of his innovative approach - fusing his oriental roots, his knowledge of design and the decorative arts, as well as his passion for urban contemporary culture. His timeless aesthetic brings the classics back into our homes with a fundamental contemporary twist.