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Stories from the Middle East Region

Carlo Massoud: On his Design Process and Upcoming Armory Show

Who or what are your influences?

I usually follow my instincts. Of course I often refer to the design masters, but their context was different than ours. We face another time, new techniques, and modernity. 

What inspires you?

News, people, materials, context, details, environment. Anything that  surrounds me; that I see, feel, smell, touch. It can be a trip or an encounter, it depends on the situation.

Capture. An installation of thirty construction vehicles handcrafted out of brass by Carlo Massoud.


Tell us a bit about your production process.

It always starts with a story to tell, an idea to share. I often refer to the news, or to an image. Than, I start the design process: I combine materials, I experiment, I sketch. Then technical drawings and production.  Actually before that, I always share my knowledge with the craftsman or artisan I will be working with.

How long have you been in business? When did you start?

I launched my independent studio 2 years ago. Before that I was doing architecture.

Autopsy in Gold by Carlo Massoud
Autopsy (gold)

Why did you decide to become a designer?
I always believed in changing people's perceptions through design and art.  I always wait and see how people react to my work.  If they smile or criticize it means that I touched their hearts, and that I succeeded. 

Describe a typical day in the studio.

It always depends on what I have to do. I spend most of my time with craftsmen or on my Vespa. A lot of phone calls, and emails - very little time at the studio!

Where did you study? Train? Work?

I studied at ALBA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Beirut), then pursued a Master's degree in craftsmanship and luxury design at the Ecole Cantonal D’art de Lausanne (in Switzerland). I worked with Nasser Nakib in architecture, before starting to work on my own.

How would you describe your work in three adjectives?

I will let you  describe it :) 

We think his work is: smart, sophisticated and always subversive!

Reminder - If you are going to be in NYC for The Armory Show be sure to stop by this year's focus section, African Perspectives, to see Massoud's latest body of work, Autopsy. A collaboration between Massoud and his sister, ceramicist Mary-Lynn Massoud, Autopsy is a series of five editioned stool/low table sculptures made of solid bronze and a range of unique patinas. 

Autopsy by Carlo Massoud
Autopsy by Carlo Massoud and Mary-Lynn Massoud.


All images courtesy the artist.