In the lab: Wallpaper* meets the design research duo behind Oeuffice
Perhaps the best place to begin this story is with an assertion by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte, who co-founded the innovative design research laboratory Oeuffice with Jakub Zak: ’Give form to objects giving form to interiors.’ This intent-driven notion, which could (and maybe should) become design’s new mantra, directly speaks to the essence of Oeuffice, where materiality reigns supreme.
’We always try to push certain materials or techniques in an unorthodox way, but with a level of restraint that ensures a timeless feel,’ explains Bellavance-Lecompte, who met Zak in Milan and, together, determinately set out to breathe new life into an oversaturated industry.
Since then, Oeuffice has become a breeding ground for innovative objects offered in limited edition collections. ’We define our approach and our pieces as space experiments,’ Zak explains, ’and we do not produce in large quantities but rather in small controlled productions where quality is fundamental.’ Case in point: the duo designed the ’Kapital’ series, which comprises tables and stools reminiscent of the geometric assemblages and stone details commonly found in classical architecture. The line marries marbles and other stones in unexpected ways, exhibiting complex overlapping techniques while concurrently referencing distant artifacts. ’We feel this world is already so full of redundancies that we only want to live with unique objects that possess a strong concept and interact in a special way with their surrounding spaces and materials,’ states Zak.
With studios in both London and Milan, Oeuffice has become an in-the-know resource for the savvy designer or collector on the hunt for the impossible-to-find. ’For us it’s not really about whether our pieces are defined as art or furniture,’ notes Bellavance-Lecompte. ’It’s more about how well they fit with the individual owner and their space.’