Yabu Pushelberg talk design and living at the beach

Molteni & C has released a new short film in its ‘House of Molteni’ series, featuring Canadian designers Yabu Pushelberg talking design, inspiration and their Amagansett beach house

George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg are photographed sitting on the sofa.
George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg on their ‘Surf’ sofa for Molteni & C. The company has released a video interview with the Canadian designers, discussing their work and inspirations
(Image credit: Press)

George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg on their ‘Surf’ sofa for Molteni & C. The company has released a video interview with the Canadian designers, discussing their work and inspirations

Yabu Pushelberg discuss their inspiration and design journey

From their beach retreat, Yabu Pushelberg discuss the origins of their collaborative practice and their design ethos, based on a ‘building block’ system, starting with simple ideas and essential concepts and adding visual complexity from there.

‘It’s curiosity that drives us,’ says Yabu, noting how growing up in Canada helped develop their aesthetic from something humble that ‘resonates with people around the world.’ Starting out as a two-person company, Yabu Pushelberg have gone on to design some of the most sophisticated interiors as well as elegant furniture, lighting and objects. ‘Our passion is not business, our passion is design,’ adds Pushelberg, noting how this passion has become the driving force that helped them achieve more complex projects since the studio’s founding in the 1980s. 

A gray sofa sits at the center. Behind it, we see the deck of the beach house and the sea in the distance.

The ‘Surf’ sofa by Yabu Pushelberg for Molteni & C, photographed at the designers’ beach house

(Image credit: Press)

‘Growing up in Toronto, at that time it was pure modernism, that really inspired us,’ says Yabu: the relationship between design and architecture has been very important to the duo, who, as Pushelberg puts it, their focus has been on ‘making things that are complete and this is part of the symphony of music of architecture and design.’

The designers mention their ‘Surf’ sofa, designed for Molteni & C, as a perfect embodiment of the current flexibility around life and work. ‘People want options for where they live, flexibility, and so that’s how we came up with ‘Surf’,’ says Yabu. ‘We live in a more fluid way, this is really like a piece of sculpture,’ echoes Pushelberg. 

The beach house photographed at a sunset. A two-floor house, with panoramic windows, sits surrounded by sand and different plants.

Yabu Pushelberg’s beach house, nestled within the dunes of Napeague Beach

(Image credit: Press)

The sofa is perfectly at home in their beach house: designed in collaboration with Stelle Lamont Rouhani Architects, the seafront home is nestled within the dunes of Napeague Beach and is defined by custom wood cladding that submerges the house in the natural landscape.

The patio below the second floor has blankets set on the ground with pillows and candelabra. Behind this is a wooden table with two benches.

(Image credit: Press)

The outside stairway at the beach house has a half-open wall to the right, made out of wooden boards that are evenly spaced out.

(Image credit: Press)

The beach with a board walkway to the sea.

(Image credit: Press)



Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.