Last chance to see: Philippe Malouin’s multifunctional steel furniture is made from found objects

‘Steel Works’ marks Philippe Malouin’s solo debut in Athens, with an exhibition of multifunctional furniture and lighting designs at The Breeder gallery (until 31 December 2021)

Two images showing side and front view of a blue steel chair by Philippe Malouin
A chair designed by Philippe Malouin using found materials including an Athens park bench bracket, square tube and 20kg bodybuilding plate. The design is part of a solo exhibition of steel works at The Breeder gallery, Athens.
(Image credit: All photography courtesy of Philippe Malouin and The Breeder)

Athens’ The Breeder gallery presents a series of steel furniture works by Philippe Malouin. Titled ‘Steel Works’, the exhibition marks the Canadian, London-based designer’s solo debut in Athens, and merges an industrial design language with a bright palette of saturated hues. The collection was previewed at the gallery's booths at Frieze London 2021 and Fiac, before being shown in its entirety in Athens.

Featuring sculptural steel furniture and lighting design, the collection merges Malouin’s focus on craft and industrial design. The pieces’ forms are achieved through compositions of basic components, objects found by the designer in scrapyards in Greece and the UK. 

Steel furniture by Philippe Malouin

Seat and lawn bowling roller,

Mobile workstation: lawn bowling roller and seat, steel tube, plate, and C-profile

(Image credit: All photography courtesy of Philippe Malouin and The Breeder)

Manufactured between Brighton and Athens, the process is inspired by the Dadaist découpé tradition, which involves cutting up and rearranging parts (usually text). ‘Sourcing steel objects instinctively and rearranging them ad hoc, Malouin’s intention is to create new meaning and value,’ reads a text introducing the works. The results are multifunctional ‘hybrid objects’ that create an interplay between two- and three-dimensional forms and challenge our perception. 

The collection includes a chair made from a bench bracket from an Athens park and a 20kg bodybuilding plate, a lamp made with an I-beam, and a mobile workstation based on a lawn bowling roller and seat. These found objects are combined with standard construction elements such as pipes, plates, brackets, and rebars. The collection’s vivid colours represent the manufacturing location, with red and green for the UK, and blue and light blue for Greece.

A blue chair by Philippe Malouin, made using found steel parts.

Chair made of square pipes, bent plate, bracket, rebar, steel disc, steel. 

(Image credit: All photography courtesy of Philippe Malouin and The Breeder)

Table lamp.

Table lamp made of I-beam, bent plates, steel.

(Image credit: All photography courtesy of Philippe Malouin and The Breeder)

An ongoing fascination of Malouin’s is finding everyday materials and repurposing them as the base of his desirable designs – case in point his ‘Press’ mirror for Umbra Shift, an intuitive design object made by simply pressing and polishing a steel tube, or the more intricate design of the series of ‘Turntables’ he created for the Museum of Santa Barbara, whose design is based on a standard circular groove, which had intrigued the studio’s team. 

‘They are ultimately artistic manifestations where their functionality is not always delineated,’ states The Breeder gallery introduction to Malouin’s new works. ‘By probing its boundaries to and beyond the limits, Malouin creates here a rather surprising language of form.’

Red mixed-used steel tower designed by Philippe Maloun

Mixed-use tower made of steel tube, truncated I beam, found bracket

(Image credit: All photography courtesy of Philippe Malouin and The Breeder)

Chair/Umbrella made from steel.

Left: chair/umbrella stand made from square tube, pipe, round plate, steel. Right: Small table made of cut pipe, laser-cut plate, steel

(Image credit: All photography courtesy of Philippe Malouin and The Breeder)


‘Steel Works’ by Philippe Malouin is on view at The Breeder gallery, 4 November – 31 December 2021


Iasonos 45
Athens 104 36


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.