David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem, founders of the Lebanese design studio david/nicolas, met while studying architecture at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts in Beirut. In 2010 they both embarked upon a Master’s in product design at Milan’s Scuola Politecnica di Design before joining forces to set up an eponymous studio in their native Beirut in 2011.
Describing their aesthetic as ‘retrofuturistic’ – a mash-up of influences from different periods in design history – the duo create timeless objects that are at once totally new yet reassuringly familiar. They like to think their divergent opinions are what give their designs a unique character - Moussallem is a detail obsessive while Raffoul is more of a freethinker. ‘We have a different approach when starting to design; one is very narrative while the other starts sketching “chunks” of objects. It adds up to every product we ever created.’
The studio’s breakout year came in 2014 thanks to a busy Milan Design Week that saw the duo launch the bespoke ‘Artichoke’ safe with Agresti for Wallpaper* Handmade and the luxurious ‘Dualita’ chaise for Nina Yashar’s Nilufar gallery. In addition they presented their first solo show in Beirut, ‘Loulou/Hoda’, at the city’s Art Factum Gallery, and last but not least, at Maison & Objet they introduced the ‘Orquestra’ tableware collection for Vista Alegre – the studio’s first industrial product.
In 2016, david/nicolas will complete its first interior for a private apartment in Paris and is currently in the process of kitting out a restaurant project in Downtown Beirut that includes the design of everything from the walls and floors to the cutlery.