French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has immersed himself in the signs and symbols of the secret societies of ancient times for his new furniture and lighting collection, Illuminations.
Symbols such as the triangle, the chequerboard and the knot have been brought to life and turned into furniture pieces and collectable objects, using a wealth of materials, including aluminium, brass and silk, and traditional manufacturing techniques married with advanced processes.
“This corpus of signs is a universal language: these are the first ideograms of civilisation. They do not belong to a specific era or location, they belong to humanity,” explains Mathieu.
Highlights of the collection include a set of large, generous sofas, designed like free forms that seem to float in suspension above the floor. “I like that a piece of furniture does not dictate how to sit. These sofas give you total freedom: chat, sleep, debate or reflect, feet on the ground or legs in the air – there are so many ways to use them,” adds Mathieu.
A striking, circular coffee table entirely covered with straw marquetry reflects Mathieu's taste for mathematical forms; a sumptuous cabinet made of stone and metal is mounted in a chequerboard pattern, and a chandelier, using sanded glass and LEDs, looks like blown glass bubbles.
The triangle – a symbol of secret societies – has been turned into a fireplace. Entirely made of softened basalt, the fireplace almost becomes the fire itself. Its lines delicately frame ‘Permanent Flame’ in bronze, another of Lehanneur’s creations.
“This collection is a reinterpretation of the long-established French savoir-faire such as stone cutting, marquetry, trimmings, sheathing. I looked at them, I studied them but I wanted to do everything differently.”
Ranked among the ‘100 World top designers and influencers’ by Wallpaper and Surface magazines, Mathieu Lehanneur’s studio has collaborated with a number of prestigious brands including Nike, Veuve Clicquot, Cartier and Sony. He has earned numerous awards including the Grand Prix for creativity, awarded by the City of Paris, and the Best Invention Award by US magazine Popular Science for Andrea, a plant home air filtration system, created in partnership with Harvard University and based on studies developed by NASA.
Each piece of the Illuminations collection is made to order. Visit mathieulehanneur.com for more information.