Christian Astuguevieille

December 2006, Zurich

“Give him enough rope, and he can furnish the whole house” – this is what the New York Times had to say about the spectacular design method of French designer Christian Astuguevieille. Cords, twines or ropes are the most important base material for the 63-year old universal designer to create his valuable unica: chairs, sofas, chests of drawers, mirrors, lamps and tables. In the skilled hands of the designer, these rather bland materials receive unusual shapes and forms and have even evolved into necklaces and bracelets.

The general public does not so much know the creative generalist because of his furniture, but rather because of his work for renowned fashion labels. In the early nineties, Astuguevieille designed all leather accessories by Nina Ricci. Since 1994, he has been heading the perfume creation of the conceptual fashion house Comme des Garçons. In this function, he has created 60 scents and some of the most creative flacons. Both with the perfume and the furniture objects, the designer has time and again succeeded in undermining ingrained perception mechanisms. “There are no limitations,” Astuguevieille said when he designed a scent for Comme des Garçons that smelled of photocopiers – he called it an “anti-perfume”. “It is important to me to lead people to get involved with new things, to dream, to embark on a journey.”

For this, the esthete himself doesn’t have to go far. In his Bayonne atelier, the passionate collector has compiled a rich archive of finds, fabrics and materials from all over the world. This “cultural reservoir” harbors his form vocabulary; in dealing with the innumerable storage boxes he develops associative ideas, embarks on tactile expeditions that are finally reflected in his creative universe: an inspired spirit dreaming of a new world culture and telling poetic stories of foreign countries.