RIBA chartered architect and interior designer Rabih Hage is a major figure in the world of design. His work has been recognised with numerous awards from the design industry, including the Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the Year Award, 2011, and he has been knighted by the French Republic as a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite for his services to design. One of his creations, the 'Leftover' table, appears in Sotheby's upcoming sale, Made in Britain in London on 18 September. Sotheby's Head of Sale for 20th Century Design, Laetitia Contat Desfontaines, spoke to Rabih to get his perspective on all things contemporary design.
Laetitia Contat Desfontaines: Could you tell us more about the birth of the gallery and the cohabitation between your own pieces with other designers works?
Rabih Hage: When I set up my design studio in London I wanted to have an experimental space attached to my design practice. Hence the exhibition space which became known as the gallery. I always considered that the extension of my design work, was selecting, commissioning and collaborating with other designers to make beautiful homes. This is why I was promoting designers who had a unique and new view in the design world and giving them a chance for a first solo show in my experimental space. Amongst these designers were Paul Cocksedge, Moritz Waldemeyer and Assa Ashuach (lot 208).
LCD: The impressive ‘Leftover’ table will be offered at auction part of our Made in Britain sale. What is your view on the London Design scene?
RH: The London design scene has always been innovative and risk-taking in proposing new aesthetics and directions in design. This has been successful because of the high level of thinking and quality of delivery of design in the capital. I think the design scene in London is at the highest level in the world.
LCD: You have experimented with several techniques and materials in your work. How did you decide to work with Corian for the Leftover collection?
RH: Corian asked me to create for them a collection, using their then new colours launched in 2012. I embraced this idea, as I consider Corian a noble material, even though it is man-made. It is noble because it is recyclable and versatile. Because it is noble, any waste should be re-used. This is where the ‘leftover’ concept arose, using offcuts from the first piece of the collection, the bookshelf to create the other pieces, firstly the table/desk offered in your Made In Britain sale.
LCD: Are you a collector yourself?
RH: Yes, I am a design collector. In my collection are many pieces from the designers I supported in the noughties, including Piet Hein Eek who I think is a very significant designer of the 21st century. In my role as collector and enthusiast, I also founded an online journal, specialising in collectible design, and we publish the Collectible Design Market Report annually.
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