ARTISTS

David/Nicolas

At the core of david/nicholas’ practice is an essential duality. The creative spark between designers David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem is derived from a delicate balance: between imagination and stoic logic; unbounded creativity and practical research; a curiosity about the future and a deep respect for the past.

The pair met while studying architecture at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in 2006 and founded their studio in 2011. Over the past decade, they have gained global recognition working across interiors, furniture, and product design, leading them to open a second office in Milan in 2021. The move marked a return to Italy after Raffoul and Moussallem earned master’s degrees at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in 2011, prior to Raffoul working at Fabrica, in Treviso, Italy between 2012 and 2013.

david/nicholas’ work can be described as untethered to a single style or era and is instead an alloy of lived experience and personal research. Both hail from Beirut, Lebanon and the complexities and contradictions of the cosmopolitan city can still be found at the heart of their practice. However, they draw inspiration from concepts as vast as vernacular architecture, photography, electronic music, and the canon of Italian design, which is legible in their unwavering fidelity to craftsmanship.

The duo has brought this sophisticated sense of cross-cultural experimentation to interiors across Europe, America, and the Middle East. Raffoul and Moussallem’s approach to each project remains free from preconceived notions or prescriptive narratives, and instead allows the location, its history, and an intuitive dialogue with the client to determine the final work. Theirs is a process that blends their own creative impulses with that of their collaborators, resulting in carefully considered spaces that thoughtfully reflect their inhabitants.

Like their interiors, Raffoul and Moussallem approach furniture design with similar precision and subtlety, guided by deeply held relationships with the artisans who realise their work, allowing them to continuously push the possibilities of contemporary craft. Their Supernova collection for Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery, which has represented the duo since 2017, merged inspirations such as oriental geometry, lost civilizations, antique furniture, and robotics and featured intricately hand-carved boiserie — which has become an integral part of the studio’s visual language — and hewn travertine tables inlaid with esoteric symbols wrought in brass.

The studio has also collaborated with a growing list of renowned brands, which have earned them design industry accolades like inclusion in Architectural Digest’s AD100 list of top global designers, several Wallpaper* awards, Monocle magazine’s ‘Top 20 Makers in the Design World,’ and a place on AD Collector’s ‘Best Designers in the World’ list.

In 2022 they completed their most ambitious and historically significant work to date, the contemporary restyling of Gio Ponti’s infamous Casa di Fantasia, following the home’s dismantling. The project reflects the central ethos of their practice, an interplay of nostalgia and future-facing creativity. The home was first featured in T: The New York Times Style Magazine and was followed by several global publications, including Architectural Digest Italia, which described it as “a renovation that brought back to life the essence of what Ponti had erected.”

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