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INTERVIEW: TAREK ELKASSOUF

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We're excited to introduce you guys to Tarek ElKassouf, a Lebanese designer based between Beirut and Sydney whose work spans across three disciplines that include architecture, urban planning and product/furniture. Inspired by the geometric shapes and futuristic parametric design his latest "Collectable Curiosities" collection of lifestyle objects continues to provokes the mundane.
We spoke to Tarek about his approach to design and inspiration behind his collection that is now available at our online store!

 

Do you remember the moment that design sparked your interest?
I was always that person that used to notice all the details that nobody else used to notice. Design runs in the family, I've always had an eye for detail.

 

What drew you to architecture, urban planning and product/furniture design?
I was always uncomfortable in the spaces that I lived in. I thought that the space and environment affects the person we become. So I started working on becoming a better person by changing everything around me.

 

Could you talk us through "Collectable Curiosities" and the concept behind the collection?
It's my take on mundane objects. Small things that might affect your day goes. Tools that will make you enjoy simple experiences. For instance,'My Ashtray' has been designed around a moment, where the user gets to enjoy a lone reflective smoke.

 

How do you usually approach your design process?
Seduction. A product needs to seduce the senses and leave the user with a greater experience than what they've had with other similar products.

 

Where do you usually look for inspiration?
I'd say fried chicken and champagne but then you'd know I'm lying.. I'm inspired by the mundane, the little nothings.

 

How would you describe your work in 3 words?
To steal a line from Mies van der Rohe: Less is More

 

You've been living and working between Sydney and Beirut. Has this influenced or impacted your work and design?
​Not really. I travel a lot generally for work and exhibitions so I'm inspired by other cities as much as I'm inspired by Sydney and Beirut.​

 

Butter.

Fried Chicken, Champagne, Sneakers, Hip Hop.