Quirky touch

Paris-based designer Arik Levy has tried his hand at virtually every design discipline

Success in the UK doesn’t worry Levy. ‘Every time I think something will work in a certain country, it doesn’t, and the reverse,’ he says. ‘With fashion, it’s very clear when something is British, or French, German or Italian. But with design, no,’ he says.

At last month’s Milan Furniture Fair, he had 15 products on show with various manufacturers, Ligne Roset and Desalto to name a few, and ‘lots of meetings’, the follow-ups from which are keeping him busy. One of his best-known pieces of product design is Rocks, an angular, sculptural piece with a mirrored surface. It’s designed to directly reflect the environment it’s in, and is being included in his forthcoming exhibition in Istanbul, entitled Feel Before You See.

You sense his product and furniture design, while experimental, forms the core of Levy’s designer being, and that his graphic design projects are smaller, more personal works. But it’s his set design work (he’s worked with theatre companies in Sweden, Holland, Israel, Switzerland, Finland and Belgium) that provokes the most excitement. ‘I love it, everything happens in the theatre – the whole of life,’ he says. ‘I love creating an experience for audiences, designing a new world – a cellar, a forest, a room. I have a very technical approach to things, I understand the language of engineers, but I love the emotion of design. It’s like baking cakes: there’s an alchemy, a magic involved.’

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