Profile: Xavier Lust

Xavier Lust contorts metal and plastic into curvaceous shapes to produce his creations, then has the humility to describe his work as ‘metal origami’. Max Fraser meets the colossus of Belgian furniture

Driade Extra Chair

Lust received an interior design training from the Instituut Sint-Lucas in Brussels and set up his own studio after graduating in 1992. He spent much of the decade developing his own range of furniture designs in his workshop, while also undertaking projects for shops, offices, bars, restaurants and private interiors. Working with more external manufacturers over the past few years has given rise to some understandable frustrations. ‘Having to implement a project right down to the minutest detail can be particularly annoying, as can having to accept modifications at the last minute and keeping to a tight production schedule. Industry and I do not always share the same notions about what constitutes perfection,’ he says.

This isn’t true of his latest client Moroso, which held back from presenting his newest design, the Blow Up table and chair, in Milan because the quality of the prototype didn’t quite meet its standards. As frustrating as it is to miss the opportunity to present at Milan, Lust ultimately appreciates that every detail must be right before something is unveiled to the public. This time round, he has applied his skill to acrylic sheet, which is formed into a table with accompanying stools in his signature style. Moroso is still working on putting the design into production.

Indeed, while Lust is capable of putting his hand to different scale products of varying materials, there is an undercurrent aesthetic to all of his work that is characterised by the tension of structural defiance combined with the confidence of human intervention. I ask him how he would describe his design approach. He replies, ‘Keeping simple things simple and making the complex possible.’

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