Arab Dolls: Maya, Zeina, Racha and Yara, handmade in brass; photo © Carlo Massoud
Autopsy; handmade casting bronze and ceramics; photo © Carlo Massoud
Arab Dolls: Maya, Zeina, Racha and Yara, handmade in lacquered wood; photo © Tarek Moukadem
Aladdin I by Carlo Massoud; photo © Tarek Moukadem
Carlo Massoud; photo courtesy of the designer
Lebanese product and interior designer Carlo Massoud was born in Beirut in 1984. He studied at the Académie Libanaise Des Beaux Arts (ALBA) in Beirut, earning a Master’s degree in industrial design in 2008. That same year, he collaborated on a variety of projects with Lebanese designer Karen Chekerdijian in Beirut. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in luxury and craftsmanship from École cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL) in Switzerland in 2010. While there, he had the fortune to work under the guidance of international designers such as Ronan Bouroullec, Barber Osgerby, Pierre Charpin, and Umberto and Fernando Campana. From 2011 to 2013, Massoud worked for architect Nasser Nakib in New York, specializing in high-end residential projects. In 2013, he established his eponymous studio in Beirut.
Massoud’s designs are consistently inspired by his political or cultural critiques, which he transforms into useful—and frequently thought-provoking—objects. Projects range from tableware and packaging to exhibition stands, bespoke furniture, and interior spaces. According to the designer, “Nowadays, to create an object of desire, you need: A) a good story B) a combination of technology and craftsmanship C) precious materials and D) to experiment and push the boundaries of materials.”
Notable projects include The Autopsy Project, a 2015 collaboration between Massoud and his sister, ceramicist Mary-Lynn Massoud, as well as Otto Du Plessis of Bronze Age Foundry and Andile Dyalvane of Imiso of Cape Town, South Africa. Inspired by their research into the history of fertility dolls in various African tribes, the resulting six unique tables and stools explore the concept of fecundity, symbolized by surface wounds and scars, and realized in casted bronze with bespoke colored oxidations and ceramics. Meanwhile, Massoud’s 2013 Aladdin lamp series combines the technologies of 3-D printing and LEDs with traditional craftsmanship, and allows one to control the intensity of light with his or her hand.
Massoud’s work has been exhibited at numerous international design and art fairs, including, but not limited to: Art Factum Gallery (Beirut, 2014), Carwan Gallery (Beirut Design Week, 2014), Southern Guild (Cape Town, 2015), The Armory Show (New York, 2015), and Skoufa Gallery (Mykonos, 20150).