Sébastien Caporusso: The Grace of Beautiful Materials
With his furniture and lighting, mixing noble materials, organic shapes and unusual lines, Caporusso excels in producing objects of otherworldly beauty.
Noblesse Oblige, the furniture and fixtures projects of Sébastien Caporusso bring together different materials. Cultivating an enlightened eclecticism, he plays with poetic combinations, that are ingenuously random in an elegant and timeless structure. The art and architecture of the 30s, 40s and 50s are his inspiration, while his Italian roots have him shifting back and forth between Brussels, where he lives, and the call of the South.
TLmag: You give the impression of cultivating an understated and rather solitary territory that is unique to you. What has been your career path, and what is your current philosophy as an interior designer?
Sébastien Caporusso (SC): I received my training through my many travels and internships, especially in Japan. My philosophy is a precise and rigorous style that, although it invokes the seniors who influenced me, is yet very personal, and is revealed bit by bit by my projects. I love to design, work and transform materials. Evolve a material by modifying its DNA and binding it to other materials. Through these mixtures, I bring intimacy to my designs.
TLmag: Designing rather eclectic furniture and luminaires seems to take up a large part of your time. Is this a way to take a somewhat artistic pause for breath, in symbiosis with your love for art?
SC: All of the meetings that take place at my worksites certainly give me the desire to create. Designing furniture goes hand in hand with the interiors I shape every day. I try to create a complete project with many elements that are designed and created uniquely for my client. Art is a great source of inspiration, especially the works of Jean Arp,Walter De Maria and Carlo Scarpa.
TLmag: If you could design your ideal house, what would it look like?
SC: I can imagine a wide staircase of irregular stones, and a commanding view of the sea. A cabin set on a rock, overgrown with vegetation. No break between the inside and the outside. On the floor, mosaics in the style of Roberto Burle Marx. Open spaces that connect with each other. The house is one with its environment. Inside, my furniture, and Brazilian Jorge Ben’s music.
TLmag:What are your preferred materials when designing living objects or that live around you? Do your Italian culture and identity serve as your guides?
SC: I use noble materials in my work, but never too ostentatious, that fit into the spaces I am redesigning or when I am embellishing the furniture I have designed. The wear of the walls of a Venetian palazzo inspires me, as does a sheet of oxidized bronze. I like materials with a history, a past, that have lived, like the cobblestoned sidewalks of Rio or the Engawa planks in Kyoto. At every moment, it is about natural materials, soft colours and minerals, which give life to my projects.
TLmag: By nature, you are very close to the master craftsmen with whom you spend so much time. Is that where you find this joy of creation? Through enhancing the nobility of a material and of your expertise?
SC: I wish to breathe new life into the contemporary design profession, so I surround myself with craftsmen in order to find ideas for a collection. This is critical to me, and the manufacturing process is very important. I constantly aspire to enhance the processing and quality of natural materials in the direction of minerality and tactility.
Cover Photo: Sebastién Caporusso by Pablo Cepeda.