Modern Contemporary Design


2 or (3…) Questions for Jean-Maxime Labrecque

MOCO LOCO is 10 years on the web this year, to mark the occasion this week we’re talking to designers from where we began, our home town of Montreal. Jean-Maxime Labrecque is an award winning architect, interior designer and graphic designer.


We first saw his design work, a series called Variable Hidden-Function Monoliths, at the From Quebec show at Wanted in New York in the Spring of 2013. We wanted to know more about the relationship between his spectacular Inhabitable sculpture we had previously posted and this new collection of minimalist furniture.


Sculpture habitable (Inhabitable sculpture)

MOCO: Your avant-garde apartment design Inhabitable sculpture led to the creation of the Monolithes table and chairs, how did that occur? How did you make the leap from that apartment design to table and chairs?

Labrecque: The Inhabitable sculpture was designed in 2007. Although the bulk of the project was completed that same year, it was not until 2011 that we completed the final parts of the corridor of arches ‘walk in’.

Inhabitable sculpture is literally an arrangement of monoliths. The lunch counter /storage /library that can be seen in the foreground in the photo (above), consists of a counter with stools that slide underneath and disappear into the counter. The backs of the modules above the counter are hinged storage doors (photo below). It is this monolith, this arrangement in this section of the Inhabitable sculpture that led to the Monolithes a fonctions dissimulees variables (MAFDV) collection. Each of the monoliths in this collection is based on the principle of chairs or storage modules which slide under tables to form monolithic objects.


Interesting. They’re like portable, smaller versions of your Inhabitable sculpture made for anyone’s home. Inhabitable sculpture is a magnificent example of minimalism, and like the table, surprisingly functional. How do you feel about the likelihood of seeing your Monolithes in spaces that will probably be, not so minimal? In other words, you controlled all of the space in Sculpture Habitable, but you won’t control where Monolithes end up, or will you?

What you remarked is one of the basic intentions for this collection of furniture, to allow potential Monolithes buyers to integrate a radically minimalist element in an environment that is not necessarily so.

Obviously, the environments in which I get control are themselves minimalist in their entirety.


Monolithes a fonctions dissimulees variables (Variable hidden-function monoliths)

In a space that isn’t minimal the Monolithes will look all that much more monolithic! Are there plans to take the series in other directions? Different kinds of objects?

Absolutely. Monolithes a fonctions dissimulees variables (MAFDV) are the culmination of nearly twenty years of thought, research and development, begun in my first years of studying architecture. It is more than a collection of furniture, but a principle for a series of objects that are currently in development. The unveiling of the next one is planned for this fall.


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