David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem, founders of the Beirut based design studio david/nicolas, met while studying architecture at Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts in Beirut. In 2010 they both embarked upon a masters in product design at Milan's Scuola Politecnica di Design before joining forces to set up an eponymous studio in 2011.
Describing their aesthetic as 'retrofuturistic' – a mash-up of influences from different periods in design history – the duo create timeless objects that are at once totally new yet reassuringly familiar.They like to think their divergent opinions are what give their designs a unique character - Moussallem is a detail obsessive while Raffoul is more of a freethinker. 'We have a different approach when starting to design, one is very narrative while the other starts sketching 'chunks' of objects, it just adds up to every product we ever created.'
The studio's breakout year came in 2014 thanks to a busy Milan Design Week that saw the duo launch the bespoke 'Artichoke' safe with Agresti for Wallpaper* Handmade and the luxurious 'Dualita' collection for Nina Yashar's Nilufar Gallery and were selected as part of the “3 breakout stars of the Milan design week 2014” by the New York Times. In addition they presented their first solo show in Beirut, 'Loulou/Hoda', at the city's Art Factum Gallery, and last but not least, at Maison & Objet they introduced the 'Orquestra' tableware collection for Vista Alegre – the studio's first industrial product which was awarder the “Red Dot Design Award” and the “Wallpaper* Award”. In 2015, the duo was selected by Wallpaper* Magazine in the POWER 200 in the “20 designers under 40”.
Portrait by Guillaume De Sardes