French multidisciplinarian Jean-Marie Massaud was born near Toulouse, France, in 1966. His visionary work spans architecture and the full spectrum of object design—from bespoke furniture and industrial products, to, more recently, futuristic installations like a helium-filled airship hotel.
Educated at the renowned Les Ateliers École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle in Paris (along with fellow alums Cédric Ragot, Philippe Malouin, Nina Tolstrup, Arik Levy, among others), Massaud moved to Asia after his 1990 graduation to collaborate with Yamaha Offshore on a submarine design. Upon his return to Paris, he enjoyed a four-year intensive partnership with his former Les Ateliers professor Marc Berthier, an industrial products maestro. In 1996, he laid the foundation for his own studio, which officially launched in partnership with architect-turned-product-designer Daniel Pouhezet in 2000 as Studio Massaud.
Studio Massaud’s macro-architectural projects include the Tanabé House in Fukuoka (2000) and the volcano-shaped Estadio Akron for the Chivas football club in Guadlajara. Massaud has created interiors for Sephora, Poltrona Frau, and B&B Italia / C&B Italia; his product design clients include Paloma Picasso, Cacherel, Air France, Kartell, Axor, and Daum, among others. He’s also worked on branding for Lancôme; B&B Italia, Wastberg, and Foscarini.
Massaud designed his first furniture pieces—the sculptural Horizontal Chair (1998), exhibited in January 1999 at the Museé des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and the architectonic Chuck Rocking Chair (2000), based in steel and upholstered in polyurethane foam—for the Tokyo furniture label E&Y. In 2001, he collaborated with Cappellini (at Giulio Cappellini's behest) to produce his polished fiberglass InOut Sofa (2001). His post-Cappellini CV includes work for Cassina (Aspen Sofa and Auckland Armchair, both 2005), Arper (Fred H74 Table, 2007), Dedon (Dean Slingchairs, 2016), Emu (Heaven Seating, 2007), Poltrona Frau (Archibald Armchair, 2009, and Gran Torino collection, 2013), B&B Italia (Seven Table, 2008), and various designers for Poliform.
Massaud has said he draws design inspiration from the thoughtful elegance of Charles & Ray Eames, the eclecticism of Philippe Starck and Castiglioni Brothers, the sharpness of Antonio Citterio, and the expansive creativity of Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison. His work has received several honors, such as the Créateur de l’Année at the Paris Salon du Mueble (2007, 2009), the Wallpaper Design Award (2014), and the Interior Innovation Award (2015), and can be found in the design collections of major international museums, from the Musée National d'Art Moderne de Paris, to the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, The Chicago Athenaeum, The Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), and the Musée des arts Décoratifs (Paris).