Pierre De Valck
Pierre De Valck (1991), born in Brussels, is a Ghent-based designer with a childhood fascination for archeology and collecting historical artefacts. His furniture attempts to harness the power of ancient geological processes in a contemporary bodice. Modern antiquities that allow the rediscovery of our ancestral past. The first series of modern antiquities is called "pieces with stone" and represents a series of furniture manually encrusted with precious stones and crystals of exceptional historical value. By leaving the minerals untouched, the mere functional is transcended, rendering the pieces both unique and authentic testimonies of our collective memory. From the hills of the Ardens to the mines of Afghanistan - rediscover ancient stories recollecting millions of years of wisdom, as told by these raw mineral jewels.
Pierre's studio shot by Gladys
For his "modern antiques", Pierre De Valck is inspired by what was done before, but with a beautiful modernity.
At the time, the inlay of precious stones in certain pieces of furniture was common. Times change, interiors evolve, but craftsmanship always makes it possible to create pieces designed to last.
From past to present.
Your style is unique. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
In general, I am inspired by something other than design. My goal is of course to make pieces that I hope will stand the test of time and learn something about us as a species. Like a mirror but without the reflection. The reflection, we feel it internally. My studio is filled with artifacts that come from different cultures or time periods. I am always amazed to see that they are sometimes preserved for more than a thousand years. It transcends the current “zeitgeist”.
Through the stones, nature is omnipresent. Is there a need today to go back to basics?
Over the past hundred years there has been a massive increase in productivity, growth and secularization in the West. Over the past 20 years, we have entered the age of hyperconnectivity. We are looking for a new balance. I try to capture this research in my pieces. The interplay of million-year-old stones provides a stark contrast to aluminum, a material discovered 200 years ago. On our timeline, it is very recent.
Do you believe in the power of stones?
I think we all share the same past, regardless of race, gender, religion or culture. This is what Carl Jung calls the collective unconscious. Our connection with the stones is omnipresent throughout history and is so deeply rooted in us that we cannot escape it.
Is symbolism essential in decoration?
I don't design by drawing or trying to highlight a "smart" detail. I design with historical references and symbolism is an integral part of it. It is a language that we have unfortunately lost, yet we are constantly creating new symbols. Some are interested in symbolism in my work. For others it's purely aesthetic. I think it's not just one or the other.
What would your dream interior look like?
My favorite interior might be the storeroom of a natural history museum, with my coins tucked away among other artifacts. They would preferably be in their case. And my polished red bronze piece could float in a spaceship to Mars, the red planet. You see I'm not picky (laughs).
Do Belgian creators export well abroad?
Historically, Belgium was mainly export-oriented and today the port of Antwerp is an important international port. We are the product of a mixture of various influences. Let's say most of my collectors are international.
Can you tell us about the projects you are currently working on?
I have the chance to arouse the interest of very different people. One day, I make a piece for a Chinese furniture collector who recognizes, in a very contemporary version, the spirit of traditional wedding cabinets. Today, I am working on pieces that will serve as the set for an international science fiction TV series whose filming begins in a few months. Perhaps the stones federate!