For all of these, I have invited Carol Egan to speak in my program ‘Collecting Design‘ at the Center for Architecture/AIA, and while the entire program has moved to the web following COVID-19, she was able to speak this morning from her home. The talk focused on the two worlds of her practice: interiors and furniture. As she is relatively private and rarely speaks in public, it was a rare opportunity to hear the voice and vision behind Carol Egan’s interiors and furniture.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, she has graduated from the remarkable program of Interior Design at Parsons. In her interiors, vintage pieces by French visionary Pierre Paulin live next to a cork table by Jasper Morrison; space-age objects are mixed with digital-age contemporary works; Gabriella Crespi with Pierre Jeanneret; Michel Boyer with Gino Sarfatti; French with Italian; wood with clay; natural with synthetic. Because under her guidance these surprising combinations look natural, effortless. They look ‘at home.’
With a vast experience in the world of objects, Egan had launched her first pieces furniture ten years ago; they were an immediate success. In fact, I don;s know anyone who doesn’t want to live with her furntiure, whether they live with antiques, mid-century, or contemporary. Her pieces look timeless. Looking back and forward, her language is rooted in history and her production methods in traditional craftsmanship along with 3D modeling software. Her furniture resulted from a deep understanding in form and structure, and her signature language was quickly defined. In January, her gallery Maison Gerard presented the first retrospective of her furniture at Elizabeth Collective in New York.
Carol Egan’s spaces are like great musical compositions. They are vocal, structured, lyrical, and poetic. They make you feel and she is the composer. Thank you, Carol Egan, for contributing to the program ‘Collecting Design: History, Collections, Highlights,’ and for help shaping of design culture for the 21st century.
Photos of interiors courtesy Carol Egan; photos of furniture courtesy Maison Gerard.