Nine Questions with Matthias Pliessnig

We had the opportunity to ask Matthias Pliessnig some questions about his work as a designer.


How did you learn to do what you do?

I earned a BFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. There, I learned how to properly work with wood as a material and where I could begin pushing the characteristics of wood. Later, I built a boat which added a vast array of new skills to my library. At the time, I was also experimenting with 3D modeling as a sketching tool. Combining boat building techniques, furniture techniques, and 3D modeling, allowed me to make forms I could not have previously imagined.



Did you start making your pieces with the intention of making this your full time job or was it just a hobby?

After graduating from RISD, I knew that I was destined to be a starving designer due to my own arrogance and passion. It quickly became my life and it never was a hobby. As a student, I was immersed in a world that took over every aspect of every day.



Is your work more furniture or sculpture?


What has been your largest project to date?

I’ve completed a series of projects that are of equal scale for corporate lobbies across the United States. In the coming year, the projects are stretching to Europe and the Middle East.



Do you work by yourself or do you have assistants or employees that help?

I normally have at least one other person working with me. However, I mostly work alone.

What would be your dream commission?




Who is your typical client and how do they find out about you?

Today, I my typical clients are architects and interior designers. They normally find out about me through blogs and/or magazine publications. Sometimes, it’s simply “word of mouth”.



How long does it take you to make your average piece?

The large scale pieces take between 3-4 months to complete. I try to have two or more pieces under construction simultaneously. Three pieces take about the same amount of time as one.



What is the furthest place you have ever sold your work?

Paris, France


Designer: Matthias Pliessnig

Photography: Matthias Pliessnig, Gene Young, Smithsonian American Art Museum