Designer Profile: Matt Gagnon

March 23, 2010


Matt Gagnon established his studio in 2002 to pursue a broad design practice. Trained as an architect at Cornell University, he has sought to integrate client based design services with speculative making. There is a symbiotic relationship between the work developed within the workshop of the studio and the services we provide for clients. The limited editions produced by the studio provide an intimate understanding of material properties and fabrication methods, grounding a project’s conceptual interest in practical experience. Regardless of the project scope, scale or type, the studio is careful to develop the experiential as well as the programmatic requirements of a project, with a goal to produce work that transcends function and exceeds expectations, while considering the economical and environmental costs.

Matt has worked with a variety of companies such as Gehry Partners, Meyer & Gifford Architects, Gaetano Pesce and has done projects for M&C Saatchi, Ogilvy+Mather, W Resort (Maldives), Fritz Welch, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (Seattle) and Ann Taylor, just to name a few.

Matt has also taken part in various lectures, discussions and has been a visiting designer at Savannah College of Art and Design. More recently, Matt has been involved with several group shows such as The Drop, NY Local and Threaded in New York and Brooklyn (where he is based).

Contemporist: What is the best thing about being a designer?
Matt Gagnon: The best thing about being a designer is the back and forth between the prosaic and the poetic that ultimately grounds an idea and allows other people to engage with and use the final outcome.

Contemporist: What is the worst thing about being a designer?
Matt Gagnon: The most challenging thing about design right now is calibrating the desire to create with concerns for sustainability.

Contemporist: What or who are your major influences?
Matt Gagnon: I am inspired by art and performance as well as by other designers and architects. Some names – Pina Bausch, Noguchi, Tim Hawkinson, Ernesto Neto, Herzog and de Meuron, Zumthor, Candela

Contemporist: How do you describe your style?
Matt Gagnon: I am not sure. My work comes out of an interest in how things are constructed and used, more than an aesthetic pursuit.

Visit Matt Gagnon’s website – here.