Charlotte Barbeau Desjardins and Leila Desrosiers’ Montreal-based object and furniture design studio, barbeau desrosiers, stands behind what it makes. Estimating the life expectancy of their collectibles, Desrosiers suggests, “It’s a piece that is probably going to last for hundreds of years.” The items we collectively consider are from Série 6000: a bench (BS6000), a stool (TS6000), and a table (CS6000). The collection is marked by its stark extruded-aluminum construction, which is more often used, Barbeau Desjardins says, “to build big bridges and buildings. It’s more structural and not often used for furniture.”
At the outset, most items were made from scrap metal salvaged from industrial sites, but as the studio has received more commissions, the UQAM School of Design graduates have begun using new aluminum for their designs. The duo likes working with recycled material, but using new metal does not substantially change the environmental impact and cuts precious hours off an unwieldly production process.
“We complement each other really, really well,” Barbeau Desjardins figures, noting she’s on the “more technical side of things,” while Desrosiers is more cognizant of trends. “I follow Leila blindly for that, and she’s the one who sets the tone.” Hence the striking colours of the overtly industrial Série 6000 pieces, a counterpoint to the technical complexity, efficiency, and aesthetic brutality of the aluminum construction. The yin-yang relationship between the objects’ precision-cut aluminum and playful, vibrant anodized colours reflects their makers’ fusion of styles—which culminates in furniture beautiful enough to keep for a hundred years, at least.