There’s nothing accidental or arbitrary about the work of architect Lee Mindel. Describing his new collection of furnishings for Ralph Pucci International, the erudite AD100 Hall of Famer traces an elaborate web of influences and inspirations, both legendary and arcane: Jean-Michel Frank, Georges Jouve, Pol Chambost, Serge Roche, Isamu Noguchi, Henry Moore, Vallauris, Gustavsberg. “You look, you study, but you never copy. The point of this or any design exercise is to make something new, relevant, beautiful,” Mindel professes. Working alongside Pucci’s own master sculptor, Michael Evert, Mindel spent months during the pandemic experimenting in the company’s studio in Manhattan, developing a design language attuned to the possibilities of Pucci’s proprietary Plasterglass material. “You have to ask the material what it wants to be in terms of form, structure, and finish,” he avers. “Because the pieces are manufactured right here in the Pucci workshop, you also have to factor in the skills of the workers, which are extraordinary.”
Beginning with a single sconce, Mindel created the Veritas collection with 10 pieces of furniture and lighting at once brawny, elegant, and voluptuous. Dexterity of usage was built into the process—the Santorini console can be flipped upside down to become a table, and the circular light, Paris Plafonnier, can be mounted on the ceiling or wall or configured as a mirror. Hints of color emerge in the dreamy back-painted glass tops of the round Giverny cocktail tables and in the painted shades of the subtly anthropomorphic Valeureuse Mother and Daughter table lamps. In addition to Plasterglass, three of the designs—Santorini, Paris Plafonnier, and the Rialto bench—will be offered in bronze in a limited edition of 12.
“Lee and I have been talking about collaborating for years, and everything finally fell into place,” says company patriarch Ralph Pucci. “This collection is true to Lee, true to the material, and true to Pucci. It feels just right for the moment we’re in right now.” ralphpucci.com