“Make it Happen” represents the joint pay-off of the Municipality of Rotterdam and apart from the brand positioning for the city, “Rotterdam. Make It Happen.” highlights what the city and residents stand for: pushing boundaries. Rotterdam, NL is a city that bustles with energy, with a world port that attracts and connects. There, Laurids Gallée runs his studio exploring the possibilities of combining traditional techniques with modern materials and manufacturing processes. This editorial, documented by Simone Lorusso, is the second episode of the series “Rotterdam. Make It Happen”, a collection of articles that unveils the relationship between the city and a selection of designers. It’s the turn of Laurids Gallée, an Austrian creator that started his practice in Rotterdam in 2017. Constantly exploring new ranges of materials and techniques, Gallée’s stands out in the culture of resin, which is often expressed in his collections and perfectly fits in a city that has been recently named the Resin Capital of Design.
FILIPPO FINO: Tell us more about your first approach to the city: Rotterdammers like to get things done, focus on results, and without making a fuss, did this influence you since your first experiences?
LAURIDS GALLEE: Totally. This is the reason why I’m in Rotterdam. There is an incredible work ethic and drive that is present in the creative scene of the city. You really get the feeling that everything is possible. The same cannot be said for Vienna, where I come from.
FF: You’ve been in Rotterdam for five years and you are now fully entrenched in the design community of the city. Is Rotterdam really a place where the Make it Happen mentality can be seen and felt?
LG: In your first question you pointed out that “Rotterdammers like to get things done, focus on results, and without making a fuss”. I think you have summed it up perfectly. There is a large amount of very talented designers, makers, architects and artists in the city. However there is a strange lack of shows or events focusing on the city’s world class design community. This is definitely something that could be improved upon: it would help strengthen the community and perhaps showcase some fresh faces that have been invisibly working in the background for some time.
FF: Your understanding of the resin makes your works appear simpler than they are. Do you feel anything can be made out of this material?
LG: Working with resin allows for total creative control. Anything, from shape, color, translucency, texture and surface finish can be altered according to one’s desires. That’s really what makes it so interesting to me. Since it is a synthetic material I don’t think just anything should be made of this material. The materials must be treated like gold, the design must be certain, and it should only be produced once or in a very limited amount. If done well, you end up with a beautiful and unique piece that should last for many hundred years.
FF: You grew up in a family of artists and you’ve been exposed to a wide range of creative fields from an early age. When did you start being fascinated by art and design?
LG: My parents brought me to museums and art shows from a very young age on. However I remember that I found most of these happenings incredibly boring and I kind of rejected artistic practices to some extent for quite a long time. An appreciation for art and creative work as a whole only came in the later half of my teens. And it was only when I was 21, studying anthropology at the university of Vienna, when it eventually dawned on me that I wasn’t going to escape a life without some sort of serious creative output. And from that point on it was actually really easy for me to maneuver my way through this world. I think it came naturally to me because I passively picked up an eye or sensitivity, through growing up surrounded by artists.
FF: Rotterdam. Make it happen. There is no doubt that you are making this happen. Within five years, what fields do you see your practice exploring?
LG: My creative practice is definitely not confined to the world of furniture. So far this has been a good framework to get things going and learn a lot in the process. But I would love to work more on installations of any type and scale and could see myself venturing in this direction. I could also imagine making more wall pieces without any function, focusing even more on drawing and painting. But I don’t really stress about this too much right now to be honest. I prefer to take it project by project and I trust that this ship will steer itself in the right direction.