The Yin and Yang
With backgrounds in architecture, industrial design and jewellery-making, Gabriel Kakon and Scott Richler bring a multidisciplinary set of skills and style to the furniture and lighting world as Gabriel Scott. SCALE talks to the designer duo to know the aesthetics that make the brand covetable. By Priyal Sood
“Our inspiration comes from geometry, nature, and chemistry. We explore things from a material perspective or geometry. Gabriel Scott is interested in what more we can do with glass and how it can be combined with metal.”
Gabriel Kakon and Scott Richler
Scott Richler, one of the two behind the brand Gabriel Scott, describes the unique association of brothers-in-law as collaborative and a fine balance between masculine and feminine. He says, “Having worked in architecture, we both have a sense of a massive empowered scale, while my interest in jewellery design brings out the delicate side of our work.”
Who is Gabriel Kakon and Scott Richler? Can you tell us about your background?
Gabriel: I studied industrial design and then architecture in Montreal and went on to work in high-end residential architecture. Scott and I are brothers-in-law – he is married to my older sister.
We set up Gabriel Scott in 2012 and I’m based at our studio in Montreal which is home to our design and manufacturing processes. Scott’s a master in product development and also has a background in jewellery design. My expertise is in brand exposure and marketing. What we do is very collaborative.
Scott: I married Gabriel’s sister and together we started the fashion and jewellery brand, Jennifer Scott. But having studied architecture, I wanted to return to that and began designing custom pieces of furniture for clients. Joining forces with Gabriel was very organic – we were both drawn to the same industry and share the same aesthetic and interests. I’m now based in London where we recently opened our European flagship showroom in Mayfair.
How was the idea of your brand Gabriel Scott born? Tell us about this alliance.
Gabriel: Scott and I had both been working in residential architecture and would often choose to design furniture pieces to best fit certain projects. This soon became a full-time project that led to the start of Gabriel Scott. An early commission for a custom fixture followed and quickly inspired a full collection of various lighting items that range from pendants to wall sconces and desk lamps.
Scott: Having been exposed to similar references in aesthetics and design, along with our common architectural background, we had distinct compatibility from the get-go. We launched a collection at ICFF in New York which was risky, but fortunately, people loved the pieces and the price points. More shows led to further grown and we opened our New York showroom in 2014 in downtown Manhattan.
Can you walk us through a day at the GABRIEL SCOTT’s 30-thousand square-foot studio located in Montreal?
Gabriel: Our production studio works on a standard 9-5 schedule, but more often than not our studio team will roll in early to start the day or stay in late to work on their personal projects. I don’t really have a typical day or schedule. Scott and I catch up regularly on the phone or email and are constantly looking at new opportunities to grow the brand.
Our studio is wide open – we enjoy a very transparent and collaborative work environment. We all contribute towards a common energy and pace of productivity and morale. Music plays loud, lengthy conversations are had about 20 feet away from another, and deliverymen are well received about every 30 minutes throughout the day.
Scott: I don’t have a typical day either. I will either be meeting with clients or working on our new European projects such as the collaborations for Salone in Milan. I also spend quite a bit of time at our new Mayfair showroom.
How would you describe your furniture and lighting style?
Scott: Our inspiration comes from geometry, nature, and chemistry. I explore things from a material perspective or geometry. I’m interested in what more we can do with glass and how it can be combined with metal. Right now, it’s about very simple fixtures and stripping it back. Paying attention to good design and high craftsmanship. My interest in jewellery brings out the delicate side of our work.
Gabriel Scott has collaborated with renowned brands like Cartier and Bar Basso. Can you tell us about your experience?
Scott: To celebrate Bar Basso in Milan’s 51st birthday, we created a tailored-made light installation with our Welles Glass Long Chandelier. Working closely with bar owner Maurizio Stocchetto, we decided to reference the famous Italian Negroni cocktail, using Campari-coloured glass for a glass fixture which sits in the window of the Bar.
The installation hangs as an almost revolutionary act, as it is the first time, since 1967, that new elements have been added to the bar’s interior.
Do you have any upcoming projects/projects we can keep an eye out for?
Scott: Our expansion into the UK and Europe allows us to further cement our relationships with existing clients on this side of the world and allow for closer collaboration within the design community here. From London, we can access a lot of the main design and specification companies and it also provides great links to the market in the Middle East and elsewhere in Europe.
We are working with Triode in Paris on a special lighting fixture for PAD Paris (31 March – 2 April). And then for Salone in Milan in April, we have a number of projects underway, one of which is a collaboration with Salviati glass, one of the most prestigious glass manufacturers in Venice. We are creating a lighting installation using our Luna series and exploring the distinctive colors and techniques of Murano glass. It will embody the timeless Venetian tradition and making techniques in a very contemporary and distinctive Gabriel Scott way.
Gabriel: As we grow our business and move into a larger production facility to accommodate and support our growing team of 50+ people, we have been working tirelessly to ensure a seamless client experience.
From access to showroom presentations, to complete sample kits, as well as customized drawings, complete with timely delivery on all orders – we have been focused on providing an impeccable experience from start to finish and will continue to do so.