Raphael Fournier and Martin Endrizzi

FRANCE (1981) ARGENTINA (1977)
Architect and designer Raphael Fournier knew by age 15 that he would become an architect. He bought his first book on the topic and began what’s become an ongoing education in design history, saying now, “I thought knowledge of what had been done in the past was crucial to producing meaningful projects, and I still believe it.”

Originally from Finistère, a region in Brittany, France, known as the “end of the earth,” Fournier earned a bachelor’s in furniture and space design from L’Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués in Rennes, France, then a master’s in architecture from Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris. After several years working in locations as far-flung as China, Japan, Chilean Patagonia, Peru and Argentina, Fournier landed in Barcelona in 2015 and opened his own product and interior design studio, Atelier Raphael Fournier.

Industrial designer Martin Endrizzi grew up and lives in Mendoza, Argentina. With plenty of space to explore and little access to store-bought toys, he made his own entertainment. “I built houses in the trees in spring and summer,” Endrizzi says. “Winter destroyed them all, and I had to start again the next year, building them better each time.” That love of handwork led him to local workshops, where he connected with carpenters, metalworkers and draftsmen. “I got to know people with lots of patience and love for their work, and I slowly became a designer. Years later, when I discovered there was actually a university course for this job, I knew I had found my way.” Endrizzi received a bachelor’s in industrial design from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, followed by a master’s in design and management from Sapienza Università di Roma in Italy.

In 2007, he became a partner in Colbo ceramic factory, overseeing a refresh of what he calls “an icon of Argentinian design history” by introducing new technologies and updated designs to meet the contemporary demand for gourmet tableware. “Our work at Colbo is fundamentally one of craftsmen. Our hands are present throughout the process, and it is our decision to make that visible in the final product.”

Fournier and Endrizzi met in 2014 when Fournier, living and working in Chile at the time, needed help with a ceramic prototype. He contacted Colbo, and Endrizzi took on the project, which led to more work together. Their first collaboration was the Tipi Table (2016). After presenting the prototype at the Stockholm Furniture Fair, they founded studio Raphael Fournier + Martin Endrizzi, focusing on furniture and interior design, creative direction and what they term “scenography” – designing exhibits for furniture fairs.

Collaborating from separate continents, they communicate via drawings, written solutions and daily videoconferences. They’ve found that rather than being a limitation, geographical distance pushes them to be selective, stay focused and accept a slower pace.

The partnership now extends to Colbo, where Fournier contributes to European distribution, art direction and brand strategy and marketing. Looking ahead, Fournier and Endrizzi intend to create a body of work relevant to both the furniture they admire from the past and the way people live today.