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Adrien Messié, the equation between design and craftsmanship

Keeping it simple, there is nothing more complicated. Adrien Messié knows something about it. His entire career as a designer, from the direction of licenses and partnerships at Studio Andrée Putman to the creation of furniture, through the DA of Le Gramme, which he co-founded, without forgetting the events that he edits via the H A i K U agency, has been dedicated to the search for this naked perfection.

Adrien Messié’s universe can be delicate and sensitive, rigorous and precise or very electrifying. In a maze of curves, lines, sequences, fractals and tangents that he handles on a nano scale, for his men’s jewelry, or in XXL format, for his Villers project (a table weighing several hundred kilos made of lava stone and terracotta and printed in 3D, designed to accommodate up to 14 guests), his inner world is full of surprises. We don’t necessarily see it, but what we can guess through the fruit of his research is that Adrien Messié is very sensitive to the magic of numbers. That he vibrates in front of the forces of nature which in a perfect cosmic order give a sense to beauty, a coherence. ” An evidence” he prefers to say.

Custom made table Villers, designed by Adrien Messié and realized in collaboration with the ceramic artist Maxence de Bagneux © Emmanuel Durand

Creative proximity


Trained in the creative industries and the world of luxury, Adrien Messié began his creative career with a great name in design, Andrée Putman. He joined his agency in 2004. He likes to say that he “infused” there… as much as he was enriched by the proximity of renowned (future) creatives “as the agency was a real incubator” he insists. Élise Fouin, Rodolphe Parente, Antoine Simonin, Bertrand Thibouville Nicolas Dorval Bory or Maximilien Jencquel were his colleagues. He went from being a trainee to Director of Publishing and Licensing. He has developed collaborations with the biggest international brands and editors, including collections with Christofle, Emeco, Nespresso, La Forge de Laguiole and Fermob.



His natural tropism towards mathematics was not yet revealed when he imagined the concept Le Gramme in 2012. And yet. This project, whose reason is the creation of wearable or functional objects declined from elementary forms in precious metals – gold 750 or silver 925 – and named by their weight in grams, seems to come out of a scientist’s brain.

Smooth ribbons bracelets 7g - 15g - 21g - 33g and 41g in Silver 925 - Black Silver 925 and Yellow Gold 750 on Le Gramme display stands inspired by the Beauchêne's sparkles, in White Corian and Black Marquina marble © Victoire Le Tarnec

When he tells us about his genesis, we enter the register of emotion. “My sister had brought me back from a trip a small silver ribbon, ultra simple, pure and without embellishment. I looked in vain for “brothers” to wear it “as a brotherhood” on my wrist, like a kind of monad. I decided to have it made in France by a small craftsman whose discourse was similar to that of an alchemist… When it came time to pay for the three prototypes, the craftsman explained to me that there were two costs to be added up: the time required to make the watch and the weight of the “useful” material for the making of each piece,” he recalls. For ease of use, each prototype is named according to its weight in grams. 7, 15 and 21, then 33 and 41 are the small names of the first 5 pieces of jewelry and Grammes their family name. Soon it will be The Gram.

Cable bracelet clasp created in 2018, fashioned entirely from the same material (750 yellow gold), right down to the mounting screw (star-shaped) inside © Le Gramme

Useful fundamentals


Prototypes on his wrist, the name in mind, Adrien Messié is joined by Erwan Le Louër. The one who had created the ethical jewelry brand Jem (and became the artistic director of Le Gramme since the withdrawal of Adrien Messié from operations in 2019), allows him to “synthesize the useful fundamentals” and “co-found a successful brand in 4 months”. For 7 years, Adrien Messié directs the entire creation, from the product to the presentation universe. From Dover Street Market in London to Colette, the temple of fashion hype in Paris until its closure in 2017, all the most prestigious outlets, in search of modern, contemporary and design jewelry brands, refer to Le Gramme collections.

Accumulation of Le Gramme bracelets - 7g - 15g - 21g and 33g smooth ribbons in 925 silver © Benoit Linéro
Le Gramme Exhibition "In the Ice", 2018 - Accumulation of 33g perforated - 41g smooth brushed bracelets - 9g Cable bracelet and 21g smooth polished ribbon in 925 Silver © Victoire Le Tarnec



At the same time, he co-founded in 2013 with his friend and associate Nadir Sayah, the agency H A ï K U. She works as a global artistic director for clubs. As always with Adrien Messié, even when it comes to moments and places to let go, everything is square, rigorous… mathematical. Inaugurated last September, their latest big project concerns the underground techno club Carbone.

Club Carbone © H A ï K U
Club Carbone © H A ï K U

The agency produces monthly eponymous evenings of electronic music H A ï K U, inviting artists and DJs, with international influence such as Dixon, Jennifer Cardini, Bedouin, Âme, Adriatique, &Me, Adam Port, Rampa… “We regularly collaborate with leading music labels such as Keinmusik by producing their own events. The latest one, “Lost In A Moment” (concept of the German label Innervisions) took place on July 10th, during the day, on the National Domain of Saint-Germain-en-Laye with 4000 people and a view on the whole Paris “.

Golden number


Finally, in his latest creation for Théorème Editions, since March 2022, Adrien Messié’s mathematical poetry is obvious. For this French publishing house created by David Giroire and Jérôme Bazzocchi, he uses crackled glazed ceramics and lacquered wood, and is inspired by the Fibonacci curve, this sequence of numbers linked to the golden number, which he declines in two first functions: a dining table on 3 legs as well as a small versatile piece of furniture; a stool / small piece of sofa. New colors and finishes are coming out regularly, other variations are planned for 2023 and the price, less than 800 euros, makes a ceramic table made in France accessible.

Fibonacci stools, inspired by the Fibonacci curve, glazed ceramic and lacquered wood, Théorème Editions, 2022 © Valentino Barbieri
Fibonacci table, inspired by the Fibonacci curve, glazed ceramic and lacquered wood, Théorème Editions, 2022 © Valentino Barbieri

This Fibonacci range is a derivative of the Villers project. Made to order for a private couple in Normandy in 2021, the convivial table (260 x 160 cm) had to have a shape that could accommodate large tables “but also one-on-one without being far away”. In the shape of a pick for the layman but according to the Fibonacci curve for the aesthetes, the top is made of Volvic lava stone (characterized by its very tight pores). The visible waves on the surface show the “time” it took nature to create this material that is pleasant to the touch. Maxence De Bagneux, a multidisciplinary artist and ceramic craftsman, created the base. These 2 XXL feet in red sandstone (which echo the red brick structure of the house – former wash house) printed in 3D, take up the same curve but “extruded”, divided and then moved away to obtain the necessary stability. The whole was printed and fired at the Pôle Céramique Normandie. “It was a real adventure considering the drying time of the pieces before firing, the need to find a large capacity oven, and the numerous manipulations”, says Adrien Messié, not a little proud to have participated in a great first.

The Fibonacci sequence? Could jewelry brands awaken Adrien’s desire to create objects to be worn close up? Do furniture brands need a fresh, mathematical eye to rethink modern comfort? In any case, a Portuguese publishing house is about to launch, in early 2023, with an art deco object designed by Adrien Messié.

Isabelle Manzoni