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Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli Courtesy Galerie Emm
Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli Courtesy Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris & Miami

Pharrell Williams' Tank Furniture

US rapper and producer takes on furniture design in chair collaboration with the Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery in Paris

When super producer and big time rapper Pharrell Williams suddenly got an urge to design furniture, there was no stopping him. Thanks to his friendship with Parisian gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin, Williams has been able to see his design ambitions come true. The chairs presented at the Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery are actually Williams' second batch. They were preceded by a chair inspired by Love and a sculpture in collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. This time around, Williams looked towards War for inspiration. Dazed Digital spoke to the multi-talented creative....

Dazed Digital: Is the War theme a natural progression on from Love, which was the theme for your last furniture project, or were you just influenced by the state of the world we live in?
Pharrell Williams: I don't think that it's a natural progression, the series is called Perspective and they were both based on the way I felt at the moment I designed them. My inspiration and ideas are often based on curiosity stemming from things that I don't know about, or things I like to explore.

DD: Is it an 'angry' chair then? 
Pharrell Williams: No, not at all. I'm not angry about anything. The Tank Chair follows the first design concept of me putting myself in someone else's shoes to understand what and how they are feeling. Here I focused on young men and women who join the military and put themselves in a position that can not be reversed, and end up in wars far from home, often not understanding why. The chairs are also in baby colours which clearly steers away from anger on purpose.

DD: How does the War theme show itself in the chair? 
Pharrell Williams: Hmmm, the tank tracks?

DD: Are you moving on to other interior design ventures?
Pharrell Williams: Yes, I'm willing to accept any challenge that I'm curious about, especially artistically. I have been blessed to be introduced to people who believe in me and give me the opportunity to challenge myself.

DD: How did this project come about in the first place? 
Pharrell Williams: A good friend of mine, Sabina Belli, introduced me to Emmanuel Perrotin. When I explained to him the ideas I had, he was very supportive and after teaming up with Domeau & Pérès, we created the first Perspective chair which was shown at Emmanuel's Paris gallery. The rest is history, as they say...

DD: Your 'main job' as a musician is creative as it is - does your creativity know no bounds? 
Pharrell Williams: I don't believe that there should be any boundaries to creativity. If that was true, I would not be where I am today.

DD: Any new music coming our way? 
Pharrell Williams: Sure, I'm basically in the studio everyday. I recently switched over to Logic which allows me to keep working while I'm on the road or at home so I'm never away from creating music. Besides working with other artists, we are putting the finishing touched on the new N*E*R*D album "Nothing" which will be out late spring. I'm really excited about the album: Shae, Chad and I are ready to take N*E*R*D to the next level!

Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin
76 rue de Turenne, Paris, 75003