To identify oneself in a profession is often much simpler than to defend a free status which escapes limited definition. Current design is a universe which is more and more multifaceted. A society that mixes needs and desires, dreams and reality, can only generate multiple expressions, diversified, faceted and complex objects.

Raphaël Charles (1979) is – by his own definition, a self-educated creator of objects. Far from being the result of a “materialistic” desire, his creations are born rather from the need to materialise the desire to put into perspective fast evolution, a hyperconsumerism of ideas, things, time…The object suspends time, is positioned in space like an interface and produces lasting relations.

Raphaël creates in the pure sense of the word. Through a cognitive and experimental act, which repeats itself every time, in an unlimited and open evolution, he gives life to materials, shapes and functions. It’s through an artistic impulse that the object takes form. The material, the shapes and the functions are born out of an independent and genius-like impulse. Through their poetic, new functional and seductive qualities, Raphael’s creations raise questions, challenge, affect and involve the observer and/or the user. Rather than static objects, they are more like experiences that involve all the senses.

Whether they are ambiguous creations, trompe-l’oeil or perceptive games, the material and the function are being reinvented in the framework of a philosophy which goes beyond the mere consumer goods. Design here is a transformation and conversion of its original use. A coal rug or a melting ring… Raphaël’s objects transcends the parameters of reality. He could be using an inadequate material in relation to normal use (the coal for a rug), or a technical process (the coal made in foam) or a shape (a ring that drips after the fusion with the resin, looking like an “unfinished” product, stopped, frozen in the moment of its creation). The objects then become sensory provocations, contradictory suggestions and ”surreal” compositions, in the sense that they leave open the option between the use or contemplation.

Raphaël creates sculptures that can be used but at the same time make you question the concept of usefulness. What is a useful object? His creations are impossible to classify because they appeal to everyone and on all levels: artistic design or functional art? Or more simply a desire to create objects which are born out of observation and that can be observed. The usefulness becomes an option. The wish is to seduce.

Giovanna Massoni

Journaliste, curatrice et historienne de l'art


Expositions collectives (sélections)


Etnikart, Liège, Belgique

Design Brussels, Table Talk, Bruxelles, Belgique

White Hotel, Room 44 A Custumised, Bruxelles, Belgique

Dynamo Young design award, Bruxelles, Belgique

White Hotel, Designers RDV, Bruxelles, Belgique

Design Week, Designers Open Doors, Bruxelles, Belgique

Brussels Fashion Fair, Bruxelles, Belgique


Intérieur, Design Competition, Courtrai, Belgique

Brussels Day, Berlin, Allemagne

Biennale du design, [é]vocations, Liège, Belgique

Design September, Designers Open Doors, Bruxelles, Belgique

100% London, Londres, Angleterre

ICFF, New York, USA

Salon du Meuble “OFF”, zona tortona, Milan, Italie

IMM, Cologne, Allemagne


Galerie Colombari, Pavillon des Arts et du Design, Londres, Angleterre

Salone del Mobile, Satellite, Milan, Italie

IMM, finalist [d3] Contest, Cologne, Allemagne


Design September, La Belgique des Autres, La Cambre Horta, Bruxelles,


Second hand second life, avec Damien Gernay (Dustdeluxe), Bruxelles,


Biennale de Design de Liège, Design Nature, Liège, Belgique

Intérieur, Design Competition, Courtrai, Belgique

Design September, Borders, Bruxelles, Belgique

Next Level Galerie, Paris, France

Grand Hornu, Le Fabuleux Destin du quotidien, Mons, Belgique

Next Level Galerie, Paris, France


Belgian Spirit, Hong Kong, Chine

Second hand second life, avec Mathias Van de Walle, Bruxelles, Belgique

Next Level Galerie, New space opening, Paris, France

Label, Charleroi 1911-2011, Charleroi, Belgique

Mint Galerie, Mint Explores, Londres, Angleterre

Maison & objets, "Now", Paris, France

Design Vlaanderen Galerie, The New Harvest, Bruxelles, Belgique

Design Vlaanderen Galerie, Prijs Beesten, Bruxelles, Belgique

Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Dialogues, Bangkok, Thaïlande

DMY, Berlin, Allemagne

Salone del Mobile, Satellite, Milan, Italie

Next Level Galerie, Pavillon des Arts et du Design, Paris, France

Next Level Galerie, Chic Art Fair, Paris, France


Maison & Objets, "Now", Paris, France

For Four, Halle, Belgique

Next level galerie, Slick Art Fair, Bruxelles, Belgique

Smo Gallery, Design Week, Beyrouth, Liban

Smo Gallery, Beirut Art Fair, Beyrouth, Liban

Tales of Heroes, Helinski, Finlande

Biennale du Design, Tales of Heroes, Liège, Belgique

Biennale du Design, Memorabilia, Liège, Belgique

Biennale du Design, Reciprocity, Liège, Belgique

Bois et Habitat, Namur, Belgique

Biennale du Design, L'Objet d'un Dialogue, St Etienne, France

Design September, Open Doors Studio With a View, Bruxelles, Belgique

Spazio Rosana Orlandi, Design Week, Milan, Italie

Belgian Spirit, Maison Caro, Hong kong, Chine

Design Blabla, Mogg, Roselaere, Belgique

Smo Gallery, Design Days, Dubaï, Emirats arabes unis


Smo Gallery, Meet my project, New-York, USA

National pop up store, Bruxelles, Belgique

Talente, Munich, Allemagne

Salone del Mobile, Satellite, Milan, Italie

Design Week, Trienale Milan, The Tool Box, Milan, Italie

Design Week, Madrid, Espagne

Cosi Corner, Bastogne, Belgique

A Materia das Nuvens, Sao Paulo, Brésil

A Poesia das Formas, Sao Paulo Brésil

Design Vlaanderen Galerie, The Tools Box, Bruxelles, Belgique

Design September, Smets Premium Store, Bruxelles, Belgique

Design September, Back from Milan, Bruxelles, Belgique

Maison & Objets, "Now", Paris, France

Wood Mood , Milan, Italie

The House of Belgian Spirit, Liparus, Hong kong, Chine

Design Week, Centre Wallonie Bruxelles, La Matière des Nuages, Paris, France

Mazel Galerie, Made in Brussels, Bruxelles, Belgique


Henry Van de Velde Label 2011 pour la table « Multiple », Bruxelles, Belgique

Mention Spéciale Bois & Habitats 2010 pour la table « Multiple », Namur, Belgique

Mention Spéciale Design Report Award, salon Satellite 2009 pour le tapis « 20/30 », Milan, Italie

Prix Vitra, Interieur Design Competition 2008, pour le tapis « 20/30 », Courtrai, Belgique

Collections publiques

Tapis « 20/30 », Musée du Grand Hornu, Mons Belgique

Table Multiple, collection famille royale de Belgique, Bruxelles, Belgique


Addict, Research on Ecodesign, World 2,0

Design after Modernism, furniture and interiors, 1970-2010, Judith Gura, édition norton &


Bois et Design dans le mobilier, Laurence Duca & Rémy Peyrard, édition Eyrolles

Le Fabuleux destin du quotidien, MAC's Grand Hornu Image, Arts et Design

Belgian's best design 1900-2013, Hadewijch Ceulemans, édition Luster