FOR Gil Le Bon De Lapointe, being a skateboarder was a steppingstone to becoming a furniture designer. "You spend a lot of time choosing and using your board -- checking the shape, the curves, the elasticity of the plywood," says De Lapointe, still an avid skater. "The focus you have on the equipment makes it possible for you to use that knowledge for something different."
In his case, that something is Skate Study House, a furniture design enterprise he formed with Etnies founder and former pro skateboarder Pierre André Senizergues.
"I'm the artist, and he has the money to do it," De Lapointe says. "Pierre gives me inspiration, he pushes me to find ideas and concepts, new ways to use the skateboard. The skateboard has given him all his success, so he wants to give that back."
The collaboration has resulted in a collection of 12 pieces, many of which bear the influence of midcentury masters. The Comet and Tokyo coffee tables owe a debt to Isamu Noguchi, and the Stax chair and God Father lounge are elongated hybrids of Charles and Ray Eames' "potato chip" LCW chair and 670 lounge chair.
The Nova lamp is composed of three skateboards joined together to form a vertical tube reminiscent of 1950s Scandinavian light fixtures, and the Skate bookshelves are made of decorative plywood decks fit together to form a grid that hangs on the wall.
"Skateboards change all the time," De Lapointe says. "There are always leftovers, so we can be a little bit sustainable. When you go to a manufacturer, they have a Dumpster full of wood and wheels. I've started being annoying to them, but if I don't take it, they'll put it in the trash."
The made-to-order furnishings are on display at the firm's showroom in Newport Beach. Schedule an appointment for a visit, check out www.skatestudyhouse.com, or look for a photo gallery of designs posted with this article at latimes.com/home.
-- David A. KeepsCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times