Martin Szekely (b.1956) French furniture designer

Martin Szekely featured image
Martin Szekely featured image

Martin Szekely (b.1956) is a French furniture designer. He was born in Paris and spent his professional life there.


In Paris, he attended the Ecole Estienne and the Ecolle Boulle. He learned metalworking from a Chinese master.


He started his career as a copper-plate engraver. In 1977— 1978, he designed furniture, notably the Ar stool, and VIA sponsored many of his early works. His first major triumph was a 25-piece furniture collection for the Sauvagnat firm, which he displayed at the 1979 Salon du Meuble in Paris. 

His 1980 Coin furniture line for Skina, which featured wood and aluminium, was presented at the Salon du Meuble in Paris and the Salon del Mobile in Milan in 1981. His stark and unadorned furniture creations, such as his 1980 Cornette chair and 1983 Pi range, were made in black carbon-steel by Galerie Néotu, Paris. 

In 1984, he went to Italy to study, where he met Ettore Sottsass, Paolo Deganello, and Michele De Lucchi. 


He was the designer of; 

  • Tribu’s Carbone chair, which was released in 1986. 
  • The 1987 Haut Ouvert, 
  • 1987 Presse Papiers, and 
  • 1987 Stoleru armchair and sofa are examples of his MDF case goods and upholstered seating. 
  • Néott designed the 1987 Chaise Toro (later mass-produced), 
  • the 1989 Table Liberata, 
  • the 1989 Armoire Leone, 
  • the 1989 Chaise Longue Lysistrata, and 
  • the 1989 Chauffeuse Marie France. 
  • In 1987, he refurbished the Musée de Picardie in Amiens. 
  • He created the entry hall of George Sand’s house in Nohant, the president of the General Council of Belfort’s office in 1988, and 
  • the Musée de Villeneuve d’Asq’s shop and park in 1988—89. 
  • Mega Editions of France produced his Pi bookshelves. 

He began to shift away from the black metal styles he had previously won acclaim in 1989. His limited editions resulted from a fruitful relationship between designer and production, in this case, Pierre Staudemeyer of Galerie Néotu in Paris.


  • He was awarded the VIA ‘Carte Blanche’ award in 1982. 
  • His work was initially exhibited in 1982 at the VIA gallery in Paris. 
  • The 1982 Salon du Meuble in Paris and 
  • the 1984 Biennale des Métiers d’Art in Villeneuve-les-Avignon both featured his work. 
  • In 1985, one-person shows of his art were held at Galerie Néotu in Paris and Galerie Théoreme in Brussels. 
  • He earned the Agora Award in 1984. 
  • His Containers MDF collection debuted in 1987, followed by the 
  • Pour fair salon collection in lacquer, bronze, exotic wood, velour, and crystal in 1989, all at Galerie Néotu. 
  • At the 1987 Paris Salon du Meuble, he was named designer of the year, and 
  • 1988, he was awarded the first prize by the French art critics and VIA. 
  • His work was displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s ‘Avant Premiere: Contemporary French Furniture’ exhibition in 1988, 
  • the Paris Salon du Meuble in 1989, 
  • the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York’s ‘L’Art de Vivre’ exhibition in 1989, and 
  • the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs’ exhibition in 1990.


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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