Designer Laurence Humier was born in Verviers, Belgium in 1976. She studied architectural engineering at Université catholique de Louvain (UVL) in Belgium, graduating with an engineer’s degree in 1999. After school, she attended a six-month-long workshop at the University of Tokyo led by architect Tadao Ando. She launched her own eponymous studio in Milan in 2002. Since 2010, Humier has worked nomadically, spending months at a time working in New York, Naples, Genova, and Siracuse, Sicily.
Humier’s work is highly experimental, and she focuses on creating services and products for the fields of industrial design, communication, and education. She frequently organizes multidisciplinary teams to collaborate with local industries on projects to improve day-to-day life. As Humier tells us, “Materials, forms, functions, and aesthetics are analyzed through logic, engineering, science, intuition, and play. The transversality of my research and diversity of my interests are the foundation of broad sense of design.”
Between 2003 and 2010, Humier worked on prototypes for high-end Italian furniture and fashion manufacturers. Her own work debuted at an international level when her collapsible furniture design, Meeting Chairs (2007-2008), was inducted into the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (2010) and the Vitra Design Museum (2014). In 2010, Humier began work on Cooking Material, a collaboration with a chemical engineer that explores the relationship between culinary and non-culinary materials, and the possible applications of “do-it-yourself types of matter” inspired by cooking recipes. In 2012, the project was published as an ebook entitled Cooking Material: Could molecular gastronomy help discover new matter?; the publication received the patronage of the Triennale Design Museum in Milan. Since that time, Humier has organized workshops relating to Cooking Material at a number of respected institutions and events, including Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris, Maker Faire in Roma and New York, the Science Festival in Genoa, Espace des Inventions in Lausanne, the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York. Following these experiences, in 2014, Humier designed a chemistry set for children called Alchemist Matter; it was funded via Kickstarter in January 2015. As of this writing, she is working on a game about the new economy. As she notes, “The game Monopoly was born in the thirties based on capitalism, money, and property accumulations. The situation today is different: you earn money on the flux of information, transactions, and goods. The game I’m developing will reflect this historical change.”
In 2015, Humier was honored with the title of Knight of Merit Walloon by the Belgian government.