The Brussels Bike Hundred

100 portraits, stories and bicycles

We’re teaming up with Bike for Brussels to put together a 100-strong selection of local heroes shaping the city each in their own way. From designers and DJs to performers and publishers, these are the creatives riding Brussels forward.

Damien Gernay

Damien Gernay, 1975

Furniture designer

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

As a kid I was always making small objects. While studying at Saint-Luc in Tournai / Doornik, I enjoyed the fact that we could spend 80% of our time in the workspace. As our professors were not designers but rather artists, they emphasised the importance of the concept. Today I love to explore the possibilities of materials by using different techniques, so rather than drawing a sketch I’ll start experimenting with the material itself. I learned that new ideas often arise from failures in previous projects. My work is driven by the desire to challenge boundaries between art and design. My pieces often reflect a reverence to nature and the enigmatic, focussing on materiality, texture, and ambiguity. Close to the considerations of a painter or a sculptor, the imponderable plays a decisive role in my practice.

How has Brussels shaped you as an individual as well as your professional activities?

My work takes on all of the fragments of life that I’ve collected, so there’s certainly a bit of Brussels in there.

My work is driven by the desire to challenge boundaries between art and design.

List three things you like the most about Brussels.

  • Summer for cycling
  • Workshop XXL
  • A beer at Le Verschueren

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels.

  • From my home to the studio, Saint-Gilles / Sint-Gillis to Molenbeek via Boulevard du Midi / Zuidlaan. 10 minutes by bike versus 20 minutes in a car.
  • Back from the studio to home.
  • Along the canal, because it’s flat and (almost) safe.