Thierry Jeannot

Gallery page for artist - designer Thierry Jeannot, Mexico City. Jeannot's speciality is up-cycling PET plastic bottle trash to create luxury pieces. Social projects are linked to his work, involving disadvantaged people from Mexico City.


Thierry Jeannot and his ‘Transmutation 1 chandelier’, 2011. Photo credit: Felix Friedmann Fotography

Thierry Jeannot and his ‘Transmutation 1 chandelier’, 2011. Photo credit: Felix Friedmann Fotography



The ALCHEMIST and PLASTIC MASTER craftsman presents up-cycling at its best and demonstrates how waste can transform into PURE luxury

Thierry Jeannot (b. 1963) is a French-born designer living in Mexico for the last 20 years. Working across product design, furniture and social design, his focus generates high added value to recycled materials through design.  He is interested in traditional techniques and materials and has worked closely with crafts-people both in Paris (back in the 80ies with fashion guru Thierry Mugler) and later with the workshops he discovered in Mexico City.  He follows a design philosophy where design and the production process are never separated.  In the 1980s he began working with a range of unconventional or ‘outlandish’ materials, like for example acrylics and plastics.  For the last ten years he has been working mainly with the PET bottle as his raw-material. He explores various techniques of using the bottle and to transform its materiality and status to favourable acclaim both in Mexico and The United States.  He is also developing home based employment for disadvantaged communities in Mexico City such as women, unemployed, disabled, HIV sufferers et al.

The beginning of my work with the ‘Transmutation 1’ and ‘Green Transmutation’ Chandeliers are the result of a long process of investigation and experimentation with materials, in this case, transparent urban waste (PET bottles) and also the process and my relationship with the disadvantaged people within Mexico City (the social part).

“I orient my work towards researching new ways of constructing and designing. What we call re-purposing and recycling came to me as new possibilities and I definitely wanted to use them in a new way as one uses any other conventional technique. I observed PET bottles containing liquids, nicely organized in a store, and then those same transparent containers discarded on the floor or accumulated in the trash right in front of my studio in the old downtown of Mexico City. My first decision was to use them as if they were crystal and transform them into an iconic lighting design: a chandelier. By involving people from my neighbourhood, the question of supply was naturally resolved, recycling those bottles just before the trash process and being able to do the strong selection I needed. This was my experience when designing Transmutation 1 and Green Transmutation in which I question symbols of luxury as well as the preconception and value of materials.

“At the same period, I was observing and analysing the strong aesthetic enlightenments and patterns from Baroque and other periods. This was the initial statement of those pieces: to achieve a true transformation of those specimen of plastics into a luxury symbol, a classic Chandelier and reach a strong effect on the public eye in the sense of ‘what you see is not what you get’. Its an art-design piece about Illusion (there is a story of a women in Washington who thought the chandelier was part of the old mansion where my exhibition was - the story is mentioned in the Four Seasons magazine article). My work also talks about the subjectivity we have towards the value of materials.”

For MORNING STAR, my coffee table project, I wanted to work with accumulations, re-purposed materials and ornamental elements that I had already employed when working on my chandeliers. One of the techniques I employ is fire and heat applied to plastic parts in order to increase the “crystal” effect. The inclusion of bronze confronts the traditional way of casting metals with all my experiments with melted, heated, dyed and deformed recycled plastics. Once again using fire, I burned metals and wood and then covered them with silver and gold leaf. I decided to maintain a strong connection to history and the decorative arts but also wanted to question luxury and classicism and create a paradox in the way I use materials.” [Cit, from an artist interview in 2014].”




‘THE BEAUTY SHOW’ by Stefan Sagmeister & Stephanie Walsh, Museum of Applied Arts, Frankfurt, May-September-2019

'NEO BAROCO', museum exhibition at Museum Franz Maier, Mexico City, February-April, 2019

‘THE BEAUTY SHOW’ by Stefan Sagmeister & Stephanie Walsh, MAK, Vienna, Oct-2018 - April 2019

‘MEXICO DESIGN TIME”,  group show, Marion Friedmann Gallery, 192 Piccadilly, London, September, 2018

‘VIA - Sustainability in Design, Paris, September 2018

'DELICACY REVISITED', with Marion Friedmann Gallery, London Design Festival, October 2015

'DELICACY', MIART Milano, with Marion Friedmann Gallery, April 2015

‘NEW TERRITORIES’ at MAD (Museum of Art and Design), New York, opening Nov. 2014

ABIERTO Diseno Mexicano - Marion Friedmann Gallery, Design Festival Mexico City, October 2013

‘RECOLLECTIONS’, Marion Friedmann Gallery, Designjunction, London Design Festival, Sept. 2012

PINTA LATIN AMERICAN ART FAIR, Design section, courtesy Marion Friedmann Gallery, London, June 2012

‘Design for a Sustainable Future’, curated by Sustinendi, courtesy Marion Friedmann Gallery, Clerkenwell Design Week, London, May 2012

MEXICO WEEK UK, Marion Friedmann Gallery, March 2012

SUPERDESIGN, group-showcase during FRIEZE Art Fair, courtesy Marion Friedmann Gallery, London, Oct. 2011

‘ENLIGHTENED WASTE’, Marion Friedmann Gallery, London Design Festival, Sept. 2011

‘RETHINKING TRADITION - Contemporary Design from Mexico’, Washington D.C., Mexican Cultural Institute

‘OCTO’ chandelier, at exhibition group show during ‘Abierto’, Mexico City Design Festival, 2014