Reese Rousseau is a furniture maker and graphic designer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rousseau received his BFA, with a focus in Communication Design, and Furniture from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He recently completed an apprenticeship with CZYK Woodworks, in which he gained valuable hands-on experience during the design, build, and install processes of commissioned furniture. Rousseau’s practice aims to reintroduce character and personality to mundane household objects, while preserving the object’s desired function.

Mediums: Plywood, angle iron, diamond plate, stainless steel wire, hardware

Favorite Artist Tool: Printer

Go-to Local Inspiration: Graffiti on my street

Mentor Compliment: Matthew is a beacon of knowledge, experience, and connections. He has introduced me to people and ideas that have been deeply impactful to my practice.

Fun Fact: I can juggle and ride a unicycle.

Serious Fact: My first creative outlet was making origami models as a kid.

Artist Statement

I am designing and producing a collection of furniture objects inspired by construction sites and scenery. The pieces are constructed out of salvaged and low-grade materials. By working in a medium valued only for its function, I present plywood, angle iron, and diamond plate in a way that highlights their ignored beauty.

Living downtown, barricades and machinery became recurring subjects, and I grew to appreciate their unique characteristics. These objects initially caught my eye through street photography. Their reflective surfaces, distinct patterns, and organic distressing presented texture and interest into my black and white photography.

Construction sites are grounds of transition and change. These objects are designed with that in mind. Each piece is able to modify the space it inhabits. The works in the collection can roll, fold, rotate, open, and close, allowing domestic space to experience the same transformation that construction brings to the urban landscape.