We both come from quite similar educational backgrounds, having both studied design –Marie studying Product & Furniture Design and myself Graphic Design. However I think the fact that I’m English and Marie is French means there is a cultural difference in our personal backgrounds. Even though France and England aren’t geographically that far apart, culturally they can be quite different. We met whilst working at Fabrica, in Italy, which was the perfect place for us to experiment working together. When we left Fabrica we had a sense that one day we would work together, but it took another 3 to 4 years before we felt it was the right time. When we work together, we both approach the work from slightly different cultural places, which is definitely something we like, and we feel that it benefits the results.
We design from a story and idea, always research–based and with a clear, clean and engaging visual solution.
Normally we both follow projects from the beginning to end, it doesn’t work for us that we both have specific and different roles, for us that could create two separate results. There are elements of a project where one of us might take more responsibility, but we are always both informed and engaged in the process.
We start in almost the same way every time, and that’s with an idea or a story, something that is research–based and engaging for the client or viewer. When we talk the project through with the client we want them to engage with a story or an idea, for us it’s the most interesting, creative and effective way to work.
We don’t really cherish one creative field from another, however we both really enjoy the difference in pace between working in the fast paced graphic or fashion world and the slow burning product and furniture world. Absolutely, different creative fields should work more closely together: the creative result when the disciplines mix is much more interesting for us, that’s what our aim and direction for the studio is.
100%, seeing the finished result.
Maybe our first commission as a studio, which was an installation at The Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk (Belgium). We had a complete creative freedom, so we wanted to make a statement of intent of our approach. The project represents our passion for an idea and a story, as well as an interesting visual execution. It was great fun to work on, and the Biennale Interieur is an amazing event crossing the boundaries between art and design.
In art books, and of course the internet. Art is our main inspiration; a lot of our work is inspired by art in some way. Marie is more inclined to read and draw and then her inspiration will come, I need to look at images and photography. The fantastic thing about having our studio based in Paris is that there are plenty of great contemporary art galleries; we visit those as often as we can.
It’s a privilege to be able to work in both places. We both lived and worked in London for many years, so we have many friends and old colleagues there. They are both incredibly stimulating cities to work in the creative field, but London definitely has the edge: it’s open, with a forward-thinking approach and a willingness to embrace change and trust new young designers. Something that definitely makes it one of the top places in the world to work as a designer.
The project will be a collaboration between La Redoute and Gallery S. Bensimon. La Redoute asked the gallery to find designers to produce a series of furniture that tries to bring a slightly more ‘designed/artistic’ approach to their brand. We have two tables a rug and a cushion collection, which by the time this interview gets published will be on sale at La Redoute.
We would never think that far ahead, 10 years is a long time, if we are still around as a studio in 10 years with some nice projects and clients, that would be great!