1. Where were you born and where are you from ?
We are both French, and currently based in Paris. Alexis was born in Bourg-la-Reine on the outskirts of Paris, but spent his childhood in the countryside before returning to the capital to study. Antoine was born in Nantes, grew up in Brittany and then moved to the Paris area.
2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?
Our families are the heart of our first experiences in the world of art and creation. With a great grandfather who was a carpenter and a grandmother who was a seamstress, manual creation has always held a great place in Alexis’s childhood. The discovery of the notebook of drawings that his father had presented to integrate the Beaux-Arts of Paris, was his first discovery of the world of Art. These cubist collages marked his sensitivity as a future designer.
Antoine was surrounded by the numerous paintings of his grandmother and mother displayed in the living room, representing the shimmering colors of the South of France.
3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?
We both studied in Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. While Alexis studied objet design and has always practiced this discipline, Antoine trained as a textile and material designer before moving into furniture design.
4. What led you to the design creation ?
Our mutual meeting played a big part in our common approach to the practice of design. If we had each sensitivities of visual artist, it is well our common questionings on the direction that must have our practices which opened us to the practice of the design. The discovery of design was for us the inauguration of a new way of being in the world. We believe that the contexts of creation must be addressed by asking questions and proposing answers.
5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?
Our creative methodology is always based on materials. During an encounter with materials, we want to be surprised by its characteristics and possibilities. We let the material speak, and listen to its manifestations. During an experimental phase, including the physical and intuitive manipulation of it, we are in search of its decorative and dreamlike potential. It is by rambling with the material, that we create shapes and colors.
6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?
We divide our day between the continuation of our current projects, and the reflection on projects to come. We alternate technical phases of finishing, and moments of creation. By keeping time for our future desires, we try to keep the spark alive that animates our work.
7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?
We have chosen to work with industrial semi-materials. These materials can be manipulated, while presenting a real technical potential. By the choice of matters, we interfere in the circuit of the heavy industry, to bring there a merry disturbance.
8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?
All our pieces are unique. They are handmade with love in our parisian studio.
9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?
Be honest with your sensitivity, and sincere with your desires.
10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?
Our design is part of the Functional Art and Collectible Design movements. We produce unique pieces, engaging in an offbeat and contemporary aesthetic research. Our sculptural approach to furniture allows us to produce a new and lively universe.
11. What designers have influenced you ?
Our master of thought would be William Morris. By associating decorative design with happiness, he confirms us in our approach as designers. Charles & Ray Eames, as an emblematic couple in the history of design, also touched us a lot. The strong and playful imagination they created together around their practice is a real inspiration for us. We are also very influenced by the design of Ettore Sottass, and his way of infusing spirituality and color into objects.
12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?
We appreciate contemporary designers who have a fun and expressive approach to the object, such as Bertjan Pot, Serban Ionescu and James Shaw.
13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?
We appreciate the jewelry artist James Merry, the artist Théo Mercier and the photograph Paul Rousteau.
14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?
Our design could be resumed as « Neo-prehistorical ». We mixe intuitives ways of manufacture shapes with diverse industrial matters, in order to create new craftsmanship.
15. Is there anything you would like to add ?
Move slow and allow yourself to dream.
Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
(The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Building our own house
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
The lack of sincerity
5. Which living person do you most admire?
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
7. What is your current state of mind?
Head in the clouds
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Authority and perfectionism
9. What is the quality you most like in a man ?
10. What is the quality you most like in a woman ?
11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
« Bon appétit ! »
12. Which talent would you most like to have?
Being a pastry cook
13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Being more available
14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Our design studio
15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
16. Where would you most like to live?
In the forest
17. What is your most treasured possession?
18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The denial of the ecological disaster
19. What is your favorite occupation?
Hiking and camping
20. What is your most marked characteristic?
21. What do you most value in your friends?
Humor and creativity
22. Who are your favorite writers?
Donna Haraway and Pasolini
23. Who is your hero of fiction?
24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Marie-Antoinette and Andy Warhol
25. Who are your heroes in real life?
Artists and designers
26. What are your favorite names?
Pimprenelle and Clémentine
27. What is it that you most dislike?
28. What is your greatest regret?
To have lost our childish carelessness
29. How would you like to die?
30. What is your motto?
« Prenez votre plaisir au sérieux » – Ray & Charles Eames