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    Julien Manaira

    Julien Manaira

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    I was born in Nice, France. I grew up in a little city further west on the french riviera called La Croix Valmer.

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    I remember being obsessed as a kid with the models of habitation units you would find in shopping malls. I am not sure what this has to do with what I do today but this is as far as I can remember.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    I started my studio right after I was done with my master degree so it that sense yes. Although I still work in a restaurant on the side, Amsterdam is really expensive.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    I entered a specific highschool, art and design oriented with the idea of being an interior architect. I am not exactly sure how this slid slowly towards product design. I think I felt more empowered to make my own decisions when dealing with the scale of an object rather than a space.

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    I look at materials first. I never start with the intention of making a particular type of object. It always starts with a curiosity for a material or a technique, how this material can be transformed, how can I try to transform it in a different way in order to trigger people’s curiosity.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    Often I work on something casting related so I start with that to give it more drying time if I need to cast again before the end of the day. In between can be a bit anything, mostly thinking and drawing about what’s next.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    I am quite open about which material to work with. Although obviously so far I have been more noticed for my resin work. I started working with resin because it is liquid, then dries to become something you can use. This all started with my master’s degree research about the liquid state of material.

    The aluminium works were in my brain for as long as the resin work. But I needed the money made out of the resin work to afford the aluminium prototypes. What I like about the aluminium is its softness (as a metal), it is really easy to cut into it without crazy equipment, so you can get somewhere pretty quick.

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    My creations are completely influenced by the actions of the hands, and the material’s reaction. Each piece is unique because of my relation with the material. My work is about the fact that this relation is every time particular, and leads to different results every time, which hopefully is tangible for the audience or user.

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    I would say don’t be scared of spending time and money, sometimes a lot. You have to invest into your own work to hope to get somewhere.

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?

    I really don’t know.

    11. What designers have influenced you ?

    Gaetano Pesce and Droog Design.

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    Max Lamb, Johan Viladrich, Théophile Blandet.

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    I can’t think of one in particular.

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    Quest for controlled chaos.

    15. Is there anything you would like to add ?

    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?


    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?


    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    6. What is your greatest extravagance?

    Shoes and wine

    7. What is your current state of mind?

    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


    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?

    “Bah ouais” (for the french ones)

    12. Which talent would you most like to have?


    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    Being less stressed.

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    Trying hard to live from my passion.

    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 a big city next to the sea.

    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    My shoes.

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    19. What is your favorite occupation?

    Wine tasting with friends

    20. What is your most marked characteristic?


    21. What do you most value in your friends?


    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    Frank Abagnale Jr. (Catch me if you can)

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?

    My parents

    26. What are your favorite names?

    27. What is it that you most dislike?

    People without passions.

    28. What is your greatest regret?

    Not being more impulsive sometimes.

    29. How would you like to die?

    On stage (again for the french ones)

    30. What is your motto?

    I wish I was a “if not now when?” kind of person.

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