Where it all began
I have always been creative: I started painting and drawing lessons at five. During my youth in Marseilles, I used my bedroom as a place of experimentation, constantly moving furniture around and painting on the walls. It drove my mother crazy! Then, one day, I heard the word “designer.” I immediately thought it sounded great and decided I wanted to become one. When I turned 18, I moved to Paris, first to do a bachelor’s in product design at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d’Art, Olivier de Serres. Later on, I studied product and furniture design at the École Boulle, a school for crafts and applied arts. Afterward I did an internship with Philippe Starck and worked directly with Catalan furniture designer Eugeni Quitllet.
In 2011, I decided to start my own studio in Marseilles rather than in Paris. I wanted to be under the sun, not the rain. People are often surprised when they learn that I live here. Then they remember me as that designer from Marseilles, so it can be an advantage. Paris is just three hours away by high-speed train, close enough that I’m able to visit clients there anytime.
A tipping Point
After my experience working in Starck’s studio, I was selected for a residency
at Fabrica in Treviso, Italy. I spent a year there, surrounded by people from all over the world. It was a turning point: I extended my professional network, and I worked with, among others, Sam Baron, who became a mentor and really influenced my way of working.
Summoning the past
Simple forms and pure materials – glass, wood, porcelain – are very important to me. All of my projects are about going straight to the story I want to tell without adding any useless decoration. When I teach, I tell my students that beyond function and aesthetics they should bring a third dimension to an object: a story. You want to evoke emotions; you want people to react and maybe remember something from their childhood. For example, one of my latest projects, Les Pescadous, is a collection of glass vases that uses fishing floats as stoppers. They’re directly inspired by the sea and the South of France, where I live. For many people, they play like une madeleine de Proust, reminding them of their childhoods.
Telling the tale
When I left Fabrica in 2011 (I was 24 at the time), I was contacted by Yves Saint Laurent Beauté. They were looking for young talents to design a bottle for a feminine fragrance. For three months, I worked intensively on it, day and night, in close contact with the brand. It didn’t go through, but it was an amazing experience and a massive challenge. I learned a great deal from this project. It was all about transparency and narrative. A perfume bottle is the perfect example of a highly personal object that tells a story.
The way we live
If I had not become a designer, I would have studied sociology. I like to investigate and analyze how people use objects in daily life. When Sam Baron asked me to design a desk for the online home retailer La Redoute, I came to the conclusion that maybe a desk is no longer a big piece of furniture; but it could be a small surface placed on two legs, becoming an object that allows users to exhibit their mementoes. So I came up with Le Scriban. It was a one-shot: the first concept was the best, and it was quickly put into production. This is also my best seller, because it reaches a wider public. It’s all about functionality but also simplicity and aesthetics.
What lies ahead
At the moment, I am designing a furniture collection in metal – a chair, an armchair and a low table – which is being produced in Cambodia. I have never worked with metal before, so this is new to me. The commission came from a brand that will launch later this spring.
I recently completed an interior for Le Coiffeur, a hair salon in Marseilles. I really enjoyed the adventure of doing a global project, and I would like to do more interiors.
I’ve always been lucky enough to be contacted by clients; so far, I’ve never had to look for work. I hope that stays the same.
Geneva, Switzerland, 1987
BTS certificate in product design, ENSAAMA, Paris; master’s in product and furniture design, École Boulle, Paris; residency at Fabrica, Benetton Group, Treviso, Italy
Furniture, product and interior designer
2014 Finalist, Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris
2014 Maison & Objet, Paris; 2013 Maïza Editions, Ventura Lambrate, Milan; 2012 Salon de l’Habitat, Strasbourg, France; 2011 Assemblages, Plus Design Gallery, Milan
CFOC, Habitat, Maïza Editions, La Redoute, Roche Bobois, SOCA, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté