There’s an old saying among the American Shakers that “God is in the detail”, and exploring your work, it seems like details are essential to you. Does a project start with the details, or is it the finishing touch?
If we were to compare our design process to other disciplines, we see ourselves as sculptors. Mostly we start from a pretty basic shape or an essential function, and the more we are work on it, the more we go deeper into each detail. Usually, we work on a project for some time, then discuss it, then work on it again and again, and so on. Details are what makes a product beautiful and useful. So, taking time to contemplate the details is very important to us.
You both live and work in Paris. Is there a particular French inspiration to your work, or have we all become global citizens?
We see ourselves as citizens of Europe. When we started the office together in 2015, we lived in Switzerland. A year later, we moved to Paris. Today we work with clients from all over the world. We always try to crosscut our inspirations with old or specific references from a different culture.
@Morgane: it’s obviously you who is behind the drawings in your collection. It’s interesting to see your development over the years on your IG-account (check out https://www.instagram.com/morganepluchon/), and we have to know;
Do you draw on a computer or with paper and pencils?
I’m using both, but lately, I’m drawing a lot with my iPad pro. It gives me a lot of freedom to test and play with different colour tones. It also allows me to work on multiple drawings simultaneously.
What does drawing mean to you – is it an escape, a passion, work…?
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, and it simply makes me happy. I love art, from 14th-century artworks to contemporary illustration artists. As for my style, it’s been a long process, and I’ve been working and searching for it for years.
Do ideas and projects arise from sketching, or do you always have a plan when you grab the pencil?
I am very observant, so I like to draw beautiful things I stumble upon in my daily life. It can be light, architecture or a combination of colours. I always try to make my drawing match that first impression. But the final composition is often the result of a long sketching process. For the projects, we use sketching to find an atmosphere for a project, which is my part as art director, and that then evolves into finding shapes and functions for the product, which is where Sébastien takes over.
@Sébastien, both your father and grandfather worked with wood which must have inspired you towards design. What’s your favourite material and why?
During my childhood, I spent a lot of time in my grandfathers’ workshop, which was right next to their house. My grandfather also helped my father built our house when I was a child. He was always fixing and repairing something and was a very gifted craftsman. I started to work with the machines in the workshop at the age of 8 or 9, making small constructions from leftover wood pieces. So both he and my father have been a great inspiration for me towards becoming a designer.
And for Morgane and I, building, constructing and having the physical materials in our hands have been an integrated part of our life since we met at our design studies.
Wood will always have a special place in my heart, but what I truly love about being a designer is to keep learning about new materials and manufacturing processes.
What’s your favourite design objects to give form?
Lighting has always been a favourite. More than just a simple form, lamps are objects that come alive when you turn them on. We also appreciate the technical aspect. More generally, we enjoy working on useful objects that have a beneficial impact on people’s lives.
@Morgane: What do you particularly admire about Sébastien – in work and life?
I’m always very enthusiastic when Sébastien presents me his ideas for a new project. He is also very good at making models – it’s probably genetic!
But overall, what I enjoy most is that we understand each other intuitively – we only have to say very few words to express something when we are working.
@Sébastien: What do you particularly admire about Morgane – in work and life?
As Morgane said, we understand each other very well after many years of living and working together. So, it’s easy to share ideas and debate freely on design aesthetic or our design vision. Morgane is always super positive and able to find a good point in each situation, which is very good, as I tend to be very doubtful about decisions.