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CLUZEL / PLUCHON Discuss Maison&Objet and Designing Beyond TrendsAuthor: Radmila Durasinovic
CLUZEL / PLUCHON Discuss Maison&Objet and Designing Beyond Trends
CLUZEL / PLUCHON founders Sébastien Cluzel & Morgane Pluchon base their joint practice around two core values: that design should be accessible, and that it must serve humanity. With this aim, they create designs that “cue memories, invoke moments in history, and redefine the expectations of everyday objects”. The Lille-based design firm has, since its foundation in 2015, collaborated with well-known brands on projects big and small, winning multiple awards for their responsible approach to design for humans, and beyond fleeting trends. Their most recent achievement was their participation in this year's Maison&Objet, where they were honoured as one of seven young design studios to receive the Rising Talent Awards. In light of this recognition, we had the opportunity to interview Sébastien and Morgane, who shared their reflections on the event and their design philosophy.
Cover image / Founders of CLUZEL / PLUCHON Sébastien & Morgane © Jonathan Chambon
“The Rising Talent Awards is one of the rare and precious moments that young designers can show their work to professionals. In our case, it's great to be able to show our recent products together and to see the link between them even though each product was for different clients.” The duo described their experience at the prestigious event.
“During the few days at Maison&Objet, we received different feedback from so many different people. For example, we came at the fair as SCMP DESIGN OFFICE and now we decided to change the name of the studio to CLUZEL / PLUCHON. The reason was to present more who are the people behind the studio. Sebastien CLUZEL and Morgane PLUCHON.”
At the core of CLUZEL / PLUCHON's design philosophy lies a strong conviction: that design is not merely an aesthetic pursuit but a fundamental aspect of our daily lives, meaning it should be accessible to everyone. This belief serves as the cornerstone of their creative process and shapes their approach to design. "Our goal is to try to change mentalities on how to consume and use products for everyday life at our small scale. We make sure that our products are well-designed, of course, but also easy to use and understandable for a wide audience. With a certain feeling of déjà-vu sometimes."
In essence, the duo's work is not just about creating beautiful objects; it's about ensuring that these creations enhance the lives of those who interact with them. "In that case, our inspiration is Roger Talon, the French designer who designed the first TGV, the High-Speed Train and other trains for the SNCF in France. Millions of people used it without knowing who worked on every detail of the revolutionary interior of those trains. Like him, we think that our product has to be used and re-used for generations."
The French designers recounted their journey from independent designers to collaborators with major design companies. “In the beginning, we did what a lot of young design studios did, which is design a piece by ourselves and try to propose it to brands. Now we prefer to discuss with people from the companies and find a mutual interest, mutual trust, and design something linked to their story and their know-how. This approach is gives better products and, more importantly, better collaboration.”
Among their various collaborations, the Basketclub project, an Instagram-based initiative highlighting basketry and designing through making, stands out as an unusual project in their portfolio. “It was a breath of fresh air in comparison to the constraints of producing objects in series. We think that spontaneous initiatives, such as Basket Club, are great for experimentation.”
While their participation in this project in provided an opportunity to collaborate with design giants Hay and Dedon, Sébastien and Morgane note that ultimately, community initiatives such as these are mostly for fun, with their potential to extend the reach and exposure of young designers being limited.
As the most significant moment in their career to date, Sébastien and Morgane highlight their meeting with Samuel Lambert and the Lambert & Fils team, which led to the production of the DORVAL collection for the Canadian lighting brand.
“It started out as a free proposal from a gallery in France who asked us to create a project for their windows display. We were completely free to design whatever we wanted. So, we wanted to create a lighting that can combine a lot of characteristics such as technical, functional, aesthetic, honest, and innovative but mainly a lighting that is one of a kind. As we had to prototype the product ourselves, it was a huge challenge for us to put a lot of money into a project for which we didn't know if we would get our money back.”
Initially a passion project, it came to be one of their most successful designs, winning the Belgium Interieur Award at the Kortrijk Biennale Interieur in 2018.
“When the project was shown at the Paris Design Week, we had the chance to meet Samuel Lambert. After a few months, he called us back to ask us if he could produce it for Lambert & Fils. Then, we took several years to complete the collection. Since this project, we have worked on multiple lighting projects like the XT100 for Theoreme Editions RUNE floor lamp for Corbery Editions.”
In discussing current trends and developments in the industry, including the current focus on sustainability, CLUZEL / PLUCHON emphasised their commitment to creating long-lasting designs. “We try to not follow any trends. Nowadays, a lot of designers are into recycling materials. Recycling is great, but products need to be well-designed to be really sustainable. The best trend that people should follow is paying more attention to finding objects that can be a legacy for future generations.”
To conclude, we asked Sébastien and Morgane to choose one object that encapsulates their definition of design excellence. "The Handrail of the Milanese Subway designed by Franco Albini — it's the soul of the city, and details such as this on common items such are why Milan is the capital of design and why it's always nice to visit.”
September 11, 2023Maison&Objet 2023: Highlights from the Quest of Pleasures
Author: Radmila Durasinovic
The latest installment of Maison&Objet, one of Europe's foremost design festivals and an integral part of Paris Design Week's September edition, has come to a close. This year, the event embraced the theme of enjoyment, placing a strong emphasis on the celebration of vibrant colors, extravagance, audacity, and humor as essential elements of the showcase. We delved into this year’s programme featuring more than 2,500 exhibitors from 15 sectors to bring you our highlights from the “quest of pleasures” that was this year’s Maison&Objet.
October 22, 2023In Conversation with Passage, French Brand Bridging the Gap Between Furniture and Fashion
Author: Radmila Durasinovic
Positioned at the intersection of furniture and fashion, Arthur Fosse and Samuel Perhirin stand as exemplars of a new generation focused on the creativity of interdisciplinary and sustainable design. Their approach has earned them the Rising Talent Award at this year’s Maison&Objet, a reflection of the growing recognition of their work to date. In this interview, the duo discuss their experience from the recent French design fair and reveal more about their design philosophy, which has firmly established Passage as an emerging design brand shaping the future of the industry.
Tag: Design / Interview
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