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Interview with Léa André

Home > Designer Interviews > Léa André

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Léa André (LA) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Léa André by clicking here.

Interview with Léa André at Monday 23rd of April 2012
Léa André
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
LA: I had graduated from ESAD of Reims, in France, last June where I got my Masters in design. During my time there I did several internships with design companies in various countries, in Honduras for Atuto Company, in New Zealand for David Trubridge and Co, in Germany for Thegreeneyl and also in Paris for an embroidery company calls Linge au coeur. At the moment I am working in a design company in Queanbeyan, Australia called Fink design. When I was child, I was fantasisizing about being an archaeologist, dreaming about travelling around the world, discovering a place where no one has been before. I think it’s similar to being a designer. The only difference between them is that one tries to discover how the past was made and the other one tries to find how the future will be made.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
LA: At the moment I'm doing an internship with Robert Foster for Fink design in Canberra, Australia. This company gives me the opportunity to access the workshop in order to carry on my own projects. They also give me the time and the motivation to do that.

FS: What is "design" for you?
LA: Design is the process of finding the best balance between concept, form and material.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
LA: I feel more confortable working with small scale objects. However at the moment I'm working on a stool and I'm trying to enlarge the scale.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
LA: My favourite design is the design found in "Metaphors" of Ettore Sottsass. In this book Ettore share his artistics experiences in a wild place with only materials found in the land scape.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
LA: The first thing I designed for a company is "The Chocolate’s Opera" for the La Maison du Chocolat. This artistic piece creates a connection between chocolate and opera. The arias coming from the inside of the structure create waves that are drawn in the liquid chocolate held at the top of the object.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
LA: My favourite material is food. Because food is universal, easy to share, culturally rich, biodegradable, transformable, vital and tasty !

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
LA: I’m feeling the most creative when I’m travelling. It’s revival, my mind is open about all my environment, I’m feeling like a sponge which absorbs every little detail around it.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
LA: I focus on the experimentation aspect. I try to find something completely new and different. Also I try to listen my conviction. For me the priority in the creation progress is to get pleasure.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
LA: Happiness, anger, love, desire, insanity, tranquility...

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
LA: ...But when the design is realize I’m feeling invincible ! And just for this emotion I could spend hours and hours looking for the right solution.

FS: What makes a design successful?
LA: A new concept.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
LA: I consider the thought process.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
LA: The role of the designer is to consider the impact on the environment of all of the processes of making his design.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
LA: I think we are going out of the consumer society, people would like to buy less product but with a better quality or more poetic objects. We are going out of the "Bling bling" culture, I hope!

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
LA: After several exhibitions done during my studies in Reims. I've been doing various internships with artists around the world, so I have not had any solo exhibitions lately.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
LA: Most of my design inspiration are from my differents travels and people I’ve met on my road. I’m feeling inspired during my walks.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
LA: I'm feeling confortable when I touch the material I'm working with.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
LA: I have a french culture but I’m living in Australia (Canberra) at the moment. It’s when I’m a foreigner that I feel the most present my cultural heritage. It’s harder to be original in your own country.

FS: How do you work with companies?
LA: When I’m working for a company, I use to start to work at production. And after if there is any oportnities and good exange start to work around a project with them.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
LA: A good designer is someone likes his job.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
LA: I like to play with the material. Experiment with it. Try to find its limits, its weaknesses, the way to make it beautiful.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
LA: My laguiol (French knife), my running shoes, my traveling diary, my laptop, my pencil.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
LA: Short jogging, good breackfast, and working day.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
LA: I'm a young designer.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
LA: The positive thing is that every day is diferent, the life of designer can not be monotone. But it also a negative thing, live with the doubt of what it will be tomorrow?

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
LA: Follow your conviction never give up.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
LA: Motivation, curiosity and open mindedness.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
LA: My travelling dairy and my laptop.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
LA: I'm working at the Fink design factory two days a week and working on my own project in the space the others days.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
LA: There is no rule. A project could take a all life to be well design. But if there is an order from a company, the dead line is the limit.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
LA: What is next?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
LA: My most important job is the working experience I’m doing at the moment for Fink design.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
LA: I'm curious, so I realy enjoy the design work which need to do a lot of research around.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
LA: I would like carry on my travel around Australia and my design experience here. My dream would be to open an artistic place in Berlin with friends of mine who are interested in art and design.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
LA: Both of them.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
LA: A stool in polycarbonate. This project start two years ago in New Zealand. It won a design competition where Robert Foster was one of the members of the jury and now I continue the concept at his workshop.

FS: How can people contact you?
LA: People can contact me trough my email adress : lea.andre@hotmail.fr. Also can get more informations about my design background through my website : www.leaandre.com


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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