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Interview with Lionel Scharly

Home > Designer Interviews > Lionel Scharly

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

Interview with Lionel Scharly at Tuesday 18th of October 2016

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?
LS: I always want to be a designer/architect. Coming from am Architectural family, it was quite tough to follow them if you don't want to stay a follower.. But because from my childhood I always conceived things, I have decided during a discussion with my GrandPa 'Architect' to to take the way by the design.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
LS: SCHARLY DESIGNER STUDIO was create in 2007, after have been for several years International Design Manager in big design firms. I have decided to fight a cause, the plastics, I have participate to an International Competition and have been awarded. I have established a close relationship with the European Plastics valley of Oyonnax and built up the Studio in Paris. We were hosted in the PARIS Design Cluster 'Republique Innovation' and have done research and development for 7 years to develop and patented the first eco friendly plastic chairs. In 2011 we hove open our satellite Design + Architecture in New York City and are based today in Brooklyn.

FS: What is "design" for you?
LS: Innovation, shape, acting and advocating for a better future.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
LS: Furniture and building

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
LS: It's like kids, I love them all!

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
LS: My first job, if I well remember was a NightClub ;-)

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
LS: In Design, definitely the plastics, ecofriendly of course.. designed with Autodesk tools, and 3D printed In Architecture, the wood, still designed on Autodesk, and Manufacture with CNC Technology

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
LS: The morning..

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
LS: Curves, innovation, materials

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
LS: Concentration, connexion, UX

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
LS: End of a fight, leap of faith, peaceful, Happy!

FS: What makes a design successful?
LS: Different from each others

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
LS: The bad design never born..

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
LS: Going to the future, for the people, and with sustainability.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
LS: We are in a new revolution, technologically, economically, that where the design is acting..

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
LS: The last on was WANTED DESIGN / NYCXDESIGN in Industry City/Brooklyn and the next one will be in the MOOD museum in Netherlands, if I'm not wrong. I can design the future, but not predict it! ;-)

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
LS: LookUp

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?
LS: Contemporary, I spent several year working and thinking to design simple things. And because I have studied Magritte at the Beaux-Arts of Paris, I always design things that you don't think to see. This is not a chair 'it's an ecofriendly plastic chair', this not a building 'it's a new community space', etc.. But most of all my legacy is the GreenTech.

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?
LS: I live and work in New York City 'Sugar Hill/Harlem' Cultural heritage is very strong in my neighborhood, if I design like their Jazz, I can be a proud creative.. Designing in USA is very interesting and competitive. It's like breaking concrete. You always start from scratch.. This country and this City is definitely not finished..

FS: How do you work with companies?
LS: We collaborate on a brief, bidding, etc.. with some problematic or not. Some time they let us do what we want, and then we review, or make!

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
LS: They have to like their style, approach of the design, and their legacy.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
LS: Design-thinking - Sketching - Design process - Making

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
LS: My palets sofa, My Chess Game, My Frankfort Factory, My Wall Bear, My Olfactive Lamp 'PaerTr'

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
LS: Train, Design Studio, coffee, design projects.....................................Train, lookup, night conferences, home, design readings, internet surfing, get a sleep in the sofa..

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
LS: Find your legacy..

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
LS: It's a leap of faith..! If you don't want to do it, leave it!

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
LS: Practice, practice, practice. Oh, I forgot, practice.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
LS: Their is multiple religion, I think sketching is very important.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
LS: I just switch to IPencil, it works better with full battery, and after you can transfer to Autodesk design solutions..

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
LS: Designing have priority on everything, my son 7 years always remember me ' don't forget dad you have to feed me, you have always to design' ;-)

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
LS: It can take one hour to several months

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
LS: Where does the plastics, the 3D printing and construction industries are going.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
LS: Affordance, the studio have give birth to the first Smart Street Furniture, we have experimented it in the Paris's Parks and Recreations. It was was very interesting, but very tough, you have to control and manage a lot of things, the furniture itself, it's social new position, acceptance from the citizen, agression, press realease, material sustainability in a public area, new technology, curiosity, critics, damages, etc.. etc..

FS: Who are some of your clients?
LS: Veuve Clicquot, MOET & CHANDON, Jean Rousseau Atelier, Eclectic Contract Furniture, NYCEDC, Neholis wind turbines, Developers, Private clients..

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
LS: It's not really the type of design work, but the type of relationship we have with the client.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
LS: Follow the line..

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
LS: Both of it, but I have a preference to work with an assistant.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
LS: By definition I can't ;-) But a chair is always a surprise!

FS: How can people contact you?
LS: Email: studio@scharlydesignerstudio.nyc

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
LS: Nope!


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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