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Interview with Pierre Foulonneau

Home > Designer Interviews > Pierre Foulonneau

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Pierre Foulonneau (PF) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Pierre Foulonneau by clicking here.

Interview with Pierre Foulonneau at Friday 27th of May 2022
Pierre Foulonneau
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?
PF: I decided to become a designer when I was 14 years old wen I discovered designer was a job with which I could make a living of drawing and inventing things.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
PF: I am an industrial designer and design consultant living and working in France. I established my design studio in Nantes, on the French Atlantic coast, where I take on assignments for international companies. The studio work encompasses a wide range of projects with an affinity for homeware and tableware.

FS: What is "design" for you?
PF: I would quote Ettore Sottsass : "design is not limited to the need to lend more or less form to a stupid product destined for a more or less sophisticated industry, design is one way to discuss life. It is a way to discuss society, politics, eroticism, food and even design"

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PF: I like to design objects for the home in general. I like when people use my object on a daily basis.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
PF: it feels so long ago! I can't really remember.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
PF: I tend to favor natural materials such as metal, wood, glass and ceramic. Ceramic being the one I worked with the most extensively in the past years. I find also mineral material such as stone; marble; concrete or terrazzo very attractive but I haven’t find the right project or client yet.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PF: Creativity is like a background task and you never know when the spark will appear!

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
PF: I don’t give any priority, I rather look for a good balance between all aspects of design.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
PF: excitement and happiness

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
PF: I find it very fulfilling when the objects I created have found a place and a purpose in someone’s life.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PF: The degree of desirability, whether it is because it has a nice aesthetic or because it perfectly fulfill its function.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PF: We, designers, have definitely a role to play in helping the transformation towards a more responsible society with a higher respect for the environment we live in.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
PF: Design have a wonderful ability to reinvent itself adapt to changes, it will take a major role in shaping our future with a capacity of turning ideas into reality.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
PF: Last exhibition was "1000 vases" in 2021 during the Milano Design Week. I actually presented the collection of vases that recently received a Bronze A' Design Award.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
PF: Inspiration often comes from everyday life, through observation and the ability to question your environment. When I’m operating an object for example, and I start questioning it, then opportunities start to spring. Regarding creativity, I developed a daily routine of sketching ideas. It is similar to a lyricist or a poet that writes down bits and pieces that he later combines to create something more elaborate. I accumulate notebooks with a collection of various ideas; concepts; shapes; details; assembly; finishes; that I later use or consult (going through these notebooks with fresh eyes sometimes allows new ideas to spring). I also like to hang out in factories or workshops, where things are actually made, it is always very instructive. Antics and museums are also places to browse; there are plenty of solutions and principles to harvest.

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?
PF: I design honest, simple, functional and emotional products that bring happiness to use; make life easier; help create unforgettable moments with loved one or just brighten the day by their presence. I want my products to find a long lasting place in people’s life. It's all about warmth and friendliness.

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?
PF: I live in Nantes, on France's Atlantic coast. My french cultural heritage is of course present in my design but as a curious person I also absorb other cultures pretty easily.

FS: How do you work with companies?
PF: For me it's all about collaboration. Collaboration creates emulation and helps pushing limits to elevate projects to another level. It also has to do with exchanging and sharing ideas, making new experiences and creating a common history.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
PF: Inspiration often comes from everyday life, through observation and the ability to question an environment or an object. When I’m operating an object for example, and I start questioning it, then opportunities start to spring. I then sat down at my desk and start defining how I feel it should be. It's about elaborating a vision of the project. Then I produce different iterations of the project, each one being the result of a dialogue involving me, the client and who ever makes the object. The product evolves through this refining process and becomes more relevant. I stop when I feel we've carefully considered all aspects and details of the product and shaved off all the superfluous.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
PF: Challenging yourself by choosing to explore unknown territories is how you keep progressing throughout your carrier.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
PF: Curiosity!

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
PF: A notebook and a pen is probably the most important set of tools. But I’d say also a caliper! Definitely a must have in any design office. The best way to keep connected to the reality in this digital age. Paper and cardboard models also are incredibly useful.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
PF: Probably the decade I spent in Italy alongside George J Sowden, first in his design studio and later on working on designing his own homeware brand SOWDEN.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
PF: Emko (lithuania), Pasabahce (Turkey), Rig Tig (Denmark), Riva (Brazil)

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
PF: I'd like to do more furniture and also start to produce myself my own collection of objects.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
PF: I work mostly on my own, but I assemble a team for larger projects.

FS: How can people contact you?
PF: People can contact me on my website www.pierrefoulonneau.com or on my instagram @pierrefoulonneau


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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