Interview by Stephan Blanc
Jules and Pierre are two young furniture designers from Paris. They create modern, easy-to-assemble design pieces that answer the dilemmas we are confronted in our current society: lack of space, money and time.
1/ How important is it for you to
surround yourself with beauty?
Both of my parents are architects so I grew up in an environment where space,
shape and light were important. As a child, I understood the way my body was
interacting with its surroundings, it’s around the same time that I started building
objects in my father’s atelier.
I grew up in the Ménil Montant neighborhood, my mother has always been very
sensitive to interior design, I started drawing and painting when I was a
child, I was intrigued by the beauty emerging from the colors and shapes around
me. My studies as a cabinetmaker at the
Boule Institute made that passion for design grow even more.
2/ Who or what are your
my studies in architecture in Brazil clearly influenced me, there I discovered
new materials and designers like the painter Valdemar Codeiro and the architect
Lucio Costa. The whole process is what is interesting to me, from the creation
of the piece of furniture to the impact it can have on its environment.
from Jules & Pierre, I have also been working in a restoration shop in the Carré Saint
Germain. We restore furniture, from Louis XVI style to contemporary pieces. In
my career, I’ve always focused on lines and curves and the way they evolved throughout
history. Going back in time helps feeding my inspiration and influenced my work for Jules
3/ Can you describe your creative
process? Who does what in the duo?
Pierre: Jules has a space vision and Pierre material vision of design, which
makes us very complementary. Jules handles the digital part of the projet and
the design, whereas Pierre handles the technical part and the conception up to
4/ You have a line called “Mobilier
de crise" ("Crisis furniture”), I guess this is your way
of redefining design in crisis time, is this becoming a common
practice in the design industry? What type of clientele is interested by this
type of line?
Jules et Pierre:
We wanted to make an affordable yet design-oriented line as an answer to the
current economical and environmental crisis. With Environment-friendly material
and short production cycles process, we try to reduce the impact of both our
product and its manufacture on our environment. We don’t know if it’s a common practice
in the industry, but we feel like we need to move with our time and adapt to
5/ Your furniture can be built without a
single tool (enboistable) and it is easy to ship. How do you combine
functionality with beauty?
Pierre: The main idea is to build [our pieces of furniture] without tools, therefore
the shape will directly depend on various technical constraints arising from
this idea. Again, we create products for clients that have small spaces and
need practical furniture with an interesting design. Our idea has always been
to create mono-material products, easy to put together, with a unique design.
The goal is to apply our lines and ideas to our customers’ needs.
6/ You’re part of a young label called
“L’artisanat responsable Parisien" that certified that the
furniture are not made on big scale, with material from Paris and its vicinity,
with a limited impact on the environment. Do those criteria limit your creation
process? or is it more of a challenge?
Jules et Pierre: Our approach
has always been in between the mass production and the traditional craftsman making
unique pieces. We personally do the quality check of each piece of furniture we
produce and that explains why we do small series. The short production cycle is
possible in Paris because we have our suppliers and raw material available nearby.
This allows us to overseas the production process as well as the quality check
of the materials to make sure our impact on our environment is diminished
7/ Any new concept in the pipe for 2016?
Jules et Pierre: We plan on developing a new
folding piece made with golden mirrors. It will have the shape of a diamond
once it’s put together, in order to be integrated in large, luminous and modern
spaces. After our simple and functional
approach, we wanted to work on a more extravagant concept, with higher quality materials
and without any space restrictions. The idea is to combine the golden mirror
effect with clean lines, to reflect large interiors such as New York lofts for example.