Mathieu Lehanneur is a handful designer who seamlessly works across many creative fields, resulting in a portfolio of work that includes innovative objects and architecture, combining technology, science and art, ultimately delivering new experiences and products.
Designboom visited Mathieu Lehanneur design studio located at the 2nd arrondissement in Paris where the team spoke with him regarding his take on design, the fine line between one-off pieces and art, his influences and current projects, including his “liquid marble” installaion and the “Café Mollien” at the Louvre Museum.
Let’s take a peek!
What originally made you want to become a designer?
Most of the time we read or hear designers saying that they started to draw and design when they were kids. Frankly at the beginning, I was more focused on becoming a visual artist. I started to study art, but after five or six months I decided to stop; I was looking for a problem, for something to solve. I wanted a client to give me a question, to ask me to solve a problem. So, I changed my mind, and when I was around 20 I decided to apply to design school. I spent seven years in this school, since I was not absolutely focused on design history, existing design and existing products, this is probably one of the reasons my diploma project was “design of the medicine”.
Where does the designer come in?
The designer can do a lot of things because basically the raw materials used by the pharmaceutical industry is a white powder, like cocaine in a way. You can give it the shape you want, the texture you want, the sound you want when you eat it. It’s just like food, and food is not only food. Food can be functional, it can give you pleasure, and it is fun. Medicine can work in that sense. The idea was to work with different types of medicines that would help patients be involved, to clearly state the right posology (dosage) and duration of the treatment.
You are interested in working on pieces that go into galleries (limited editions, one-offs), but you are also involved in mass-production. Both have different approaches is different. How do you see them?
It’s quite different in terms of targets and in terms of process, but at the end of the day, the ways in which they are both created are not so different from each other. The chandelier for carpenters workshop gallery is a limited edition piece that is quite expensive because its process is complex. The piece was made using a type of industrial process because it involves a mix between “ready-to-wear” – due to the standard elements that compose it (glass tubes) – but as soon as you decide to order one, we come and see the room where you want to install it, and according to the size and shape of the space, we will decide if it’s going to be a rectangular one, a high one, etc. So, this makes it a limited edition piece that is produced in an industrial way. I really want to avoid force strict boundaries between those two fields because you can really start to experiment in the limited edition world.
What particular aspects of your background and upbringing have shaped your design principles and philosophies?
I am the youngest of a family of seven children. I grew up in a micro-society in which the needs and desires of each one had to go after the group’s, the family needs. Whatever the city or country in which we live, we all live in this situation of frequent confrontation between our own desires and the common interest. I probably became a designer to try to find solutions for the greatest number of people while attaching myself to understand and take care of each individual.
What would you say is your design studio’s strongest skill, and how have you honed it over time?
We plan every project as if it were the first and the last. I encourage my designers to forget what we did previously. I don’t like design recipes, I cannot stand designers who copy themselves. Each project is a new story, a new context and a new puzzle to solve. And for that, I need every trace of the previous project to disappear. As soon as a project ends, I immediately request to remove drawings, mock ups, prototypes that remains in the studio. We create a new blank page and we clean our mind to better stimulate again!
What are you currently interested in, and how is it feeding into your work?
Our brain is the lesser-known organ of our body, but we all know its importance. Research on this subject has never been greater as today. It is a fascinating door of knowledge of the human being that is being opened. I am neither a scientist nor a neurologist, but it is a huge inspiration for a designer like me who is more interested in the human than the object!
What is your motto?
End my life by telling myself that I could not do more and I could not do better. End my life tired but glad and delighted to have lived so well.
Design Design News | Original article here.
Visit our Pinterest Board and find out all the news about design, architecture and arts. Keep up with us and get to know the latest news and trends.
Post via News and Events