Seven questions with designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance
The interiors architect and designer, Duchaufour-Lawrance, on how materials inform his process, the purity of natural shapes and his plans for a studio space facing the ocean…
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do…
I was brought up in Brittany in an artistic and anti-consumerism household. I lived surrounded by an eclectic mix of objects in a very harmonious environment. My mother was an art teacher and my stepfather a linguist. My real father was a sculptor, he died when I was very young, but I know that I inherited his passions for materials. I studied sculpture before moving into design and this is why the sculptural aspect of objects is so fundamental to me. I’m a designer and there is no separation from what I do from who I am.
How do you decide on the materials you use?
I have worked with wood, crystal, stone, leather, marble and I like the challenge of using different techniques. It makes you push boundaries – and that always benefits the end result.
What making processes do you employ?
Depending on the project, materials usually come first and, from there, shapes will follow – often in a very emotional and spontaneous way, but design is always based on context: what I want to achieve and which materials I need to use to bring me there.
What inspires you as a brand?
I travel quite a bit and I take a great deal of inspiration from the sea and nature in general. The purity of free-flowing forms, shapes, curves, textures, even the smells of nature is intoxicating and a great source of inspiration to me. Experiencing is the bottom line a necessary part of my working process.
How do you see the brand evolving in the next few years?
I want a place facing the ocean, both to work and for exhibiting projects. It’s going to be a space to create with care and attention – but also a place where participating and sharing is encouraged. I’m on that path and working toward that goal…
What collaborations have you done with other brands that you particularly enjoyed?
All the projects are interconnected and it’s difficult to think about them in a separate way.
Working with Saint Louis for a 25-piece crystal collection over three years of work was incredible. Crystal is a complex material: liquid and hard, cold and warm. It is as magical as it is indomitable and it requires knowledge and patience.
My partnerships with Hermes and Ligne Roset were very successful because it was about fusing historical design and heritage with the future generation and a certain purity of forms.
I believe that the design language I have developed over the years through various partnerships has been an integral part of m growth as a designer.
What is the best advice you could pass on?
There are no clients: there are people to share experiences with.
Always enjoy what you do and work with honesty, integrity and passion.