She is the mind behind one of the most charming table lamps of the recent years – the award-winning, joyfully-coloured Binic created in collaboration with the Italian brand Foscarini and having received the ‘Grands Prix de la Création’ of the city of Paris in 2010, the multitalented young designer Ionna Vautrin opened her namesake studio in Paris this time last year. Back in October 2011, we had the pleasure of meeting the gifted yet self-effacing Vautrin who answered few of our questions we’ve been itching to ask…
Why did you choose to work with Foscarini? How do the creative/technical processes vary from different manufacturers?
When you are a young designer like me, it is quite difficult to decide and get to work with an important manufacturer like Foscarini. It is quite rare that a brand of such calibre trusts and gives an opportunity of a real collaboration with a young designer. I was very lucky that they contacted me to offer me to reflect on a few projects in 2009. As a result, ‘Binic’ was born from this first collaboration. I think Foscarini has built up a nice image full character thanks to artistic direction. I was really surprised by the efficiency and responsiveness of their office development, no detail was overlooked.
As a design blog, we’d like to know if and why is it important to have your work promoted online? Does other designer’s work that you see online and the recent phenomenon and huge popularity of design blogs influence your work creatively?
The websites are naturally very important in promoting designer’s work in general. Personally, I have been able to discover the power of this media thanks to the very important communication around ‘Binic’. It is a popular media and open to everyone, 24/7 which I think is a plus for design projects that are often perceived as elitist. Of course, I sometimes check the blogs, it allows to know the latest news, emerging designers, and I sometimes make some great discoveries…
I do not know whether it influences my work but it probably feeds me in the same way that visiting an exhibition, reading a book, to strolling the streets or going on a trip does.
What’s your view on video, which as a medium is becoming increasingly important in terms of presenting and promoting design? Is it a help or hindrance?
I think the video is an incredible media to present a project in different way: humorous, descriptive, poetic…It is both simple and didactic, educational and distracting, attractive and easy to reach… It is a real tool to consider when communicating design projects. I think it will become as indispensable media as photography.
What’s the role of the design today? Knowing as we do that (in theory) we don’t need any more products?
Each year, when I come back from the Milan furniture fair I ask myself this question. It is always difficult to answer when you are a designer because it questions the legitimacy of our profession. I think a project finds its legitimacy today through its inbuilt quality, comfort and the emotion it transmits; objects that pass the time, serve their users throughout their lives. Personally, I try to work on the emotion that can be projected onto an object through stories, memories, the feeling of ‘deja vu’…
What have you seen recently that you thought: ‘I wish I have done that’?
I think the most amazing project I saw recently was the exhibition ‘Monumenta’ by Anish Kapoor at the Grand Palais in Paris. I did not think ‘I wish i have done that’ but ‘Wow, how did he do that?’ This exhibition was a real experience, truly exceptional!
What are you working on at the moment? What are your future projects?
Of course I am continuing my collaboration with Foscarini, working on new lights. I also continue to work with other brands such as Super-ette, Moustache or Galerie Tools…I work on many other projects such as tables, chairs, giant animals in fabric, computer bags, mirrors… But I can not mention the names of these new manufacturers as yet…I’ll let you discover some of these during the next Milan furniture fair!
What would be your ideal project? Who would you like to collaborate with?
I do not have pet projects, I would like to work on many topics or types of objects, more or less industrial, from the smallest to the largest scale, with the most rare to the most basic materials, from the most serious to the most crazy projects. The list of companies that I would like to work with would be so long that it is difficult to name only one … spontaneously, I would say Alessi!