Why and how does design influence our lives?
2 January 2018
If the history of design is inseparable from that of the industrial revolution, the very definition of the word design is that of a "discipline aimed at harmonizing the human environment, from the conception of everyday objects to urban planning. ".
HOW HAS DESIGN CHANGED OUR LIVES OVER DECADES?
If the design has more or less advance and a singular definition more focused on the usual than the "beautiful" in the Nordic countries, this discipline become a "lifestyle" will experience many twists and turns in recent decades.
After the war, the 1950s marked the renewal of design in France. We no longer draw objects but we rethink the whole society at the initiative of a French designer emigrated to the United States: Raymond Loewy. Unlike the Bauhaus and modernist movements that will almost forget that the end user is the main "customer", Loewy takes hold of this phrase "ugly sells badly" to erase an existing fashion and upset our society. Visionary, he will master marketing to remind consumers what must be the style of the moment. His sentence "It is useless for an object to be beautiful if we do not know what it is" will lead man to condition and provoke the desire of the consumer. The design of Loewy is modern, striking, with a touch of personality but not too much to suit the greatest number.
Others like Ray and Charles Eames, with their Eames Lounge Chair, will upset the market but big names like Knoll, Kartell, Fermob, Alessi, Silvera or Vitra will be the "public" windows to make "accessible" the consumer design. They will rely on big names in architecture and design to revolutionize the market.
Frank O. Gehry's Wiggle Side Chair at Vitra, Gae Aulenti's Pipistrello design lamp and other creations will mark the decades until they become true collector's items, reissued nowadays in a limited version. After Roche Bobois, who had made a sensation with his Living Room, the fashion gets to design thanks to André Courrèges.
The French design will experience a new rebound thanks to the great designer, Andrée Putman. In 1984, the architect will be invited to New York to develop the former Studio 54, now the Morgans Hotel.
Her checkered black and white tiles will become her trademark and will make Andrée Putman a design icon. His style will penetrate the biggest shops like Azzedine Alaïa or Balanciaga and take him to Jack Lang's office; for which she will realize a contemporary office.
The Concorde will be one of his finest achievements and will allow him to combine design and high-end. Privileged customers will have the honor of flying in a world where the word design makes sense.
While designing a majestic piano for Pleyel, the design in France is reduced in the 2000s to the word "Cocon" and the old brands are swept away by the arrival of cheap design giant Ikea and equivalent signs. The design loses function "practical" to have only a role of representation in an interior. The emergence of "design" schools, the promotion of young creators through the various communication media, and exhibitions will help to give meaning to the word design in France. While Italy has been exploring "Design" since the creation of the first Milan Salon in 1964, it will take - for France - to wait until the year 2000 and the creation of the D'Days Festival to bring back this "art of living" ". D'Days promotes the design to the general public and professionals in the sector. Little by little, the market is evolving just like the ideas received on the word "Design".
WHY DOES DESIGN NOW ENJOY A GREAT POPULARITY? WHY CONSUMERS ARE QUESTIONS FOR DESIGNERS?
Alexandra Poster Bennaim, Founder of the APR Agency and Design Specialist helps us answer these questions.
According to you ALEXANDRA, WHY DO DESIGN AND DESIGN FURNITURE HAVE A STRONG PRESENCE IN THE MARKET?
This is true today, but its penetration on the French market has been particularly long. Probably because for a long time France was rather producing furniture of style. Renewal of ranges to contemporary furniture has been longer than elsewhere.
On the other hand, there are still 20 or 30 years, many were content to mix family furniture with a few contemporary pieces. But there was before that not a great attraction of the French public for the furniture design. Today, on the one hand, the decoration was released from a number of codes which she had inherited from her role of representation. Everyone is therefore more free to compose an interior that looks like him thanks to the combination of a greater choice and a better accessibility of the offer. With the great trend of the famous "mix & match", no need to choose a style that should be held. The recipe of the moment is precisely to mix styles to achieve a unique and personal mix, which reflects the personality of each. Finally, the different actors of the world of design - publishers, resellers, newspapers, blogs, museums - have made in recent years a remarkable work of evangelization. The French public knows better and better the world of design, its facets, its processes and its actors. Proof of it is, we have never seen so many young designers come out of school. The role of the media, which allows more and more to relay the news of the sector, has been crucial in this change.
WHY CUSTOMERS ARE MORE AND MORE DEMANDERS OF "DESIGN" AND DESIGN OBJECTS?
A product "design" is above all a product with a story. That of a manufacturer, interpreted by a designer through the lens of his own story. Whether talking about a chair, a kettle, a clock or a sofa, each of their aspects have been carefully studied to optimize the means of production and the use of raw materials. This is the opposite of a sanitized object. It has been designed for ergonomic use but also to facilitate and fulfill its function perfectly. In general, much attention has also been paid to its external appearance, as successful as its handling. But beware, the "design" is a mode of design and manufacturing processes, not a more or less contemporary style. On the other hand, many accessible brands have also started to design. Practicing affordable prices for collections constantly renewed, it also allow their customers to change their decor often, to the rhythm of the trends, much as they already do for their wardrobe.
WHAT ARE THE LARGEST EVENTS / SALON FOCUSED ON DESIGN (WORLD / FRANCE)?
Major events in the world of design have a global reach. Most important of all, of course, is Milan's Salone del Mobile with more than 340,000 visitors from 165 countries. Then comes of course Maison & Objet, in Paris, but now also in Miami and Shanghai. In London, Decorex and LuxuryMade are also essential. Events like Design Miami, Design Shanghai, Collective NY and Downtown Design Dubai seem like tomorrow's must-haves.
A DEFINITION OF DESIGN
Over the years, exhibitions and international exhibitions focused on design, the latter can be defined as an act of multidisciplinary creation intended to provide answers to the problems encountered by humans in a given context, in their immediate or remote environment thanks to the development of new forms. The purpose is to bring a new meaning, a different appearance to the object, to create or rethink the object and space for an indivual or collective need. design can apply to all areas of human life.