Jean-François D’Or, founder of the industrial design studio Loudordesign, Brussels.

Hello Jean-François D’Or, how are you?

Pretty good, this is summer time, nevertheless I’m still in my design studio… impatient wishing to catch holidays time, just like a fish within a round fishbowl dreaming to jump back to the Atlantic.

Can you introduce yourself? Tell us more about you and the Loudordesign studio.

As it is quiet difficult to describe myself, I let some other doing it…

« His approach takes account of company imperatives as well as user needs and is tempered by the desire to reach a market; his products set out to enrich our environment. Exploring numerous materials, Jean-François D’Or brings out their beauty without ostentation. His simple, unpretentious, logical objects appeal as much on for their evident, clearly perceptible design as well as their discrete poetry. »
– Denis Laurent.

« A strange phosphorescence covers the humblest objects as if poetry were only what is extraordinary about the ordinary »
– Georges Linze.

Where does your interest in design come from?

From the time when I did not know anything about industrial design discipline, not even the word title… I was 15 year old and was reading the Manifest of surrealism from André Breton, they often express themselves with objects within absurd situation. I understood that objects could be very serious and functional but also touch people within an universal way. Create a relationship and a dialog between object(s) and user(s) through function(s) and emotion(s). That is why objects are for.

You work with many different materials and you create all kinds of products from chairs, lamps, vases or even glasses. Do you have a product that you enjoyed making more than others?

No, every project is a challenge and a new experience feeding my daily design attitude. I wish to visit many kind of object typology, just like opening always a new book, otherwise I’ll be afraid to repeat or to get bored…

It is just perfect when you do not know about anything on an object to design, just like a virgin, you have everything to discover, to study; a huge field where I’ll try to find my own answer, the level of intervention; first to catch the basic function and then if needed, finding my own statement, added value, detail… many possibilities of expression or dialog with the future user of this object.

Can you describe your design process?

Synthesis | Essential | Simplicity
A product is the result of an alchemic harmony between 4 essential domains :
human – environment – technology – economy.
Within this crucial crossroads of design, I seek to assess relationships of those domains and to synthetize them in order to establish the multi-faceted essential qualities of objects. Bruno Munari said « Complicating is simple, simplifying is complicated. »

What was your best encounter as a designer?

There are a lot encounters and there are the way projects grow daily. It is very difficult to give you only one and make the selection… Its might be some friends, music, books, my lover, my son, movies, some of my teachers, some colleagues, some editor-brands…

Is there any designer or movement you appreciate a lot?

Maybe the less designed as possible, the Gud design describe by Dieter Rams.

Do you think that tomorrow’s products will be more and more interactive with the users?

It is the basic purpose of an object, to serve the user. I do appreciate few words of Le Corbusier about this: « Les objets-membres humains sont des objets-types, répondant à des besoins-types. »

Do you have any advice to give to our readers, students and future designers?

Observe people and design for them; keep it simple.

The last word…

The sun is a huge helium container in which I’ll draw this summer.

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Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Baehler – 08.14

Vervloet : Pictures © Stéphanie Derouaux, Ligne Roset : Pictures © Ligne Roset,  Schreder | Prototype : Pictures © Loudordesign studio, Reflect+ : Pictures © Peter Verplancke, Interni Edition : Pictures © Interni Edition.

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