Julie Richoz, Swiss–French designer based in Paris.

Hello Julie, how are you?

Super good, and you?

Fine thank you. Can you introduce yourself?

I’m a Swiss-French designer based in Paris. I was born in Switzerland then I moved to France with my parents where I grew up in La Rochelle close to the ocean. I went back to Switzerland to study at ECAL from where I graduated in 2012. Then I moved to Paris to work as an assistant for Pierre Charpin, the same year I won the Design Parade 7 at the Villa Noailles. As part of the prize I did a one-year residency at CIRVA (International research centre on art and glass in Marseille) and at Sèvres, city of ceramics, which was pretty exciting. Today I have my own studio where I work, with a same pleasure, for both gallery and editor.

Where does your interest in industrial design come from?

Doing something ‘creative’ has always attracted me. At the end, I chose to work on object. It is a wide and rich discipline that involves many parameters, such as material or color but also history. It is for me a very rich and powerful palette.

What are the key features of your design?

I have a sensitive approach to object. Their ‘material’ quality is what interests me the most. I wish to make object that enrich our life, from a practical point of view but mainly from the quality of their presence. I wish to make object that are good companions.

Can you describe to us the Thalie project?

Thalie is my diploma project. It is a collection of containers made of flat sheet metal held together by a thin thread of metal wire. The collection is based on a dialogue between an industrial process and an artisanal finalization.

I was fascinated by the properties and the sharpness of thin spring steel sheet, I sensed the potential to create something as delicate as the knitted or laced objects I had found in a book called «Ouvrages des Dames». Since the beginning of the project, I had these two elements in mind.

I used chemical etching to cut the sheets of spring steel in a very precise way. The two-dimensional elements are then manually transformed into volumes, which the shapes result from the natural tension of the material. Irregular and sensual shapes appear from at first a very mechanic drawing. The collection is now edited by Artecnica, a Los Angeles brand.

What is the project that you done with more pleasure and interest?

Working at CIRVA was definitely a great experience. Glass is a fascinating material, it catches the light in its own way and delivers intense colors. That is why at CIRVA I can’t have done anything else than playing with all the colors offered by this beautiful material.

CIRVA is a very special place. It gives a frame of liberty for designer and artist to discover glass and create something new with it. The team is motivated by the challenges, and is very generous in trying things. Research place like this are very precious. Developing idea outside of the frame of industry leads to a totally different result, which is good to experiment.

Is there any designer you appreciate a lot?

Difficult to just pick a name, as I’m always really curious to discover the work of others. Recently I read a lot about Alvar Aalto, what he did with lighting is really remarkable.

Which books are on your bedside table?

The Book of Tea from Okakura Kakuzō. I’ve read it two years ago but I wanted to read it again. Amongst other things, the author brings his Japanese point of view about object and a certain sense of beauty, I feel sometimes pretty close to some sentence he wrote. I’m going to Japan for the first time next month, so it is the perfect moment to read this book again.

The last word…

Thank you !

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Interview Dennis Moya & Tiffany Bähler — 03.15

Pictures ©Julie Richoz.

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