GRANDE — Interview

GRANDE, a collaboration between Aurélie Mathieu and Charlotte Sunnen, Switzerland.

Hello Aurélie and Charlotte, how are you?

We are very well thank you. September was a very exciting month. We have just been selected for the Design Prize Switzerland in the Rado Star Prize category after the federal scholarship that we presented in June.

Can you introduce yourselves?

We are Aurélie and Charlotte and we created GRANDE. We met at ECAL during our Master of Advanced Studies in Design and Luxury industries.

Where does your interest in industrial design come from?

When Aurélie was younger her dad introduced her to vintage cars. She fell in love with the designs, the materials, the detailing of the interior, etc. Design has always been an important part of my life as well. Since early age I was creating my own fashion line, jewellery, furniture. I was always trying to find solutions and fixing things.

What are the key features of your design?

Grande is founded on the idea of creating projects mixing geometrical elements, technical challenges, noble materials and craftsmanship technics.

Can you tell us the story behind the 6×6 projects?

Originating from a partnership with the marble mason’s workshop “Gros-Derudet” based in Lyon, 6×6 part 1 is a project optimizing physical properties of stone to get rid of the traditional constraints. Inspired by wooden laminated panels, this material is designed as a sandwich of stones glued together and then cut into 6 cm by 6 cm battens. This method is increasing significantly the rigidity of the rock by creating a new raw material. It was presented at the Salone Satelitte in 2013

It then becomes possible to produce pieces of a much greater range and at the same time it gives a chance to use the leftovers produced by this industry. This approach allows to implement a system, which creates large structures while preserving its fine stone range.

6×6 part 2 is composed of a console, a coffee table and a lamp, this series echoes the first piece presented by the duo at the Milan International Furniture Fair in April 2014.  These pieces in black Marquina marble challenge the technique of laminated stone.

Is there any designer you appreciate a lot?

Formafantasma, Ettore Sottsass, Arne Jacobsen, Jasper Morrison to name only a few.

Do you have a favorite material to work with?

Obviously now we are focusing on stones and we are trying to evolve our project to push the boundaries of the materials. We also love glass, ceramic, wood, metal. Who knows on what we will work on next.

Is there a book or a manifesto which opened your eyes about design?

Enzo Mari – Autoprogettazione
Raymond Loewy – La laideur se vend mal

Which books are on your bedside table?

Le dernier stade de la soif – Frederick Exley
Hidden forms – Franco Clivio

The last word…

“Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re gonna get”



Interview: Dennis Moya & Tiffany Bähler — 10.15

Pictures ©Grande.