Vincent Dechelette — Interview
Interview with French industrial designer Vincent Dechelette.
Tiffany Bähler: Hello Vincent, how are you?
Vincent Dechelette: Hey Tiffany, I am fine thank you. I am currently traveling in Italy so obviously everything goes for the better.
TB: Can you introduce yourself?
VD: I’m Vincent a curious industrial designer, born in Lyon. I grew up in Ardèche in France in a small village located between the banks of the Rhône, the cherry trees and vineyards of Saint-Joseph. After a Baccalaureate in Applied Arts I continued my studies in Lyon (BTS Design Product) before joining Switzerland and ECAL in 2008. My studies at ECAL were as long as exciting (Bachelor Industrial Design 2012 – Master Design Product 2014). Year after year steps and obstacles were crossed by a deep motivation and a unique human relation based on sharing.
TB: Where does your interest in design come from?
VD: My interest in design is quite naive and childish. It started amongst a peasants context, it has spread through the sharing and transmission of manual labour, my eyes still focus on the famous “know-how” (savoir-faire / ça-voir-faire – Vladimir Heinz). Alongside several passionate people (winegrowers, cheesemakers, forest-rangers, beekeepers, ceramists, painters, etc.) I observed and analysed the gestures of the man facing his tools making him fascinating. Thanks also to my cabinetmaker grandfather that I had the opportunity to draw and make my very first furniture in olive wood and walnut.
TB: Can you explain to us one of your projects?
VD: With pleasure, let’s talk about my last project “RtB lamp” presented in Milan last April.
The starting point for this table lamp was to present a contemporary interpretation of what could be the new ready-made in 2017.
Three letters RtB as “ready to blow / bright” refer to the initial function of the diffuser, a PET preform commonly used for blowing plastic bottles. The semi-finished product is used without modification for its shapes and sculptural characteristics but also for the amazing quality of this material, which before blowing makes illusion of a piece of glass (super cheap). The base is in Terrazzo a composite material mixing bottle glass chips, fragments of marble and cement. Those two elements represent two different moments of a bottle life before birth / after death.
Finally this project allowed me to meet one of the rare industry that still practice plastic injection in France (SGT plastic) but also Villanova Terrazzo with whom we are developing a collection of domestic items that should be presented in the coming months.
TB: What is your favourite piece from your products?
VD: My favourite piece is my master’s degree project The Bill shelves family. I attach great importance to it because it is always a project that I have been working on since 2014. It found a second life in 2017 with the help of the great communication blogs like Sight Unseen and Say Hi To and because of its industrial simplicity and also of its timeless aesthetics that it attracts a warned and un-warned target. Project in progress, visible in the “La Marchande des 4 saisons” Gallery in Arles, France.
TB: How do you feel about the current design scene in Paris?
VD: Installed in Paris for 2 years I still discover the codes of this city, which fascinates and inspires me as much as it scares me.
One thing is sure, there is currently in Paris a pool of young designers (generic term) very enthralling. The meetings are easy often around a pastis at the Autobus (Parisian popular bar) and the competition seems to gradually disappear from the spirits. Having followed long studies in Switzerland I like to share time with ex-ecal, photographers, graphic designers, artist, jewellery designers, etc. (species that seems energizing “la ville lumière”). I also like to meet “the others” who are like all our generation animated by the idea of doing things in groups by putting at the centre of thoughts the multidisciplinary (think tank).
TB: Is there a book which opened your eyes about design?
VD: I will not talk about books because I do not like reading! However I like the pictures.
Today at the centre of my work an application accompanies me daily, Instagram. As a large open book without last page Instagram allows me to communicate on my work in the most beautiful way, without text, without blabla… and preserve the self-interpretation of the curious.
Instagram is a working tool that brings me work and allows me to share what amazes, intrigues and makes me laugh while having in mind this beautiful sentence of Pierre Keller (ECAL former director) “Dear students, be serious without ever taking yourself seriously…”