Matthieu Girel, French industrial designer based in Lausanne.

— Hello Matthieu, how are you?

Hello Ligature! I’m fine thank you. I just received my prototype for Milan 2016. I’m happy and tired at the same time.

— Can you introduce yourself?

I’m a French industrial designer based in Lausanne. I’m 27, I grew up in Orleans (France) and I went to Switzerland in 2009 to study at Ecal.

Now I work at eplf/ecal lab as an assistant and I run my own design studio in an old metal factory. I’m glad to share this big place with friends, we spend a lot of time in there.

— Where does your interest in design come from?

I was interested in art and applied arts before thinking about design. I always knew that I wanted a job in which I could draw or make models. I thought architecture was the best way for that but product design is better!

— Would you like to explain to us one of your projects?

Ok, I can talk about lamps.

Just after school, I drew two table lamps (Ego and Betty) for the same « glass » exhibition at NOV gallery (Geneva) and I would love to work on similar projects for industries.

Ego is a very simple led light. A tribute to the incandescent light bulbs with silver tops. 
I worked with local craftsmen and I discovered borosilicate glass. It was a great experience.

Betty is more like a sculpture inspired by the core drilling process. 
I like the contrast between the fragility of glass and the hardness of stone.

— Do you have a favorite material to work with?

No, I’m quite sure that I hate Plexiglas but I’m curious of all other materials! I recently discovered pewter. I chose to cast it in cardboard molds. I’ve loved to work with this material. It’s easy to get a result quickly, but it’s a whimsical material.

— Is there any designer you appreciate a lot?

It’s difficult to pick up one name, I appreciate many designers for different reasons and the design playground is big…

As a lot of designers, I like many products from Castiglioni, I recently settled the Frisbi lamp for the studio. I’ve forgotten how this product is as beautiful as well designed!

— Is there a book which opened your eyes about design?

I read the book about Jasper Morrison from C.A Boyer few years ago. I don’t know if it opened my eyes about design but it brought me a lot of answers about design movements, context and history.

— The last word…


Photography by Nicolas Genta.
XYZ is coproduced with Yann Mathys and Mathieu Rivier.
Projects ©Matthieu Girel.

Interview: Dennis Moya + Tiffany Bähler, 03.16