Thursday, May 1, 2008

Studio Lo in France

Aren't these shoes darling or what? I saw them on a favorite site of mine: The shoes and the other designs below are from a French design studio named; Studio Lo.
Here are some other minimalistic designs Studio Lo makes, it really blows me away how simple but magnificent the designs are.
A display constructed from scraps of felt at the Ginza shopping market in, Tokyo, Japan.

Below an interview from NotCot with Eva Guillet and Aruna Ratnayake from Studio Lo.
1. Tell us a bit about yourselves.
Eva: I studied stage design at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Now, I work both at Studio Lo and I teach interior design.

Aruna: I studied design product in the Ecole Boulle in Paris. I also have a masters in philosophy and art. For the time being, I am an art teacher in a college near Paris.

Eva: We created Studio Lo in 2006 to sell our Slippers Pod. Since then, we have edited all our designs.

2. Where does your process begin? Do you think in 2-D or 3-D?

Eva: We begin with models in paper or paperboard and we go to 3D and back to 2D several times.

Aruna: After we have chosen a typology of object, we are very attentive to follow our process - working with few materials and minimal moves. Starting with models and prototypes, we develop the objects in CAO, until it arrive in the hands of the manufacturer.

3. How do you choose your materials?
Eva: Our first choice is always natural matter.

Aruna: Not only because it is “sustainable”. Of course we use French lambswool and Finnish birch wood (which is grown in responsible forests), but the feeling of natural matter is also crucial. It also need to be compatible with our manufacturing method (water-jet cutting). Felt and plywood are available in standard dimensions and are quite homogeneous materials.

Eva: Felt and plywood are also good candidates to be used in mono-material products. For example, felt can be both flexible and rigid at the same time. It depends on how you shape it.

4. Your products are minimalist in construction (eg. no adhesives - pieces fit together or fold into a larger object), often starting from a single piece of material. What draws you to this method of working?
Aruna: Our process is adapted to our small structure. We need to know at the beginning what is possible and how much it will cost to manufacture the product. Working like this requires less material, less energy, less labor, and less space.

Eva: It allows us to produce locally in France and to do small series.

Aruna: And it’s a beautiful way to show what is an object.

5. Do you imagine yourselves working at a larger scale in the future or do you prefer to focus on products at a more hands-on, smaller scale?
Aruna: Small is beautiful and also ethical, but we are open to doing larger scale projects. In the best case scenario, we desire our designs to be accessible to the largest audience possible.

Thanks to Eva and Aruna for the interview! For more information on their work, please visit their website. You can purchase some of their work here.

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