Christophe Pillet

Born in 1959, Christophe Pillet has been working in the design field since 1986. Today, the French designer has won international acclaim for his work across all spectrums including: architecture, objects, furniture, and art direction. Over the span of his long career, Pillet has collaborated with several world-renowned brands like Driade, Cappellini, Emu, Porro, Serralunga, Lacoste, Jean-Claude Jitrois, Moroso, Renault, Whirlpool, and many others.

FAE: What inspired you to become a designer?

Christophe Pillet : I was a fan of comics and I liked the imaginary environment created in those stories. Designing was allowing me to create imaginary environment, imaginary lamps, chairs, but also made it real. It is this imaginary and creative dimension that has attracted me more than any other characteristic of this discipline.

FAE: Can you tell us about your initial journey? How did you start your own design practice?

Christophe Pillet : Following this point I was inventing and designing for myself chairs, lamps, sofas, creating “decor” for imaginary lifestyle scenarios.

In the same time, as all design beginners I was working in a big studio in Milan. At the end of the 90’s it was an enthusiastic new era at that time.

So it was imaginary world at night, realistic approach during the day.

FAE: Simplicity and functionality: these are the words most associated with your work. How would you describe your own design process?

Christophe Pillet : I don’t really have a systematic process in designing but a lot of questions do come up, such like: Is this useful, Is it necessary, Does it need to be designed, etc. It means that I firstly need to find a good reason for designing an object and a good way to express them.

Simplicity and functionality are very good way to be understood, this is why whatever is the project, simplicity and functionality are predominant in the design I try to propose.

FAE: What was your thought behind designing the Meridiana chair for Driade?

Christophe Pillet : Initially my thought with Meridiana was to do a contemporary revisiting of the typical icons, as Bertoia chair for example. I designed a shape as a plastic net but unfortunately the structure was too weak so it became a full transparent plastic shell with a geometrical graphic.

FAE: Does sustainability play a role in your mind while making new designs?

Christophe Pillet : Sustainability brings to me interesting new themes like:

• long lasting values – how a product can be valuable for a long period of time
• timeless value – may a product not be attached to a certain moment

These are two very important questions that directly come from sustainability.

FAE: Where did you get the idea for the Montparnasse easy chair for Offecct?

Christophe Pillet : The idea behind Montparnasse is a quest: is it possible to design high end, high value, luxury product, with a minimum quantity of materials. It is a quest to contradict the received ideas or stereotypes, or the classical equation that links quantity to quality.

FAE: Can you share some details about the Square Collection for Frag?

Christophe Pillet :For the Square collection, the purpose was to reducing the “design performance” to the max to highlight the proper qualities of materials and craftsmanship.

FAE: Please tell us more about the Berlin lamp for Oluce?

Christophe Pillet : Algorithm consists of endless compositions of light globes suspended at different heights from a ceiling anchor of tubular metal mesh.

Berlin lamp for Oluce is almost a non-design product. It looks like we can find a lot of this shape in the market but here the goal is sharing a mood, a slight perfume of nostalgia and ambiguity in the time. Has it been designed now? Has it been designed before?

FAE: What new projects will we see from you in imm cologne 2018?

Christophe Pillet : The next schedule for us will be Milan fair with a wide range of products for Cappellini, Driade, Emu, Ethimo, Frag, Tacchini, Varaschin.

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