Montag, 12. November 2012

INTERVIEW / jean-baptiste fastrez


Products can have many features that entice us to buy them. Functionality, use value and price are almost certainly the most important. But if we all just choose according  these criteria, designers would be unemployed, because there is nothing more to design that we really need. So the focus of most of the designers is to create the exceptional, the surprise in the detail and the creation of emotion. A designer who it quite fantastic understands to equip its products with exactly these properties is Jean-Baptiste Fastrez.



The products of the Paris-based designers are graphically clear, well presented and surprisingly in the details. He frequently uses a geometric form language clear, bright primary colors and reflect with his visual language to the primitive arts. Fastrez often combines the basic function of the product with the characteristics or connotations from other areas of daily life. Thus reflect his TOMAHAWK HAIR DRYERS the shape and appearance of a classic Native American battleaxe with the functions of a modern blow dryer. Fastrez complements the typical industrial product with traditional craftsmanship and thus creates an absurd and humorous symbiosis. This kind of context-shift uses Fastrez also by the MASK MIRRORS. For the mirrors he used the same acetate, which is normally used for the manufacture of eyeglasses. So he reflect the formal language of traditional African masks and combine a variety of different patterns and beautiful colours and structures. Modularity also plays a role in the work of Jean-Baptiste Fastrez: his VARIATIONS UPON AN ELECTRIC KETTLE are a building block for a kettle. This typical, otherwise soulless industrial product, become through the variety of design possibilities offered by Fastrez, a playful active design element of the kitchen. A simple and suprising solution. I was really glad that Jean-Baptiste Fastrez gave an interview this week and answered a few questions about his work and inspirations.


Hi, please tell me a little bit about you and your work

Hi, my name is Jean-Baptiste Fastrez, I'm a designer and I live and work in Paris.

How important are the following terms for you:
form, abstraction, composition and colour?

Form and abstraction are very present in my head when I work. I really like to mentally deconstruct the objects and rebuilt it with some new rules. These new rules can be the introduction of an usual material, a technology borrowed in an other field or a new scenario of utilisation. I try to give a shape to my objects very far from their archetypes. People often ask me " what is it ?" when I show one of my objects.

And how important is humor for design and your work?

For me an object couldn't be a simple joke because with the time the joke effect is going away and the object lost its interest. But humor can came from a more indirect way in a surprising association of concept or material or an unusual shape. Design process is something a little bit serious so I like also sometimes to make a little bit of humor in the name of my objects.

How important is the craftsmanship in your work?
Craftsmanship is very important in my work. All of my project are made in collaboration with some craftmen. The most important part of my work is to try to merge industrial production and craft. I often turn around this idea of hybridation. When I work on an industrial object I try to put some crafted part on it. For example one of my projects is a collection of hairdryers with handle made in wood by craftmens. In an other way when I work on a object with a craftman, I like to use some materials, some technics or some standard pieces which come from the industrial world. I just made a project with Sèvres a very old ceramic institution in Paris. With them, I have made some pieces that are half made with hand and half cut with numeric tools.
At the beginning they were against this idea but we discover that this technique allowed us to made some shapes possible only by hand so this hybridation open some great perspectives for them!

Design for the individual or for the mass?
I often try to make some objects that are made for the mass but in the same time for each indivdual. If industrial objects benefit from the efficiency of mass production, they are often soulless as they are standardized. That is why I worked on hybride objects that are half standard ans half unique because made by craftmens. For example to take again the example of the hairdryers. The mechanical part is made fit to everybody but with a handle made by a craftman you can have a unique hairdryers made for each individual .


Do you have your favourite piece? And why?
I don't really have a favourite piece but the "Mask mirrors" for galerie Kreo is one of most important for me. Galerie Kreo is a marvellous place to work. It was a great honor to collaborate with them and I'm really proud of the result.

What is your inspiration? Do you have any icons or role models?
I try to take my inspiration far away from furniture design history.
So I can find inspiration in music , fashion design or contemporary art.
I also really like primitve art. It is a very big source of inspiration for me.

Where and how you were trained, and how has the training influenced you
and your work?
I spend  4 years in the studio of the Bouroullec brothers.
I learn a lot of things from them, I'm a book addicte so I guess art books also taught me a lot.

How do you work and how has that changed?
I work in my flat but I hope soon set up a real studio with
big tools to make some 1:1 scale!

What does it mean to you, being a designer?
For me it is the incredible luck to have your job and passion mixed in one single activity.

What is for you the most important factor in the design process?
It is creating some unusual encounter, make the opposite of what you are supposed to do.

Talent or hardwork? Which do you think will make it?
For me, the best thing is love. If you really love what you do. Everything is possible, the work is never hard and you challenge yourself everyday to do your best.

How has knowing to appreciate art and design affect the way you live?
I think about art and design at every moment of the day.

If you are not doing design what will you be doing?
I really don't know because now it would be difficult to make something else...
By the way like every teenagers I dreamed to be a rock singer!












© Jean-Baptiste Fastrez

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