Aesthetic Processes Forms
Atelier Avéus* was founded by French Architect and designer Morgane Roux-Lafargue.
After a diploma of architecture in Paris, and a master degree in industrial design at Domus Academy, Milan, Morgane created Atelier Avéus, a multidisciplinary design practice, based in London.
Image by Six N. Five
We had the privilege to discuss with French Architect Morgane Roux and get a better understanding of her background and how Atelier Avéus was born. A short insight in her work, revealing her fresh interests and approach to new creations gave us the opportunity to understand her innovative vision in the contemporary field of interior design.
Atelier Avéus’s creations are based on strong conceptual ideas and explore the universal memory theme, while calling upon varied cultural references. Morgane’s work is the result of deep research in iconic and symbolic references and combine the different areas of design and art. The result produces truly aesthetic objects, whose functionality becomes fully perceptible at a second glance.
“Working at a smaller scale allows you to have more control over the project and its completion.”
“I am interested to cross disciplines and take elements or tools from other fields and translate them into a furniture or product collection.”
Having had a background in Architecture, what has pushed you to follow studies on the design field and choosing Domus Academy as school?
Like many other architects, I’ve always wanted to work on furniture. Working at a smaller scale allows you to have more control over the project and its completion. Less people and parameters are involved in the process and the final result appears way faster than for an architectural project. So the fast pace and the freedom of the process are two things that suits me better. I chose Domus Academy based on its reputation and for its international environment.
Have you found differences between Paris and Milan in the way design is approached? Do these cities offer different cultural inputs? Where do you feel more inspired?
Having lived and worked in France, Italy, Brazil, Portugal and the United Kingdom, has definitely broadened my horizons and brought me in touch with designers and makers that have different ways to design in general. But to me, what changes the most from country to country is the way to approach and work with makers. For example, in Europe, makers might get more specialised and skilled whereas in Brazil, they might be more comfortable experimenting freely with materials.
Where do you seek for inspiration when you start a new project? What would you like to transmit with your design, is there any precise message you try to give?
I like to take inspiration from a topic that is not strictly and only related to the furniture design field. I am interested to cross disciplines and take elements or tools from other fields and translate them into a furniture or product collection. For example paintings movements or particular aesthetics from some movies… I like my collections to tell a story and set a mood for the user and observer. There is always a concept or a strong reference behind each collection so there are different reading levels to be perceived. People can appreciate the pieces for their final shapes and aspects but also for what they represent or the concept to which they refer.
“There is always a concept or a strong reference behind each collection so there are different reading levels to be perceived.”
Which materials do you prefer to use? Do you do research on different materials before choosing them or accost them to other materials?
For me personally, the choice of the material is rarely the starting point of a project. I am more comfortable to start working from a concept or a visual reference. The question of the material usually comes at a later stage and is deducted from the concept.
How’s the process behind a new production? Do you prefer commissioned works or blank space to create new pieces?
It is indeed really enjoyable to start from scratch from time to time and be totally free to work on a personal theme. But constraints and restrictions, whatever they may be, can really shape a project and make it very strong too.
How do you face up to the prototype phase? How useful do you find the process of prototyping? Do you come out with new ideas or big changes during this phase?
Of course, prototyping is always a major step during the process. It tends to be a bit less fundamental though if your designs use very well-known materials and not experimental ones, which is usually my case. But the size of the final product and how it fills the space, for example, is always something I am very concerned about.
“I am satisfied when I feel that the design will remain visually appealing or interesting year after year.”
What’s the difference between industrial design and collectible design in the meaning of research/production of a prototype?
Working on an industrial design is usually a more shape-oriented and practical approach, whereas with the collectible pieces, I have more freedom to design. Collectible collections also take more time and personal engagement but might speak to less people. So to me, both approaches are complementary and I find it really balancing to work on them simultaneously. In the case of a collectible design, the upstream research is fundamental as I spend a lot of time gathering material of any kind before I even start to draw anything. As for an industrial design, the process is more straightforward and the drawing stage starts earlier.
Do you need to confront your work’s process with other people while creating?
Sometimes I like to get the feedback from non-designer people, in order to have a more neutral and unbiased look at the product. It is important to have reality checks and make sure that what you are designing speaks to people and not only pleases your own personal obsession.
At what point you realize you can be satisfied with a certain result?
I am satisfied when I feel that the design will remain visually appealing or interesting year after year. I tend to stay away from a trendy material or a trendy shape that will feel too specific from a period a few years from now.
“As an architect, it is a very enjoyable way to work on the environment around the piece.”
Have you ever thought about sustainable design? How is your approach about it?
For me the question of sustainability comes more from the lifespan of the product than from the material it is made from.
You often choose poetic, yet fictional virtual images, what’s the concept behind?
It is amazing what you can achieve with virtual imagery because it allows you to infuse even more concept into a collection. And as an architect, it is a very enjoyable way to work on the environment around the piece too. To me, fiction is always a powerful tool to share your vision.
But fictional imagery not only allows you to go crazy on the environment, it is also a very efficient way to build the narration with a set of different visuals. With more than one image, you can start to put together a progression in the story working on both space and time. For example, the visuals on the Wait, go from a private space of a bedroom in the late morning to a public space of a lobby, at night. They are like the storyboard of the collection.
How did you start collaborating with visualizer like Six N. Five or Massimo Colonna?
In both cases, I approached them with my project, showing my pieces and explaining in detail the artistic direction I wanted to work on. The first email always contains a lot of visual references and any other material that can be relevant in order for them to understand what I want to achieve. It is crucial for me to feel that the 3d designer is on the same page because I always have a very clear image in my mind.
I was really happy that each time, the projects spoke to them and that they wanted to work on it!