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Exclusive Interview * Inga Sempé


French designer, born in Paris, Inga Sempé graduated from Ensci – Les Ateliers in 1993.
Since then Sempé focusses on the design of furniture, lighting, objects and fabrics. Now Sempé works among other French companies such as Ligne Roset, Moustache, Domestic, Baccarat, Italian enterprises like Luce Plan as well as scandinavia companies such as David Design, Hjelle, Almedahl’s and the American company Artecnica. She was awarded Grand Prix de la création en design de la Ville de Paris in 2003. Solo exhebition at the Musée de Arts décoratifs of Paris in 2003


A · Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in Paris, I studied at the public school for industrial design ‘’Les Ateliers”. I opened my own studio in 2000.


B · What’s your favourite part of the design process?
When one is doing the technical drawings : it means that you know what you want do, so that the hardest part of the research is behind.



C · Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer?
I got into design because, I was and I am interested in daily life, its objects, furniture. As a child I used to like to build small objects, and I always took care to objects that were around me. Then it was quite an evidence to become a designer. After school, I’ve been working as an intern or assistant of  Georges Sowden, Marc Newson and Andrée Putman before having opened my own studio.


D · Where do you get inspiration?
My way to get design inspiration is to draw. This is the only way for me to get an idea ; and it takes a long times.



E · What was the movie or book that impressed you the most?
My favorite book is « Lolita » of Vladimir Nabokov. One cries, one laughs, one is surprised. Nothing is caricature in this book. It is not a societal portrait—it is a portrait of characters who are not meant to show an example or give a message. It is what I want from books : to be taken away, transported.
I’m found of the movie « Les parapluies de Cherbourg ». To me is many things at once romance / comedy / drama, it is both audible and visual delight. Ones has to be clearly bold to make and produce such an audacious movie.


F · Can you describe your style, how has that style developed over the years?
How could somenone answer to such a question without looking pretentious ? Life can be so heavy and painful that I just try to make object that are light but linked to daily life and industrial rules.



G · What are you working on at the moment?
I’m developing a tile collection for the italian brand Mutina, a floorlamp for the swedish company Wästberg, a new armchair for the french company Ligne Roset, some blankets made of traditional norvigian wool for Roros, accessories for the danish brand Hay, washbasin for the italian company Globo and a few other projects.


H · For you what makes a product rare?

Objects that are working good and would have a shape, or forms adapted to their uses, and offering a nice visual effect. And at the same time, it has to be cleverly conceived for the production.


I · What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Maybe that I really don’t like to buy things. I don’t own a lot of objects and if I have to buy some, I like when they are second-hand ones.


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