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Patrick Jouin: "You may have the most beautiful interior in the world, if it has a terrace, that's where people will want to be"


From outdoor collections for Pedrali to the urban development of Greater Paris, this designer, space scenographer, places people at the center of his projects. Encounter.

Madame Figaro


– What is the major contemporary change that impacts the profession of designer?

Patrick Jouin.


Human beings have always considered technical progress as the source of ultimate happiness.

This is no longer the case.

However, we all need a common history to move forward.

And, with the end of the belief in progress, it collapses.

Hence the many concerns that have repercussions in all areas, including design.

In video, In 2014: Van Cleef in New York, a decor by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku

Are we at an impasse, stuck in the face of the future?

I have an unshakeable faith in people.

So I hope that we will overcome our problems, our mediocrity.

I dare to think that design will provide solutions.

Designers have a special strength.

We use ancient know-how that we must preserve: they are alternatives to an industry that sometimes made us believe that the hand no longer had a place in manufacturing.

Is this the return to grace of the craftsman?

With progress, we could imagine that know-how was no longer useful.

The machine being able to copy the technique of the craftsman to perfection.

But fortunately, it has not disappeared!

And this, because we fulfill ourselves as human beings by “doing”.

We all feel joy when we use our hands.

Industry, standardization have not been right in this satisfaction.

Nay, they catalyzed it.

Indeed, in recent times, in the face of mass production, the "doing" and the "handmade" are causing a growing craze.

The designer will never be positive for the environment since we are in production logic but we must ensure that it is the least negative possible

Patrick Jouin

And is this the end of the industrial designer?


But I think that now the designer must be between craftsmanship and industry.

And he must take into account its impact.

It will never be positive for the environment since we are in logic of production, therefore of energy expenditure, but we must ensure that it is the least negative possible.

So, there are things I will never do again, like a one-piece plastic chair, even with recycled plastic.

I did, but it's over.

Are you now completely banishing plastic?

Plastic is an ingenious and precious material, because it comes from oil, doomed to disappear.

It should therefore not be used to manufacture disposable tableware or a light chair, but only to produce parts of great importance, which can save lives, in hospitals, for example.

"We still have to build!"

Do you also pursue this quest for sustainability in the architectural projects that you develop with your agency Jouin Manku?

Can we still build when we know how huge the carbon footprint of the building sector is?

We still have to build!

We need to be surrounded by our past and present culture.

Paris, through its architecture, is an open-air museum that tells our story.

By ceasing to build, we would stop inventing and bearing witness to the times.

On the other hand, we have to think of another architecture: more reasonable, economical, visionary, scalable.

I tell myself, perhaps naively, that the beauty of things close at hand creates a strong bond between the city and the citizen.

Patrick Jouin

You are not giving up on building, and yet you have just rehabilitated Biome, a building from the 1960s. You thus prove Lacaton and Vassal right, who are campaigning for an end to demolition.

Building does not prevent rehabilitating!

When you have a high-quality building like Biome, designed in the 1960s by Raymond Lopez and Henry Pottier, why destroy it?

We couldn't have done better.

So we kept the framework, the cores, reinforced the floors, but also optimized the light, which now penetrates everywhere, and the basements too... I'm very proud of the result.

The SFL, Biome signed YMA and Jouin Manku.

Alexis Paoli

The city does not leave you indifferent.

You have put your signature on it with the toilets, the old Vélib' charging stations… Why this interest in anything related to the Cité?

The starting point of my job as a designer is to be of service.

I tell myself, perhaps naively, that the beauty of things at hand creates a strong bond between the city and the citizen.

If the citizen notices that the city thinks of its functional and aesthetic needs, he will respect it.

Street furniture is central in this relationship and it must evolve with the inhabitants and habits.

New toilets will be installed in Paris.

Their design is more sober than the previous one, because it seems to me that we need more calm in an ever more complex public space.

They combine a urinal and a disabled toilet, which doubles the number of toilets in the city, and it is a necessity to improve good citizenship.

Read alsoMeeting with Vincent Van Duysen, the design rock star who made Zara Home take off

In addition to these achievements, missions related to travel, such as that for the Grand Paris Express or Mobilize, the Renault Group brand dedicated to new forms of mobility.

More than missions related to travel, these two projects are reflections on waiting!

This subject was also that of my graduation diploma at Ensci (

National School of Industrial Creation, editor's note


I am sensitive to what is happening around me, and waiting allows me to watch.

There is the possibility of placing signs in space that we only capture in these “transitory” moments.

This is where you touch people's hearts.

And this is one of the important points of the Grand Paris Express.

Development of the range of furniture and equipment for the Grand Paris Express.

Patrick Jouin

On this network, we wait for transport – two minutes at peak times – and therefore we pay attention to our environment.

Every detail, right down to the extinguisher holders and the emergency stop buttons, has therefore been perfectly designed and produced.

This contributes to the beauty of the whole and to the idea of ​​protection.

Waiting is also at the heart of my collaboration with Mobilize.

It's not just about designing a charging station, but about inventing the places that go around it.

Electric cars will no longer be able to allow us to cover 1,000 km in one go.

We're going to have to stop once or twice and for a while.

What are we going to do during these stops?

To work ?

To go shopping ?

Eat ?

It is up to us to think of the framework and the offer adapted to this new way of doing things.

Sketch of the future Mobilize Iléo Concept charging stations.

Patrick Jouin

Perhaps you will settle in these waiting areas for outdoor furniture, a field of creativity that is attracting more and more designers...

You may have the most beautiful interior in the world, if it has a terrace, that's where people will want to be.

We all want to be outside.

And it's interesting to think about how we take over these spaces.

There were precursors like Fermob, with the Luxembourg chair in particular.

I am also thinking of the stackable chair by Mallet-Stevens.

But there is still a lot to invent.

What I do in particular with Pedrali.

I am lucky to have started working with them ten years ago.

This fills me, because Pedrali is not only a publisher, but a manufacturer.

The people I have in front of me know the machines, the techniques, the materials.

And I like it !

I believe I could make a lot of what I draw.


we have a prototyping workshop at the studio.

And as we are moving from the 11th to the 8th centuries in even more beautiful premises, I have planned an even bigger workshop.

In video, Deco tutorial: color the opening of a window with the interior designer Asma Salomon

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-04-13

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