INTERVIEW: JEAN-MARC GADY
THE NON-CONFORMIST JEAN-MARC GADY
TO STAND OUT AMIDST THE OVERSATURATION OF SAMENESS, ONE MUST CONFRONT THE SYSTEM–OF MONOTONY, THAT IS. WE ALL KNOW THAT, BUT WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW IS THE PROCESS BEHIND IT. IN AN INTERVIEW WITH PLASTIK, THE UP-AND-COMING PARISIAN DESIGNER JEAN-MARC GADYTELLS US HOW HE TRANSFERS ALL THE INSPIRATION RUNNING IN HIS STREAM-OF-THOUGHT TO REALITY.
FROM INTERIOR DESIGN TO PRODUCT DESIGN, PASSING THROUGH VISUAL MERCHANDISING ETC..., YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY A MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST. BUT WHAT DO YOU MOST WANT TO BE KNOWN FOR?
To me, it has always been the same job, the thing is that it is the same creative approach, I am a designer not an artist. I know I have to deal with my clients' objectives, it feeds me, it leads my creations, my starting points. I can design a pen as well as a building, sometimes I just need collaborators who know the structural things I don't, but it doesn't constrain my ideas, it allows me to extend them.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF THE WORLD OF INTERIORS – THE MOMENT YOU THOUGHT TO YOURSELF, “I WANT TO HAVE MY STAMP IN THIS DOMAIN?”
I did not dream of becoming a designer when I was young - having a profession like that at that age seemed like a boring idea to me at the time. Being an artist or a filmmaker was much more inspiring! I have always loved objects; their personality, following their shape, but even though I really enjoyed making sketches, I didn’t start to design until much later on after my advertising studies. Studying advertising taught me the power of the image and how to answer a brief, so I was already involved in creating, but I lacked the actual object in 3D; something I could create and hold in my hands. Naturally, I turned to design and discovered a passion that is still governing my work today.
WHAT ARE THE SCHOOLS OR PERIODS OF DESIGN THAT MOST INFLUENCED YOUR PRACTICE?
Every period is rich in inspiration, but the beginning of industry at the end of the 19th century is interesting from a design point of view, how the hand has slightly been replaced by machines.
MOST OF YOUR PRODUCTS LIKE THE AMPHORA VASE FOR BACCARAT, THE ROYALE ROSE FOR BOSA, OR THE FAMOUS FRENCH CANCAN LUMINAIRE HAVE NON-CONFORMIST QUALITIES. DO YOU APPROACH YOUR DESIGNS AS A PURE VISUAL FEAST WITH DIFFERENT PURPOSES OR DOES FUNCTIONALITY PLAY A PRIMARY FACTOR?
I always try to inject a part of dream, poetry and femininity in my production, I don't have a linear style and many things can inspire this production. I guess it makes my creations unique.
Functionality is the first thing to respect. I come from an industrial design world, and
this remains very important to me. Design is the harmony between art and functionality.
THERE IS A CLEAR PASSION FOR ROUND SHAPES AND SPIRALS THAT HAS BECOME A SIGNATURE IN YOUR WORK (THE DIPTYQUE PORT SAVON, THE ASSIETTE GOURMET 7, THE CHRISTMAS WINDOWS FOR CHRISTOFLE, AND THE RECENT AYMES SHOP...) DO YOU FEEL LIKE SUCH PATTERNS CREATE CONGRUITY AND HARMONY IN YOUR DESIGN FOR PRODUCTS OR EVEN ENVIRONMENTS?
My work is inspired by poetry, dreams and femininity. I always like very graphic
and evocative images, which could be the reason why some of my designs are soft and rounded...
HAVING COLLABORATED WITH SO MANY NAMES IN THE WORLD OF INTERIORS AND LUXURY, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE WHEN IMPOSING YOUR VISION WHILE MAINTAINING THE HERITAGE OF THE BRAND?
Luxury brands have an amazing patrimony sculpted by hundreds of craftsmen generation after generation, a savoir-faire and heritage that must be understood by a designer. It's not just about doing the same thing with the same
spirit continually. It’s more about collecting evidence of what can be transferred to our own times - Gabrielle Chanel, Jean-Paul Guerlan or Christian Dior all had strong creative instincts at the beginning, and their ideas have travelled throughout the decades. That is really what I need to grasp before starting to create anything for them. Working with such brands is a great opportunity as I am touching something very precious and I like this idea of a delicate work.
WHERE DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE PUSHED THE ENVELOPE THE MOST - IN WHICH OF YOUR DESIGNS?
French Cancan is a recent piece that really
defines my work. It is a light installation composed of several pleated lampshades joined together forming a sculptural wheel. It is a mischievous evocation of the French Cancan dancers’ petticoats, and at the same time a deconstruction of the dance.
The French Cancan lamp is inspired by research into the accumulation of basics. Traditional pleated lampshades are multiplied according to a particular geometry. Assembled and bound together, they propose a new vision but moreover a new function. The scale changes and one can appreciate the object in a totally different way. What was once no more than just an everyday object becomes a new harmonious whole in
which one can identify the smallest element. The composition of the lampshade forms the rhythm of the entire piece.
WHAT CURRENT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON NOW AND IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
I am in Milan this week at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile exhibiting a new chandelier for Baccarat and window installations for the Sisley flagship store. I also recently launched a brand new collection for Perrouin called “Hug” and I am working on several new projects at the moment including a collection with Craman Lagarde and Diptyque.
INTERVIEWED BY PETER SPEETJENS