Interview with Lionel Scharly

Winner of Furniture Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Lionel Scharly shares insights


Interview with Lionel Scharly at Tuesday 18th of October 2016:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
LS : Scharly is an award-winning Designer/Architect living & working in New York City. He has an Advanced Master 'with honors' in Computational Design & Architecture of Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and University of Pantheon/La Sorbonne Paris IV. During 7 years in Paris he was a Lecturer and Professor of University .

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
LS : Award-Winning in Design and Architecture for his innovations, he has developed and patented new technology to give birth to the first eco-friendly and bio-plastic materials 'C2C' for the rotocasting process to create a new design and aesthetic for this Green manufacturing & prototyping solutions. He focus his projects in Contemporary Architecture for Urban Design, Commercials, Retails and Residentials projects as: Dior, Estée Lauder, Vichy, L'Oreal, Veuve Clicquot, MOET & CHANDON, Mairie de Paris 'Parks & Recreations', Antibes-Juan les Pins 'BroadWalk', Quai d'Orsay - Ministry of French Foreign Affairs, Built/NYC "NYCEDC", Jean Rousseau Atelier / Madison Avenue, New York.. He expresses his creativity in computational design & architecture in Volumetric, Surfacic and Parametric design to give to his new projects a new lifestyle and using LEED and BIM construction solutions. He also gives birth to the 1st Smart Street Furniture 'Affordance' MUI experimented in 2012 in Paris's Parks and Recreation, and design innovative Wind-Turbines for the Smartcities.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
LS : It's a discussion between my GrandPa 'Architect' and me, and yes I feel it and took the decision.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
LS : Furnitures and buildings, I'd like to design more wind turbines, and find new design solutions for the Cities in this industry.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
LS : Have their Legacy, and practice it like a leap of faith.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
LS : Practicing..

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
LS : We cannot really evaluate a good design by ourself, the public do it!

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
LS : The value of a good design is to go forward in the future, everyone should go in the future, some don't, ask them why?

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
LS : I would like go further in design with Italian Furniture Brands

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
LS : If it's a dream project, I would take the time to realize it, don't lost of view that I'm living in USA, the country where you realize your dream, and it's an industry here..! ;-)

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
LS : A secret is a secret!

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
LS : A secret is a secret!

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
LS : It's not to talk about our former Paris neighbor in Fbg du Temple, and he's not my favorite design master, sorry Phillipe, but Starck as done a really good and innovative job in the plastic industry.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
LS : I have a lot of controversy on it, but I like my Frankfort Factory. The aspects is its worldwide story. We've made the world turn twice together for exhibitions, and it was featured at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. Better City, Better life.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
LS : I told you, PRACTICING

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
LS : Professional French Tennis Player

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
LS : Design is thinking the future for people

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
LS : My Mum

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
LS : Myself, my inner voice.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
LS : Life

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
LS : With conviction

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
LS : New community buildings, the women in the City, Social buildings and innovative green interiors, The Smart Street Furniture, innovative design and social objects and still with a Green environnement design-thinking.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
LS : Go forward for a better City and a better life!

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
LS : Ask them!

DL: How does design help create a better society?
LS : Because we are studying the social behaviors of the people in their environment, and the we create the needed objects to fill or improve those gaps.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
LS : The future of the cities, through design objects, interiors or buildings.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
LS : I don't want to make jealous in my design projects.. ;-) But read above..

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
LS : No more pollution in all industries.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
LS : Let's go to Mars with Leonardo!

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
LS : 1hour to several months..

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
LS : Walking in the street and lookup.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
LS : No pain, no gain! Or go strong, or go home!

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
LS : We normally start the trends before designing, but tell me if I'm wrong!

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
LS : Technology is coming after the sketches, that help to give birth to the shape and intentions. That give you also the opportunity to chose your design orientations, Surfacic, Parametric or Volumic. After with the technology we have the choice to review our first intention design, or improve it.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
LS : Most of all we are working on Autodesk Design Solutions.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
LS : Colors and Materials are one of the main role in design, it's affect it, and give you the mechanics aspects if we talk about the materials. The colors will give you the marketing aspect, which is also important in the design industry.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
LS : I love questions, and only the people can make the best formulation about it! Their questions give me a personal answer first.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
LS : When it's really surprising, I think that I didn't think of it, and congratulate the good job!

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
LS : My partner, who is also my wife, but must of all a very good urban sociologist, Rachel Scharly.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
LS : The public, and the unknown people, I really like the compliments, like a lot of people I think, but I take a special attention to the complainers, and the people who criticize my design. Sure I think they are wrong, but I I'm getting older, and they have, sometimes, interesting comments, despite their behavior.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
LS : I read a lot of design books, then I cannot really say which one has the most effect on my design. I thing it's the addition of all of them. And a book is before all a choice. I learnt at Beaux-Arts in Paris that we don't have time in our design life to read bad books!

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
LS : Practing, but in all field..

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
LS : A lot of people.. René Magritte, Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright, maybe Le Jeanneret aka Le Corbusier..

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
LS : It's honorful! After you have to manage the things in a way you want people to see you and your work.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
LS : Color is Black, place is New York City, Food is choucroute or couscous, my origin ;-) season is summer, thing my IPhone, and brand follow with Apple.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
LS : I have a lot that I cannot say, but the time I discovered for the first time the 5 axes prototype of my Frankfort Factory was particularly emotive, and special. Maybe he knew the following Industrial story..

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
LS : Everyday is a new day where things can happen!

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
LS : When I was young I was a good and promising tennis player, but in a corner of my full player life, I always designed objects in my parents home cellar, surrounded by an architect family. I have designed houses with palets, designed kartings, I also remember have designed a chair very early, I never prototype it. And I grew up in my nanny house where her husband (Like my 2nd Dad) was a stunning millworker for the TNS 'Theatre National de Strasbourg' and he learnt me a lot of things on working the wood and being manual. I always think that he has a responsibility on my design carrer.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
LS : I think that humanity will go on others planets, Mars first, but we also have a lot of exoplanets. I think this is the future of innovation. One day I was walking with design friends on the bund in Shanghai during my 2010 World Expo. My son was just born, and I told them 'One day I will say to my son that I was very far of our continent, on the other side of the planet, and he will respond to me, Papa I will go on vacations with friends on an other planet'..

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
LS : I learnt at school that people don't care about me, but care about my design work! I love questions, and will be happy to answer.