Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Benoît SEPULCHRE ("BS") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

BS : High school student little suited to the model of education in France, I chose to pass the entrance exam to the Institute of Higher Design in the north of France in Valenciennes. As I had design facilities and I am very curious, it worked well so I was in the top 5 of the entrance exam. But as I had missed my bachelor, I waited to have my bachelor degree in 1995 to start my design studies! The first 2 years of Basic Design and 3 years in ENGINEERING DESIGN with specialty Product and Process with more than 14 months of internships in companies allowed me to become the designer that I am now.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

BS : Among the various trades I wanted to do as a child, there was an industrial draftsman ... maybe a sign? In technical high school I had facilities in drawing and technology, so I chose to develop my strengths rather than my weak points ...!

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

BS : I chose to became a product designer.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

BS : I design products as services. In areas such as sports and recreation, interior design, furniture products, furniture ... I would like to design more things in the field of housing and transport equipment.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

BS : The first thing I want to say is that I do not consider myself a design legend ... But to make good design it is necessary to make sufficient studies 4 to 5 years minimum. Then you have to trust yourself because you can not convince if you do not believe in yourself.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

BS : For me a great designer is a good designer who has met with success with his creations and with the company for whom he works ... But more, it is a designer who must be honest with himself and towards other people .

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

BS : A good design must solve problems, but it must also please. and to please it must create a little surprise or what I call a paradox. But at the same time it must be in harmony with man and the environment ... So all this is difficult enough to evaluate ... it is a question of balance, some one, others not.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

BS : Good design allows the company to provide better services to these customers and win new customers. It is then a money saving for the company. Good design is also pride in the company, it also brings some wellness.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

BS : I would like to design a construction system for residential houses ... But in France it is difficult because the law requires for this to be an Architect and not a Designer ...

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

BS : A constructive system of house good for environment and nature …

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

BS : Knowing how to create a paradox to surprise and arouse interest ... That's my designer French Paradox.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

BS : The masters of design that I love and inspire me are great architects / designers / engineers like Jean PROUVÉ, LE CORBUSIER / Frank Lloyd Wright / Alvar Aalto ... Many who have participated in creating modern design.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

BS : I really liked Jonathan IVE's work for APPLE with the first iMac ... It was amazing to make this change in the computer world. However since 10 years it starts to turn in circles in this market ...

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

BS : I usually say that my latest design is the best ... But for once it's true that the design of the Outdoor Wood Oven ALFRED is successful because it uses each material to its advantage. In addition to this it takes the codes of design of outdoor cooking products with a modern vision and as close to Scandinavian design ...

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

BS : Listening to society is the planet is the most important. It takes time to be in tune with the continuous movement of the world and read the best future.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

BS : If I stayed on the first job I wanted to do when I was a child, I would be a farmer.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

BS : Design is a discipline that solves the problems that we observe in society and on the planet. To achieve this goal, the design must be sexy to achieve its mission.

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

BS : Just myself.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

BS : My belief in me. Knowing that I knew how to do great things made it possible to realize them when the opportunity presented itself to me.

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

BS : Loneliness and lack of interesting projects so that I can fully express my talent.

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

BS : I think companies do not know enough about the work of designers. This is often because managers do not want to share their powers ... So designers must grow managers to better present their work.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

BS : I continue to work with the company Four Grand Mère to design the big brother of the outdoor wood oven ALFRED ... but I also have other clients in the furniture sector who ask me to work with them ... I will launch on the market as soon as possible the brands of products that belong to me in Europe ... Stay tuned.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

BS : It's about creating my own products and brands that best define what I want to bring to the world.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

BS : 24.What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

DL: How does design help create a better society?

BS : As design solves problems, it is normal for design to improve society. It's just unfortunate that politicians have not figured this out yet ... So maybe it's the future of designers to play politics?

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

BS : I work on the big brother of the Outdoor Wood Oven ALFRED, it is called NESTOR for professional cooks and lovers of large outdoor kitchens like me ... launch end 2019.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

BS : Even if my first designer creations have been important to me, I tend to say that it is always my last experience that is the most important, because I always improve as my work progresses. . In 2019, the latest product marketed is the outdoor wood oven ALFRED.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

BS : It would be good for companies to have to hire a qualified designer to create products ... A bit like building a house or a building requires an Architect.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

BS : It seems obvious that this is towards politics because these are the biggest problems to solve in the future.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

BS : It depends on the complexity of the project (material, process, ...) but also mainly depends on the structure and size of the client. This can range from a few weeks to several months or years depending on the complexity of the case.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

BS : I always start with a market analysis ...

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

BS : Simplicity and efficiency with style. A kind of French Design Paradox what!

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

BS : I think trends depend on fashions and styles, but design is not fashion or style.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

BS : Technology is important in design because it makes it faster and more accurate. It also allows to go further in the uses to offer new services to users ...

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

BS : I work a lot with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for graphic design. Regarding 3D software, after starting with software like Alias and Rhino, I now use Sketch'Up and SolidThinking Evolve ... some Apple computers and tablets are my main design equipment after my mechanical pencil of course.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

BS : For color, I usually say that it is the design of the poor ... But of course I work with color! As far as materials are concerned, I always use the right materials in function of these own qualities. Regarding Ambience or Style I create products out of time that last a long time, so this is outside styles.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

BS : They can ask me any possible questions because as a creator I have all the answers they wish to have. Who better to put the designer to talk about his product?

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

BS : I always find it amazing to see new design and quality products, but I still wonder if they are really useful for man and society ... so also for planet earth.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

BS : I like working with the design offices of my clients. Thus the technical solutions are shared.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

BS : Without hesitation, users of the product during the seven phases of the product life cycle.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

BS : That was in the early 90s. I do not remember exactly the title of the book, but he was talking about the decoding of products ... and also other books on eco-design by Thierry Kazazian ...

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

BS : As a designer who often works alone, I know how to do a lot of things myself ... it takes a lot of time, but it always pays off.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

BS : Off course with my mentor in design who are the masters of modern design like: Jean PROUVÉ, THE CORBUSIER / Frank Lloyd Wright / Alvar Aalto ... But that would not serve me too selfishly. I would rather speak with the 5 or 10 most influential people on earth to change and accelerate policies around the world to save humanity.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

BS : For starters, I still do not think I'm famous. I seek to be useful to society and businesses for economic development that is not sustainable ... but durable.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

BS : My favorite color: black The place: the Konkordia hut above the largest glacier in Europe in Switzerland. Season: Winter My object: my Iphone 6s 128GB The brand: Apple at the moment even if it is much less sexy than before.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

BS : More than 10 years ago I was copied by a famous Dutch designer, but as at the time I did not have enough financial means, I was obliged to give up the battle because in justice, it is too often the biggest and the richest who wins even if he is guilty ...!

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

BS : My designer days are great because I always learn and I always feed my curiosity. My motivation is in improving users' use of my future products ... There is still so much to do!

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

BS : No, because I was not looking for the celebrity, I was just trying to be useful to society and humanity.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

BS : I think the future will be difficult for humanity ... For a vision in a thousand I think it's hard to say because if we look a thousand years back we realize the multiple changes in history. There will be at least as many in a thousand years!

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

BS : I do not think I have a particular style. Indeed, I adapt my style to market expectations so that my creations are the most loved. But what characterizes me is often the useful and functional nature of my creations, because close to the principles of the founders of Bauhaus modern design, I have the logic to say that the form follows the function. I seek to make the good easier and the evil more difficult. I live in France more precisely in the east of France, near Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland. In short, I live in the center of Europe. Also in my creations, I think that my French side is present ... there is always the French paradox! Thus, in France, we have the advantage of mixing the sweetness and the voluptuousness of our Latin side while combining it with the more functional and more sober aspect of the North of Europe. It is, in my opinion, the advantage of my European and international culture ...



Alfred Outdoor Wood Oven

Alfred Outdoor Wood Oven by Benoît SEPULCHRE

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