Craftperson of the idea - creator of the DesignerBox #41
A cross between a cabinet of a thousand curiosities and an experimental decorative arts lab, the studio de Laubadère, tucked away in the 9th arrondissement of Paris immediately attracts the visitor’s attention. The hideaway of Flavia, its founder, is like her: loquacious, joyful yet meticulous; quirky, eclectic yet organised. Work here is as passionate as it is intense.
Unstoppable when it comes to talking about her work, this young interior designer and creator of Spin, smilingly admits that she “fell into it when she was small”. The worthy daughter of a landscape architect and an art critic, brought up in the country in a perfect house full of objects and furniture with stories, Flavia was necessarily somewhat predestined, which nonetheless did not stop her from doing things in her own way! After the Camondo school, she graduated from the LISAA school of art and design and then spent a short time in an agency before opening her eponymous interior architecture and design studio whose cornerstone is craftsmanship.
« For me, it is essential to highlight the work of the craftsman: each object if the reflection of someone’s soul or love. »
A privileged witness to special knowledge and expertise, Flavia travels all over France in search of craft studios in order to observe the precision of the techniques, to understand the specific characteristics of the materials and to attempt the skills of the different trades as a prelude to each of her creations. “Without the craftsmen, my work is no big deal …”: generating modesty like talent, immersing herself in the many work placements with specialist workers all provide material for innovation that feeds into the young designer’s fertile mind: at the cabinetmaker’s Jean Brieuc in Angers, she came up with Ginko, a copper and solid walnut lamp whose shape, inspired by the collars and cuffs of men’s shirts, symbolises a wholly masculine elegance. With Phase de Lune, a romantic set of furniture delineating the movement of the stars and the passage of time, Flavia tackles the technique of marquetry, applying bamboo leaf for the first time.
Designerbox has given her the joy of tackling an industrial design for the first time
«What fascinates me is going from the hands of a craftsman to a mass production project. »
Spin: an "accidental" candle born of a fortuitous encounter between a lathe and a block of wax, that was only able to find its place in the box through the industrial production: “I did the sums! To turn a sufficient number of candles by hand would take thousands of hours!” Yet the use of a digital lathe, a “rational” option selected by Designerbox, is far from being considered heresy by this passionate defender of craft industry, “the technique here requires just as much precision, it also demands very specialist knowledge and expertise.”Conceived, most of the time, as bespoke objects for private clients intended for specific places, Flavia de Laubadère’s inspired pieces are to do with transmission, they forge precious links between craftsmen and the final recipients. While in each of her projects “the human contact is vital”, the relationship between the space and the object is just as decisive:“there is a synergy between them: the one responding to the other”.
An interior architect as much as a designer, Flavia de Laubadère stands out for her contextual set designs and layouts staging her narrative creations. For example, she reinvented the ‘Studiolo’ – or workroom – in vogue during the Renaissance – for Farrow & Ball’s Colour Factory to represent all the brand’s artistic potential, and is currently perfecting a poster dispenser for the Slow Gallery as part of the Pitchwork Festival at La Villette. At the same time, she is working on the renovation of an apartment in Rue Lepic for a private client charmed by her subtle and prolific universe.
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