Just as they got rid of their surnames to create their soberly named design studio, so they dispense with the pointless flourishes that would clutter modern interiors.
Having met as students at ENSCI (École nationale supérieure de création industrielle), the two young designers share a passion for industrial design. Their demanding training allowed them to fully get to grips with industrial design as a way of reaching the great- est number of people and at affordable prices. United by this ambition, they went their separate ways to gain experience and confidence with different prestigious designers, including the Bouroullec brothers and India Madhavi, before creating their own studio, where one of their main concerns is responsible, durable design.
‘For us, thinking about an object, about its impact on the environment, and about its afterlife is part and parcel of being a modern designer. Eco-friendlyness is no longer an optional extra.’
Shaped by stints in Parisian ateliers, the duo invested themselves in household appliances, an area limited at that point to functional yet disposable objects. ‘We wanted to rethink the way in which these objects are made, but also the way in which they’re perceived by consumers, so that the latter have the desire to repair them and hand them down.
It’s by having an eye for aesthetics but most importantly by developing the technical skills that strengthen and give meaning to their project that the duo reevaluates house-hold appliances, giving them a soulfulness that transcends their function. ‘In designing our air humidifier, for example, we took apart an existing model and saw that it was mainly made up of a water container, so that the electronic part was much smaller and less complicated than it seemed. Hence, we imagined our version as a glass vase, which introduces the possibility of a second use, and worked with a glass-maker specialising in the hot turning technique that allowed us to nest – or to remove, when a repair is needed – the electronic section on the the upper part.
Presented with several prestigious Parisian awards for their series of sophisticated interior products around this theme – a carafe-kettle and another heating mat – natacha.sacha. went into public spaces with Olaf, a collection of heating cushions for café terraces, to replace the exterior heating systems destined to disappear in 2021.
If lifestyle evolution and environmental imperatives are at the heart of the studio’s con-sidérations, the problem of work spaces and tools – of their sustainability as well as their réappropriation by users – follows naturally. Such is the case with Natacha’s degree project, which the duo returns to regularly to add new functionalities and interfaces. It’s a computer that works by interacting in virtual reality with tangible objects and adapts to the specific needs of its users. ‘In a library, you'll be able to use it to photograph a book and get the image in order to highlight and annotate it, while a craftsperson will be able to use it by placing a piece of wood on its ‘workbench’, which becomes digital, allowing him or her to trace their plans and templates directly from the image...’ The very idea of réappropriation guided the conception of Hilla’s vide poche (‘loose change’) lamp. Taking as their starting point the idea that ‘light is frequently employed in a global and often cold way’ in open or other co- working spaces, the studio designed an illuminating column that provides a warm anchoring point inviting one to sit down. Natacha.sacha. inverted the light source and the bowl from which one can help oneself to pencils or which one can make one’s own by placing per-sonal effects into it.
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