erwan le louër - co-founder of le gramme.
What feeds your style? What inspires you?
So many things... the work of artists, architects and other designers. Things from second-hand stores, or found and observed, sometimes at length. A brand's DNA, the way it communicates, and its archives can open up fascinating playgrounds. It might be a shape, a colour or a material. There is also something seasonal about my desires... I go from one state to another and this state of mind has a big impact on what I draw...
What are your reference points? Which people or projects inspire you?
Konstantin Grcic taught me a lot. I worked for him for almost four years. I still base my work on his philosophy. I find the work of the Bouroullec brothers very inspiring and highly poetic. Their designs have a certain freedom, but they are very comfortable at the same time. This makes their objects very functional, very desirable and really fresh. Designers like Bertjan Pot are also inspiring because they are independent, and their work breaks down barriers.
I also follow the work of some visual artists such as Imi Knoebel, Corentin Grossman, Guy Yanai and Carol Bove.
What is the best compliment you can receive as an interior designer?
Somebody recently said something that I found very touching: they said my projects seemed to have been around for a long time...
Beirut, because of its streets steeped in history, its smells and its food.
What is the art of living for you
For me, it's about striking the right balance between my personal and professional life. When you run your own business, the demands placed on you make this difficult. You have to learn how to make a clear distinction, how to take a break. It's something you learn over time.
having your own business, projects that depend on you sometimes make this difficult. you have to learn to make the distinction, to know how to cut. it's something you learn over time.
What are your favourite materials?
I don't have any, that’s for sure. I love the idea of being able to work with a wide range of materials, each with different properties... it feeds my research work and the projects resulting from it.
What’s the gold standard for you and the pieces by other designers you use as a yardstick.
The ingenious Spirale ashtray by Castiglioni, the imaginative toothpick dispenser designed by Andrea Branzi for Alessi, the chair .03 by Maarteen Van Severen for Vitra, the Alcove sofa by the Bouroullec brothers for Vitra, the Barber & Osgerby's Pilot chair for Knoll, and the Martian cutlery from Sort Yanagi…
your favourite shape?
For me, there’s always a reason for a shape, because of factors like ergonomics and comfort, the qualities of the material and how it is manufactured... So, I don't have a favourite shape. But I do have a favourite goal - finding exactly the right shape, the one that makes sense in terms of the object’s function.
Glass and metal.
Furniture is always a challenge for me because of the staggering number of existing products. But one of my biggest challenges was to design the connected electric bike for Yellow Innovation, part of La Poste group.
It consists of two things: not using my phone, so I can concentrate, and spending more time drawing...
the kind of design that gets on your nerves?
Purely decorative design. Or when it is too easy to recognise the designer's hallmark and it becomes just a style.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be?
I would be a craftsman, I would work with my hands, but I don't know exactly what, maybe silk, leather, silkscreen printing or painting.
Where's your favourite spot, the place where you can usually be found?
I haven't got one yet. This is my big project for 2020: we are looking for a country house, to be our haven of peace and quiet, where all experiments in colour, layout and decoration will be allowed!
Your most cherished object? How much does it weigh?
My red Kaweco fountain pen. It is extremely light. It weighs 11 grammes and it fits in all my bags and pockets.
what matters in life?
Love, family, my children, my partner, and friends. Work also matters. The balance between all these elements. But above all, people. I am very concerned about the well-being of those around me, if not myself at times.
Which LE GRAMME object(s) do you own? How do you wear or use it/them?
I wear the brushed silver Beads bracelet... on my right wrist, always... it goes with everything, any style of clothing, I love it.
If LE GRAMME was an architectural element or work, which one would it be?
A work by Olafur Eliasson.