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Joseph Dirand

What feed yourself in your job, what is your source of inspiration?
It’s each time different because the project itself involves the essence. I choose innovating projects which represent a real challenge. Each new project opens new doors which leads me in some adventures that I couldn’t even have imagined at the beginning.

Which persons or projects constitute references for you?
The visionary persons of the 20th Century, Le Corbusier of course because it’s literally a revolutionary in terms of architecture whose he initiated new projects. Oscar Niemeyer of course, he was a true poet of the architecture by the purity of his lines and the sensuality of his approach. And then Carlo Scarpa, for his connection to time, with the Italian architecture and the sense of detail or even Eero Saarinen for his organic shapes. They are all visionary genius who inspired me by their commitment.

What compliment is moving you about your job as an architect?
Certainly, when we progress in an artistic universe, we would like to hear that what we are doing move people. What moves me particularly, is to see people spending time in universes I created.

The city that inspires you or looks like you?
Paris obviously, even if I travel a lot, it’s always a pleasure to come back home.

What is the way of life according to you?
Enjoying each thing: in the food, the travel, the music. Nourish ourselves from what is around us and appreciate it. Also, give ourselves the time to take a step back, that is why the travels are so important. It’s the best way to give and receive truly.

Your material of predilection? 
The natural materials processed by the human hand. What fascinates me is to be able to transform those materials.

Your building reference?
I have a true admiration for the villa Malaparte in Capri, it is the result of a gesture of an extraordinary simplicity. It glorifies the landscape, and constitutes the perfect balance between the man and the nature. It doesn’t try to erase, on the contrary, the red contrast with the sea and the cliff.

Your lucky shape?
All shapes are beautiful and my work progresses constantly. Let’s say that after exploring the right angle, I am in this moment rather more in the curve.

Your biggest challenge carried out or to carry out?
What has been already achieved seems to be less a challenge. The challenge resides rather in what is to come or in progress. In this moment, my challenge is quite important since I'm drawing a boat of more than 100 meters that is to say a floating building… Such a project is fascinated because we must learn, analyze all that has been done in the naval architecture. Drawing a boat is an unique opportunity. I am in search of an absolute shape. It’s an incredible adventure, imagine an architecture whose setting will change constantly.

Your ritual in your job? 
I haven’t a ritual because I avoid at all costs the repetition of gestures. I ensure to always be in different situations, even in different lives according to the countries, the projects. My way of working progresses constantly, I love more than anything the sensation of the first time.

The type of architecture that irritates you?
I find it unfortunate to create things without ambition, this is not irritating me but it rather makes me sad.

If you weren’t an architect, what job would you do?
Explorer undoubtedly! To have the time to discover new landscapes; I am already doing it at most.

A place of predilection where we can usually find you?
You can find me chez Loulou or Monsieur Bleu to see projects I made, feel their energy and their evolution. I confess I am not social, I need loneliness to think. I favor the time spent at home, either alone or in family. 

Your lucky object? How much does it weight?
I am a little collector since I am a child, I like searching, finding and living with all these things. And yet, I could leave tomorrow without nothing with a bundle because nothing is indispensable to me. I like travelling light.

What holds weight in your life? 
Love never has a weight.

Your LE GRAMME objects, what are they/is it? How do you wear them/it?
A bracelet: Le 7 g (the lighter possible), it's the only thing I wear with this lucky charm bracelet from Peru which refuses to break. It’s the unique form of permanence I bear. Before I wore a lot of things and I finally got rid of them. I also have a LE GRAMME ruler to make my little sketches on tracing paper during the evening.

If LE GRAMME was an element or an architectural work, Which one would that be? 
Rather Land Art! I think in particular about a work of art of Michael Heizer: circles of different diameters he drew in the desert. An absolute shape of simplicity. 

Photographer: ©Amit Israeli
Stylist: ©Elodie David-Touboul

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