Interview with designer Léa André (LA), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Flavoured Flints Food Tools.

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Interview with Léa André at Monday 23rd of April 2012: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
LA : The principal idea is a reference to the prehistoric world and its gestures.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
LA : The main focus in designing this work has been to work only with natural and edible material.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
LA : The future plans for this award winning design is to be in relation with a compny, work with them in order to realize the concept and make the project comercialisable.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
LA : It took almost eight months to manage to find the good balance between the concept, the form and the material. It is still in progress to push this project as far he can goes.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
LA : This project started in my former school (ESAD de Reims) with a friend, Jenni Vigaud, during the food design option. The project has since been exhibited at the SIAL (Salon International de l’AgroaLimentaire) in 2011 and also at the food design exhibition "Aventure Sensible" at the Lieu du Design in Paris in 2011.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
LA : I would like sell or lease the production rights to a company.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
LA : My love for food and design.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
LA : For this project I have been influenced by Marc Bretillot, a food design teacher in Art school.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
LA : The target customer of his design are chefs and restaurants.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
LA : This idea is definately influenced by the design ethos current at the Art and Design school of Reims.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
LA : The name of this project refers to the prehistoric, stone age time. By definition, the flint is a very hard, fine-grained quartz that sparks when struck with steel. Prehistoric people used them as a tool in order to make fire.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
LA : The oven of our school, and several kitchen ustensils, the circular saw and the belt sanding machine of our school’s wood workshop.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
LA : They are herbs and spices shaped like stone age tools.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
LA : I collaborated with Jenni Vigaud and Georges Ribeiro, the chef of our school, at the beginning of this project.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
LA : The most technologically advanced aspect of the production was the procedure of cryogrinding to keep the taste and the colors of the differents spices. Cryogrinding is a technique which cools ingredients right down to -196°C to make them easier to turn into powder, whilst preserving flavour and colour of the spices and ingredients as much as possible.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
LA : I hace done considerable research into food design, its definition and where the designer could find her place in the « foody world ».

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
LA : One of the challenges was to create somethimg poetic, something which evokes the gesture of the stone age, and which doesn’t produce any waste after it's used.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
LA : We decided to submit our design to an international competition in order to get a professional and neutral point of view and judgment about our work.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
LA : I like design kept simple.