Interview with Simon Reynaud at Friday 18th of April 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
SR : Thelos gave me an open brief to design a confortable and elegant armchair. Working on the project, I wanted to enhance the relationship we build with the object, and I wanted to devote a particular attenion the physical sensation. More than the ergonomy of the chair, I wanted to design a piece that invites to the touch, in order to experience the object, and to feel the quality of the materials. The organic armrests are growing, and their profile guide the eyes and the hands when sitting in the chair. Once we sit, they are an invitation to the touch and they give a sensual dimension to the object.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
SR : The structure of the Bessa armchair is a complex form, but it needed to be have this organic language to strengthen the design. My main focus designing this work has been to find the best way to adapt this organic shape according to the production contraints. We then thought the use of computer numerical control would be the perfect way to mix the absolute precision of the technology with a sensitive feeling. Thanks to the computer aided design, we achieve to design the really technical but sensual frame of the Bessa armchair.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
SR : The future plans for this award winning design is to propose some variations of the Bessa, and to develop a range in harmony with the armchair (a chair and a coffee table would be perfect to create a nice atmosphere).
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
SR : The design of the chair took about three months, but the development has passed through many different tests and phases (finding the right wood species, the good upholstery,...). The Bessa project started two years ago.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
SR : The brief was really open when I started the project, but when I began my investigations, I quickly wished to express this sensitivity in the design. It seemed important to me to find a kind of human dimension, and I wanted to stay away from the often cold and impersonal codes contemporary furniture.
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?
SR : The design is currently produced by the company Thelos based in Barcelona.
DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
SR : When I look to the actual furniture, I seem to see many objects where personality is deliberately very blurred, without much identity, which could correspond to everyone. I think it is somtimes important to keep the uniqueness of a design, as an identity and an asset. When designing the Bessa armchair, I did'nt try to follow any trend, but I prefered to focus on what kind of signs I wanted the chair to send, what story it had to tell.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
SR : Of course, I had a particular attention for the work of Antoni Gaudi, like the Casa Batllo, and as well to Scandinavian design from the last century. I am particularly sensitive to the chairs designed by Hans J. Wegner in the 40's and the 50's, but Louis Majorelle and Michael Thonet also influenced me a lot.
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
SR : Designed for lounge areas of hotels, resorts and private residences, the Bessa lounge chair harmonizes with the modern interior design projects. It's design conveys a serenity that invites to an experiences to be remembered.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
SR : When I look to the actual furniture, I seem to see many objects where personality is deliberately very blurred, without much identity, which could correspond to everyone. I think it is somtimes important to keep the uniqueness of a design, as an identity and an asset. When designing the Bessa armchair, I did'nt try to follow any trend, but I prefered to focus on what kind of signs I wanted the chair to send, what story it had to tell. Designers should try to develop and express their sensitivity moreover than looking for the perfect product everybody will want.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
SR : We were looking for a name which would bring more sense when looking at the armchair. A Bessa is each of the main branches that are on the stump of a tree.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
SR : The Bessa project started as always, with a lot of sketches and rough drawings. Once I found the concept, I started to work with a three dimension software, making different tests. The three dimension tools play an important role in my design workflow. I used them as if they were three dimension sketches, and I gradually refines the details concidering the differents contraints to reach the right design.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
SR : Designed for lounge areas of hotels, resorts and private residences, the Bessa lounge chair harmonizes with the modern interior design projects. It's design conveys a serenity that invites to an experiences to be remembered. Having solved its completely sustainable production, we can enjoy its balance between form, contemporary design, function and its organic values.