Interview with designer Patrick Sarran (PS), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Ilok Removable Tables.

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Interview with Patrick Sarran at Monday 6th of June 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
PS : Tables are often not given the consideration they deserve, although they are probably the most important piece of furniture in a restaurant. As pointed out by my brother, Chef Michel Sarran, the daily task of setting up tables poses a serious practical problem and can even become a nightmare in the case of round tables which are very appreciated by guests as a symbol of conviviality.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
PS : I decided to solve this problem by designing a wooden table that is easy to manufacture and whose size and shape can be easily modified will.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
PS : I hope this design will continue to be successful.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
PS : Six months.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
PS : I pursued my inspiration. I wanted something innovative for the trade fair Equip’hotel Paris 2014.

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?
PS : iLOK design is used by QUISO, my own company; Maybe in the future I will need a partner.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
PS : Talking with restorers, I had identified an unsatisfied nee

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
PS : Following the designer Jean Prouvé, again I searched for simpler ways to get from function to form. There are some similar points in the approach as well as in the shapes. But I also remembered lost gestures of bending wood in some vernacular designs from the country side like old snowshoes or crutches.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
PS : Restaurants, meeting rooms and hotels.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
PS : Extending round tables has never been so simple.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
PS : iLOK has no particular meaning

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
PS : I simultaneously use the software Shark and my cabinet maker workshop.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
PS : This unique design results from consideration of the end user’s needs, as well as the possibilities offered by new woodworking processes. These designs have a simple exterior, as-well as conserving its technical interior.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
PS : I took the advise of the room director of Michel Sarran restaurant, Arnaud Ducroux.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
PS : I Moulded composite table tops under a vacuum, a technique derived from the aerospace manufacturing. I have worked out a process to inlay the female component of the bracket flush into the top. The brackets are cut using a laser machine and they are then folded using a digital press.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
PS : Moulding composite table tops under vacuum is a technique derived from the aerospace manufacturing. It enables the production of diameters up to 2.2m. I have worked out a process to inlay the female part of the bracket flush into the tops. The brackets are cut using a laser machine. They are then folded using a digital press. These modern techniques allow for small quantity production without investing in expensive stamping tools. I learned all these techniques through data research completed by experimentations in my workshop. For example the precise design mounting bracket had to be adapted to the capacities of the subcontractor that I finally chose, with the goal to minimise the cost. The piece exhibited at the MOOD of Como, in June 2016 used the second prototype of the mounting bracket, which it is not the final design

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
PS : It was a race against time. In June 2014 I had the main idea for the legs and table tops. I still had to invent a junction piece, both practical and affordable for small-scale production. In January I rented a stand for QUISO at Equip’hôtel fair. In July I was put forward for an Equip’innov award. The exhibition opened on 22nd November with a new challenge, to demonstrate the efficiency of the product within the restricted area of the stand. Patrick Sarran managed to successfully present four tables at the fair and to win the award.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
PS : One day, I found the proposal to participate to A’Design Award in my mail box. I did not know this competition. After I read the rules and the methodology of the contest, I told myself, why not?

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
PS : I improved my 3D design by using Shark software. I develop methods allowing me to mold large table tops of diameter up to 2,2 m and inlay mounting bracket flush to the top.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
PS : No