Julien Benayoun’s Interview


What was your overall impression of the adventure?

I loved the whole process. From the apparently simple brief the curators gave us to the setting of the exhibition. My impression is that the Design Exquis team loves designers, the art of the project, and want to question the notion of design itself. It is really interesting, sometimes, to notice that you are working in a special way and to compare this to other designers.
My view is that the Design Exquis concept was experimental, and therefore the results could have been really bad. But, in my opinion, everybody involved made it a success.

Would you do it again?

Yes, if we had enough time to handle a new challenge I would do it again. Design Exquis is a chance for a designer to think about his own design language, developing a personal project that you wouldn’t do otherwise. It’s playing a surprising game with some great designers!

Were you expecting what you have seen?

I wasn’t expecting the diversity in approaches. We saw totally different kinds of projects: some beautiful shapes, complex concepts, weird scenarios. This exhibition, by asking for responses through a design project, created, in fact, many questions about what design is today.

What did you enjoy most about the process?

I enjoyed the fact that bold-design succeeded in surprising the curators and the visitors. We enjoyed the way that the rules of the game and the previous project (from the Metthey brothers) allowed us to work with a huge company like Soletanche-Bachy. The vehicle of the exhibition in the London Design Festival has been very helpful for credibility.

Has it taught you anything new?

Every new project teaches us a lot. There is no recipe for a good project. Design is about the way you build a personal story or create a new thing from constraints. The more you are able to adapt yourself to a new context, the more you understand the way you are thinking. So the more you understand yourself.

What did you think of the other designers’ projects when you saw them?

I really liked the other projects individually for different reasons, but what I enjoyed most is the strong link between them. It made the concept of the exhibition so special. Other designers have their own personalities and this diversity makes for a rich international design scene.

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Clerkenwell Design Week 2013

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