KNQ Associates bring you fresh ideas on designing and rejuvenating your home.
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Jan 28, 2011


The very first guest for our new Designer Talks Home interview series is one of the hottest designers working in Europe now. French Inga Sempé focuses on product design - primarily in lighting, furniture and fabrics - and has collaborated with companies like Cappellini, Edra and Ligne Roset.

Here, Inga tells us about a typical day in her life, her design methodology and views on home design. Enjoy!

What drew you to the design industry? Is that original fascination still alive within you today?

I am fascinated by the objects of daily life, the way they are designed, produced…

Tell us about your typical day (at work and at home).

I work at home, so there is no big distinction between work and home. I take breakfast at home and then walk my children to their school. After that, I take a coffee in a bar downstairs, and climb the stairs back home. I then check my emails and answer them in a 'hyper rapid' way because I like to write.

I work with 2 assistants and an intern. I show them the sketch I would like to be worked on (when I have a sketch to be worked on, which is pretty rare). They then build cardboard models and 3d renderings, or conduct researches. Most of the time, we work on fine tuning ongoing projects, like changing details for technical reasons or economical restrictions.

The phone almost never rings except by mistake (my number is almost similar to that of a website that sells low cost DVDs) or my mother. Everything goes through emails, interviews, sending drawings and pictures. I try to have lunch outside, just to make myself feel that I am not trapped in my apartment. And then it's back to drawing and sketching.

I travel once every 2 weeks, mainly to see prototypes.

We at Home Rejuvenation love your ‘Moël’ sofa for Ligne Roset. In your opinion, what are the key challenges in designing a piece of furniture or a home (if you design interiors as well)?

I focus on the functions and aesthetics, and in the way it would be produced at the same level. But I also focus on trying to be seduced by what I draw and design myself. The fundamentals are, for instance, a sofa has to be comfortable to sit on and a lamp should look nice aesthetically apart from being a source of illumination.

Tell us about your own home.

My home is not really interesting. I am in a rented flat, and it is not a very clean and well-maintained place. That's why I can afford the rental. The important points for me in a home are more emptiness and a view to the outside so I won't feel 'suffocated'.

As a designer, what do you think defines an inviting home?

An inviting home to me is when you don’t try to analyze it, just feel nice in it. There are many ways to create nice houses and homes, but I don’t know how, as it is really not my kind of work.

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