A day in the life of French design visionary Matali Crasset

SEP 17, 2018 | By Nidhi Upadhyaya
Reflexcity is a project featuring large antennas of different sizes and colours, at the Asia Culture Centre in South Korea
Matali imagined these experimental forest cabins in collaboration with volunteers of Le Vent des Forets, a platform that promotes art in open areas
Matali Crasset ; Photographs by Julien Jouanjus and Philippe ; Piron courtesy Campeggi, Matali Crasset and Vent des Forets Matali Crasset, Paris
Designed for Campeggi, the Extension de generosite armchair shifts in tandem with the user’s body movements

Modular structures, installations, interior projects, furniture, graphics and utility objects – these are just a few territories that are part of the French visionary’s diverse portfolio. Starting her journey with a degree in industrial design from Les Ateliers, Ecole nationale superieure de creation industrielle in 1991, she went on to work with Italian creative Denis Santachiara and later returned to Paris to join French inventor Philippe Starck. The industrial designer started her eponymous studio in 1998, which she runs with her husband Francis.

Constantly pushing the boundaries of convention, Matali’s compositions can be seen as a refusal of pure shape and are often an overlap of varied sectors such as crafts, textiles, electronic music and illustrations. Apart from her personal innovations, she has also worked with international brands such as IKEA, Alessi, Fermob, Campeggi and Danese, among others. A peek into the artistic genius’ daily routine.The French designer strikes a perfect balance between work and family time7 AM We get up together as a family. It’s nice to have someone to say hello to first thing in the morning. We have a delicious breakfast together and complete our routine morning chores. I leave for work once my kids, Popline and Arto, get ready for school.
The visionary in her studio
8.30 AM We live in an old factory in Paris, part of which we have converted into a studio. Hence, I am often the first one to arrive at work. I use this time to think, analyse and ideate. I find it easier to get started and focus better in the morning, especially with classical music playing in the background
9.30 AM This is when my colleagues arrive. We are a team of four including my husband Francis and me. While I look over the artistic side of the projects, he looks over the administrative and financial aspects. Once the group is here, our regular discussions and presentations take place
Caged lamps for IKEA’s PS 2017 collection take a new spin on old railway lights
1 PM We always have lunch at home. Francis is a great cook and can effortlessly whip up some healthy meals for us. Eating consciously is very important to me.
2 PM The rest of my afternoon is spent attending the remaining meetings
4.30 PM Our children come back from school at this hour. We all take a small break and feast on snacks, small cakes, and a ginger drink
7 PM I go for a walk around the neighbourhood to clear my head and organise myself, a habit I have followed since I was much younger. Whenever stuck, walking helps me gather my thoughts
9 PM We love having our friendsand neighbours over for dinner. Occasionally, I host parties for a diverse mix of people from different creative faculties so that they can get together and explore areas of collaboration.
Petit Salon in La Maison des Petits, Paris is a colourful waiting for children and their parents