Le design, liaison entre luxe et clientèle

Posted on 23 février 2010

Eric Carlson is at the head of a french based architecture practice. An american living in Paris he has experience in leading international projects as an in-house architect for luxury groups including LVMH. Now an independant professionnal, one of his best known project is Louis Vuitton’s shops on the Champs Elysées, and in Japan as well. Tag Heuer, Céline and Escada are some of the other brands for which Carbondale demonstrated his design method applied to retail experience, though this design agency is also capable of great work on ‘smaller scales’ such as condominums’ appartments. Making a link between luxury brands and its customers might naturally be in Carbondale’s DNA.

cooperative design : LA CONCEPTION D’UNE CHAISE EST-IL TOUJOURS LE PASSAGE OBLIGE POUR LE DESIGN ?

I would say the primary signs of maturity (besides the grey hair)  are revealed in an ever increasing understanding of « how to build ».  This includes not only the technical aspects of building, but also an agility of working with materials and combinations of materials to create the desired effect. I am fortunate to have designed and built hundreds of projects in my architectural career that have provided me an invaluable understanding.

cd : AVEZ-VOUS DÉJÀ CONCUE VOTRE « CHAISE » ?

The question of « scale » is a fundamental aspect of any work.  Of course design exist at all scales but to be adept at many scales is a real challenge. A good example is Louis Kahn, who mastered large scale public buildings yet his designs of smaller scale houses are notoriously weak. To be competent at designing at different scales does not only depend on one’s personal abilities, but society also drives Architects and Designers towards specialization often creating « scale-prisons ».

If a designer is a successful furniture designer there are centripetal forces (competition selections, client expectations, publication categories) inhibiting them from designing Architecture and ‘vis-et-versa’.  We are fortunate at CARBONDALE to have realized works at a variety of scales.  Now I’m interested in working large scale projects where we also design the mediums scale spaces and the small scale objects to create a truly harmonious ensemble.

cd : QU’EST-CE QUI FAIT COURIR ERIC CARLSON?

Desire…. but I have no idea where it comes from?

cd : DE MÊME QU’IL SEMBLE EXISTER UNE ARCHITECTURE UTOPISTE PAR DÉFAUT (BRASILIA PAR NIEMEYER, JFK PAR SAARINEN) Y A T-IL UN DESIGN UTOPISTE ?

To quote a phrase from a Woody Allen film “…may not be perfect, but when it’s good there’s nothing better“.    I think that moving towards the utopian is where we find excellence.  This imagination alone is a powerful thing, but I find that I’m much more impressed by the reality of ideas and dreams.  In Architecture I’m deeply committed to the pursuit of the “ideal“ but it’s the serendipity found only in the “real“ that is truly sublime.  Eero Saarinen’s Arch on the  Mississippi river in Saint Louis Missouri is a good example of this.  If you haven’t seen it… do so, before you die.

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