2 Questions for Alain Berteau
by sabine7 / May 17, 2007

Belgian Alain Berteau is known for the elegance of his furniture design whose simplicity of line and form provides practical results. Several of his chairs are designed to pack flat pre-assembly (Instant), stack easily (Tab) or link up (Fence), in an effort to be space savers. His sofas are sleek, but inviting. Berteau’s pieces are spare, yet eye-catching all the same. Zen, but not cold. We wanted to know more about his design sensibilities.





Alain, it is clear that a common attribute of your designs is their smoothness. The shapes are very organic and fluid, where does this come from?
I really don't know, I guess it's because I like friendly products, full of convenient features, pleasant details, touchy sensations and feeling.



alain_berteau_dose_faucet.jpg
Dose faucet, a "mechanical faucet system with a digital feeling.".

The world is already full of 'stuff' – as a designer, why do you choose to create more?
Good question, 3 reasons:
1 - It's very easy to design with style but it's really difficult to invent relevant solutions. Things can always be improved, so I'm not trying to redesign things in a particular style, or as some designers put it "change the world" (who cares?), but I'm trying to improve things, which is very different. Of course I don't pretend to achieve something every time, but at least I'm trying, and sometimes the results are both useful and supercool, and then they are commercial success.
2 - Life is changing very quickly (new habits, new behaviors, new problems need new solutions), so my job is very much about addressing that.
3 - Today's real challenge is of course ecology. If we want greener, sustainable, ecological products and architecture, we should work harder on it. Everything is yet to be done in that field. Actually, every single product should be re-engineered to be greener. And the whole distribution market should/could be challenged. We already started to challenge the way furniture are produced with the Cover stool, which is the first "package-structured" product of a series to hit the market. This is just the beginning.

alain_berteau_link_table.jpg
Link table, "a low table with two storage spaces. Perfect as a flat tv stand or as a coffee table.".


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