Meet industrial designer Jean-François D'Or from LOUDORDESIGN studio

16.08.2018 - Agne Steponaityte
Welcome home coat hanger. Maison Vervloet edition. Picture © S.Derouaux

It’s been 15 years since Jean-François D'Or has set up his design studio LOUDORDESIGN. His passion for design drove him to work with international companies like Kenzo, Fiskars, and Diesel. It took him all over the continent and earned him “Designer of the Year” title a few years ago. It’s what keeps him going every day.

“I see it as more than a job,” claims D’Or when talking about design. The objects he produces are simple and unpretentious and vary from doorknobs to furniture, to tableware. The ability to work on such a variety of different things in a span of one day is what keeps the creator so excited.

Welcome home door handle collection. Maison Vervloet edition. Picture © S.Derouaux

For the last 2-3 years, the designer ditched the industrial production in order to pursue more unusual concepts. He calls them “moments to offer to people”. Right now, he is working on a moment like that for the Centre Pompidou’s event linked to Design September Brussels.

In addition to that, he’s working on another collaboration that is close to his heart. The project is about Stephanie, a young girl that died in a car accident. With a help of her parents and the city of Brussels, they are making a tribute to her that will also aim to raise awareness for the cause.

Musicbox door bell. Maison Vervloet edition. Picture © S.Derouaux

Which product do we know you from? What's your best seller?

I’ll start from the beginning, the first two series of objects I made.

The first one was for a company called Ligne Rosét. At the time I was looking to get in contact with publishers or brands, so as not to get into this journey alone. When producing for Rosét, I was wondering how to get their attention effectively. So, instead of sending a finished project, I sent an intention. In the pile of applications, my little sketch stood out quite a bit.

In the end, I made large cylinders that were used as vases or light fixtures called "Bonbonne". The idea for it came from my dream to work with blown glass. I played around with huge soap bubbles, which I pierced on each side with two large needles. So I sent them this dream idea. The collection sold very well. Thanks to the reputation of Ligne Rosée, the project worked very well.

Bonbonne vase. Ligne Roset edition. Picture © Ligne Roset

Another notable product, the second creation, was the Edvard mirror. Its' shape and appearance, allows it to be placed anywhere and used in many ways.

What product would you like to design? What brand would you like to work for?

I have a Japanese pen that also acts as a whistle. They were distributed in schools so that when earthquakes occurred, children could be easily found. All you had to do was blow on it. I love the idea of double function, so I would have loved to have come up with that.

Otherwise, I would like to work with cameras, for companies like Leica for example. Their products, for me, are quite flawless.

 

Edvard mirrors collection. Deknudt mirrors edition. Picture © Lenzer

Who is your design hero?

There are several of them:

- Charles and Ray Eames. They approach many fields (theorist, designer, exhibitor curator...). They have a desire to communicate, I think it’s noticeable when looking at the short films they have made on distances, cultures, etc... Complicated subjects which they have managed to make accessible.

- Pierre Charpin and his particular approach.

- Maarten Van Severen with whom I’ve worked.

- Jasper Morrison, who is moving forward with his projects while undertaking other themes.

- Brother Bouroullec, Ronan and Erwan, who have an incredible rigour. I could even compare them to monks!

July trays collection. Cruso edition. Picture © Lenzer

The best design shop in Belgium, both on- and offline?

I'd say there are two: the street and the flea markets. I pick up a lot of things off the street. It's quite rare for me to shop, even if I appreciate beautiful collections. I accumulate junk from all over the place. The flea markets allow me to find small nostalgic references. And I'm not very into online stores I must say...

Which Belgian restaurant or bar offers the best design experience?

The Belga. You can have a meeting there in the morning, work a few hours and leave at 4am on the next day! Its audience changes continuously according to the hours and days. And for that, I find the place very successful. And of course, the fact that it’s a part of Flagey building adds charm to it. Their bar made of zinc is also a very nice touch. You never get tired of it.

Incline 12° Champagne ice bucket. Ligne Roset edition. Picture © Ligne Roset

What’s the most useless thing you like the most?

Wine glass. It's something that's not really necessary, but it's very good.

Otherwise, I'd say this little Charlie Chaplin toy. He has to go up and walk a few steps alone.

I also have a large collection of bicycle bells. On their own, without a bike. Sometimes I have it on me whilst I’m out in the street and ring it there. A lot of people like it [laughs].

What’s the best-designed item you use every day?

I'd say the piano. It's fascinating and incredible as an object. This mechanism is capricious and delicate.

How do you picture yourself? 

As I was drawing it I was thinking I have to be like a juggler, to be able to concentrate on projects and move from one thing to another at the same time. Multitasking!

Le jongleur. Illustration Jean-François D’Or

As I was drawing it I was thinking I have to be like a juggler, to be able to concentrate on projects and move from one thing to another at the same time. Multitasking!

Which Belgian talent should we feature on Belgian Boutique next? Why?

Bernard Gigounon. He’s my friend, a sculptor who has created a very special universe. I am always touched by the quality of his work. It is always surprising and his collaborations are incredible as well.

Le chant du coquelicot, installation for Kenzo. Picture © S.Derouaux

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