Born in 1965, Matali Crasset is a French industrial designer, who also works on interior architecture, micro architecture, and graphic design (3). Her main goal is to make people question the way they live their daily lives (1). According to Matali, “A designer can be ‘multiple’, and this is inevitably reflected in his or her projects. Before, there were boxes in which we were neatly arranged. Today, we fit in all the boxes… In the past, people were specialized in one subject, today we want to be present in a whole range of sectors.” (2) She doesn’t work on the object equals function but rather the object that can resolve a life’s scenario (4).
Matali first started her career in Milan in 1991, with an Italian designer Denis Santachiar (2) right after graduating from the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Creation Industrielle in Paris. When she got back to Paris, she then worked with Philippe Starck for five years before opening her studio in Paris called “Matali Crasset Productions.” During the period from which she began her career and the opening of her studio, Matali established a strong approach to her design (2).
Without a formal approach Matali Crasset defines a purpose to everything she does- “There must be a purpose; if there isn’t a purpose or something interesting to bring into every day life, I won’t work on it”. She first goes for an intention; proposing hospitality, order, generosity, and the idea of sharing, which can be integrated in an interior or even the community. She then takes the scenario and reconfigures it for people to start using their surroundings differently. Matali wants to attract curious people that have already realized that they could live differently.
One of her oldest and still most famous pieces- “When Jim Came to Paris” is a combination of a mattress with a night-light and an alarm clock. It rolls up into a clean simple vertical column, and can be stored easily. Her scenario is of an unexpected guest that arrives in an apartment with no guest bedroom to accommodate him. She reconfigures this live scene with this object that is multi functional, saves space, and is hospitable, mobile and modular.
Her method is not one of inventing new form, nor is it to decorate (4). Matali is interested in the search of new typologies that deal with the fundamental needs of daily life as well as the extra ordinary, the mobility, and the freedom. She pays special attention to the object itself (5), and its functions in order to enable people to use them and their spaces as they please. It is about the objects “plateforme” in which everyone can use his or her imagination to use it in different ways having the option to “finish” the object in their own way (5).
Matali has a ludic attitude, which allows her to experiment with the world that surrounds her. She’s extremely observant, how she feels in a space and how people interact more natural which she then translates this feeling into her spaces and objects. Her goal as a designer is to fill each project with this sense of generosity and sharing (5).
Some of Matali’s works are exhibited in contemporary art museums around the world (3). She holds a unique personality, being one of the most creative and active French designers today, imposing herself as an industrial designer in a masculine environment. Refusing all standardization, her projects always contain a similar axis of sharing and flexibility.
(1) “Design Museum”. 8th of May 2010 <http://designmuseum.org/design/matali-crasset>.
(2) Pante, Derek. “Matali Crasset”. 8th of May 2010 <http://www.sfu.ca/italiadesign/2008/pretrip/Papers/MataliCrasset_DerekPante.pdf>.
(3) “Matali Crasset”. Design Boom. 18th of May 2010 <http://www.designboom.com/eng/interview/crasset.html>.
(4) Holl, Patricia. “Matali Crasset”. Letudiant.fr. 18th of May 2010 <http://www.letudiant.fr/metiers/metiers—portraits-de-pros/matali-crasset-designer.html>.
(5) Devaux, Alexandre. “Matali Crasset, Dans Le Vent Du Design”. 8th of May 2010 <http://www.artnet.fr/magazine/portraits/DEVAUX/crasset.asp>.