Le savoir-faire ancestral au coeur de l'objet

Au début il y a la main, il y a le geste

Flavia de Laubadère, creator and interior designer

Flavia de Laubadere

« Ancestral Savoir-faire at the heart of each object »

Trained in 'Design and Interior Architecture'at the Ecole Camondo in Paris, then at the Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués, Flavia de Laubadère opened her eponymous workshop in 2015 in the 9th arrondissement of the capital, with strong determination in mind : give life to traditional 'savoirs-faire' by reinventing them at the core of contemporary objects and spaces.

At the beginning is the hand, the gesture. This is self-evident. « It is thanks to the craftsworkers' savoir-faire, to their pasionate determination, to their expert hands that they can play with the constraints related to Matter, asserts Flavia de Laubadère. I truly respect the work achieved by these hands and the intelligence placed at the service of these savoirs-faire in order to succeed in implementing projects which must be efficient, realistic, having sturdy and sustainable backing, and therefore bound to become vectors of Transmission.» Her tribute paid to craftsmanship is the DNA of her work.

Working amidst workshops does not frighten her, on the contrary. Solving technical problems, finding solutions for hitches arising in specific situations, taking into account spatial constraints are her daily challenges. In this approach, all skills are required in order to achieve the very best. Walnut, bamboo, leather, ceramic, glass: this young artist, who spent her childhood in the countryside, gives life to numerous materials and works, thanks to all of the relationships she has reaped with time with masterful artisans who excell in their craft. For example, she worked on a commissioned project, designing a stained glass panel, which she manufactured alongside Marie-Pierre Bouaziz, a stained glass creator and restorer.

«The glass panel was a four-hand creation, says Flavia de Laubadère. It is a whole set of materials, textures and treatments of the glass surface in order to capture light. It was a workbench collaboration. I really introduced Arts mastercrafts in this project, so as to bring light to a confined Paris appartment in a very special way.» Be it one-off commissioned pieces for individuals, brand names or series, Flavia de Laubadère appeals to professionals who perpetuate ancestral practices by adapting them to contemporary projects. « What's really interesting is to make different craft domains meet and to develop specific techniques alongside collaborating artisans, she says. And when two domains intersect or when techniques interbreed, we reach the realm of Innovation. »

Attuned to Matter

Ever since her chidhood, spent in the countryside, she has kept a special fondness for nature, trees, earth, matter. For that matter, she has put together a whole collection of materials, her 'matériauthèque', which is her source of inspiration. Regularly, she picks up forest leaves which trigger off her imagination and furthermore, new projects, just like the one with Manon Bouvier, a young marquetry artist specialized in straw inlays who was awarded 'Meilleur Ouvrier de France' (best mastercraft artist) in 2019. « At the beginning, I just wanted to design small, easy-to-place boxes, tells the interior designer. But the project unfurled. We created a straw folding screen made with bamboo leaves for the 'Salon Révélation'. This exceptional object is the result of long hours of research and a good number of trials and errors. It is a material I created by associating it with a specific savoir-faire and Manon Bouvier, very enthusiastically achieved an extraordinary work with this material. We have indeed reached the field of pure innovative craftwork.» In fact, this new material was registered. Searching, testing, innovating with ancestral skills as basis, mingled with human encounters, Flavia de Laubadère makes her dream come true. And with her, Design recovers its nobility: « Drawing is Gesture, and Design is the expression of gesture. » It's as easy as that.

Isabel Soubelet, journaliste.


Photo portrait : Flavia De Laubadère et Manon Bouvier

Flavia de Laubadere