Last month, Charlotte Petitpierre was crowned 2017’s Emerging Talent Award winner with her Hiraki table lamp. The young French designer’s LED light outshone hundreds of designs submitted by creators from all over the world who responded to a brief asking for pieces based on materials that inspire them. We sat down with Charlotte to discuss how she became a designer, her approach to creating Hiraki and her thoughts on MADE.COM’s brand new, first-of-its-kind design platform, TalentLAB.
“I’ve always been interested in architecture and creativity. How a building or an object can evoke emotions is fascinating to me.” Design was a natural calling for Charlotte but her seemingly overnight success is thanks to years of hard work, study and determination: “I went to Architecture School in Montpellier, in the South of France. I then did an online course on Industrial Design before doing a Master's degree in Design. I worked while studying and was eventually offered a job as an Interior Designer at the agency I work for now. I’ve been there for two years so far.”
“For me, design and interior design complement each other.” Her experience in creating pieces and designing spaces mixed with her knowledge of architecture has left Charlotte with a holistic view on design that is a massive advantage. “Interior design helps me understand the interactions between objects and space, and design has given me a keen eye for detail.”
But no amount of class time or study can compete with experience. The best advice she’s ever received was given to her by a pro: “I once met a designer who told me that there are five requirements to creating a great design: culture of otherness, authenticity, respect for Man and Nature, innovation, and simplicity. You can’t have a great design without these five features.”
Even the most knowledgeable person is nothing if they lack inspiration. Fortunately, Charlotte sees it everywhere. “I find inspiration in what’s around me. Mostly from details and shapes that catch my eye in architecture and in design. For Hiraki, I was inspired by the roundness of the moon, and the way it floats.”
“When I first came up with this lamp, I wanted to make a practical object that creates different atmospheres. I wanted it to have different shapes when you look at it from different angles. The design evolved and changed several times before its final version which was showcased during in the Emerging Talent Awards.”
“I’d already drawn this lamp and made it a few months before the competition.” Hiraki (which is a girl’s name which means “light” in Japanese) is a prime example of great products that are out there but are yet to be discovered - something Charlotte is very familiar with. “One of the biggest difficulties is meeting the right person at the right time. A project can catch the attention of an editor but it’s not easy to get your piece made and brought to life.”
Charlotte’s win means her product will be made and sold by MADE. Now, with TalentLAB, so will hundreds of other designs. “I think TalentLAB is a great initiative that will allow young and unknown designers like me share their passion with the public. The greatest achievement for a designer is having people believe in their project.”
Charlotte’s Hiraki lamp is everything MADE looks for in a new product and will be available to purchase in 2018. If, like Charlotte, you have a design idea you want to be made into a reality, our brand new, first-of-its-kind design platform TalentLAB could be the stepping stone to making that dream come true. Click here to find out more.
Article written by: Carly-Ann Clements