Matali Crasset

Design iconoclast Matali Crasset—notably bespectacled and bowl-cutted—spent her youth in the French countryside before finding her creative feet in college. Now, with an international agenda that includes exhibitions, products, and furniture with some of the biggest names in the business—including Alessi, Established & Sons, and Moustache—she is consistently expanding an already diverse portfolio. After collaborating on the interiors for Nice’s Hi hotel in 2003, she recently completed her first architectural commission: the DarHi hotel in Nefta, Tunisia, which opened in September and offers a modern take on immersive, site-specific travel.

matali crasset rendering

Design intervention:
I was studying marketing at university. We were launching a perfume, and I came back in the evening and tried to draw the bottle and packaging. I didn’t succeed. I was so conscious that the object had to be clear, and from one day to the next I discovered that design was really what I want to do.
Lessons learned:
Marketing has a specific type of language and methodology. I understand that, which is a huge help when working with big companies.
On the go:
The main part of working is thinking. You take all the constraints and forget about them for a little bit, and then something emerges from yourself, your values, and what you really believe in. I can do that wherever I am.
Semantic significance:
I never talk about “clients”; I’m working with partners. My partner asks me to push my limits, and I appreciate that.
A fabled affair:
I want to produce a small comedy—–a kind of fairy tale—–for kids, because mine are growing too fast. It’s my little dream.
Connectivity:
More and more I’m working on interiors—–not just individual pieces—–because they give me the opportunity to create a link between the furniture and its environment. I’m interested in objects and space because together they affect the way we live. Life is really my engine.
The great unknown:
I like to do things that I’ve never done before, and I enjoy taking on speculative projects. It’s a very interesting time to be a designer; I feel like we can help to develop a new logic and ways of thinking, beyond making only material objects.

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