BELGIAN DESIGNER ALAIN GILLES, who chairs the judging panel at the 2016 Silmo D’Or awards, has forged an unusual career path. After studying Political Science and Marketing Management, he spent five relatively unfulfilling years working in the financial sector at JP Morgan before deciding to change course and follow his passion for industrial design, aesthetics and creativity.
Embarking on a programme of further study at the Institut Supérieur de Design (Higher Design Institute) in Valenciennes, Alain then completed an internship with his fellow countryman, Xavier Lust before joining Arne Quinze. Building on these two constructive experiences, Alain opened his own studio in 2007 “in order to pursue his own dreams and develop his personal approach to product and furniture design, artistic direction and interior architecture.” He brings an authentic, straight-forward point of view recognised in 2012 by Biennale Intérieur, the international design event in Courtrai which voted him “Designer of the Year”.
“The first priority is never to lose sight of the function of the item or piece of furniture, to remain centred on the user, he explains. Next, I focus on the room’s architectural form, how it’s located in the space, its personality according to one’s perception. And then on the graphic power: the contours, interplay of colours etc. To me, these are the three essential components. In addition,
I also try to find exactly the right balance for a product, and if at times it seems too masculine
to me, I work on the curves or add a material that evokes a more feminine feel.” " In-Focus No. 2"
Continuing to add awards to his portfolio, Alain Gilles collaborated with a variety of international companies, in France (Qui est Paul?, La Chance, Galerie Gosserez Paris, ), in Belgium (Design is Wolf, Buzzispace), in Italy (Varaschin, Casamania, Bonaldo) among others.
This year, he has created an art piece for the Fonds Erasme — Mirror Mirror — which will be sold at auction to fund medical research. “The concept behind it is based on a perception and analysis of our society. The idea of studying and investigating oneself, in an endless search for the self, is an aspect present in modern society which has become clouded by appearances and the image we reflect back on ourselves through, for example, new technologies and social media networks including Facebook and Instagram. ” A powerful nod to the optics and eyewear sector, which is certain to appreciate the generous perspective of a major designer.
SILMO Paris - Press release July 2016 More information : [email protected]