On the way…

Joint interview with Guillaume André, Quentin Didierjean and Thelonious Goupil
Published in the dossier of April 2018

Working on a collaborative project demands intelligence, diplomacy, open-mindedness and the ability to compromise. Not forgetting organizational and methodical skills if you want to achieve a realistic end result. Each in their own way, the three young ENSCI graduates tell their story, taking us behind the scenes of an unprecedented partnership with Veolia. An interview from three points of view.

It all started with a question posed by Veolia: what solutions must be developed over the next twenty years to meet the exponential rise in food and energy needs and combat pollution?

Quentin Didierjean

“What made my relationship with Veolia all the more interesting was that I was able to see how a large company takes an ecofriendly approach with its profitability constraints and growth imperatives.”

 

“Veolia pushed us out of our comfort zone!” explains Quentin. “We had to be able to come up with a well-argued and eloquent project, in terms of both content and images. In our job, it’s rare to find yourself taking such a global approach as ‘thinking about society. So it was very important to me that we agreed about sufficiently robust and detailed elements. This gave rise to intense discussions and debates!”

They then had to develop ideas in line with precise specifications, shaping a shared vision.

“We spontaneously wanted to work together, all three of us aligned around the same vision,” states Guillaume. “We made it a point of honor. And the basis of this collective vision was a carefully chosen and ambitious iconographic selection.”

This is where they came into contact with a number of Veolia’s experts.

Thélonious Goupil

“Being on the same skill level, I had to accept my co-workers’ different visions. This was what was so difficult yet enriching about this project, which had an exciting dynamic and tension.”

“While we were chosen for our personal vision of the subject, it was incredibly enriching for us to discover the vast expertise in the Group, along with the wealth of pilot projects underway,” adds Quentin. “Thanks to the close relationship that formed over the course of our exchanges and the rich discussions, we were able to draw up a highly developed scenario. All we had to do was come up with tangible schemes that could be illustrated.”

A wealth of futures is no bad thing! But between anxiety inducing and unmistakably idyllic scenarios, the trio chose the vision of a plausible (at least in the medium term), realistic, moderate and above all optimistic tomorrow.

“Our city offers gradations depending on how you look at it. It requires us to get involved at every level, from the city center to the fringes to the outer ring,” states Guillaume. “For we wanted to show that there are multiple solutions. We made the creative decision to take the photos with a large-format camera. Its main advantage being the fact that we could develop the large prints on display, into which we gradually incorporated the designed objects. As if, during the twenty years separating us from 2040, we had continued to create things.”

Guillaume André

“I was used to working with multidisciplinary teams, less with designers with similar skills. The exciting thing about this project is that together we managed to put forward the future that we want.”

“The architectural photographer Maxime Delvaux’s work was incredibly rich,” says an enthusiastic Thélonious. “He quickly formed his own opinion about our project and naturally became the fourth musketeer! The keenness and intelligence of his eye were invaluable to us from an esthetic point of view and our search for the best possible landscape. As we brought on board new forms of expertise — especially 3D integration — each made a new contribution. Everyone has ideas about these future cities. It was incredibly stimulating to have the space, time and comfort to think about them,” he concludes.

On the strength of this collaboration, their future prospects have been confirmed and subtly altered. This thinking will accompany our three designers as they move forward. Working with Veolia and collaborating with professionals with sometimes over thirty years’ knowhow has enriched Guillaume, Quentin and Thelonious’ experience: they have learned to translate their thinking in different sectors of activity. For, in the future, engineers and designers will increasingly find themselves working together on forward-looking questions.

BIO

Guillaume André, object mastery
During his seven years of studies, he explored design from every angle to gain a global perspective. His successive internships with the agency NoDesign and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), followed by his experience at the Centre Michel Serres, led him to specialize in innovation, research and new technologies. He pays particular attention to manufacturing methods and social and environmental issues. His specialty is understanding everyday objects and repairing them. Handling these objects with a history encourages exploration and reappropriation. Graduated from ENSCI in July 2017

Quentin Didierjean, bio-inspired,
Following an in-depth exploration of different worlds — cabinetwork at Robert Gondoin, augmented reality at Levels3D, product and set design at the Constance Guisset Studio, Quentin became interested in eco-design. For his degree, he created an array of accessories, equipment and recipes for producing your own objects based on everyday biodegradable materials. His dissertation Controlled disappearance describes the concept and uses of bioinspiration for practicing sustainable design. Graduated from ENSCI in April 2017

Thélonious Goupil, in praise of ordinary objects
His degree in hand, he spent six months with Ransmeier Inc. in New York and then a year with the Jasper Morrison agency in Paris. Two professional experiences that reinforced his industrial design sensibilities and understanding of ordinary objects. In July 2016, his Seaside Bench project won the Hyères-Toulon Design Parade jury prize. He was subsequently offered a one-year residency at the Villa Noailles, during which he developed personal projects in collaboration with local businesses. An independent designer since July 2017, Thelonious Goupil looks to create objects designed according to their context and the techniques governing their implementation, while ensuring the projects’ economic viability. Graduated from ENSCI with distinction in March 2016

ENSCI, the school of every design

The École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle–Les Ateliers (ENSCI–Les Ateliers), placed under the join t authority of the Ministries f or Culture and Industry, was founded in 1982 under the patronage of Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand.

Ranked as the best design school in the w orld by Red Dot Design in 2011, it is the leading F rench higher education establishment exclusively devoted to design and industrial design.

Adopting an inno vative approach, it unites the fields of industrial and pr oduct design with digital, spa tial, communication and service design.