Rémi Bouhaniche and Amaury Poudray are two designers based in Lyon, France, whose work displays a keen eye for material and process.
Having both received their degrees from Saint Etienne Art School, and going on to receive degrees in Industrial Design - Rémi in Marseille, and Amaury in Les Herbiers, they founded their studio, USIN-e together.
We spoke to the design duo to find out more about their projects; past, present, future and imaginary...
What does USIN-e mean, and how did you come to form USIN-e together?
USIN-e: a word play for US: United States, IN: India. Put the words together and you obtain "Usine" which means factory in French.
We met at the ESAD school of Saint Etienne before living respectively in USA and India. During our last year of school back in France, we started to work together for Institut Paul Bocuse, Lyon. After our degree in September 2009 we decided to create a label: USIN-e.
How does the dynamic work between you when you're developing and realising a new project?
Naturally, One or the other tells what he feels, that automatically makes a reaction to the other, and that again and again. Progressively, we obtain a good project that fits us.
Both of you have studied internationally as well as in France; Amaury in the States, and Rémi in India. Do you think your different study locations gave you differing viewpoints or interests within design?
Amaury: No. It gave us a common thing, the desire to develop networks and find a way to make our generation in the same goal. We want deply to connect with all the designers of our generation to exchange ideas, to plan big projects. India was adapted to the Rémi's mind, and USA to mine.
Out of all of the projects you've completed, which were the most enjoyable, challenging, or even frustrating for you?
Amaury: The most enjoyable is always the next one because I can't wait to see it realised. It is a candelabra that we are creating for Granville Gallery and exhibiting in Paris next October.
The most challenging is the collection we are developing for a factory, it is very exciting. No frustrations.
Rémi: 'System D' was one of the most enjoyable 'cause it came as a natural thing, like a flowing process. According to my experience, the most challenging is 'Prelude'.
Exploring craftsmanship, and above all, properties of materials seem to be a keen concern of yours - the recent works 'Prelude', 'Segment' and 'AIR3' for instance are all intriguing pieces. Can you tell us a little more about how these pieces came about and why materials are so fascinating for you?
In each of these pieces, the matter is to make an object with a strong identity, in a way, complex which shows the process clearly. Then there is a sort of fragility or a tension we explored through them.
The combination of different materials is one of the ways we chose to work on these notions. That is why materials are so fascinating for us. When we combine them, It has the potential to tell a story; to express this natural tension.
If we could delve into design fantasy - and you were given an unlimited budget with absolutely no conditions - do you have any idea what project you think you'd like to explore?
Amaury: The project of creating an International Subway! One that goes under oceans and above sometimes. For one reason: to cancel cars and planes for no petrol consumtion. I would love to stop the car production. Imagine; no parkings, no roads. Just a big and long wild land. So for long travel, [you could] just take this international subway into the earth, maybe 1 to 10 lines per country. That is the best thing I would love to see. I hate cars, roads and parkings.
And finally, what's next for USIN-e? Can you tell us about what you're working on at the moment?
We are developing new set of furniture for one company with a very special technique, and not initially based on furniture - very exciting. We are also developing a project with an art wood craftsman.
As we said before, a candelabra for Granville Gallery in Paris in October, and also a collection of leather objects with a french editor, that should be on show at Biennale St Etienne!
Also we now have our own showroom and workspace at Village des Créateurs in Lyon; you can come to say hi.
It's Village des Créateurs, Passage Thiaffait, 19 rue René Leynaud, 69001 Lyon...