Benoît & Rachel Convers - ibride Designers
Founded in 1996 the ibride Design House combines historical references, romanticism and the designers' own experiences from travelling in its pieces. The word 'ibride' is a play on words for the French meaning 'hybrid', with many of the pieces combining several forms and several functions. OTI talks to Benoît & Rachel Convers, the Husband and Wife Designer Team, about their inspiration and what makes them laugh.
You can tell that the team at ibride love animals :) ! What are your top three favourite animals and why?
Benoît : Our favourite animal is our Jack Russel of course! It was our inspiration for our first piece of furniture Sultan the dog stool. Rachel loves the birds, you can feel it on the “Galerie de Portraits” collection of trays. And finally we would say Bears, they are a majestic animal.
What is your favourite design from the current collection?
Benoît : Each project has its own history. The souvenir we've dug out to find inspiration, the moment we had the idea, the people we met and collaborate to set up the production… it’s hard to highlight one particular product in the collection - most of them became characters of our design history and share our life like children or cousins. Some of them are bad-tempered, but most of them are easy to live.
How did the company start? Can you tell us a little bit about the team?
In 1996, Carine Jannin (Director & Editor, ibride) decided to create her own publishing house specialising in the design of objects. Her singular and strategic choices, free from all archetypes, allot a central position to the independence of creation. Together with Rachel and Benoît Convers, the established designers of the label, they combine a family trio, precursors in author design. Based on audacious concepts such as the “Made in France ” and objects with dual interpretations, this publishing house blossoms independently and cultivates its differences on the fringe of insidious standardization.
What is a normal working day like for you and your team?
Benoît : We are lucky to work in a hidden rural area at the east of France. When we aren’t travelling, we spend our time between our design studio and the workshop in the same building. Since we have our own production plant, we can do many experimentations and work hand in hand with production people to set up the new collections.
What would be the ultimate piece of furniture or accessory that you’d love to design? For instance: A full size elephant bookcase, a ‘plate’ tree that has a whole banquet service inside it?
Benoît : When we meet a manufacturer or a craftsman, it’s a new opportunity for us to experiment new technologies, new processes. We feel free to discover new materials, and design new things.
What’s your favourite film or novel ?
Rachel: A few years ago, we developed the ibride catalogue from the Alice in Wonderland story of Lewis Carroll. This fancy and complex story is like us – As Alice, I do like to hesitate between dream and reality, especially in the morning.
Benoît : I really enjoyed Toy Story from Lasseter. The idea that the objects come alive as soon as we don’t look at them is a story that could be suitable with the ibride collection.
What makes you laugh?
Benoît : We did a design recently for an exhibition in Shanghai about Spongebob Squarepants. The name of our design is « Precious but not so serious » / To work at ibride’s, you must be really involved in your job, but not take yourself to seriously ;)
Fontain in the Summer means? Countryside! Fontain is a small town based in the East of France where we come from. We enjoy being closed to the nature, living in a quiet environment.
What do the ibride team do to relax? Having coffee, playing babyfoot or pingpong, sharing music, going to weekly massage - working at ibride is quite cool !
Can you give us a sneaky peak into what new designs you and your team are currently working on? What can we expect to see in 2016? Our inspiration for this 2015/16 collection comes from our childhood memories. Most of these new products refers to our grandparents’ ways of life.
To see more of the ibride collection click here