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Brutalist detail of the concrete foot of the Sharp dining table by designer Bertrand Jayr
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Bertrand Jayr the interiew

November 08, 2023

Bertrand Jayr the interiew

Between Art and Design, there is only a small step. In general, the creative process remains, in my opinion, essentially the same from one specialty to another. — Bertrand Jayr

We’ve often told you about the poetically designed products that designer Bertrand Jayr has created for us, but we’ve never really taken the time to introduce him to you.

In order to fill this gap, Bertrand Jayr kindly agreed to be interviewed.

What sparked your interest in industrial design and how did you pursue your career in this field?

This choice, following my four-year course in Applied Art with a focus on Design, primarily resulted from the opportunity given to me in 2014 by Joanny Provent, Artistic Director and Founder of Lyon Béton, which has been consistently renewed since.

In my view, practicing Industrial Design for a brand or company is the optimal option to blend creativity, practicality, and technicality. It’s also a chance to put my inventiveness to the test, from idea to prototype, by transforming the constraints of a brief into opportunities for innovation.

I am currently engaged in a new phase of creation for Lyon Béton, with whom I collaborate as an independent artist and designer. Lyon-Béton and I are already planning to continue this collaboration and have not said our final word in the world of design!


How do you approach the creative process when starting a new design project?

I like to make objects speak.

I’ve always distinguished and favored “saying” over “doing,” so my “way of doing” would be more of a “way of saying.” Thus, heavily influenced by conceptual art, it’s often the intention that guides my approach.

I don’t know how other artists or designers work, how ideas come to them. For me, the idea usually arises from a casual thought noted in the back of my mind and deliberately tested against my memory. If the idea persists or simply lingers, then I write it down. The artistic writing itself stops here. Then, the development process (experimentation and realization) becomes nothing more than implementation, a phase of pure execution.

Between Art and Design, there is only a small step. In general, the creative process remains, in my opinion, essentially the same from one specialty to another.

How do you reconcile aesthetics and functionality in your creations?

While form follows function, the designer would still be wrong today, from the inception of their product, to ignore the undeniable entry represented solely by the purely aesthetic dimension of it. Therefore, it is necessary to keep in mind that appearance and use are two different yet connected things.

In my view and from a purely artistic standpoint, aesthetics alone (just like technicality alone) is nothing but a means useful for achieving an end, in other words, serving an idea.


What non-design activities or interests are you passionate about in your free time?

I enjoy improvisational theater, stone balancing, and chess, among other things.

What books, films, or forms of art inspire you and how have they influenced your design style?

Delving into the intimacy of a graphic novel; savoring the tragicomic dimension of a Woody Allen film; experiencing an immersive contemporary art installation; immersing myself in movements like conceptual art or Brutalist architecture, to name a few; cultivating that unique perspective on the world—these are all ways to nourish my work as well.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that is unrelated to your career?

Working in a medically supported care home for people with disabilities, while very challenging, greatly enriches my understanding of the world and consistently reminds me of how much this community has to teach us.


What is the most challenging aspect of your work as an industrial designer, and how do you overcome it?

Frequently having to let go of an idea that has already been worked on (sometimes poorly). Having to, between impatience and enthusiasm, “endure” with each new project the legitimately lengthy phase of inertia in development and confidentiality that precedes the official product release.