French Design 100, A Prize To Reward French Designers And Their International Recognition

Between January and February 2022, Le French Design 100 Festival has rewarded 100 designers that reflect French design throughout the world. An opportunity to talk more about French creation, its “French Touch” and its new trends. 

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A month to celebrate the 100 winners. Following a first edition in 2019, this new one, placed under the high patronage of Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, and supported by the French Ministry of Culture, has selected 100 projects that excelled the most in diffusing the spirit and values of French design throughout the world. From objects such as furniture or decoration, to spatial design projects like hotels, boutiques and restaurants, the festival and its jury led by Hervé Lemoine, director of Mobilier national, intended to make French design and la French Touch shine all over the world. “Beyond a prize, it is really a recognition of my work and my involvement. It goes even further, it is fabulous as a “young” designer to receive this prize at the Elysée Palace, by representatives of the state, in the presence of the Head of State. It encourages you to continue, in a profession that is not always easy” said winning designer Charlotte Juillard, whose seating collection Laime, developed with the young company Noma, was selected by the jury.

Sustainability, a new focus for the design industry

Between January and February, 5 new winners would be unveiled every day through a never-seen-before video. The winners are not ranked but split through 20 categories to enhance each field and promote French design’s diversity of profiles and projects. Among the criteria used for this selection come audacity, elegance, synergy between creativity & industry, cultural openness, celebration of the French art de vivre, touch of luxury, and representation of a rich heritage. “We have a real history with design in France. Today, great names shine internationally, such as Philippe Stark, sponsor of the French Design 100, or the Bouroullec brothers. I work a lot with foreign companies, especially in Europe, and they are fond of French designers and their “touch”, explains Charlotte Juillard. “In France there is a cultural sense of aesthetics, beauty, craftsmanship […]. Each designer will have their own touch, their own signature. But having travelled a bit, I can say that there is a rather particular and French cultural sense of sharp aesthetic”. The inclusion in a sustainable innovation approach was also taken in account in the criteria. “I think we’re all caught up in a global movement of ecological concern. […] The pandemic has made people realize that ecological awareness also has a place in design”.

 

Lockdowns made people rethink their home

Like many other sectors, another market trend that came with Covid-19 is undoubtedly digitalization, where the industry tends to be late for. Until Covid, 56% of French people would still find home decoration inspirations in stores according to an IPSOS study. To overcome this challenge, brands now try to create a new consumer experience through social media like Instagram or personalized online advice. Covid also brought people to rethink their home. With the numerous lockdowns, the budget allocated to holidays, leisure or restaurants went to a new purpose in French households: furniture. “Stuck at home, people have also become aware of the importance of having quality furniture, in which they feel good and that they want to enjoy every day”, analyzes Juillard. And as in many other fields, consumers show growing interest in companies’ storytelling, the values they share, the engagements they stand for. “People are ready to invest more in their furniture, are looking for local know-how, made in France or in Europe”. This interest is even turning into a vocation, as more and more employees, bored with office life, turn to design. Who knows, perhaps future winners of Le French Design 100?

Charlotte Juillard and the 99 other winners’ projects can be found on Le French Design 100 website. You can also visualize some of the winning spatial design projects on Le French Design World Map here.