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Jean-Francois D’Or

Belgium is Design – a joint venture between Design Flanders, Wallonia-Brussels Design Mode, MAD Brussels, Wallonia Invest & Export and Brussels Invest & Export – will once again highlight Belgian creativity during the Salone in Milan.  
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Designer of the Year Award, all previous and current designers of the year present their latest designs in a joint expo. The exhibition will highlight the specific characteristics of Belgian design, emphasising the original approach these 10 designers have in common. The prestigious Academia di Belle Arti di Brera is the perfect location to confront these designers with each other, and with the rich historic background of the building itself. 

One of the designers is Jean-Francois D’Or, designer of the year 2013. 

1. How would you describe what you do?
Every single day is an experience, it’s always interesting. In my designs, I try to focus on the relationship and dialogue between humans and objects: how does the object make people behave?
I don’t stick to one type of object, I want to have a look at all typologies and give my humble vision on it.
Every new function that I have to think about is a new adventure, just like a new book to open.

2. At what time do you start your day and what’s the thing you do first?
I get up around 7am. The first thing I try to do is to keep my night’s dream last a little bit longer and start the day with a smile.

3. What is the reason you started doing what you do? What makes you so passionate about it?
I like to think that objects have to power to communicate and evoke emotion. So if my designs could evoke a positive emotion, that’s what keeps me going. I want people to smile when they use my designs, and I want them to be able to enjoy using them.

4. What or who is your source of inspiration?
I can find inspiration in plenty of things, and at any given moment. Daily life in general is an inspiration.  Human beings and how they act, can be an inspiration too. And off course history, literature, theatre music, movies … are all of great importance.

5. Which is your all time favourite design?
I have two: a silex stone that can cut deeper than a knife, and a soft flat stone which I found on a beach.

6. Do you think you’ll keep walking down this path in the future or do you have other creative calls?
Design is a very large field and of course it needs an evolution.
Everything is possible nevertheless we’ll need several lives…

7. Which piece of work would you consider your very own masterpiece?
I do not see my designs as masterpieces, but I think of them as common objects in an expressive form. I want my designs to be well made and to be functional, with an added emotional value. The objects have to be useful, but should also evoke an emotion in the viewer or user.

8. If you had a time machine, in what year would you be living?
It is frustrating to me that you are never able to catch the present, to truly experience the here an now. Once you think you get it, it has already past… So maybe if I could choose a time, it will be the present.

9. Cookies and milk, or chips and soda?
Sale e pepe!

10. If you could give yourself one single piece of advice before you started this adventure, what would it be?
Keep it simple, keep going.