Interview: Clément Eloy, The Promising Star of French Design

After his Master’s in Engineering Design with Honors from the ISD Valenciennes, France, Clement Eloy decided to start his own firm. In 2008, he founded Feel Addicted, the global design agency in Lille, France. His firm deals with user experience and overall brand perception. Through its various services, like products, packaging, brand identity and creation of environment, Feel Addicted combines design to marketing in a comprehensive and personalized process.

His list of awards includes Red Dot Design Award, and many of his designs have been showcased across countries like Belgium, Germany, Singapore and Shanghai World Expo. He has also received Pentawards for one of his designs and numerous other awards for spilling out his creative genius through his work.

Recently, we have got the honors of interviewing the multi-talented star all the way from France on our site, jump down to read his story,

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TechieTonics: I personally liked the concept of recycling heat that you have employed in your product design SweetHome. Would you like to inform our readers about the innovative equipment and how far did it reach the production level?

Clément: The project SweetHome is above all a personal reflection on the fact that my feet were cold when I worked on my laptop while there was a waste of heat just beside me. It is at the prototype level and I don’t think I will produce it one day. The market may be too small and what really interested me in this project was to revisit the use of the AC adapter block.

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TechieTonics: What do you think are the challenges in designing the interface of mobile apps?

Clément: The 1st challenge in designing an mobile application is to be as simple as possible. I essentially work on cultural apps and the goal of these mobile apps is to inform the person who will use it. So the design must be very easy to understand and the icons / buttons / contact points must be really intuitive. The challenge is to sum up an idea in 1 very small icône. The 2nd challenge is to provide the informations people are looking for as fast as possible, and the 3rd challenge is to make people want to go further (and share informations, visit the city, the museum…).

TechieTonics: Tell us about your experience working as a graphic designer, what are your thoughts while you are creating designs that will be on the shelves in thousands of homes?

Clément: I don’t really think about it. For graphic design and for product design what I have in mind is to be as clever and meaningful as possible in my creation. But anyway it is always nice to see someone I don’t know who owns a creation I made. And it is really interesting to have feedbacks about it.

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TechieTonics: Who or what are you inspirations that help you in spilling out the creative genius in yourself?

Clément: Everything is inspiring. I keep on observing things, people, nature, listening to stories, anecdotes… like a big hoover, I digest all these informations and I bounce on those that interest me, usually at night. Creativity can be everywhere from the moment you listen to your daily life.

TechieTonics: What is innovation to you: design, technology or creative process?

Clément: Innovation is 1st of all the result of a creative process. There is an infinity of effective creative processes, used consciously or not. And ideally it should always be one of the 1st part of the design process. It is a way to improve a user experience regarding something. It can start from something that already exists (a product, a service…) and it can also start from zero, when a there is a new need and no existing response for it.

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TechieTonics: Which future technologies are you excited about?

Clément: Existing newborn technologies are already exciting me, like augmented reality possibilities, and for example the very large field of applications that can be done with Google Glasses. Some future technologies interest me but also scare me. In the development of humanity and technologies, we had races for industrialization, races for beauty, races for communication… and in a very near future we will arrive in a race for supremacy. Many technologic projects are about longevity, power, body capacities… For example, exoskeletons were invented to help paralyzed or quadriplegic persons, a huge success in the humanity story that really has a sense. Today exoskelettons are also made for valid persons who need to carry big charges, and I agree that it can be useful. But tomorrow, everyone will be able to wear this, to take you off the ground and throw you away with one hand… Imagine, everyone will want to improve its body possibilities, who will arbitrate this ? Finally exoskeletons and Google Glasses are just parts of Robocop body ! But it doesn’t matter because thanks to Google again (maybe ?) we will see our life expectancy considerably increased… (good or bad thing?)

Anyway, I’m excited by the perspective to see this in my life.

TechieTonics: What is the startup scene in France? In your eyes, what are the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs in the country?

Clément: Challenges for entrepreneurs in France are to face complexities to create a business, to face taxes and to accept social inequalities toward entrepreneurs and salaries. But entrepreneurs are passionate and creative and things are changing. French startups and innovative companies are growing fast in France and internationally, that’s a good thing.

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TechieTonics: Do you agree with the notion, design will be the key feature in the next wave of sustainability?

Clément: Design is important for sustainability because it has the responsibility of the products impact on the environment. But I also think people will change by themselves and apply sustainability rules progressively. The main role of designers is to make it easy for people to apply these rules.

TechieTonics: What are your future plans with respect to your designs? And presently, what are the interesting things that have hooked your attention?

Clément: In 2014 I am working on lighting systems, kitchen tools, packaging and brand identities. There will have big parts of product development, but I would like to release more time to pure creation, brainstorming and creative processes. I keep an eye on some actual trends such as connected products/companions in various fields or 3D printing and DIY.

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Now some rapid fire questions:

TechieTonics: Describe yourself in one word?

Clément: Curious

TechieTonics: What kind of music do you prefer?

Clément: Every kind, and at the moment more electro

TechieTonics: What websites and magazines do you read on a regular basis?

Clément: IDEAT (french design magazine), « ça m’interesse » (french magazine about science and sociology). For the website, there is not 1 particular, but all inspiring websites.

TechieTonics: If you have power creation, what will you create?

Clément: Wings for human (I love dreaming about flying like a bird) or a window to see what happens after the death

TechieTonics: Do you like to share anything before saying goodbye?

Clément: When you go to sleep, close your eyes, listen to the silence (or listen to your neighbourhood), think about a thing that didn’t satisfy you today, imagine how to improve it, turn it upside down, cross it with other domains to be creative, think wide and impossible, then classify your ideas, come back to reality and study its feasibility. If you find a good idea you won’t be able to sleep before 3am, if not try again tomorrow. 🙂

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Wow! This was a great interview, thank you Clément for taking out time in collaborating with us. Before wrapping up, we’d like to wish you success and luck for all your future undertakings.

About Pooja Kashyap

A CPD certified Fitness Trainer, Pooja also likes to spend time reading and blogging the latest research and discoveries in science and how technology is shaping the world. Besides writing, she enjoys reviewing books and taking interviews of creative/innovative people. Currently, she is located in Noida, India, where she actively participates in marathons as well. She is also on Quora l Twitter and LinkedIn.