Hands-On: Constance Guisset on design and following her childhood dream
“Light, full of surprises and brimming with sense of humor, designer Constance Guisset possesses the same characteristics that set her design apart.
The energetic artist creates striking pieces that invoke wonder and incite curiosity. More than attractive objects, Guisset’s insistence on combining functionality and a dreamlike quality conveys a balance that make her creations intriguing yet timeless. She chats with Ethnicraft about her latest designs, working with wood and following an intrinsic desire to create with her hands.
Hi, Constance. Let’s talk about design. How did you first discover design? What drew you to it?
I decided to be a designer quite late in life, but since childhood, I’ve always had a desire to create with my hands. I dreamed of someday working a job that’s both manual and intellectual, like a carpenter, surgeon or an artist. After working at an art gallery for some time, I realized that I missed the freedom I had when I was in school. I took carpentry and sculpting classes to channel my self-expression, and that became the catalyst that started this journey of creation and design. I enrolled in ENSCI (a French design school), and when I graduated, I decided to start my own studio. The rest, as they say, is history.
Do you have a certain “signature” or distinctive characteristics when it comes to your designs?
It’s a bit difficult to define my signature, but I’d like to think that all my creations have movement, lightness, illusion, surprise and humor.
You’ve created some iconic pieces for Ethnicraft. In what way do Ethnicraft’s aesthetics fit yours?
I appreciate Ethnicraft’s attachment to sober shapes, natural finishes and beautiful matter. They are specialists of wood, and it was a pleasure to benefit from their expertise.
You’ve recently launched the Simple and Window collections for Ethnicraft. What inspired you and how did this inspiration come across in the collection?
For the Simple collection, I wanted a collection of practical and solid tables, but with a slender silhouette. I wanted them to look like they’ve just gently landed on the ground, or as if they were about to take off. The Window collection is inspired by curiosity cabinets. The idea was to make an elegant but very practical case to exhibit treasures. It is a technical object that hides its technicality behind visual cues.
What is your goal as a designer?
That’s a big question! I’ll say that I try to design objects that fit effortlessly into everyday life. I try to infuse reality with delicacy. I hope my objects have a suggestive power that incite daydream, making it possible to come back to reality with more interest.