Mickaël Wiesengrün

FF&E designer at Studio Ilse

What is your passion?

I am fascinated with the influence that designers can have on people’s daily lives. How can we use our skills and tools to make a better day for them.

What is important for you?

It is important for me to have a positive impact on people – can I make them feel and experience something that will make them feel better? It can be on a primal logistical level of basic needs or on a sensorial and conceptual level.

How do you Label yourself?

Brought up in the forests and mountains of the French Alps – as a base for everything. Later on, adapted to the urban environment. I try to take advantage of my roots. 

Describe your work in one sentence without using the word ‘design’.

Positive impact and influence on people’s daily lives.

How do you relate to the field of well being?

I grew up in nature, I feel at home in nature, every time I go back home (Chamonix, FR) I suddenly feel the superficiality of my urban life peeling off, leaving essentials to be experienced. I always feel like a human being again when I go back to nature. This for me is a clear base of well being. 

What is well being for you? How does it reflect in your work?

Well being is the state of feeling good; or at least better. All that I do in my work is based on people’s feelings and intuitions, their needs. For example, in my graduation project Révélateur, people’s senses are triggered to smell memories that they have not lived, history but their senses allow them to relate to these moments and scenes in local history.

What do you do for the world & what is your input?

So far, I do not feel that I have done much for the world. But from people’s reaction to my work on this small scale, I truly feel that given the proper infrastructure and scale, my work can reach and touch people on a practical level as well as on a conceptual or artistic level. I want to use my skills in their benefit.

How would your work influence the future?

One of the themes I would like to continue working on is the theme of hygiene, I feel that there is a lot to do in this field in order to take it away from the sterile and rather into the intuition and feeling of hygiene. I hope to be able to apply this approach to public spaces such as hospitals, public transports, kitchen etc… where I feel hygiene is a missing feeling – it is always sterile. I think that this is a good example of how I could influence the future with my work.

How do you explain to your family what your doing?

It is tricky to explain, I always try to talk them through the feelings involved and how the result affects real people. Then they can better connect to it. But overall, my family takes interest in what I do.

To whom do you feel connected and target your work?

I always try to make my work relevant to as many people as possible. Overall, I like to make my work approachable and available to real people, with real problems. I do think that everyone has problems of their own but some people have harsher realities and I would love to make their day better.

I always think that it is important to make people happy, interested, fascinated, everyday and not once a year. Birthdays, mother’s day etc, these build expectations, trying to convince a whole society that they should look forward to one day or a few in a year. I try to be happy everyday, to find ways to laugh, think, look. I find it much more satisfying than to look up for one day or some when I should feel happy. I would like to help others achieve this perspective as well.

How do others benefit most from what you do?

Probably on an emotional level, the fact that somebody has thought about the various aspects of something, a feeling that you are being taken care of, in the detail.

What is your way of working regarding the research you do & the strategy you have to reach your audience?

I do not try to express myself through my work, I like to fulfill other’s needs and think of their problems or just how to make things better. This is a perpetual research and thinking. If I am busy with a specific project, I will try to get to the bottom of the issue, understand it in order to solve it best. I love pinpointing the problem, the cause, the solution. I think that I am pretty good at putting words on the essence of things.

When talking about design what do you want to be associated with.

People feeling good and agreeing on this. If I can get to the point where I help actual people with their realities, I will be very happy about it. 

What kind of media are you working with? (skills & programs you use)

Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro, VectorWorks, Rhino (not truly though), Microsoft Office (good to stay organized). For skills and materials, wood, metal, plastic, glass, electronics, lately smells. I very much like to support my work with movies. 

What type of assignment do you feel comfortable with?

I like to have a clear brief. What is the issue or what is needed, who is it for, when is it due, who will benefit from it. Having clear prospects helps my work process, it creates boundaries and guidelines to follow and from which design decisions can be made.

I am currently working for Studioilse in London as an FF&E Designer (Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment, basically, everything that is within a space). This is an amazing experience of learning for me; throughout my education, I was looking forward to working in the real world, I’ve always felt that the freedom to do whatever I want (in the WB department at DAE) was always unrealistic to me, I liked to think of a client and give myself boundaries. Of course, this freedom was necessary in education and I appreciate it but I was curious about the outside world.

At Studioilse, I am currently working on a very large scale project, the interior strategy and design of 180 branches of a financial company in the U.S., meaning to me that when we will be done, many many people will get to feel what we have created and thought of for them.

I am learning new things everyday, from how to work as a team, in a proper design office to how to look at spaces, furniture, the meaning of what we do, the function of a space, the influence of colours, materials, nature in a space. I think that Studioilse is a dream place to learn this practice, the care for people and detail is very satisfying and relevant.

One of the words we use the most in the studio is “generous”; is this generous enough, are we providing a generous experience for someone to spend a minute, hours or life in? This is fascinating to me, the tipping point where interior design turns to proper care and generosity.


Website: www.wiesengrun.com
Contact info: wiesengrun@gmail.com

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