THE CROWN JEWELS BY DIEGO FAIVRE 

Massproductions today presents its second interpretation in the series The Crown Jewels, where the company has asked four creators to renew worn Crown Armchairs. This time, the French artist and designer Diego Faivre has created two colourful and playful interpretations in his characteristic clay.

Massproductions today presents its second interpretation in the series The Crown Jewels, where the company has asked four creators to renew worn Crown Armchairs. This time, the French artist and designer Diego Faivre has created two colourful and playful interpretations in his characteristic clay.

March 15 – 2022
Words by Sanna Fehrman

How did you start your career as a designer?

I had a growing interest in art, but fell in love with the limitations and the possibilities that design has. After attempting to produce furniture as fast as possible for a few years, the Minute Manufacture series took shape when I discovered play dough during a residency in China. It allowed me to create objects and furniture on a very instinctive process, while carefully composing and playing with colour and patterns.

Describe your way of working? 

It is quite chaotic and hectic! I like to sometimes produce a lot of objects when inspirations kicks in, but often leaving some of the objects untouched for an extended period of time. The slow and contemplative objects tend to accumulate, but besides being quite instinctive, time is incredibily helpful to produce a lot, but also to properly develop and process what the furniture deserves.

How would you describe your signature style?

Very instinctive forms, combined with colour compositions and a dough-ey aspect, but if it had to be one word only, it would be playful!

“They are made of ’Diego dough’ the main material that I use in my work with playful and experimental patterns.”

Descibe your studio, how does it look – where is it found?

My studio is based in Eindhoven in an old industrial area on the outskirts of the city, and I share a space with nine other designers from different countries. We share machines, advice and help. We all have a personal workspace, and mine looks like that of a messy hoarder. I tend to accumulate many materials and various scraps, because that’s my favourite source of inspiration to produce from existing items! But it is very colourful and can appear as a playground where I have fun everyday!

What inspired you?

There is definitely a beach and jungle vibe going on, as I was coming back from a holiday, so it felt natural to bring my mood into them! During the holiday, I got lost in nature for some time. This freedom is represented in one of the chairswith the uneven patterns covered in layers of colour like a floor covered with fallen leafs. The other one is more structured. The lines have a Doppler effect enhancing the shape and mass of the Crown.

What material are you working with?

I work with a special type of play dough that I discovered in China 5 years ago, when I did an art residency next to Shanghai. It has inspired me ever since. It offers many possibilities to play around with shapes, space, and patterns. As a finishing touch, I use a lacquer to protect the material, and add a shiny finish that resembles an almost ceramic look!

“When I was studying and didn’t had much money to spend on materials, I was always rummaging through the school trashcans to find materials and to later use them. Within the existing forms that I found I managed to creatively assemble them into something new and unique, and it was always with fun and pleasure that I could give them a new life. In the end, that’s what influenced me, this almost ready-made approach. It changes with the locations that I’m in, and always gives me some surprising challenges.”

Describe your way of working?

It is quite chaotic and hectic! I like to sometimes produce a lot of objects when inspirations kicks in, but often leaving some of the objects untouched for an extended period of time. The slow and contemplative objects tend to accumulate, but besides being quite instinctive, time is incredibily helpful to produce a lot, but also to properly develop and process what the furniture deserves.

What was your initial thought when Massproductions approached you?

I was incredibly surprised and intrigued, and transforming furniture is always exciting especially for a brand that shares similar values to mine.

How did you go about this project? What has the process been like?

The process was slow. I wanted to understand the chairs, and to make the right decisions. I used them for some time in my studio, and really appreciated the comfort they were bringing. Until one day, I started covering them and everything developed smoothly from there. As time went by, I loved them even more!

If someone else wants to give new life to an old piece of furniture, what would your advice be? How would one go about it - find inspiration ?

It is important to take some risks and to be very ambitious. That could also be to completely change the form, or to turn the piece into something completely different.

Whats next?

Right now, alongside working on many furniture pieces, I’m finishing up a pop-up store where I will sell objects found atvarious auctions for a set price of €9.99. The last 4 months, I have spent covering the surface of random items, ranging from plastic swords to wooden handles, and currently I am focusing on finishing the interior of the shop in Amsterdam.