Over the course of our work, we have acquired the conviction that the knowledge gained during each project is key to continued success. We are accustomed to removing ourselves from quotidian experience and allowing ourselves to be stimulated by extraordinary environments. We never miss the opportunity to visit warehouses, ateliers, stockrooms, museums, trade shows, or any other places we think might enrich our vision of the project. Therefore, it seems natural for us to share this sense of wonder and curiosity with our clients so they can participate in this uniquely Sismo point of view: in order to see the whole picture of the design process, it is equally necessary to look ahead and take a step back.
In the heart of Paris, not far from the Bazaar de l’Hotel de Ville (a department store which showcases everything from pliers to perfume), a stone’s throw from the Centre Pompidou (whose inspirational museum and library embody contemporary culture in Paris) and just around the corner from the Musée des Arts et Metiers (an inestimable resource of historical innovation, science and technology), we make our offices and creative studio in a grand old converted apartment. Here you will find our core Sismo team of specialized industrial designers and expert consultants hard at work, surrounded by sample materials, select pieces from our design collection, the finest treats Paris has to offer, the best design tools available… and us!
Taking a Step Back
In the heart of France, we saw our greatest, most determined, most tenacious wish since Sismo was founded finally come true: the acquisition of a certified Monument Historique (National French Heritage site), a converted 13th century military hospital. With its fortified walls, grandiose fireplaces, classical frescoes, precious metal workshop, kitchen with open fireplace for baking bread and tarts, deep wells, and extensive grounds, it remains unchanged since simpler times, with few contemporary comforts added over the years. Why? In order to shift perspective and ask ourselves some essential questions: what does durability mean for a project (who, for example, could conceive today of a project that would last for the next seven centuries)? What kind of resource and energy management is called for? What is the aesthetic of absolute efficiency? How have our notions of comfort, time and distance changed? All these questions serve as milestones in the process of taking a step back from our contemporary mindset and can allow us to reignite forgotten human experiences, by participating in a creative workshop, or enjoying a wood-fired meal, or seeing a prototype become a reality. The realization of any design project is integrally linked to the environment it reflects, and when viewed in the context of the individual and the collective experience, taking into consideration all these minute details will undoubtedly yield products of greater clarity and permanence.