Plants take up residence in offices

In our Ergonoma Journal edition, we did an interview with Alain Gilles. Designer with an atypical career born in 1970 in Brussels (Belgium). Although he studied political science and marketing, design has always been something special to him. In 2007, he decided to quit his job in finance. He decided to change his life and open a design studio in Brussels. Since then he has worked for major companies and has received prestigious international awards.

Ergonoma Journal: Alain GILLES, you are a creative, an essential designer! When did you “fall” into GREEN? And why are you still loyal to it?

AG: Often the most beautiful meetings are a coincidence! This was the case for my meeting with Belgian company Greenmood and the world of plants … especially with Sadig, its founder. It was the “Interior Kortrijk” biennial that put us in touch with, in 2016. So that we could create and build a stand for them, but the design was to be achieved in the day …!

Greenmood was looking to launch a series of products using stabilized mosses and lichens that did not require water nor maintenance. Their goal was to capitalize on their know-how in the world of green walls. This is an area in which they are worlwide leaders . We had to create a collection of designer products. Functional products that can easily be sent in boxes around the world.

Work universe and techniques

EJ: We know you for your products distributed by quite a few brands in Europe and around the world. Why did you come to design nature to protect us, beautify and support our professional world?

AG: For me, as an industrial designer, it was fascinating. A unique chance to be able to create projects using plants. A universe and working techniques that are ultimately quite far from my comfort zone and know-how. I also felt that there was a real desire to have more plants in our interiors. Especially in our workspaces. To make them more human and more peaceful. It was a real opportunity to be able to develop really new products. To clear a new area. Apart from small, often kitsch decorative frames, no one was yet really producing large, functional, useful products. Products with stabilized plants and mosses. It turns out that stabilized plants have also very good acoustic qualities. This could only make them even more useful in our very noisy work and life places.

For Greenmood, we have designed different ranges of products to dress and structure spaces. Self-supporting and modular elements, as well as elements to hang on the wall. They should be seen as tools allowing architects to create their own design by playing with these modules. To play with this nature as a designer, I framed and underlined it with metallic structures. They are available in different finishes: white, black, gold, and “Corten”. The collection is therefore quite graphic and fresh. It also plays quite often with fairly pure but soft geometric shapes, and perspective effects.

Source Ergonoma Journal 58