5 questions to Laurence Humier (industrial designer)

In this first installment in a series of short portraits/interviews, I’ve asked 5 questions to Laurence Humier, an industrial designer.

Laurence Humier/Miss Design (photo Alessio Guarino)

What is the importance of music in your work? Are you inspired by musical concepts such as rhythm, counterpoint, dynamics, texture etc.?

I love the emotion, the energy that music can communicate, a concert, an evening at la Scala. I hope that my products, my work, and my working relationships also communicate an energy.

Besides, it is true that I work on simple forms (Moebus strip, harmonic structure, etc.) and that I give them a new use. I never wondered about “music in my work” but what I can say is: music is 7 notes and 1001 possible combinations and I love this idea!

Do you use a computer for your work? If so when did you start?

The computer is a calculation and communication tool, like a pencil or a notebook, not a creation tool. This is my approach. Some artists use computers for other purposes: parametric architecture uses computers as a creation tool. I’m interested in it out of curiosity but it is detached from my work.

Do you still use paper, and if so what for?

To fiddle and to draw! No sooner have I an idea than I look for the industry, the craftsman, the expert capable of perfectly carrying out my idea.

Has working on a computer affected the way you think about design?

I am fascinated with new media, e-commerce, digitalization of music, books. The email—one doesn’t realize it—is the first genuine teletransportation… in one click a message can travel anywhere in the world instantly.

Are you concerned with a possible loss of craftsmanship because of CAD?

Do you mean rapid prototyping? Machines capable of building any object from a CAD file? I find this extraordinary, especially if one can manage to define new uses and needs! Making a copy of a plate and a glass through rapid prototyping is a shame, but imagining structures that cannot be realized with computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine tools (computer controlled milling machines that can move in 3 dimensions) I find this extraordinary.

Laurence Humier is an engineer that works in the industrial design field. She was born in Belgium in 1976, and now lives in Italy. This country, where she likes to work, is a source of endless inspiration. In 2010, one of her creations, Meeting Chairs was added to MoMA’s collection. Visit http://www.missdesign.it or follow her on Twitter: @humier