An industrial designer, Patrick Norguet is particularly fond of objects and the materials they are made of, in all their diversity, and especially the places where they are born. That is to say, factories and art workshops. Hence his taste for functional creations, without frills, which draw their inspiration from both Scandinavian and Austrian schools. This lover of the history of objects has been creating flagship creations for global brands (Arflex, Tacchini, Artifort, etc.) on the international design scene for more than ten years.
Patrick Norguet named his chair Republica, a nod to the famous Place de la République in Paris, not far from where he established his firm. It was by chance that the designer discovered Maison Drucker, during a visit to Equipl-lotel in 2008. Bruno Dubois had recently bought the brand. “The story of this company immediately appealed to me,” recalls Patrick Norguet. “It was love at first sight. The heritage of the past, the context, the production at that time, the very particular tradition that Drucker wove with rattan, it had everything to consider collaborating with them.”
The designer then contacted Drucker and offered to work on the development of new products in order to “write a sequel to the stories that already exist”. As with all of his projects, he analysed the profile of the company and proposed to reinterpret a classic chair by modernising it in order to produce it in an industrial way and ensure its manufacture on a larger scale. “Because the world has changed,” he stated. Part of the production has been relocated and uses have evolved. A few months later, his first research led to a creation combining Raucord and an aluminium structure, a first of its kind.
“It was a question of making an object that stands out as obvious, of designing a chair that finds its place in the collections of Maison Drucker, with a simple and easy to understand design. To give a contemporary dimension to a classic object that could then be used in various places, with a wide choice in terms of finishes and uses. Republica is therefore the result of a real reflection in terms of design, and its lines are part of the logic of a singular product. “Maison Drucker represents for me an important period in the history of design,” concludes Patrick Norguet.
“It evokes the ancient exchanges of raw materials between Asia and France, travel, the 1920s and the rise of bistro chairs. It illustrates in an emblematic way the production of rattan from the 19th century until the First World War, and the subtle mix between craftsmanship and industrial production. I work for major furniture brands, but my experience with this French and family-owned company has proven to be different and extremely rewarding.”
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