French designer, born in Paris, Inga Sempé graduated from ENSCI-Les Ateliers (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle, Paris) in 1993. From 2000 till 2001 she was scholarship holder at the Villa Medici, Académie de France in Rome and opened her own studio the same year. In the beginning, she first collaborated with the Italian companies Cappellini and Edra. Now Sempé works among others with scandinavian, italian and french companies such as HAY, Ligne Roset, Wästberg , Magis, Alessi, LucePlan, Mutina, Røros, Moustache, Svenskt Tenn, Gärsnäs…She lives and works in Paris assisted by two other designers.
What does it mean to be a designer today?
To me it means to design some qualitative objects with some caring company with a cultural aim. it means, no gadjet, no object directed by trends, no bad production, no bad materials…The better dialog you have with a company, the best result you get.
Can you tell us the creative process behind your works? Where do you find your inspirations?
I always begin with handdrawings, I sketch for days and days, sometimes months and months before finding a good idea. I always have in mind first the founction, the diffrent uses and the different users that will be handling the thing I try to design. My inspiration comes from the daily life, its needs, the beauty that we need to be surrounded with but that has to be droven by a good function. After the sketches, we do some cardboard models, 3d’s, and we also print some small elements, to check thieri proportions and fonction.
What is your design dream?
My dream would be to design some tools, stationnery and to be in charge of the whole outdoor furniture in Paris as well as the colours for the transports.
.Your favorite designer of all time?
I guess it would be Vico magistretti. Or at least the one that you look up to when you are working on your project? I never look up at any designer when I work, I just look down at my notebooks. if you keep comparing, you just can’t do anything.
Do you feel designers have a responsibility to speak out about what’s happening in the world around them?
Of course we have, but our power is very reduced to drive industries to produce in a good way. I design a very few objects per year, and I have laways ed quality to quantity. I am always surprised that furniture designer are always asked about responsability about earth and ecology, whereas it is almost never the case for fashion designers . They design whole collections more than twice a year, but as they buy publicities and commercials pages, press don’t press them about it. And the rythme of their production is alsmost not criticized.