regional roundup paris: part 4 (of 4)


une, deux, trois, and here we go with quatre – the forth and final regional roundup of french designers. as always, it’s been a complete delight getting to know all 20 designers through their work and inspirations, and to look at paris with fresh eyes. today’s plat du jour is: boo louis of ekobo, carine tontini of extremorigin, fifi mandirac, aude de clermont tonnerre: fous de dinettes, gregoire scalabre and celine saby. a huge merci beaucoup to all the designers (and a special thanks to lily, marieke and boo for their insight into the paris design scene). CLICK HERE for the full feature, or just click “read more” below. stay tuned at 2pm for the paris design guide! –anne

[carte integral map by antoine + manuel…check out their full feature in part one!]

CLICK HERE for the full feature!

Boo Louis, Ekobo

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. Currently living in the historic center of Montpellier, France.

2. Describe your work
While formally trained as a graphic designer, I married into product design. My husband, Bruno, and I design and manufacture sustainable, contemporary home deco products made from bamboo. We combine modern aesthetics with local craftsmanship to sustain artisanal communities in northern Vietnam, while promoting bamboo as a socially and environmentally-responsible material.

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
In the big picture, I am sensitive to how my daily actions and design choices affect our planet. Bamboo is a renewable resource, which makes it an ideal material on the front end and the back end.   In terms of being inspired by my surroundings, a handful our products are born simply out of the fact that in France, living space is limited. Small rooms, few cabinets, no walk-in closets.   Keeping that in mind, I attempt to design products that are not only beautiful and natural, but space-saving and multi-functional. Take our product COMBO for instance: we use the base as a bar, the mid-section for storage, then the lid serves as a tabletop… and a tray!

4. Where do you go in Paris when you want to feel inspired?
Paris is meant to be experienced by foot. In the nooks and crannies history reveals spectacular details, especially in the numerous passages or “les galeries” that connect a street or a quartier. Galerie Vivienne, Passage St-André-des-Arts, Passage du Grand Cerfs…. I a-d-o-r-e old signage, dusty books, random typography, and doors — timeless, ornate, stoic, quirky, truly artisanal. Appreciating these layers of time always leaves me with a fresh perspective.

5. How would you describe the Paris design scene?
Paris is hopping. It is a city that celebrates and/or generates a vast array of art (traditional & street), architecture, fashion, photography and urban design. It is easily accessible and ever-changing by way of constant exhibitions, shows, shops, ateliers, festivals and concerts. There is always something to do, or see.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
Easy. Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. Pink, yellow, green, blue buildings, rhythm, dichotomy, melting pot e uma cerveja bem gelada!

website: Ekobo
click here for Boo’s d*s sneak peek

Carine Tontini, Extremorigin

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I was born 20km from Paris. My father is Italian, my mother, French. I came to Paris to study at the university after London. Now I live in the Menilmontant area of Paris.

2. Describe your work.
Product designer and creative direction; I love working in holistic approach and teams.  We need to produce less, different and better.

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
Belleville, Menilmontant – it’s “unique,” rich, poor, young, old, from all Europe, Africa, China, different religious communities… that’s an incredible human and social mix. But it’s still Paris everywhere and everyone is a Parisian here. The key words are understanding and respect which have influenced my life, [therefore] my work too.

4. Where do you go in Paris when you want to feel inspired?
On the bus, to travel all around the city, east to west, with the 96 or 69 by ex, or at my office: work is the best way to find inspiration.

5. How would you describe the Paris design scene?
It’s indescribable.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
First, I want to try Stockholm where I spent a lot of my holidays with my family for many years! I just need a job there – I have already the friends and the love of the country. [My] second choice – living near the ocean.

website: Extremorigin

Fifi Mandirac

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in “province” (with means outside of Paris…), but I have lived in Paris for more than 18 years now. So, I guess I am a real Parisian now.

2. Describe your work
This is a hard question to answer because my work is so like me. I could say it’s fresh, joyful, colorful, with a slice of childhood that I kept inside me…

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
I don’t know if it is my work which is influenced by where I live as much as where I live is influenced by my work… I live and work at the same place (an “atelier” at the back of my garden) so I am surrounded by things that I cherish, from the drawings on the wall to my daughter’s toys. Everything can be a start for a new idea. For example, I remember having thought of a new pattern just by looking at one of my old lamp shadow…

4. Where do you go Paris when you want to feel inspired?
I go shopping ! … Just kidding ;-) But actually it is kind of true… Paris has so many inspiring shops. Even window shopping by night can bring new ideas. Or the way people are dressed. When I am in lack of inspiration I have to leave my place and just walk in Paris. Only one thing is better: going in a foreign country I have never been before!

5. How would you describe the Paris design scene?
Actually I don’t really now what makes Paris design scene special. With the internet it became so easy to be aware of what is design all over the world.  I would say that Paris has the chance to have a very rich background in art, which is a huge inspiration but also could be very intimidating.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
Right now,  I would go anywhere where I could find a better weather ! I hate winter time and I miss the sun because the more sunny the weather is, the more creative I feel…

website: Fifi Mandirac
blog: Les Surprises

Aude de Clermont Tonnerre, Fous de Dinettes

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
My family background is both urban & rustic, but I was more influenced by its country roots;
I was brought up in a house with a true soul and protected by middle-age walls! An environment impressed me by its simplicity and stark elegance. This is an architecture that does not lie: it is heavy, real, powerful, “bewitching – envoutante.”

2. Describe your work
Our starting point was a middle-age bestiary, which we reviewed and amended, lots of movement in animal farandoles, which suggests the gargoyles of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. We focused on the phantasmagorical and playful aspect of our style, which makes our daily table more dynamic and fun!!!

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
My grandfather, who was not an artist but a renowned middle-age specialist in France, influenced me irremediably. I am also inspired by the Scandinavian school of “form & function” for everyday objects.
The Celts had a great influence in Europe during the middle-ages, as currently illustrated by a temporary exhibition at Museum Cluny in the Latin Quarter [Paris].

4. Where do you go in Paris when you want to feel inspired?
I am very attentive to temporary exhibitions, museums, architecture and the little details that fuel our imagination…

5. How would you describe the Paris design scene?
Currently my favorite design scene is the “primitive arts museum” which is a constant source of inspiration with its temporary exhibitions and its permanent collection. If I were offered [the chance] to sleep there, I would happily accept!

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
Deep into Asian steppe.

website: Fous de Dinettes

Gregoire Scalabre

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Born in Vienna, currently living in Paris.

2. Describe your work
I started my apprenticeship at the Sage de Dieulefit workshop in the Drôme at the age of 16, and completed theoretical training at Longchamp’s School of Ceramics. I worked out how I would approach my art was finalized at Agir Céramique, where I questioned the basics of ceramics, and then trained in enamel chemistry. I opened my own workshop in 2002, and in 2005, created the Paris School of ceramic arts and technique. When teaching, I aim to convey a contemporary and holistic vision of ceramics.

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
As a lover of Bauhaus style and architectural technique, I interpret them both, adapting them to his chosen means of expression: clay.

4. Where do you go in Paris when you want to feel inspired?
I read books on architecture or design. When I want to be inspired, I go to museums or galleries or I walk in the street and I look at buildings.

website: Gregoire Scalabre
photos : © Fabien Jallot

Céline Saby

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I am from from Limoges, the city of culinary arts. My parents were always aware of decor, and for a long time my father made furniture. Now I live in Paris in the 19th arrondisement. It’s a quarter I like a lot and is very vibrant. My studio is nearby in the 20th arrondisement, in Belleville, where more and more designers are coming to work. For three years I have partnered in Atelier Beau Travail with Séverine of Titlee and Delphine of Aconit Napel. We work there every week, but regularly we install thematic exhibitions in which we collaborate with other designers. Two other designers contribute to the installations: Caroline of Ah Quel Plasir and Else of Olivelse.

2. Describe your work
We begin the day while taking a tea and a coffee and exchange our ideas for our creations. I set myself to my work table. If I have orders, I prepare my fabrics, the cuts, the iron, the glues, one or two times a week I do the silk screening. At noon we eat at the same time to the workshop, at our big wood table. In the afternoon I continue my work on the lamps. If I have not any orders, I reflect on new drawings, sometimes I go to the library of the Decorative Arts and to the Japanese bookstore to buy the books with motifs for inspiration.

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
I am definitely influenced by my friends that I share the studio with. But what inspires me the most is fashion. I particularly like the compositions of colors of Marni et the flowers de Dries Van Noten. I adore the patterns of Japanese kimonos. Daily life inspires me, going to the park with my kids, going to restaurants, the movies, going around the circle at Place de La Concorde.

4. Where do you go in Paris when you want to feel inspired?
Because I live in a popular quarter, I  like to go to the posh neighborhoods to change my ideas, look at the windows along Avenue Montaigne. I also like to go to Beaubourg [Pompidou] and the Palais de Tokyo [contemporary art museum].

5. How would you describe the Paris design scene?
I am very interested in people who have an approach between art, design and craft. I particularly admire the textile work of Aurelie Mathigot, the conceptual approach to content by Laurence Brabant, the poetic objects of Stéphanie Radenac, and the refinement of Clémentine Dupré‘s porcelain.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
I dream of returning to Lisbonne for the lights of the city and the grilled fish, to go to Mongolia to sleep in a yurt, to India to see the colorful fabrics and spices, to Stockholm and Copenhagen for design. Above all I dream of going to Japan, eating their delicious delicacies, bathing in the hot springs and relish in their motifs.

website: Céline Saby
shop: Atelier Beau Travail

  1. Brianne says:

    Do we know if/where it is possible to buy prints of carte integral? I LOVE

  2. Stacey says:

    Where did you get the image for your fourth Paris regional round up? I love it!

  3. emily says:

    I am just wondering where the art at the beginning is from? The multi-coloured take on the Paris subway lines.

    Great roundup!

  4. Stephanie says:

    Love that metro art! That would be awesome to have a print of.

  5. the map is by antoine + manuel. it’s from 2005 (linked above). i can shoot the guys an email and see if it’s for sale at all – isn’t it great?!!!! …thanks to maral for leaving a comment on the first roundup which led me to it :)


  6. brieanne says:

    oh, please do find out if it’s for sale! i’m about to send the link to my husband and say “if you love me….” the map is amazing!

  7. nice work anne. beautiful!

  8. Jill says:

    Lord, most of the art at antoine+manuel’s website is just stunning. I want to buy it all, but I would LOVE to start with that map! Count me in!

  9. Jill says:

    Oh my. Upon further research, it looks like Antoine+Manuel’s work is up for sale on

    They do FURNITURE. Consider my mind blown:

  10. carries the wall decals, but I could find no prints. Any luck anywhere else? I was engaged in Paris and need this print in our living room to commemorate the trip!

    Thanks Anne for bringing us all this lovliness. Keep us posted on the prints. Looks like they’d sell a hundred at least from your coverage!

  11. Lily says:

    My Pleasure… To share my notebooks with you ! Great work !

  12. good news from antoine + manuel! keep checking back on their website for the link coming soon, but here’s the scoop:

    We’ve always had a lot of requests for a print of our Paris metro map
    we’ve decided to sell two limited editions

    • medium size limited edition of 200 copies
    50 x 70 cm (19,685 x 27,559 inches)

    60 euros + 15 euros shipping
    high quality print on epson enhanced matte paper
    signed and numbered

    • large size limited edition of 50 copies
    80 x 110 cm (31,494 x 43,306 inches)
    190 euros + 15 euros shipping cost
    high quality print on epson ultra smooth fine art paper
    guaranteed to last 200 years


  13. fabi says:

    GREAT FINISH TO THE ROUND UP! like everyone else, i adore the metro map!
    i guess this was the least parisian part of the round but, like almost all the designers said, the world is all so globalised (not necessarily in a bad way)!

    great to have such a cool sightseeing over paris design! “e uma cerveja bem gelada” (that’s my kind of girl!) :)

  14. Chichiboulie says:

    Such wonderful designers. I’ve admired Fifi Mandirac’s work for ages. It’s lovely to see French artists in the spotlight. How about coming a bit further north. Lille has a great artist culture as well!

  15. I’m so thrilled these are now available for purchase! Thank you Manuel for sharing this beautiful work!

  16. lesterhead says:

    That map is amazing!

  17. Anna ziliz says:

    lovely work ! Céline saby, Fifi Mandirac and Fou de Dinettes, thank you for the dream brought these beautiful creations!


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