Citroen Extovert Project

Visiting Japan significantly changed my way of approaching art. The recipient and maker in me took one step back and a deep breath. I explored the topic of minimalism and opened myself for strong emotions conveyed by simple forms. Though they have always been pleasing my eyes, it was only when I was leaving Naoshima island when I realised that now I know how to use simplicity in my art.

When Citroen invited me to take part in a project promoting young creatives and their new C3 model, I decided it was a good moment to come up with something absolutely new. The idea was to record a short video showing how I work and let me tell my story. I decided I will show the process of creating a brand new product. I gave myself 6 weeks to draw, prototype and make something out of the box, a piece of design that would be: bold, simple, useful, interactive, playful... and different to everything I have ever done before.

I love working with light, so I started from drawing new forms that could be turned into lamps. I wanted to spend first week on the conceptual work, so I did tons of sketches, talked to friends and showed them my ideas. When I came up with the design I liked, a really cool idea came to my head. And this is how a creative process works for me: I start with a vague idea, more of a feeling, something shapeless, that feels nice and warm. Then I get into it, explore it, dig deeper, draw, talk about it all the time, ask for feedback, change it, play with it. Then I take a long bath and suddenly I am hit by this certainty that I got it.

So I got it. Instead of one lamp, I decided to create three. Each of them was meant to be a simple cube, slightly tilted toward one side. Convertible, so it doesn't have to stand only on one facet. Designed to look good alone, but meant for placing one on a top of other in order to make abstract compositions. Each of them in different size, from small to big. Each of them sound-reactive and responsible for reflecting the sound of different frequencies: small cube flashes for bass, medium for medium tones and the big one for high tones in your speech, music and ambient sounds. A knob would also allow for the light to shine on, so you could use the lamp to read or bring some brightness to your room, or turn it off. When the concept was ready on the computer, I moved towards making it real.

We started shooting for the video and in the same time I was building my product: looking for materials and designing the tech. I wanted to show the process on the video and capture the change - from an artist who rely on multiple colours and shapes to one who puts trust in subtraction. I made three prototypes before I got the result I wanted and spent many hours on testing the analog boards and LED lights. The product was ready for the final shooting and I think it shows my transition and the minimalistic approach just the way I wanted it to.

Autor: Gem