Quark met Adeline Papon, founder of APAN. She reveals how she thinks and creates designer furniture.
Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
I am Adeline Papon, leader of APAN. The company was created in 2015. I have a diploma in arts and crafts at the Boule school in metal design and application. Before that, I had done some CAPs in ironwork and bronze mounts.
What does APAN mean and what do you produce?
APAN is the contraction of my first and last name: Adeline Papon. The funny little thing, on show a Swedish woman told me that "apan" means "little monkey" in Swedish. I place it so often! *laughs* Especially for the Sarù range which means little monkey in Japanese.
So I produce Made In France designer furniture. I make small series, custom creations and unique pieces. For small series, I make furniture that is functional, playful and customizable. The unique creations that I produce are made from noble materials such as brass, wood, oak etc.
How did you get into the world of furniture and bespoke furniture?
Thanks to my training at the ball school. Subsequently, I worked in a company that manufactured luxury furniture. It was already very anchored in my head, I wanted to create my own workshop. After learning well, I decided to set up my furniture production workshop.
Can you describe your creative process and your way of working?
There is always something fun in what I do. My furniture is articulated, disassembled, moved. It must always be functional.
I am looking to move more and more towards more ecological materials. I try to work with recycled plastic and biobased paints.
I also collaborate with designers to bring a professional look to the assembly and construction part of the furniture. They therefore choose from A to Z how the furniture will be (shape, colors, materials…)
I have clients who ask me for unique creations. So I try to understand the atmosphere they want. I then propose a personal realization via drawings.
Finally, for small series, I do everything from A to Z. I draw, do the 3D design, the model, the prototype and finally the execution of the series.
Can you expand the functional design of your Sarù collection?
For the Sarù project, I had an order for a base. However, at the time I had just set up my box. I only had my Citroën C1. As a result, the base did not fit in the car! But, I had to make my delivery. So I thought of a solution. From there, I had this idea of interlocking and removable encroachment without fixing.
How do you define your profession, what qualities are required?
Regarding my job, when I worked for someone else, I did execution.I had a style of furniture to make and I executed the pieces one after the other. It was therefore necessary to have a mastery of the gesture and a know-how. By being on my own, I have on the one hand the know-how, the mastery of the gesture and, on the other hand, a great imagination to develop projects. So you have to have a lot of strings to your bow. You have to be a trader, accountant, salesperson, know how to work on a computer, know how to use software and do all this in the workshop. What is multipass!
Do you think your job will have to reinvent itself? Especially with the pandemic we are going through?
I tried to digitize my business but it was not very successful. I got a bit drowned in everything that was already available on the internet. As a result, the year has been a bit complicated. But since 4 months, it starts again better! I have the impression that people need to go back to art, to things that come from France, products with a story behind them. Finally, this restart is rather convincing.
In your opinion, does decoration have an impact on our moods and our well-being?
Yes completely! Having a nice home is very important to me. Beauty has always been essential to the souls of men and women. This is what I see now. For a few months people have been interested in beautiful and unique things. They want to have something special. They go through me to have an exceptional piece. I think it is essential to have a nice interior and to know where our products come from and how they were made.
Do you have a project that you dream of realizing one day?
There are plenty of projects I would like to do. *Laughs* What interests me would be to outsource small series like the Sarù collection. Thus, I can devote myself to unique pieces. To something more artistic, especially in design. I would like to make large pieces, and start on slightly more monumental works on demand.
What are your sources of inspiration?
I draw a lot of inspiration from Art Deco and Métiers d’Art for the atmospheres. I look quite a bit at art workshops in France, I look at what is being done. I am also interested in the Kraft project. It brings together craftsmen from France who have know-how and who produce very beautiful pieces with quality materials. I would say that my style is inspired by nature.
Do you have any recommendations for Instagram or Facebook accounts that you particularly like? (whether brands or individuals)
I like “petite friture” which brings together a lot of designers including Constance Guisset whom I appreciate and recommend.
Finally, what do you think of the Pegboard and the modular design? Should we prefer a single function object? Or does multifunction provide solutions in line with our lifestyles?
I'm really leaning towards multifunction. I think people quickly get bored of an object. It has to move but without having to buy the same one. Giving people the opportunity to keep the furniture they buy a little longer, while personalizing it and reinventing it over the years is great! I see it with the Sarù range, there is a question of storage that works well. I think it's pretty essential to be able to make evolutionary furniture.
Comments collected by Clara Didier
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