Meet Lucie Delamalmaison, founder of ParisBrooklyn, a global design agency specializing in creating beautiful commercial spaces.Tell me about yourself and ParisBrooklyn Design?
I’m 30, I came to Strasbourg 10 years ago to finish my studies and get a master in applied arts & environment. At the time it was one of the two global design Universities in France. By Global Design I mean a cross-cutting creative approach that focuses on the design of a project as a whole : from interior architecture, product, product development, brand identity to communication media. I worked in a design agency for 3 / 4 years and then left to create ParisBrooklyn. It was fast, but I had 1000's of ideas in my mind and I think it’s not that easy to work for someone else when you are in the creative field.It took me 6 months to find the name ParisBrooklyn, which was inspired by my 2 favorite places, Paris and Brooklyn and I think what I love the most to create is contrast so this name is perfect for that.ParisBrooklyn is a global design agency that specializes in hospitality and retail spaces. I work with restaurants, shops, and hotels to create a unique place that tells their story.
What is your design ethos?
Even in french it’s pretty hard to answer that question. I would say that my design ethos can be summed up by « keep it simple but multiply textures & materials! » I love to use materials that are intrinsically graphic and for me, if you want to hang paintings on the wall to fill voids, then it is that the design is to be reviewed!
Something that I focus on when coming up with a concept is imagining the space and then the experience that can be created through my design. It must generate emotion from the asymmetry, the contrast, the combination of texture, the work of lighting…
I think the wabi sabi movement (beauty in imperfection) is important to me, this is a way to create a real emotion and to bring subtlety and delicacy.
What are your biggest design challenges?
Obviously, every project has its own challenges, and that’s why this job is so exciting. Currently, I am working on a jewelry shop and first of all, I have to understand the profession of jewelers: the way they organize their day, their way to welcome customers, the job’s risks…and when you work on a restaurant, you have to understand the cuisine, the organization, what the owners wants the customers to say about their restaurant ... and with all of this information I always try to create the most ergonomic/functional/poetic/aesthetic place possible, this mix is always a challenge!
What is your favorite project to date?
Every project I made is my favorite in a way, the optomistrist With Marlow was my first project with ParisBrooklyn, so it is special and meaningful since it was my first project.
The Café Cantine "Soeurs" is very special because of Mathilde and Emily, the sisters' story immediately touched me, this relationship they both had completely carried the project.
The cafe Bretelles Coffee is the latest project I completed and the first in Strasbourg so it is special to me too.
And the next project, the jewelry shop is my favorite too because I’m in the excitement phase, I’m impatient, I want to see it come to life, I’m curious to see how people are going to react to the place.
What are your top tips for a productive and exciting workday?
I don’t have any tips, I love my job so the exciting part is easy, and for the productive part I’m not a breaking-time person so it’s OK too.
Obviously, I prefer the conception phase because the construction site preparation is really really intense ...and I can’t take my cat with me.
Otherwise, he is with me all the time, I made him the artistic director of ParisBrooklyn because he has an opinion on everything.
What do you think is the key to good design?
First of all, a good design must place the user at the heart of the the design. It always comes from listening and from the desire to always do better.
What do you like about George & Willy?
What is important to me is that G&W objects are made to last. What I love is that every single object is just right. Neither too much nor too little. And that’s why It’s easy to integrate your products into any project because they can be used as they are, but they still leave room for uniqueness.
The Baker Menu is my favorite of all time. We used it in the « Soeurs » project. We painted the rails the same colors as the wall to preserve the color block effect and It just fits perfectly.
We also used the square sign for this project and it’s perfectly timeless.
… and I have a personal life favorite, it’s the hanging drying rack. I dream of the moment when I can install one. Generally speaking, I think that your products (in addition to being gorgeous), do simplify life.
What’s your favorite way to stay creative?
My perfect day to stay creative, would start by walking in the mountains, I’ll draw, I'll listen to people telling very unlikely stories, I’ll watch a completely crazy screenplay movie and I’ll call Lera Brumina to tell me about Ukrainian design.
Overall my favorite way to stay creative is to diversify: from spending a quiet moment to a moment of excitement. having time alone and sharing time with people. Contrast is everything.