Dear Matali Crasset,
“To question the usual […] what happens every day and which returns every day, the banal, the daily, the obvious, the common, the ordinary”. This ambition of George Perec is also yours: your creations are as many invitations to rethink everyday uses, to propose new «scenarios of life».
It is during your marketing studies that your passion is born. During a study project around the launch of a perfume, you want to give shape to the marketing discourse, be as close as possible to the use, and decide to draw the bottle. It’s a revelation: you discover how to express your sensitivity. You then join the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI). In the Ateliers, whose 30th anniversary we celebrated this year, you cultivate this side step that has become your signature.
From this laboratory of future trends, whose vocation is to unite culture and industry, you leave industrial designer, your core business as you like to say. You then go to Italy to work with Denis Santachiara whose singular and playful approach you admire. Then it is with Philippe Stark that you make your first weapons and take all the measure of the “intelligence of the useful”.
A woman of talent, audacity and enterprise, you then create Matali Crasset productions where you seize all the fields of creation: industrial design, textile, graphic design, scenography, architecture. Because you are convinced that, because design is not so much a question of aesthetics as of social utility, it can be everywhere, in all the activities of society.
More than your objects, it is your singular approach, your intention, that characterizes you: to accompany people in their daily life, ordinary, through objects and spaces. Rediscover the power of usages, to overcome the traditional opposition between form and function. With you, the object is never enclosed in an agreed function. Your creations, eminently experimental, question materials and reinvent uses.
The Column of hospitality where the welcome of the friend becomes ritual, Building permits, that children can modulate to the envy, but also these places of life that you design for a unique living together – like these singular hotels in Nice, Paris or Tunisia, or the ecological scenarios of Nano-Ordinaire, during the last Biennale of design of St Etienne. These are devices that disrupt social and cultural codes, create a link between all life’s actions and open new horizons for better living together.
Originally from a small village in the Marne, the daughter of farmers, you have maintained an intimate connection with nature. And you say that you take an almost militant pleasure in responding to requests in rural areas. Attentive to the needs and desires of future users, you are anxious to include them in your participatory and collaborative projects. For you, ongoing dialogue with the sponsor is essential. So, for your current project at Le Blé en herbe, you are listening to the little village of Trébédan, which has been able to become your sponsor thanks to the New Sponsors of the Fondation de France for a citizens' access to contemporary creation.
It is a great pleasure for me to distinguish you here in the heart of the Meuse, as we inaugurate your Sylvestre Houses. To give habitat a new way of thinking and to put nature at the heart of everyday life, you have made the forest a living matter that awakens the imagination and invites a renewed relationship with nature.
For you, the contemporary must not be the only privilege of the urban. This conviction also guides your commitment to the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, whose presidency you hold. This unconditional support for contemporary creation is also evident in the scenography you create each year for the Salon de Montrouge.
Your unique voice in the world of creation has made you a key figure in French contemporary design, an ambassador of French culture and creation in the world. And it is with immense pleasure that I address to you today, around a project that carries high your step, the tributes of the French Republic.
Dear Matali Crasset, on behalf of the French Republic, we make you an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.