designers pierre & charlotte julien

The story behind how Melbourned-based Pierre and Charlotte Julien met says a lot about them, and their eponymous design business. He was from Paris, she from Tasmania yet Tokyo was where they fell in love... as teenagers. They then travelled the world, before settling in Paris where Pierre was in a rock band and Charlotte worked as a set painter for films. Ever the adventurers, they moved again - this time to Australia where they established Pierre & Charlotte in 1993. They focus on furniture and lighting steeped in the aesthetics and traditions of Scandinavia, France and Japan. They are passionate about working with artisans - specifically wood turners, steam benders and furniture polishers - who can help them create pieces that are modern-day classics.

Which five words best describe you?

Pierre: Patient, practical, ingenious, curious, courteous.

Charlotte: Spontaneous, compassionate, imaginative, silly and fearful.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Our career started when we arrived to live in Australia from France and wanted to do something creative together. We are not formally trained and have learnt along the way. We are both interested in the process of creating new pieces working with different materials and solving design problems.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Don't compromise your work to suit the market.

What’s your proudest career achievement? It's yet to come.

What’s been your best decision? Employing people to help us produce and market our work.

Who inspires you? At the moment: Constantin Brancusi, Antonin and Noemi Raymond, Ryuji Mitani, Clarice Beckett.

What are you passionate about? At the moment: food, outdoor installations and gardens, wood block printing, Johann Sebastian Bach, our new timber wall light that has not got a name yet.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Elizabeth David - along as she's cooking!

What dream do you still want to fulfil? There are many things that I would still like to create with Pierre and by myself but I don't have a big wish as I know I will do all the things we/I want to do. I do, however, wish for my family and friends to be happy and healthy. I do worry about this!

What are you reading? Tove Jansson, The Summer Book. Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter. Henry Handel Richardson, The fortunes of Richard Mahony.

images courtesy of pierre and charlotte portrait marcel aucar (via inside out)

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