Experience over Architecture
Gwendal Le Bihan
Who influences you graphically?
I am very influenced by everyday life. Most of the time I believe that the way you see something is more important than the thing itself. So what inspires me largely depends on specific moments and/or mood.
For some projects I choose to work with direct influences. Such is the case for Barrio Zoo, a fictional project directly inspired by a new method of urban planning in South America. Various aspects of fenced-in communities have been pushed to a real paroxysm as artificial landscape, physical barrier, sense of security. Here I used paintings by Douanier Rousseau to explore the artificial background, Hopper’s outlines to research architecture as a lot of his work takes inspiration in the suburbs.
What does the term studio mean for you?
My method and space of work varies. I have my own studio and I also do collaborations with different architecture studios. When I go to these spaces, an office spirit prevails. On the other hand, when I work in my own studio, I experiment with materials and architectural representation and the atmosphere is closer to that of a workshop. It is a very personal space. Here I treasure personal belongings and tools to experiment with materials such as concrete or wood. Objects, ideas and experiences are developed there.
How and to what extent does the studio influence the way you approach a drawing?
I’m lucky to share my work space (La Villa Belleville) with a lot of different artists, designers, stylists and animators. We share a lot of experiences with each other and this allows us to widen our points of view. It’s important to be surrounded by a multitude of things and be able to exchange thoughts about them.
The studio space also allows to DIY things by hand, and it’s a good escape from a 100% digital work. For example, in the Rooftop Logo project, I wanted to express a sensible transcription of my Chinese experience. My studio allows me to experiment with different languages from 2D. Finally, the piece is an ensemble of 8 blocks of black concrete all engraved with Chinese inscription «Rooftop Logo».
Your drawings play between a juxtaposition of colours on a white background, much like the furniture of your studio to the walls. What is the effect and purpose of this within the images and how does it relate to how you shape the environment which surrounds you?
In the «Géométries Variables « series, I wanted to question simple shapes, the ones you play with when you are a child. These drawings are directly inspired by simples shapes and bold colours. But it’s also a reference to a famous sentence from Auguste Perret: «Architecture is that which makes beautiful ruins». I appreciate this point of view.
The structure loosens itself from the white background and allows a quick reading of the drawing. But when you get closer to the drawing you can distinguish some speci c details.
What dictates your choice of palette? in terms of at bold colours and texture?
For this series, I wanted to use bold colours similar to the ones on children’s toys. The problem was to differ from the aesthetic identities of both google or lego. That’s why the purple came in very quickly within this series, even if the series is not finished yet. With regards to texture, it is the result of experimenting with different materials. For example, the Resa series originally came from a will to work with concrete for its physical qualities but not its aesthetics. It had to be strong enough and mineral but the concrete wasn’t the main purpose. e main idea was to put on the scene the plants to make the furniture disap- pear. at’s why I nally used a white concrete.
You mainly explore your proposal through axonometric and visuals, do you see the 2dimensionality of the plan and section as limiting?
Every project is different and needs to be drawn individually. Some projects are just about fictional architecture. Indeed the visual is already a finality, and is not a technical representation anymore. Axonometry maybe in fashion, but it has the advantage of showing very quickly the 3 dimensions. I also like it because it allows to be closer to the drawing and to take possession of the environnement. For exemple, in the urban pool poster I made, my purpose was not to show just the pool itself. Its more about showing that is a part of a set, as an anecdotic piece of the city. It is part of a vast composition and it speaks more about the use than the design. In this sense, it’s more human. I like to put a human gure on my images to personalise my visual. On the project «Le Solitaire (barbecue for one saucisse)» the lonely human gure helps to reinforce the purpose, adding a touch of humour. I am also working on di erent projects based directly around the plan and the section. More news coming soon…