Having grown from a single furniture store in France founded in the 1930s, furniture purveyor Roche Bobois is now an international force with hundreds of flagship stores worldwide. As the brand celebrates its first year in Hong Kong with an art and charity event, we speak to creative director Nicholas Roche about his inspirations and his vision for the brand.
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There’s a strong connection between architecture and design. After all, we are speaking of organising life and creating objects for life. It’s always about volume, shapes, materials, light, colour – and organising all of these around good functionality.
I’m always very attracted by objects that both look to the future with their innovative designs while keeping a relationship with the past. So many things have already been done. Designers think they’re inventing, but I particularly appreciate designers who go forward with the knowledge of what has been done before.
I love to travel. In Asia, in Africa, in South America. I always try to put aside some spare time for travelling. When you travel, you discover new shapes, new ways of arranging things, new colours. I travelled to Mexico recently and discovered a wonderful museum where you can have an overview of all the different civilisations that existed there before the Spanish.
One of my latest passions is African masks. What I like about artefacts is that they aren’t meant to be art. They are useful objects that have a very precise significance. They are meant for a use: to call a spirit, to help with agriculture, to heal. They are functional objects with such strength that they keep me fascinated.
Considering that the world is evolving with new technologies, my aim for Roche Bobois as a French brand operating all over the world is that it should become, little by little, a sort of design platform to share the best creative designs with everyone.