• 55_1
  • 55_2
  • 55_3
  • 55_4
  • 55_6
  • 55_7
  • 55_8
  • 55_9
  • 55_10
  • 55_111
  • 55_12
Product Design

5.5 Designers

Posted by Will Hudson,

For KK Outlet’s September exhibition they welcome French studio 5.5 to exhibit Cloning, a fascinating product range that reflects your personal identity. Including lamp shades of your eyes, a pillow of your belly or a mirror of your silhouette these are all personal products that change your perception of these everyday items.

We caught up with founding member Anthony Lebossé to find out more about the studio and the project.

It’s called 5.5 Designers but there’s 4 of you.

Well we often give people more questions than answers. We started with four designers but we are eight in the studio now. When we started working together we didn’t plan to form the studio. We were six and we decided to make the last project together, it had to be set up in two weeks and one of us was only here for one week so we say okay, it is 5.5 designers who are working together. We don’t want names we just want to be a team of designers, now 5.5 live like a label.

So the project you have bought to KK Outlet is Cloning, can you tell us a bit more about it.

We started it in 2008, for the Milan Fair in the Zona Torrtona. About 90 percent of our projects are for companies that want us to develop something but we always try to create new projects that ask questions. Most of these projects are asking questions to see how people react. Some of the PR we use to say that 5.5 is a research cabinet, mixing experiments and solutions. Cloning is more than a collection of products, it’s a new service allowing you to be involved in your object. The idea is to shorten the journey between people and the end product, encouraging people to think before consuming.

What’s the reaction been?

It depends, sometimes people are really scared and others are really fascinating. It’s a direct design that people instantly understand. Nobody is indifferent in front of this. I don’t know if we can really talk about emotional design but probably an understantable one. What is also interesting in doing this project is that it makes a manufacturer think differently by showing them that it’s possible to propose something different.

Which products form the range are the most popular?

I think it is the eyes. This object looks at you and you can take your eyes out off it. It’s the result of a amazing process. We take a precise picture of your eyes and a glassmaster in Venezia reproduces it in it several different shades of glass, it takes more than one day to do it. Hair-dress cloning is also very popular and always make people laugh.

And people can order products this week?

The system exists, the service is ready and everyone can order a piece. Each object is the result of a special process starting from a characteristic of your body. We designed a special leaflet where all the forms are and you just have to complete it to order your object. At the special event on 23rd September we will be offering visitors the chance to come and get measured up for their very own Mensuration Vase. We will mock it up and send them the results via e-mail.

Finally, you were awarded the Grand Prix de la Création by the Paris City Council, can you tell us a bit more about the award.

It’s something we have been honored One year ago now. We are quite young and it’s more an encouragement than a consecration of course. We are of course glad of that and it allows people to be aware on our works. Regarding the exhibition in KK Outlet there is good news, this project has been bought by the National Contemporary Art Fund in France, so maybe the last private presentation before museums.

Exhibition runs 3 — 28 September 2009
To coincide with the London Design Festival, KK Outlet will host a special 5.5 Designers event on 23rd September, 7-9pm.


Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Product Design View Archive

  1. Chip

    Human Organs-on-Chips has been announced as the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year 2015 winner. Designed by Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute, the chips are devices that carry “living human cells that mimic the complex tissue structures, functions and mechanical motions of whole organs,” says the Design Museum.

    “The team of scientists that produced this remarkable object don’t come from a conventional design background. But what they have done is clearly a brilliant piece of design,” says Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic. “They identified a serious problem; how do we predict how human cells will behave, and they solved it with elegance and economy of means, putting technology from apparently unrelated fields to work in new ways."

  2. List_tomas_alonso_lines_waves_itsnicethat

    One glance at Instagram or any interiors blog circa 2015 and it feels like marble, or at least cheap mimicries, are decorating homes everywhere. But there’s none of the ubiquitous “funky” accessory holders or dinnerware in Tomás Alonso’s marble-based project, Lines & Waves. Exploring pattern and stackability, Tomas’ interlocking tables are a thing of true beauty. Machine-milled grooves have been cut into the top and bottom of marble blocks creating objects that look like crinkled salami and giant McCoy’s crisps.

  3. Be_elastic_snap_list

    Bigger is always better they say, but when you live in a flat or anywhere that’s not a barn this is impossible, as far as furniture’s concerned. Days spent walking around furniture shops, friends’ houses and skips armed with a tape measure and a recurring sense of disappointment can become disheartening even for the most optimistic shopper. You’re left with a choice; either learn carpentry or buy a table that will give you bruised shins every time you squeeze past. But fear not, for product design company Be-elastic has created SNAP to end all your table-top woes.

  4. Chargedoubler-itsnicethat-list

    We’re drawn to a lot of the projects we cover by their aesthetic qualities but sometimes it seems right and proper to flag up something whose form may not promise much, but whose function is really exciting. So it is with Jorg Neugebauer and Kai Wiehagen’s ChargeDoubler, a USB that halves your charging speed to get your phone back up and running in super quick time.

  5. Lit-my-name-is-wendy-byland-its-nice-that

    Many designers talk of the importance of play as a way to explore creativity and come up with solutions that rigorous hard-work might not unearth. Parisian studio My Name is Wendy has taken this to its logical conclusion, by creating a board game called Byland. As with the studio’s previous output, it looks stunning, and mixes gorgeous graphics with a strategy-based game combining cognition and aesthetics. We’re not sure we totally understand the rules, perhaps due to a combination of them being slightly lost in translation and our own inability to finish a game of Snap, let alone Risk, but boy does it look good.

  6. Oddwood-itsnicethat-list

    Since we last checked in Anders Bollman’s Oddwood project has flourished from a simple selection of hand-carved spoons into a whole range of salvaged and re-purposed products. The Swedish creative is a graphic designer by day and busies himself with whittling in his spare time, making benches, chairs, vases and cutting boards for anyone with an interest in timber.

  7. Design-museum-designers-in-residence-2015-its-nice-that-list

    The Design Museum has announced its 2015 Designers in Residence, which sees four young designers spend four months developing projects around the theme “migration.” They will work with industry figures and the museum itself to create work to be shown in an exhibition from September 2015. This year’s designers are architectural designer Chris Green, product designer Stephanie Hornig, interdisciplinary designer Hefin Jones and Alexa Pollmann, whose work explores the intersection of fashion and technology.

  8. List

    It seems inevitable now that all future technology will require us to interact with it in a much more direct way – by chatting to it and letting it learn from our behaviours. This happens in the online sphere already, but there’s very little in my home that I can command with my voice or expect to understand my tastes. Not so with Aether Cone, a new thinking music player that you control by speaking to it and which can learn your musical and general audio preferences every time you use it.

  9. List2

    This won’t be the best-shot, best-edited film you’ve seen all day but it’ll definitely be the most exciting. Volvo (the car manufacturer) have just released a luminous paint that’s invisible during the day and then brightly fluorescent at night as soon as car headlights bounce off it. Spray it on your bike, helmet, clothing – maybe even your face – to make sure you’re lit up like a Christmas tree whenever you set off on nighttime rides.

  10. Vice-mushroom-int-list

    Introducing Phil Ross, an artist who’s a huge fan of mushrooms, but less in his spag bol than as a medium with which to create his artwork. For almost 20 years he has been experimenting with mushrooms for their recycling properties, growing them in new formations to make them stronger and more versatile and then using them as a material with which to build, among other things.

  11. Bladerunner-deckards-whiskey-glass-int-list

    Film and furniture go together like peas and carrots, like Thelma and Louise, like Amelie and a creme brûlée. To honour this, Paula Benson (co-founder of design agency Form) created the site Film and Furniture, billed as a “lovingly curated resource directing you where to find the décor, art and furniture you spot in your favourite films.”

  12. Corners-by-kyuhyung-cho_04lst

    Is there nothing Kyuhyung Cho can’t do? He popped over in 2011 with his experimental take on typography; wowed us in 2012 with some simple, effective graphic design; and nigh-on reinvented not just the stool, but shelving as well.

  13. Ustwo-monument-valley-int-list

    Yesterday we brought you the full list of nominations for the graphics category of the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year, and today we thought we’d take things down a notch, and present five things from the other categories that particularly tickled our fancy over at It’s Nice That. As ever, the nominations are a wildly varied bunch so it’s not been easy, but here goes: