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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.

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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.