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Where I Work: Lionel Jadot

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Earlier this year we discovered more about designer, architect, and craftsman Lionel Jadot from his Friday Five and now the Brussels-based multi-hyphenate gives us an inside look at the space where it all happens. We also talked to him about his design process, what he surrounds himself with, and really important things, like if he has a pet (he does!), in this month’s Where I Work.

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What is your typical work style?

I love the organized chaos, I like the reflected chaos, I like the baroque minimalism, my workspace should make me travel, my eyes must bounce on items that will inspire me. A “white cube” would certainly kill me. My office is in a garden, there are always two or three dogs.

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How is your office organized/arranged?

No doors, zones, a house converted for this activity, actually two houses and traveling from one to the other. There are couches, a drum for relaxing, a workshop, a garden for lunch outside, a roof to sit on, and offices to work!

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How long have you been in this space? Where did you work before that?

We’ve been here for six years. Before I had my office at home, which is comfortable but also very tiring because you never stop!

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If you could change something about your workspace, what would it be?

Definitely more space because I love to accumulate things and people. I love friends coming to work in my office even if they do other things.

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Is there an office pet?

Yes, Idjack! A red Bavaria dog who’s 6 years old.

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Do you need music in the background? If so, who are your favorites?

Everyone does have their own playlist, so it’s a real mix of music which is great as everyone is always discovering new artists.

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How do you record ideas?

Notes, iPhone, Moleskine, I also draw on my hand!

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Do you have an inspiration board? What’s on it now?

I have few of them, this the last one, is about a restaurant project I was working on.

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What is your creative process and/or creative workflow like? Does that change with each project or do you keep it the same?

I try to structure but this is often anarchical, instinctive, and wild. In my head it’s like a big wardrobe full of drawers I open and my projects to come toegther. I often have a very good surprise by finding things I’ve forgotten.

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What kind of design objects you could have dispersed over space?

A vespa, vintage seats, bike, small pieces of wood!

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Are there any tools and/or machinery in your space?

Yes, we have a workshop with everything you need to cut, drill, abrade, and a welding machine! It has been making prototypes.

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What tool do you have more fun with during the design process? 

The welding machine!

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What design software do you use, if any, and for what?

I draw and my assistants work in AutoCAD, Sketchup, Artlantis, Photoshop. I like working with both old and new!

Lake house

Lake house

Is there a favorite project you’ve worked on?

Yes, an extraordinary house on a lake that we just finished.

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Do you feel like you’ve “made it”? What made you feel like you’ve become a success? At what moment/circumstances? Or what would it take to get there?

The success does not mean anything, what counts is the energy to believe every day in what we do, to reinvent itself. I read this morning a sentence of Modigliani which states “Your real duty is to save your dream”.

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Tell us about a current project you are working on. What was the inspiration behind it?

I’m working on an outstanding hotel project in a former church in Brussels, I am artistic director / designer / interior architect. It’s very exciting to create a new place in this city, the approach is different from other hotels, people will feel like they’re visiting friends.

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What’s on your desk right now?

A laptop, lamp, Post-it notes with sketches, and other sketches.

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Do you have something in your house that you designed/created?

Yes, almost everything because my house is a laboratory, I test and try many things, I change, I change, I make very free experiences!

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Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.