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Design at Castorama: Elise VALLÉE, Damien URVOY and Arthur BRAULT - Alumni 2008 and 2010

Design at Castorama: Elise VALLÉE, Damien URVOY and Arthur BRAULT - Alumni 2008 and 2010
Elise VALLÉE, Damien URVOY and Arthur BRAULT - Alumni 2008 and 2010

“Being able to anticipate and (…) find the best compromises for incorporating constraints”

“In mass-market retailing, creation happens because of constraints”, announce Damien, Élise and Arthur, designers at Kingfisher (the parent company of Castorama), “and it’s a real challenge! The economic impact is really important, so the design has to be adapted to the price and not the other way round as this factor is critical and inflexible”, explain the trio who freely describe themselves as “very pragmatic designers”.
It is with this in mind that they designed a complete range of cutting tools and a lawnmower “ready to use in ten seconds”.
Making it easier to use a lawnmower, providing a practical and compact storage solution and designing a pair of light yet sturdy secateurs for budding gardeners. The aim of these three designers is always “to put themselves in the user’s shoes”.
“When you’re immersed in the world of industry, you have to be able to anticipate and try to find the best compromises for incorporating constraints”, explain the three colleagues.
“And even though mass retail projects may not always seem very sexy", they get a lot of pleasure every day working on a wide variety of products ranging from paintbrushes and barbecues to furnishings.

The relative newness of the design department in the Kingfisher Sourcing & Offer Group means that they have to prove their legitimacy. They regret that “You have to explain your job before explaining your project. For many people, design is just a kind of “contemporary decoration” and we have to constantly educate people to explain what the design process really is”.
So, their advice to young students is to “choose their sector of activity to suit their personality and not just based on the image they’d like to convey to other people”, but also not to be afraid to stray from the design clichés portrayed in certain television programs.
The three friends, who all have a healthy dose of self-mockery, share the same taste for simple objects without unnecessary detail. In the coming years they hope to keep this passion which binds them to their profession and “to carry on making products that are even smarter!”