“Ultimately, designers are creatives with their feet firmly on the ground”
Sarah Blondé’s business card reads “happ’iD for practical design”. And when Sarah presents her projects, she takes pride in adopting a global approach to design. “Design should be grounded in the real world and accessible to all,” explains Sarah, who has been a freelance designer since 2008.
In her office which is housed in a collaborative workspace at the back of a quaint courtyard in Nantes’ Olivettes quarter, Sarah develops projects combining spatial, product and service design. At the request of the Humanis group, she has just helped create a nursing home for the elderly in Paris.
Special attention has been given to the functionality of the place bearing in mind the residents’ sensory disabilities. To help people find their way around the building and its surroundings, Sarah has named each living unit after a district of Belleville past or present. This global approach thus gives a real identity to a brand new building and improves the quality of life for the residents and staff.
Work on human
“We had to enhance the residents’ autonomy by making everything as intuitive as possible,” underlines Sarah who was particularly concerned about the human aspect of the project.
“I am first and foremost a use-oriented designer,” points out Sarah, “I want to make disagreeable experiences more pleasant”. Being freelance lets me work on a great variety of projects,” adds Sarah, who has designed everything from shops to wooden houses.
“It’s essential to be practical and realistic. I believe that design shouldn‘t be reserved for the elite”, asserts the young professional who is very involved with local development councils. “It should translate the artistic concept into reality. Ultimately, designers are creatives with their feet firmly on the ground”.
Her advice to future students is “be wary of design clichés based solely on aesthetics, learn to work with others, avoid prejudices – even though everyone has them! - and always be humble.”
Her wish for the years to come is to “carry on pleasing others and help make people’s lives easier” but she also aspires to “live in a less individualistic society with more emphasis on humanity and trust.”