Franck Lennon has just graduated from L’École de design, Guillaume Delvigne Class of 2018. He completed all his training on apprenticeship programs, ending up on the Master’s program in Design Management and Innovation. We had the chance to talk to him about his educational path.
What pushed you towards design?
I’ve always been attracted by design professions where great importance is attached to inquisitiveness and ingenuity. After doing my technical Baccalaureate, it was a fairly natural decision to do an degree in Industrial Product Design in Lorient. I was able to develop my technical skills in design and product development. However, this vocational degree didn’t really prepare me for the activity of design: I knew how to design a product but not in the same way as a designer.
How did you begin your studies?
It was at the end of my degree that I decided to learn more about Design and I joined the apprenticeship degree program Design, Materials and Modelling at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique. The D2M degree really made me want to continue my studies in design, so I decided to do a second degree in Product Design - a work-study program offered by L’École de design.
Why did you go on to do a Product Design degree?
The Product Design vocational degree taught me all the basic methodological design skills and the apprenticeship allowed me to come face to face with industrial realities. As a result, I had all the skills I needed to go on and join the Design and Innovation Management MDes at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique.
And what about the end of your studies?
In September 2015, keen to discover every aspect of design, I opted for the gap year offered by L’École de design and joined the Nantes-based design agency Pulse & Pulpe. This year gave me a lot of experience of design in an agency and I developed my skills as a designer in many different areas. Between September 2016 and August 2018, I occupied different roles in Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Lab in Paris, as part of the Master’s degree in Design and Innovation Management. My role in the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab was to accompany innovative Start-ups by sharing my expertise in use and applying my designer’s approach, particularly through workshops. I also took on the role of Head of the internal FabLab, a role which I shared with my apprenticeship manager, which involved stimulating internal innovation by setting up transversal and collaborative projects. While doing this Master’s degree program, I chose to focus on gaming cultures and their impact on our society, looking both at the media’s narrative point of view and the entertainment dimension, as well as the importance of preserving video game heritage for the future generations. This was the subject of my final degree project.
What kind of design approach do you have in your projects?
In my day-to-day work, I endeavor to work as simply as possible, avoiding any excess or unnecessary detail in order to concentrate on the heart of the project: use. I particularly appreciate the work of Japanese design studio Nendo – each of their projects is the perfect response to the needs, combining use, esthetics and simplicity. A nice echo of Albert Einstein’s words: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”.
You’re now a graduate of L’École de design – how are you planning to start your career?
For the next step, I have decided to go to Montreal with the aim of gaining new professional experience and comparing my vision of design with the North American one. My goal is also to get a more international experience and design practice… and to eat poutine, the local speciality!