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Impacts#6 - Inès Le Bihan, 2013 alumni – a cosmopolitan Designer

Impacts#6 - Inès Le Bihan, 2013 alumni – a cosmopolitan Designer

Interview with a cosmopolitan and ambitious Designer

After graduating with a Master’s degree and winning several international prizes in prestigious competitions, she is now working in the world of connected objects destined for China, but is based in San Francisco.

“Design must tell a story and it’s the Designer who connects the various ideas together”

Checking your heart rate day in day out, counting the number of steps in a day, monitoring the quality of your sleep – Amazfit, the connected bracelet designed by Inès, has the distinctive appearance of a jade disc. This product combining ceramic and state-of-the-art technology is accessible to all because of its very affordable retail price. “Elegant and hardwearing, this object is designed for the Chinese market but is sold all over the world,” explains Inès, an industrial Designer in the Huami subsidiary in San Francisco. “For me, design must tell a story and it’s the designer who connects the various ideas together,” explains Inès, who has adapted perfectly to Chinese culture even if certain idiosyncrasies such as “the culture of secrecy" still amuse her.

“On the boundary between Designer and Engineer”

This Chinese start-up that specializes in the sale of connected objects had only three employees when she was hired - it now has 35 staff in California.
The exposure of this company on the global market has increased significantly with nearly 40 million connected objects sold mainly in China.
With her perfect command of 3D technology, the quality of her images and her knowledge of the connected objects market, Inès is “on the boundary between Designer and Engineer”. In fact, most of her 3D files are used directly as molds for manufacturing products in China.

What I love more than anything is working on tangible objects with quick development phases,” explains the young designer who is delighted about “the important role given to Designers in this company”.
Of the 350 employees around the world, Inès is the only French Designer. “I was very quickly taken seriously in the company and as I was present right from the beginning of the start-up, I suppose I have some real decision-making authority,” remarks Inès who admits however the necessity “of always having to be persuasive and exercise good judgement. Thanks to my daily contact with the group’s CEO, decisions can be made quickly in a climate of trust and efficiency”.