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Impacts #7: François Hurtaud – a responsible designer

Impacts #7: François Hurtaud – a responsible designer
François Hurtaud, alumni 2012

François Hurtaud, an international designer with ethics

In France or abroad, in product, space, graphic design or interactivity, and whatever the line of business, designers are in the forefront!

François Hurtaud, who graduated in 2008 and is currently based in Hong Kong, is an example of just such a cosmopolitan and jack of all trades designer. Co-founder of Myku, he strives to create useful, responsible and legitimate products.

A viewpoint worth sharing…

Creativity process

Stones and jewelry

After graduating with a Master’s degree in 2012, François jetted off to Hong Kong. He became creative director for several consumer goods companies, where he was committed to promoting sustainable design. He sees design as an equation, trying to find creative solutions to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics, sustainability and profitability, viability and legitimacy.

His creations include Myku watches. Tiger’s eye, Carrara marble, lapis lazuli – the dial of each MYKU watch is unique. These semi-precious stones which come from all over the world are carefully selected by François Hurtaud, who painstakingly decides how to show them off to their best advantage. “Cutting them is a very delicate undertaking,” explains the cofounder of MYKU company, “as stone is an organic material which is particularly unpredictable. It’s a limited production which is somewhere between one-off jewelry and industrial production,” adds this designer who also heads up an independent design studio.

“We have a responsibility as designers”

“I include a social and sustainable dimension in all of my projects and I make sure that I emphasize this ethos on a daily basis,” explains this Breton from the island of Groix who divides his time between developing a range of consumer goods, designing furniture and working on brand image.
I work with high-quality materials, stones, leather and steel, which are easy to assemble and I use as few parts as possible” emphasizes François. The packaging of this simple stream-lined watch is made of leather and can also be used as a wallet.

The world is changing and we have a responsibility as designers” adds François who admits that L’École de design’s holistic teaching approach opened up vast research vistas for him. But you have to maintain them by being inquisitive, because according to him, “as well as keeping abreast of aesthetics, designers also have to take an interest in economics, science and politics which give signals about future markets and issues related to energy transition.”

Work place

“We must always consider the question of legitimacy”

In the future, François Hurtaud would like to continue developing his design studio in Hong Kong, not least because French designers working abroad benefit from a special image and reputation due to France’s great cultural and artistic history. But his biggest priority is to continue designing, while always bearing in mind the principles of social and sustainable design.
We must always consider the question of legitimacy when we create new objects, it’s a question of ethics and I try to convey these ideas to my clients on a daily basis”, confides François who wants to carry on exploring new intelligent furniture integrating domestic cultivation, in particular aquaponics…