Book List of the Week

Book List of the Week: Six French Designers and the Books That Inspire Them

July 14, 2014

France celebrates its national holiday today. In honor of Bastille Day, here are six French designers and the books that have inspired them. The designers include graphic designer Pierre Bernard, fashion designer Christian Lacroix, and product designers Ronan Bouroullec, Matali Crasset, Jean-Marie Massaud, and Inga Sempé.

Clouds, textile wall system designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Kvadrat, 2009. From Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: Works, 2012. Courtesy of Phaidon Press
Pierre Bernard's Book List

Roland Barthes, Milan Kundera, Georges Perec.

Ronan Bouroullec's Book List

Alexander Girard, Donald Judd, Poul Kjaerholm.

Matali Crasset's Book List

Books have always accompanied me to help me clarify my thoughts, reflect on my practice. Although in my practice I work with mental images, words and texts are still very important to me. With reading my interests widen. My sensitivity to social thought, anthropology, and ethnology is affirmed. However, I feel very small in the face of the knowledge that the written word contains. I have only climbed a few steps of what is an imposing mountain, yet I find that it is a never-ending joy.

Christian Lacroix's Book List

Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Alexey Brodovitch.

Jean-Marie Massaud's Book List

These are the books that can always be found on my night table.

Inga Sempé's Book List

I am mainly interested in books for their text. I never buy or read “design” books. Books have always been important to me (although I'm finding less time to read at present).

Almost 95 percent of the books I have read were given to me by my mother. Usually books that have been suggested by others have turned out to be disappointing and heavy. Now I hardly trust people when they say they liked a book. I am becoming more interested in reading autobiographies—to hear the voice of a person talking about his or her life.

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