Combining Emotions and Practicality | Interview with Sacha Lakic

Combining Emotions and Practicality | Interview with Sacha Lakic

French company Roche Bobois is a leading player in the world of high-end furniture design and distribution, where every piece of furniture is the result of close collaboration between designers and manufacturers. One of the brand’s designers is Serbian-born Sacha Lakic, who came to the Roche Bobois Flagship Store in Budapest at the invitation of the Solinfo Group. We asked him how he became a designer, how long it takes to make a piece of furniture, and what advice he has for young designers.

How did you first become interested in design and how did you eventually become a designer?

When I was a kid, around ten years old, on my way to school I saw an amazing car. This car was the iconic Ford Mustang that Steve McQueen had in the movie Bullitt. I was never really attracted to cars before, I never even noticed them, but as I was passing by this Ford, it just talked to me, and it said, look at me, I’m different. I was going around the car and checking the sharp shape, the green metallic color, the leather upholstery… Then I started to look at other cars, and I was thinking: why is this car so special, and why do other cars just leave me cold? Of course, I made this analysis afterward, but anyway, I was so moved and obsessed by this car that I tried to reproduce it with my pen, I made sketches all the time. Two things began at that time: my passion for sketching and memorizing things. After this, becoming a designer came quite naturally to me. During my studies, I focused on car design, and later I met people who brought me into the world of furniture and architecture. But my very first love was for cars and motorcycles.

In our everyday life—not like in the case of the Ford—functionality often overrides aesthetics. How do you manage to combine these two aspects?

As a designer, my task is to combine emotion and practicality. I’m not a sculptor, I’m more like an artist who is involved in the industrial process and has to fit into its constraints. For example, at Roche Bobois we really focus on the emotion which is coming out by seeing the shape of the product. At the same time, if the furniture is not comfortable or the poster is not attractive, it won’t work. So we spend a lot of time making the design perfectly enjoyable, good-looking, and timeless. That’s why the designer’s job is so exciting and difficult.

How long does it take to make the furniture? For example the iconic Bubble Sofa?

It usually takes a year to get from the first sketch to the shop in physical form. In the case of the Bubble Sofa, it was twice longer because we had to develop a very specific fabric, which took around two years. Then there is a long period of tests like we do in the car industry because it has to withstand many things, all kinds of everyday problems. Actually, it always depends on the product, for cars this process takes about three years.

For many people, the home has become a really important place in recent years. Have you noticed any change in people's attitudes towards home products?

I think that it really changed a lot of people’s minds, especially during the lockdown, when they had to spend much more time at home than usual. Suddenly they realized that their wall has shitty color, they have uncomfortable chairs, and so on. Consequently, they started to think more about taking care of their home and started to appreciate the well-being of their body and mind. People now want to have a fine and comfortable home, whatever is happening outside in the world. So furniture and interior design is a top priority for many of our customers.

What kind of furniture do you have at home? Do you have a collection?

Naturally, I like to have pieces from other designers. For example, I have a very funny lamp from Tom Dixon and some classic objects from the 1950s and 1970s. Well, I also have the Bubble Sofa, because I love it and I’m proud of it. Anyway, I have a lot of favorites, but I just don’t have enough space to have everything in my place.

What advice would you give to beginner and young designers?

I would say don’t listen to your parents. Don’t listen to the advice that says that you will never succeed. This is also true for any kind of profession. If you really feel that this is what you want to do, just go ahead, just do it. That’s all.

Sacha Lakic | Web | Instagram
‌Roche Bobois | Web | Instagram | Facebook
‌Solinfo | Web | Instagram | Facebook

Solinfo Showroom photos: Gergő Gosztom

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