The Cosmos, the stars, fascinate us, and with the technological advances that allow us to go further in their knowledge and exploration, all humanity has its eye on what is happening beyond Earth. A completely alien world, but also one of all possibilities and of great poetry. Design, from time to time, has naturally drawn inspiration from this. In 2019, the astronomy enthusiast Florent Le Scornet had the idea of creating French-made celestial objects and using design to connect and raise awareness of outer space. Interview and presentation of the visionary brand Cassiom, which has brilliantly combined technology with the notion of collection design.
Chloé Valette for Huskdesignblog: Hello Florent! You are the founder of Cassiom, a French brand that reflects both your passion for the cosmos and beautiful objects, but also the desire to make French craftsmanship work, whilst emphasizing very poetic values such as transgenerational transmission... Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the genesis of Cassiom?
Florent Le Scornet, founder of Cassiom: Hello Chloe! I've been passionate about astronomy since childhood. The beauty and mysteries of the sky have always fascinated me. But it was during an unusual trip on a container ship, off the coast of Crete, that I had like a flash of inspiration, a kind of call from the open sea mixed with the magic of the sky and I would say that... the stars inspired me to embark on the Cassiom adventure. It was really at that time that I made the decision to create innovative objects, never seen before, related to the Cosmos, the sky, and the great discoveries. My first objective was really educational with the desire to share knowledge and make it accessible to the greatest number.
Florent Le Scornet, founder - Ludovic Roth, designer
C.V: To create some of your products, such as the data sculptures called Constellations, you called upon French designer Ludovic Roth. How did you make this choice? A chance encounter, a real interest in his work?
F.L.S: As I said earlier, my first ideas were "didactic", so I made functional prototypes; everything worked but, really (laughs)... they were not beautiful at all! When I started the project, I knew that I had to entrust the next phase to professionals. So naturally, I turned to several designers; Virginie, my wife, had spotted Ludovic's work and I must say that we immediately had good chemistry; he is sensitive to the beauty of the stars, and it was a crucial factor.
And of course, his achievements and style spoke for him but it was his interest in the subject that triggered our collaboration in the first place. I have no regrets, on the contrary. He helps me to understand how one starts from an idea and moves towards a creative process.
C.V: How did this collaboration and the design process go? What about the choice of materials?
F.L.S: From my ideas, my 'models' and my drafts, Ludovic Roth presented me with some potential objects: it was then that I realised that these ideas, through Ludovic's drawing, could find a wider audience, different from the one of astronomers and children, which I had initially thought of. The day of this presentation will remain one of the most important days of my life, almost like the birth of a 1er child! The choice of models, variations and materials was then the result of a process and a collaboration that is still going strong!
C.V: What do you want to transmit, to communicate, to leave to the world through these objects whose subjects of inspiration, namely astrology, and the cosmos, are, it is true, unusual?
F.L.S: Uncommon, yes and no: the stars are those 'things in the sky' that bring people together the most; they are the source of all our beliefs and also of our hopes, and above all they are the same for everyone! Whether you are in China, Europe or Alaska, you share the same sky (well, almost)! But it is true that, in our daily lives, the beauty of the Cosmos is not very present, especially in cities where we can no longer see the sky and even less so the starry night because it is polluted by the lights.
So, to re-appropriate the sky thanks to the objects that surround us is certainly something new, unprecedented and rare. This is really what I wanted to do: apart from the traditional globes, very few objects are inspired by the celestial beauties. With my collections, I want to bring a poetic, original and timeless vision, creating, perhaps, a new trend, linking astronomy and design. Unconsciously, there is no doubt the influence of films like 2001 A Space Odyssey where aesthetics and staging play a major role.
C.V: What is your vision of this theme in design: will it, should it, develop?
F.L.S: I can't say if it will grow, but yes, it should! I think that at this very moment, a new impulse in the conquest of space is taking place; it is the right time for the world of design, but also that of the arts, to appropriate this new frontier in human evolution. Everything today pushes us to go further.
C.V: All Cassiom objects have been validated by the scientific community. Could you tell us more about the link between scientific facts and discoveries and design in the development of your collection?
F.L.S: For me, it was important to have the validation of the scientific community. I thank theFrench Astronomy Association for his support from the very first day. My objects also aim to question the great scientific discoveries. We are living in an exceptional period in human history: just recently, the general public was able to applaud and discover, almost live, the first real film of an object landing on the surface of Mars. It is a giant step, in the true sense of the word, it is "extra-ordinary"! In addition to that, I also wanted to reconcile astronomers and astrologers through universalist objects.
The signs of the zodiac, dear to astrologers, have a scientific reality and it is only recently that we have been able to know with precision the distances of the stars composing these illustrious constellations. That's really what inspired me for the collection Constellation. After all, we are all a bit of stardust. It's magical, isn't it? For the collection Lux Tempora, I clearly wanted to pay tribute to the exploration of our solar system. Of course, Lux Tempora can be considered as an original light, but it is also an astronomical clock.
For the very first time, it's the occasion to show the speed of light thanks to objects, and I'm very proud of it. Although it is a bit technical, they are intended for interior decoration! No need to be called Elon Musk to have one in your living room and you don't even have to go to the museum anymore. Everything you need to know is there, in front of your eyes, it's beautiful. It's a real story to tell. That's also why our collection is related to the decorative art and that we use the know-how of French craftsmen.
C.V: You really want to make French craftsmanship work for the best it has to offer in terms of quality for the manufacture of Cassiom objects. How are your various partnerships with artisans going? What struck you the most?
F.L.S: I discovered a universe I never knew existed. Coming from the world of a multinational company, I took the plunge! First of all, they are passionate and exciting men and women. By going to meet them, I wanted to make them want to think outside the box and, in the end, to take risks. This is what happened with Ludovic and all my interlocutors, craftsmen, such as the ceramist in Limoges, the cabinetmaker in the Gard, the foundryman in Auvergne, or a jewel of French technology in the Paris area, all without exception, have responded. I'm really happy.
C.V: Although the release of Cassiom could not take place as planned in 2020 due to the exceptional health conditions, what was the reception given to your brand so far? Is a typical customer profile already being felt? Do you have a specific target?
F.L.S: Indeed, it is a very frustrating period because I see it every day, Cassiom objects are, for me, above all, a meeting. By seeing, understanding, or touching the objects, you just yield! I share the little spark of happiness with anyone who discovers a Lux Tempora or a Constellation! I already have some great stories to tell. That being said, I am convinced that the digital encounter can be made. These are different tools and ways of working, but they are essential, it will probably take longer, but I have great faith in it.
The reason is partly there: Cassiom objects are universal, without constraints of languages or borders. They are for everyone, from astronomers to dreamers to collectors. In the end, these objects can become very personal and tell the story of a beautiful human adventure with a touch of dream. And YES, they are transgenerational objects, bearers of hope.
C.V: What are your short and long term plans?
F.L.S: In the short term, my ambition is of course to sell! In the long term, I would like to develop concepts that are still in the draft stage, but also to offer more latitude to the artists I work with.
C.V: What can we wish you?
F.L.S: An alignment of planets favorable to Cassiom's growth!
Thanks to Florent Le Scornet for his time and trust!
Find out Cassiom 's products on our online store
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Chloé founded Huskdesignblog in 2016. Ever since, she is decoding every nook and cranny to find the best interiors and furniture ideas for her beloved readers and followers, eager for beautiful things.
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