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The history of Groupe SEB and that of industrial design are intimately linked. In an approach that combines in-house design and collaborations with leading external designers, the Group is a pioneer of design in France, and has won several awards for its achievements. For this reason, the Group has recently been chosen to display its creations in the “Design Designer(s)” exhibition, which opens this Wednesday, September 16 in Lille, the 2020 World Design Capital.
The European Metropolis of Lille was named the 2020 World Design Capital, following in the footsteps of Turin, Seoul, Helsinki, Cape Town, Taipei, and Mexico City.
Complementing the diverse array of exhibitions, “Design Designer(s)” aims to showcase the diversity and evolution of the French design scene through a curated selection of designers and projects. The exhibition has been put together in consultation with leading luminaries of contemporary design. Over 70 designers will present their projects and their approaches to design within companies, but above all the ways in which designers create, engage with, hand down, and generate innovation in a broad variety of practices.
Within Groupe SEB, design is an integral part of the product development process. Originally, the idea was to design products in line with social expectations or needs, and with a technically adapted design, such as the SEB Super Cocotte pressure cooker. Over time, these simple objects have become emblematic of an era. Some are even displayed in the collections of major museums. Since the 1960s, the history of the Group’s brands has been associated with the names of great designers, such as Jean-Louis Barrault, Savinel & Rozé, or Pierre Paulin, to name but a few. Other major collaborations include Tefal and Dick Powell (Seymourpowell), Delo Lindo (Paris), Rowenta and Jasper Morrison, or Moulinex and Studio Radi.
Over the years, the brands have established their respective identities. Today, design is an area where substance and form can come together. By playing around with different materials, nuances of texture, or combinations of lines and colors, the design can both reflect a product’s technology and identify it with a brand. The designer’s role then goes beyond aesthetics into the actual product design. These days, the design process relies in particular on digital technologies to improve the benefits for users.
The Group’s current Design Department, headed by Kim Helmbold, takes an inclusive and human approach to product design, while contributing to consistent and holistic brand experiences.
Groupe SEB’s design approach will be showcased in the “Propose” room of the “Design Designer(s)” exhibition, with four pairings of “historical-contemporary” products on display:
From the SEB Super Cocotte pressure cooker (1953) to the Moulinex Cookeo Touch Wi-Fi (2020): when SEB first marketed its Super Cocotte pressure cooker in 1953, the product started a small revolution. Unprecedented at the time, it owed its great success to a new approach taken in its design. It combined intelligent manufacturing and attention to use and safety that almost immediately made it iconic. Today, its contemporary version, the Moulinex Cookeo Touch electric multi-cooker, has a touchscreen interface and incorporates digital technology, while remaining faithful to the design of previous generations.
Find out more about the Design Designer(s) exhibition.
Curatorial and scenography NoDesign.Net.
Download the press release
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