Creativity and Culture

French Design : Speed Dating


FRENCH DESIGN Speed Dating is the largest professional gathering in the furniture and design sector!

Every spring for over 10 years, FRENCH DESIGN has been inviting 500 French and international interior architecture and design professionals to meet in a dynamic format of short, targeted interviews. The 2023 meeting took place on Tuesday 13 June at the Centre Pompidou, Paris.


Creating synergies


The aim of these speed datings is to create synergies, foster collaborations and stimulate the community of specifiers, manufacturers and designers. And it works. Every year, 1,500 meetings are held, resulting in dozens of collaborations, some of which are supported for several months by the FRENCH DESIGN INCUBATOR.


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Mathieu Le Traon ,Tisserand d’art et Aline Putot-Toupry Artiste, designer


The FRENCH DESIGN SPEED DATING is divided into two sections. On the Espace & Métiers d’art side, it invites specifiers looking for new products, exceptional expertise or specific services to meet hand-picked manufacturers, publishers and craftsmen.

Côté Objet is for manufacturers and brands wishing to integrate or develop a design strategy to meet emerging or established designers, specifically selected to meet their needs.

FRENCH DESIGN promotes innovation in furniture and interior architecture. For forty years, FRENCH DESIGN has been at the forefront of research, deciphering trends in contemporary living environments and initiating studies and forward-looking projects, encouraging meetings between creators, designers, architects, scientists, craftsmen, manufacturers and publishers, breaking down the barriers between disciplines to imagine the living spaces of tomorrow.


Meeting with

Jean-Paul Bath

the general manager


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Could you explain what FRENCH DESIGN is?


Created by the French Ministry of Industry, VIA (Valorisation de l’Innovation dans l’Ameublement) recently reinvented itself under the name “Le French Design by VIA”, which reflects both its international vocation and its desire to highlight the uniqueness of French design.

Our core business is meetings between designers and manufacturers, and also between manufacturers and interior architects, who arrive with projects and need manufacturers to develop them.

These meetings lead to the development of projects. And our role is to help them. To do this, we also have an incubator. Every year, we select a number of projects involving designers, manufacturers, industrialists and publishers. We support them until their joint projects are brought to market.

What’s more, we’re obviously committed to raising the profile of French design in France and abroad. The FRENCH DESIGN 100, the only design award in France to recognise the international work of these designers, has set itself the task of selecting the 100 projects that are raising the profile of French design around the world.

And then there are the exhibitions. We also do research into what we call foresight. In other words, imagining what tomorrow’s design will be like, with major themes such as sustainable design…


Is it important to designate them in today’s world?


The world is going through a period of profound change. Everything that is being done around sustainable development is completely changing our habits of consumption, production and even lifestyles.

Digital technology and artificial intelligence are very important changes. Designers have a fundamental role to play in helping to design a new world, one that must be different, that must be more resource-efficient in particular, that must be more mobile, and that must be more closely linked to design.

So there are huge opportunities for design. I think that without design, we won’t be able to transform the world as we should. It’s really the designer’s role to transform and imagine the new world, it’s a fundamental role.


Is sustainable development a driving force?


There’s no doubt that sustainable design is a necessity, because we can’t continue to produce as we’re doing at the moment. We’re consuming 3 or 4 times more than the planet is capable of regenerating, so very quickly we’re going to exhaust our planet.

If we don’t change the system that consists of taking resources from the earth and consuming them, then throwing them away, and on top of that polluting the oceans, the whole planet will be in an absolutely catastrophic state of pollution.

So we need to move from a linear system of consumption to a circular system in which everything we use has to be recycled and reused. We have no other solution.

I think there’s been a fairly positive and rapid evolution in all the materials, in the maintenance that we see everywhere, at trade fairs, and in all the new products that are coming out, at least in France.

So there is a real awareness among consumers that is very strong and among producers who are obliged to explain and justify the products that are consumed, the recycling, their ability to recover parts at the end of their life and recycle them.


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