“Astra” Series by Clemence Birot – A mediation of materiality, sustainability, and craftsmanship

In order to create ethically produced, timeless, and multi-functional pieces, Paris-based product designer Clemence Birot places major emphasis on collaboration with artisans and sustainability in her practice.

Throughout Birot’s oeuvre, the importance of craftsmanship and the materials themselves is not only prominent, but also a central element of her design philosophy. Indeed, she is, in her own words, “motivated by a free artistic practice and enriched by its know-how, it dictates the exploratory and innovative dynamic in the design process”.

The “Astra” series consists of three table mirrors, available in varying sizes and colours, “Astra 34”, “Astra 30”, and “Astra 24”, which perfectly demonstrate Birot’s values and creation process.

The glass base is blown by Arcam Glass in Nantes, France, while the cork sphere is sourced from the eco-friendly Portuguese company, Corticeira Viking, and the mirror top is made by Vetro-Art based in Italy. By carefully selecting craftspeople with extraordinary expertise and by limiting the manufacturing to Europe, Birot allows for a sustainable and ethical production that highlights the importance of artisanal knowledge.

“At a time of mass production, the product origin is often vague, far from our territories and our values. Today, I wish to go further in this process of enhancing hand intelligence and unique know-how, while producing ethically and locally.”

Another aspect of Birot’s design practice is her ingenuity combined with a clean, timeless aesthetic, best exemplified by the multifunctionality of the “Astra” series. Adjustable to everyone’s needs, “Astra” can transform into its user’s desired object – from a platform to a mirror to a storage object. By simply twisting or taking off the cork sphere, a new functionality of the object is unlocked.

This acute awareness of the user’s needs and clever use of the material speak for Birot’s innovative design approach where functionality and aesthetics meet to address current issues.

View all available pieces in Clemence Birot’s showroom >

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