by Paul Tubiana | SWITZERLAND

For the Prix Émile Hermès, Leon is a cardboard screen that unfolds like a fan, allowing the user to shut themselves off whenever they choose. A simple, elegant way of escaping the gaze of others. The piece is held firmly upright by a wooden base out of which the screen unfolds.

Paul Tubiana

22-year-old Parisian Paul Tubiana is a final-year design student at ECAL, in Lausanne. He has exhibited work at D’Days in Paris and Pantin, as part of Lausanne Jardin, a scenography competition promoting the inclusion of gardens in the urban space. His winning design – chosen by the City of Lausanne – will be seen in public there soon.

The inspiration for your project?

I wanted to create a screen enabling the user to shut themselves off for a few moments, conceal themselves from the gaze of others. But I didn’t want an intrusive wall. The fan seemed to me to be the best solution. It’s a partition that unfolds in a elegant movement. And its rectangular shape is surprising, as it opens. I called it Léon in reference to the cry of a peacock when it fans its tail. It’s made of card. The fan unfolds on a wooden base, ensuring its stability.

Being a designer today means…?

Trying to enhance objects, in order to enhance everyday life. We need to create practical clever, intuitive, beautiful, delightful things, but they must also be easy to make, and non-polluting. So many things exist already. Before making something new, the designer needs to ask: why make one more object? Can I justify it? How is it better than something that already exists?

A vision of ‘Time to yourself’?

Doing what you want, when you want, taking time to get in touch with yourself and step out of other people’s field of vision, for a few moments.

photos Marc Domage © Fondation d'entreprise Hermès, 2014