April 16th, 2016
I recently started working on the design and manufacturing of a pen which will be manufactured in the heart of the French Alps.
Back in France, I spent most of my school holidays working at the local factories. There, I learnt about CNC metal turning and various other manufacturing processes. Since then, I have wanted to go back to those family-run businesses and collaborate with them on the production of an object I designed.
Manufacturing in the Alps
This project was born out of a passion for design and a deep interest in manufacturing. I am lucky to work closely with a few family-run factories near my hometown. I recently travelled to France to visit their workshops and learn about the processes they use. Each factory has 30+ years of experience in manufacturing and is perfecting 3 centuries of know-how in crafting metal.
Why a pen?
Evolution has often been driven by humans' desire and ability to make tools. Hand-writing instruments are some of Humanity's most important creations. While some ancient civilisations carved into stones, the invention of the pen made writing accessible to the mass and contributed to the diffusion of knowledge.
The way society operates has changed dramatically since the internet. However, the pen has retain its place as a reliable method of communication. Scribbling a quick note, writing an intimate letter or sketching an idea, pen and paper are intrinsic mediums to connect with one another.
Despite its historical influence, the pen is today an ordinary object that most of us don't think about. An instrument so ubiquitous that we don't imagine a world without it.
Designers play an influential role in creating instruments to empower and delight people. It's a treat to have the opportunity to design a product as humble as a pen. I hope that our work will inspire people to create.