By Gabrielle Kennedy
In 2013 Alexandre Humbert graduated from contextual design (MA) with “White Sheep, Black Dream”, a film about how to discipline people into becoming better black sheep. “If you want people to be disciplined then you need to develop a fantasy,” Alexandre says. "When I started thinking about this Instagram was just starting, it was a time when people were just working out how to be the other and becoming the black sheep was their goal because everyone wants to be different.”
For Alexandre, the project linked to the discipline aspect of design. “I wasn’t designing a chair, but designing a way of sitting,” he says.
This year for Paris Design Week Humbert presented a film in the exhibition “Symbiosis" (curated by Collective 1992). “The Hairdresser” is a conversation between a man, a woman and a dog, or more specifically between Louis XV, Marie-Antoinette and a dog.
“It is about a haircut,” Alexandre explains, “and about the fact that designing is not only about objects. it is also about writing a story. I was asked to pick three objects from the Musée Cognacq-Jay collection and to design a symbiotic connection with them. Instead of using them as inspiration for my own design, I used the objects as characters in my story. I am interested in how something that already exists can be given a second layer."
In the film, Marie-Antoinette, Louis XV and the dog enter into a dialogue. "When you go into a museum or enter a space the story is revealed,” says Alexandre “You won’t know everything, but from the details, you can create a story.”
The absurdist encounter, ends with an unexpected twist - the dog is revealed as the designer. “My point is that design thinking can inform so much and everyone can have it … even a dog.”
“The Hairdresser” screens in The Arena Saturday 29th at 1.40pm.