Meeting with Alexis Tricoire, plant designer and creator of Vegetal Atmosphere

Meeting with Alexis Tricoire, plant designer and creator of Vegetal Atmosphere

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A designer by training, Alexis Tricoire has established himself in the organic world in a decade or so by redefining certain spaces, creating objects and even works of art. This time, it was at the Jardin des Plantes that he surprised us during his exhibition "Hybridizations". An innovative concept, imagined for Paris Design Week, which mixes products from industry with the tropical vegetation sheltered in the park's Grandes Serres. The opportunity to discover or rediscover his work from a new angle…

Tell us about your background…

I started by studying the decorative arts. And it is quite natural that I officiated, for more than ten years, as a scenographer and furniture designer, a rather classic sector. But it was after the Folies Végétales exhibition, curated by Patrick Blanc at the EDF Electra foundation, that I reconnected with my love for plants. There, I designed many sculptures, installations staging natural phenomena, such as a huge plant ceiling, an experience hitherto unprecedented. And this achievement marks the beginning of a new professional era, because I was then contacted to carry out other projects, rather monumental, for various companies ranging from the educational establishment to the shopping center, that of Lyon Confluence for example.

So, you define yourself as "plant designer", why is this term more evocative than another?

It is always difficult to stick a label on me. I am neither a conventional designer, nor a landscaper. I am apart. And with my art, I put design at the service of plants, and not vice versa, hence this name. Indeed, unlike the botanist, I have a less scientific approach, much more emotional. I refuse to hang on to terms but more to a feeling. Because I do not work the plant in itself but rather its envelope which then allows to characterize it and give it meaning.

Your work is developed around three different approaches, explain to us…

First, there is the design of objects. Mass-produced products that make it easier to put plants at the heart of daily life, to live better with plants, but also to make people think. Then there is the design of spaces. There, I create for various public places, such as high schools, restaurants or casinos, spectacular settings that aim to create poetry and well-being for visitors. Finally, my work is also part of a pure artistic approach where I design various projects, installations, exhibitions ... And it is with this kind of free work that I really have the opportunity to express myself and transmit a message. , a certain idea of ​​ecology.

And this philosophy, we find it right now at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris for your Hybridations exhibition…

Exactly! But my approach is fundamentally different from the previous ones. Here, the idea is not to bring nature into a space but rather to incorporate industrial matter in the middle of plants. Since it was impossible for me to compete with the power of the place, I turned away from my initial work. However, the goal is the same, to create a discourse between society and plants. There, and in the spirit of land-art, I imagined hybrid landscapes made of fibers that are at once natural, synthetic, metallic… I used brooms, brushes, paintbrushes that I diverted, readapted , to represent new vegetation, flora but also fauna marked by the industrial era. The installation is surprising because the confrontation of these two universes calls both on the domain of the marvelous but also awakens our ecological conscience.

Can we therefore consider you as a committed artist?

My idea, my desire is to help preserve biodiversity, whether through speeches or artistic creations. And my work makes sense today because we live more and more distant from this nature. It is a reality and I try, at my level, to provide solutions and make people more eco-responsible. On this principle, I have only used, for my "Hybridizations" exhibition, products initially intended to be discarded, stocks downgraded, defective or simply an order canceled. We call it upcycling, where when the waste turns into a work of art.
Discover all of Alexis Tricoire's work on his website: //; And until November 24 at the Grandes Serres du Jardin des Plantes in Paris for its exhibition "Hybridizations" - guided tour in the presence of the designer on November 15.