For today's installation of Interior Design's Instagram Live chats, Editor in Chief Cindy Allen sat down with Patrick Jouin. Jouin, a Hall of Fame member, is a celebrated French industrial designer and founding partner of the Jouin Manku design firm. He joined Allen from his home in Paris, as hundreds of people from around the world tuned in to hear the friends talk about being designers and creatives in our current circumstances.
Jouin describes this time as "a special moment in our history." When COVID-19 first broke out in Wuhan, China Jouin remarked that on the whole: "We were not helping, just observing. We didn't think,' What can we do for them?'" Anticipating President Emmanuel Macron's lockdown, Jouin made sure his team had a smooth transition into working from home, adding that right now, to have work is to be lucky. At the beginning of last week, a quarter of Jouin's yearly projects were nixed, yet five days later he had new contracts ready. Ultimately, finding a way to work through this together, by video calling clients for example, has been an asset.
During the livestream, Jouin, who sketches to keep his creative juices flowing, shared some drawings, including one of the tree branches outside his window. He also told Allen one of his upcoming projects involves designing a hospital, something incredibly poignant for today. The child of a nurse, Jouin has always been passionate about projects that serve the greater good. Responsible for some 500 public restrooms in Paris, Jouin thrives on a challenge, especially when it comes to incorporating precise functionality with Parisian elegance.
A veteran of the hospitality industry, Jouin shared with Allen how those within the industry were taking care of each other. Owners of restaurants and bars with extra food on hand, for instance, have been giving it to out-of-work service employees and hospital staff, in addition to other charitable organizations. Jouin encouraged everyone watching to look around and, when possible, recognize small tokens of gratitude during these hard times. "Try to be a good citizen," he said. "Take care of your kids, your company."