The Creative Space: Agnes de Vlin, Lead Designer for Figure2Ground

We can get inspiration from anywhere, and this month we are exploring the international places that have recently got Designers creative juices flowing.

Agnes profile web


Agnes de Vlin is a practicing artist and lead designer for Figure2ground – a surface design studio based in Ireland. As a surface designer she is always looking at textures and patterns to inspire her and she managed to just do this at a recent studio in France…

So Agnes, what is is your ‘creative space’?

Over twenty-five years ago, as a student, I visited Atelier Brancusi adjacent to the Centre Pompidou in Paris. My memory of the space was one of quiet dusty textures, soft tones of white, grey and brown with shadows falling on ambient light. I remember walking between the sculptures and touching the surfaces, feeling the rhythm of the tool marks and the spine-like curves of the objects.  My sense of the space was one of introspection – a modest sanctum for me in which to sit and ruminate.Brancusi-5 webLast week, I was in Paris for the David Hockney exhibition and I revisited the reconstructed Atelier Brancusi. My, how time paints a very different visual experience! Over the years, I have often asked myself what colours are memories?Brancusi-7 webAtelier Brancusi is found inside a pavilion-style building located in an enclosed garden on the George Pompidou Piazza. The studio is viewed from a covered walkway with floor to ceiling glass panels. As you walk around peering in, it feels timelessly cocooned. The space within the Atelier, where in my memory I had sauntered through, was now inaccessible and the surfaces in the reconstructed studio were dust free with well-lit clarity and detail. The polished metal and marble artworks appear like beacons with a guard-like presence in contrast to the sculpted and chiseled surfaces surrounding them. It is a very beautiful, creative and intimate space.Brancusi-8 webNow as a mature spectator looking at a monument of celebration and deliberation, I realise that as a young student my sensory experience of the space allowed me to cross a visual threshold and become immersed in the space as if I were a part of it. The experience was touchable, spontaneous and contingent. I am encouraged by this recent shift in my visual experience of Atelier Brancusi as I see that there is a link between the physical sense of a place and what the mind sees.

Atelier Brancusi has on both occasions inspired me. It is a challenging concept to present a faithfully reconstructed artist’s studio as a life-size interior space, itself within an interior space and incorporated within a civic piazza.Brancusi-2 web



About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
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