BYZANCE is a creative studio based in Paris and founded by Laïs Duruy and Claire Le Bouteiller. Constantly abreast of new experiences, they work in the fields of identity design, art direction, graphic & pattern design and illustration. They collaborated with brands like Kenzo, Universal and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their work for ZigZagZurich is inspired by journeys and landscapes.
"We wanted to play with the strands that become the edges of the brush drawings. Also, we imagined it as a framework, not a repeated pattern. It makes it a piece that is in between decorative and purposeful." - Byzance.
Who are you?
We are Byzance, a creative studio founded by Laïs Duruy and Claire Le Bouteiller.
Where do you live?
We are based in Paris but we've been living in different countries before.
What do you do?
We try to do what we love which means we open our practice of design as much as we can. Byzance is situated at the cross of graphic & pattern design, art direction and illustration. We also like flirting with other fields, as object and space design.
Who & what inspires you?
Laïs: "I enjoy architecture and design".
Claire: "I love XX's century paintings".
We can name some great inspirations as Ettore Sottsass, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Serge Lutens, Viviane Sassen, Malin Gabriella Nordin.. The list is quite infinite. We can also be inspired by anything that surrounds us: a stormy sky, a wired fruit or a discussion.
What doesn't inspire you?
It will sound mad but Graphic Design! It can be well done and beautiful but we like to look everywhere else for our inspirations.
What projects have you been recently working on?
We are directing few photo and video campaigns for small and bigger companies. We are also working with art institutions on their global identity. Aside, we continue working on personal projects.
What projects in your lifetime have the most significance in your work?
We try to commission at least once a year a collective or personal exhibition. Last year, it was all about collaborations with craftsmen around the world.
Where is design & art heading?
We like the fact that design and art are converging. We split our atelier with designers and artists friends. That gives us the possibility to push collaborations and share a common vision.
What's wrong with design?
In France, there is till a tendency to label a designer with a distinct ability. "You are good in typography so you should work in the field of culture". We tried since the beginning of Byzance to extend our practice. As creative we have an artistic vision and we will collaborate with technical expert (scenographer, set designer, etc.) in each project that we start over.
What do you think are the most influential artists & designers in recent years?
Lately, we feel a return to the basis. We like the idea that contemporary artists might be inspired by their grand ma' needlework, the shape of a canteen carafe..
What artists and designers have inspired you in your lifetime?
To be a jack of all trades. The movement Art and Craft being a great example since XIX's century.
What would be your best destination in the world?
Both of us are globe-trotters. We are getting all around the world as much as possible. This year we are heading to Japan and Mexico.
Stuck on a desert island, three things that you couldn't be without?
Two bottles of water and a phone to call help?
What is your favourite colour and why?
Our favorite colors are always changing depending on our mood.