Souvignet Design Approach
Souvignet furnishings are designer objects by their very nature and have been fashioned in the manufacturer’s industrial facilities since 1927. The Souvignet Design brand, however, is quite new to the market.
The idea for this new brand took shape slowly, encouraged by the appearance of the brand’s historic models on the collectors’ market and recent collaborations with outside designers.
1927: the founding of Souvignet
The Souvignet company, originally specialising in the manufacture of bicycle frames, was founded in 1927 by Jean Souvignet and now has a family history spanning three generations. It was taken over by his sons, George and Robert, who then faced the cycle crisis of the Sixties. Robert Souvignet decided to invest in the Obut company, which became the world leader on the bowls ball market. George, though, continued to work with metal tubing.
1965: the institutional inspiration
In 1965, Georges Souvignet was elected mayor of Saint Bonnet le Château, the perfect position from which to observe that furniture for public institutions was a niche ripe for development.
Souvignet became the first exhibitor at the Salon des Maires government expo and quickly established itself with public authorities, selling stylish, high-quality, ergonomic furnishings made in Bonson in the Loire.
An in-house design research department creates each product, an artistic undertaking reinforced by the influence of Pagnon & Pelhaître. These furniture-design and space-planning experts added their creative clout to the venture, enabling Souvignet to provide swift and well-tailored responses to invitations to tender.
Next came meetings and competitions bringing the company into contact with young designers and the Cité du Design de Saint Etienne, now a Souvignet partner.
2010: the founding of Souvignet Design
The partnership and collaborations, paired with the appearance of collector valuations of historic Souvignet models like the “Plichaise”, prompted the launch in 2010 of the Souvignet Design brand.
These collections combine Souvignet savoir-faire with the aesthetic vision of independent designers. They also reconnect with the company’s rich heritage and make it newly available to the public.
The model names – DS Nos. 1, 2, 3, etc. – are as evocative of the company’s industrial history as they are of its innovative approach to design, all captured in a one-of-a-kind visual identity.
2013: the launch of Souvignet Design at Now! Design à Vivre - MAISON et OBJET
2013: Souvignet Design is a partner of Saint-Etienne Design Biennial