At the Salone del Mobile in Milan (Design Week - April 8 to 14, 2014), the designer Ionna Vautrin presented her new project created for Serralunga: Luba, polyvalent seat, suitable for indoors or outdoors.


The design language of Ionna is made of smoking chimneys, lights, lanterns and elementary shapes that remind of nature. Her projects tell intimate and personal stories narrated simply and directly. They're inspired by Asian traditions, full of magic and personality.


1) How did your passion for design start?

I think it all began at the age of 6 years old, when, till I was 10, I started working on my first ceramics in a workshop in my village. My passion for taste and beauty began all at that time... A lot of people don't know it but, later on, I also found myself hesitating between cooking and design... These disciplines are so close, they require as much passion and creativity.

2) How would you define your design style?

I try to draw everyday objects whose ambition is to be simple and obvious but surprising.
I like the idea of them having a gentle and generous presence, organic and geometric shapes, a cheerful and colorful spirit, an intuitive and functional usage...

3) Is there an artist or a "tradition" you take inspiration from?

I take inspiration from different "sectors" like Art Nouveau, Art deco, architecture, design, graphic design, photography... But the surrounding spaces are my biggest inspiration. For example a beautiful journey, the nature...

4) Your collaboration with Serralunga. Luba's shape is welcoming and inviting, it exudes warmth and affection. Is there something you took inspiration from for the creation and design of Luba?

I focused on an object that would have valued both private or public spaces, indoors or outdoors. Luba is a bench with soft and generous lines whose presence is delicate and discrete. Welcoming and comfortable it can seat up to three people for dinner or a simple break. 

5) Luba is multipurpose for indoor or outdoor use. But can you tell us the ideal environment in which you imagine it?

I imagined this bench as a sculpture placed on a bucolic garden...

6) Not only is Luba a design object, but also it is a project with a functional soul. Can you tell us about all its peculiarities?

We worked on the curves of its seat to make it as comfortable as possible. It is designed to accommodate up to three people. It's so discreet and delicate, it's perfect to sit around a table in a house, in a garden or in a terrace.

7) Let's talk about outdoor design: which materials do you prefer to use?

I do not really have a favorite material. What I love most are the materials that allow great freedom of form. For this, plastic or ceramic materials have both a great potential!

8) Experimentation and innovation in House Krug for which you designed a tool that enhances the sound of the bubbles of Champagne Krug. The sound becomes music. How did this idea started?

Krug was working with opera singers to express the "song" of  bubbles and the exceptional flavor of their Champagne. I found this experimental approach quite amusing so, when they asked me to draw a piece that would have best expressed their approach and their history, I tryed to follow this path.

9) What design object would you like to have in your  home?

I would love to have a lamp of Serge Mouille!

10) Future projects: what are you working on?

I am now working on a lot of different projects...but they are still secrets!


Thank you Ionna!


Photo credits: Michel Giesbrecht