How a Designer Stays on Top of Her Industry While Travelling

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Jun 30, 2017

Brought to you by Acer

Emilie Delalande, founder of interior design firm Etic, explains how she uses technology to keep up-to-date while travelling.

Mentored by French interior designer Jacques Grange, Emilie Delalande has a reputation for calm creativity that makes her a sought-after collaborator. The founder of design firm Etic explains how technology has changed her art and keeps her on top of her projects while she’s travelling.

Tell us about your career

“I was raised on a centuries-old farm outside Versailles, always making stuff in Dad’s tractor-repair workshop. Those early creations didn’t stand the test of time but I enjoyed the hands-on creativity. Now I collaborate more, like creating a barbecue with [outdoor furniture brand] Robert Plumb and working with builders on [fashion designer] Lee Mathews’ store in Armadale in Melbourne. In France, I’d be called an interior architect; in Australia, we’re known as interior designers. If you turn a space upside down, whatever falls is what a stylist put there, whatever stays is what I do.”

Has technology changed how you draw?

“Computers have changed our craft, though you still need to know how to draw. When I interned with Jacques Grange in Paris, he was quite old-school – all pen drawings of elevations and plans. If you made a mistake on paper, you had to start again. The nice thing about having a laptop is using Ctrl+Z to go back. It would be good if I could do that in life sometimes! Being hooked up to the internet has saved me, as you can find your illustrations and plans in the cloud whenever you need to show someone.”

How do you showcase your work?

“When you use printouts, the colour can come out differently to what you intended and people get distracted. I find sharing a presentation on screen is better because you can zoom in to explain the details for builders and clients. Tablets make that even more hands-on. You can also frame the presentation to tell a story rather than people holding a bunch of paper and not looking at the thing you’re explaining.”

What factors are important to you when you’re choosing a laptop?

“I chose my old laptop because the design was really good and it was light. The new one is even lighter. When you’re in a creative industry, the way you present yourself and the tools you use are very important. Obviously, the first thing is that it has a functional design. It’s also enjoyable having a beautiful, compact object when you’re travelling; you don’t want to carry a chunky computer. Relationships are everything in my industry so you need to spend time looking at designs together. It’s a good excuse to travel, really.”

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