After her training at the Domus Academy in 1994, Nathalie Bruyère created POOL products with Lorenz Wiegand between Berlin and Toulouse in 1998. POOL products develops simple objects, usable by all in daily life, ethically responsible, rational, while fully exploiting a singular production system. The research develops the principle of "plug-in", implemented for example in the italic hooks and the hanging lights, whose forms clearly express the mode of manufacture. The result of an industrial process designed to achieve maximum flexibility, these objects, like the parts of a Meccano toy, can be put in place and used according to the specific needs of a person at a given moment, offering the user flexibility and freedom to orient the use of the object according to the natural or cultural environment, through the notion of Open Standard.
In 1994, Pierre Duffau founded his first agency and created his network of collaborators. The style of his projects, even if it must be adapted to the constraints of the context and the client, is characterised by great purity, by a tension between various components, without being minimalist.
By renaming the studio Design & architecture, they consolidate, together, the exploration of the concept of the Open Standard on a larger scale: that of architecture in the city, a domesticity linked to relationships to context. Concretely, the question of space is developed in the projects with the creation of specific architectural elements that make it possible to work on the limits between private and public spaces, favouring shared spaces and spatial evolutions. Design & Architecture seeks to create projects that are inscribed in specific environments, that can evolve according to the needs, the people, the life paths of each person. Far from forcing people to adapt to an environment, they propose, on the contrary, an adaptation of the space to the environment and to the evolution of life. This work on living, living in the city, plays on the transformations of space so that it becomes less specific, more mobile, more flexible and, above all, more human.
Design & Architecture is the entry point to all projects. It is on this link that the diversity of the collaborations is built. Around the projects and exhibitions, we develop an approach to the "how to" of the project. To do this, it is not a question of drawing, from the position of the architect and the master designer, one of the building with the arrangement of industrial elements, the other of the decorative with the design style. What is at stake is the "how" with the different collaborators, in a common commitment to clear the complexity attached to urban and societal transformations, to try to think it together. "The de-project is the project conceived in reverse: instead of increasing the amount of information and material, the de-project removes it, reduces it, minimises it, simplifies it, and rationalises the mechanisms that have been jammed. De-projecting is a decongesting creation." To do this, the design work focuses on the creation of tools through the implementation of a BIM library, enabling the design of another relationship with the natural, technical and cultural environment that favours the development of local work. Developing around the association Ultra Ordinaire opens up the possibility of Experimenting, Making, Fabricating & Transmitting to civil society and a network of diverse partner companies. Through Ultra Ordinaire, the studio is testing new ways of doing and thinking, following the work done on Global Tools, which already raises questions between work, environment, design and architecture, with a view to transition in the face of the crises linked to ecological change. Through this approach between the Ultra Ordinaire association and studio, a common work is organised with numerous collaborators at different levels, visible work in terms of awareness-raising in particular.
Nathalie Bruyère is a professor at the institut supérieur des arts et du design de Toulouse; she is developing the research project (fait [penser] fait) Global Tools, aujourd'hui. The result of this research is a book that analyses and critically examines the relationship between project and ecology, work and society, based on interviews with some of the movement's founders, newsletters and unpublished archive material. She is responsible for the Studio Les Communs at isdaT, which works each year to organise transdisciplinary work in collaboration with university laboratories such as CERTOP-CNRS (Centre d'Etude et de Recherche Travail Organisation et Pouvoir), LISST-CNRS-EHESS (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Solidarité, Sociétés, Territoires), and schools such as INSA (Institut Supérieur des Sciences Appliquées) and the Toulouse school of architecture. Pierre Duffau was president of the Maison de l'architecture Occitanie, Midi-Pyrénée from 2008 to 2012.