The design of lightness.



In 2022, Marc Berthier and Mikaela Kvan founded the new studio, KVAN X BERTHIER, which brings together a group of collaborators, reacting to the Paradigm change created by the arrival of Digital, imposing itself in all fields and all situations. Within the framework of Urban Planning, Architecture, Design of Services and Equipment, as well as “Lifestyle” and all Everyday Objects in their Traditions or Innovations. It’s about creating objects that really make sense.

“Design is to industry what Rhetoric is to Eloquence. 
Lightness is to me a form of Elegance.”

Marc Berthier is a French Designer and Industrial Architect;
Whose career spans over 55 years.
He played a central role in the transformation of the Design culture, and guided several generations of designers according to his teaching at ENSCI (1985-2000) A teaching based on a work by the “Mental Images” in an ongoing research attitude and dedication to mentoring.

After starting teaching Physical Education, Marc Berthier on the advice of Jean Dalbin (sculptor, next door to Brancusi’s studio in Montparnasse), who offered to enroll in the Académie de la Grande Chaumière where Marc was admitted to two workshops:
Student in the workshop of the sculptor Zadkine ( in modelling)
Student in the studio of the painter Bernard Cathelin
But also: Student of the artist Yves Klein professor of Judo (Champion of France and Japan) who teaches at the “American & Studiants Club” in Paris where Marc Berthier met Alain Jouffroy, (the poet and writer), later married to Fusako Hasae, Marc Berthier’s correspondent for Japan and collaborator with him in Paris for many projects by “De Signe” the consulting agency she created.

Marc Berthier’s career as a designer includes various collaborations with companies such as Magis Italy, Knoll USA, Thonet, Rowenta Germany, Toto in Japan, Roche Bobois, Lexon, DF-2000, Ligne Roset Cinna, Hermès, Cacharel, Galeries Lafayette... and many others in France

All Models and Patents are registered under the first and last names of: Marc Antoine Berthier.

His creations are present in the collections of many museums, including the Musée d'Art Moderne (MoMA) in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Cooper Hewitt and the Smithsonian design museum in New York, the Plasticarium ADAM in Brussels...

In addition to his work as Industrial Designer, his work as Architect with Dimitri Avgoustinos focuses on the design of new schools (CES, CET, and LEP as the LEP "Le Corbusier" in Soissons) and some innovative real estate programs.
Grand Prize Achievements: "Innovation-Construction"

Marc Berthier photographed by Mathieu Eymeoud (2021)
Marc Berthier is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. His approach to Industrial Design has won him many awards: The Grand Prix National de la Création Industrielle awarded by the French Ministry of Culture in 1986. The René Gabriel Prize in 1970; The Compasso d'Oro in 1991 and 1994; the American Design Award in 1999.
In 1990 and 1991, he was the French representative to the E.E.C. for the commission “la Maison Européenne”
Marc Berthier founded and directed Archi Plan Studio and Design Plan Studio from 1980 to 1990, then eliumstudio from 2000 to 2020.

Today, faced with socio-cultural problems, he has teamed up with Mikaela Kvan, a young urban planner whose advanced vision he shares with those who represent his generation: environmental, health, social, demographic, economic crisis...
The challenges are many, complex and require a positive reaction, a profound paradigm shift that must be considered differently from the post-Industry era and the Digital Revolution. More than ever, it’s urgent to produce imagination.

Mikaela Kvan photographed by Anne-Emmanuelle Thion (2022)

Mikaela Kvan is a Danish-American designer and urban planner. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning from Parsons - The New School for Design in New York and a Master of Industrial Design from the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle in Paris.

During her studies, she trained in the United States with landscape architect Diana Balmori and in France with Marc Berthier. Mikaela is the founder of the collaborative research project Primary Voice , with the dual ambition of giving voice to workers in mass production.
Mikaela is the founder of the collaborative research project Primary Voice, with a double ambition: to give voice to workers working for mass production, especially in Asia and Europe, and to highlight the urban consequences linked to production infrastructures. The results of this research have been published and presented in the United States, Denmark, France and Cambodia.

Sensitive to the impacts of the small scale on the large, her Master's project in industrial design focuses on the creation of non-carbon materials obtained by hybridizing natural materials and augmented by haptic fibers.

Convinced of the need for an interdisciplinary and multi-scalar approach, Mikaela joined forces with Marc Berthier in 2022. Together, they created the studio
KVAN / BERTHIER. Experience guides the desire for change when innocence questions the acquired. Their ambition: to combine mental imagery with a kaleidoscopic vision, for a functional poetics capable of responding to the multiple challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our credo:
Produce imagination.
Our ambition:
The search for excellence
Our goal:
Create a Functional poetic
In an approach by Mental Images
To approach industrial creation and its production in a different way

Today, the KVAN X BERTHIER studio celebrates the imminent production of Marc Berthier’s Belvedere project, conceived more than 30 years ago!

BELVEDERE = Platform or terrace located on a high place, constituting a remarkable observation point, where the view can extend far.

Man has always dreamed of building his house, a shelter open on a landscape, a house in the trees... (Italo Calvino says “Baron Perché”).
In 1983, Marc Berthier reinterprets this dream with the Belvedere project. 40 years later, the project is developed in every detail, it is in the pre-production phase.

BELVEDERE is an architectural system with light metal frame, modular, pre-assembled and supplied in kit; designed for a wide topographical variety,
Climate and programmatic. BELVEDERE is an autonomous modular industrial architecture, assembled on site.
This in a systemic approach to generate the necessary adaptability to the diversity of places.
The construction site is a place of assembly, requiring no other intervention than the hardware by a single key.

The Frame, mountable and removable, is designed in tubes and sheet steel ( like a mechanic ). Light, it requires only a minimum of clamps to the ground.
To prevent disassembly, the Assembly system has a specific safety hardware.

The Climate Roof is modular. Its Airplane Wing profile captures water and solar energy in Extrados
it allows natural ventilation via the Venturi Effect in the Intrados.

The technical steel sheet turret concentrates the networks and collects energy:
Low: rainwater from the roof is stored, filtered and redistributed for toilet and consumption in a 2M³ tank
Upper part: batteries connected to photovoltaic panels

The Terraces, the Orientation Table and the Guardrails operate with the Skeleton of the related uses, in the context of access facilities.

Thermal and phonic insulations, surround the block of habitation in its entirety (including cladding).

The Reference Model presented above, synthesizes the entire Belvedere system.

Jonathan Renous: collaborator of Marc Berthier for the architecture of this latest version of Belvedere


Design Awards + Honors

2000    USA | New York Design Award
1998    GERMANY | Form Design Awards
1997    GERMANY | Form Design Awards
1995    GERMANY | Form Design Awards
1991    GERMANY | Design Plus
1986    FRANCE | Grand Prix National de la Création Industrielle
                            Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres
1970    FRANCE | Prix René Gabriel

Selected Publications

2015    De la légèreté : Vers une civilisation du léger, Gilles Lipovetsky, Editions Grasset et Fasquelle
2012    Century of the Child : Growing by Design 1900-2000, Juliet Kinchin + Aidan O’Connor, MOMA
2011    Roche Bobois : 50 ans de design, Philippe Trétiack, Editions du Chêne
2010    Que sont mes amis devenus, Gilles de Bure, NORMA/EnsAD
2010    Mobi Boom : l’exposition du design en France 1945-1975, Dominique Forest, Les Arts Décoratifs
2010    Tools for Living : A Sourcebook of Iconic Designs for the Home by Charlotte + Peter Fiell, Feill Publishing
2008    Prisunic et le design, Anne Bony, Alternatives
2007    Design Now!, Charlotte + Peter Fiell, Taschen
2006    Antiques of the Future, Lisa S. Roberts, Stewart, Tabori + Chang
2005   1000 Lights : 1960 to present, Charlotte + Peter Fiell, Taschen
2004    Meubles et décors des années 60, Anne Bony, Editions du Regard
2003    Objets of Design, Paola Antonelli, The Museum of Modern Art
1990   Les Assises du Siècle, François Baudot, Editions Du May

Selected Exhibitions

2021    SHANGHAI | Sino-French Design Week, A French Vision for Design: From the 1920s to Today
2021    PARIS | Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Le design pour tous : de Prisunic à Monoprix, une aventure française
2020    LILLE | Le Tripostale, Designer(s) du Design

2019    BRUXELLES | Kanal – Centre Pompidou, Bureaux Fantômes
2015    NEW YORK | Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Making Music Modern – Design for Ear and Eye
2013    SAINT-ETIENNE | Biennale Internationale de Design, Traits d'union - Objets d'empathie
2012    NEW YORK | Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Century of the Child : Gowing by design 1900-2000
2010    PARIS | Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Mobi Boom : l’exposition du design en France, 1945-1975

2008    PARIS | Galerie Haute Définition, Design et Héritage
2008   PARIS | Galerie du VIA (Valorisation des Industries de l'ameublement), Prisunic et le design
2005    NEW YORK | Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Architecture and Design : Inaugural Installation
2004    BEIJING | l’Année de la France en Chine, Design en France

1991    MILAN | Triennal Compasso d’Oro
1991    PARIS | VIA, Personal Retrospective
1990    PARIS | Musée de la Poste
1990    PARIS | Grand Palais

1989    PARIS | C.C.I.Centre Georges Pompidou, Trois Décennies de Design
1989    TOKYO | Seibu
1987    PARIS | Grand Palais
1986    ROME | Villa Médicis
1985    PARIS | Musée National des Monuments Français, Art et Industrie
1985    PARIS | C.C.I. Centre georges Pompidou
1984    AMSTERDAM | Stedevjk Museum
1982    CHICAGO | Museum of Contemporary Art

1978    PARIS | C.C.I. Centre georges Pompidou 1970  PARIS | Musée des Arts Décoratifs
1977    PARIS | C.C.I.Centre Georges Pompidou, Inaugurale exhibition
1976    ASPEN | International Design Council
1974    LONDON | Design Centre
1973    COLOGNE | Modern Art Museum
1972    TURIN | Eurodomus
1971    PARIS | Musée des Arts Décoratifs  
1970    MILAN | Eurodomus

1968    PARIS | Musée des Arts Décoratifs
1968    MILAN | Triennale