The design of lightness.

Presents a portrait by Nora Jaccaud

Lightness is for me a form of elegance and it is one of my most important design choices that goes far beyond searching for weightlessness. Lightness to me is freedom, mobility, modernity, ecology, economy and technology.
Empty spaces are as important as full ones. When I draw something look at it backwards and forwards to see if the voids are beautiful, if it’s harmonious and if it fits. It’s a way of controlling, of correctiong but I do it instinctively. It comes, it’s harmony and that’s it.
I would say that design is to industry what rhetoric is to eloquence.    Marc Berthier




“Design is to industry what Rhetoric is to Eloquence. 
Lightness is to me a form of Elegance.”
arc Berthier, an industrial designer and architect whose career spans more than 55 years, has played a central role in transforming design culture in France and has guided several generations of designers through his teaching at ENSCI-Les Ateliers (1985-2000) and his dedication to mentorship.

Marc Berthier's career includes collaborations with companies such as Magis Italy, KNOLL USA, Thonet, Rowenta Germany, TOTO-Japan.
Roche Bobois, DF-2000, Ligne Roset Cinna, Hermès, Cacharel and others in France...

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

In parallel to his activity as an Industrial Designer, his activity in Architecture in association with Dimitri Augoustinos is mainly focused on the design of new schools (CES, CET, and LEP like the LEP "Le Corbusier" in Soissons) and innovative real estate programs, rewarded by the Grand Prix :

Marc Berthier is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. His approach to Industrial Design has earned him many awards: the Grand Prix National de la Création Industrielle in 1986, awarded by the French Ministry of Culture; 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 only French representative to the E.E.C. for the "European House" commission. 

Marc Berthier founded and directed Archi Plan Studio and Design Plan Studio, from 1980 to 1990, then eliumstudio from 2000 to 2020.

Today, Marc Berthier, facing socio-cultural problems widely posed is accompanied by his associate Mikaela Kvan .Environmental crisis, health, social, demographic, economic ... The challenges are numerous, complex and require a positive reaction, a deep paradigm shift that must be considered very differently from what was the Post-Industrial era and the Digital Revolution. More than ever, it is urgent to produce imagination.

Marc Berthier photographed by Mathieu Eymeoud (2021)

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: To create a Functional Poetics through a work on Mental Images to approach differently the Industrial Creation and its durability.

The KVAN / BERTHIER studio celebrates today the imminent production of Marc Berthier's Belvedere project, imagined more than 30 years ago!

Belvedere is a modular, pre-assembled, kit-delivered, lightweight steel-frame architectural system designed for a wide variety of topography, climate and programming. An autonomous modular industrial architecture, developed without a site, with a systemic approach allowing to generate the necessary adaptability to the diversity of the places where it could be implanted. From private housing to small collective, a construction game on a scale of 1. The construction site is a place of assembly, no transformation is made on the spot.

The dismountable steel frame is designed as a mecanism and can be assembled without lifting equipment. Lightweight, it requires minimal foundations. To prevent unauthorized dismantling, the frame system is equipped with special screws.
The Insulation is delivered ready to assemble, including cladding and interior wall finishing.
The modular roof with its airplane wing profile captures water and solar energy on the top surface and allows natural ventilation via the Venturi effect on the bottom surface.
The technical steel turret concentrates the networks and collects the energy: in the lower part, the rainwater coming from the roof, in the upper part, the batteries connected to the photovoltaic panels.
The Terrace, Guardrails and Orientation Table assemblies operate with the Frame and allow for related uses. For example, in the context of access or landscaping.

The Reference Model presented here summarizes the entire system, the starting point for a multitude of variations. 


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
2004    BEIJING | l’Année de la France en Chine, Design en France
2004    NEW YORK | Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Architecture and Design : Inaugural Installation

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
1985    PARIS | Musée des Arts Décoratifs
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