As director of the packaging creation studio by Parfums Christian Dior, François Gautier was in the jury of the Concours Emballé 3.0 in February. This was an opportunity for him to first deal with the CNE and to see how efficient the students in design schools may be in terms of innovation and eco-friendly designing. This is one of the principles that he currently manages to develop by Parfums Dior with his creation team.
How do you manage to find a balance between luxury packaging and sustainable development?
Our goal concerning the packaging creation for care products, perfume and make-up is to preserve the aesthetic and remain faithful to the heritage from Christian Dior. However, we have been thinking and finding solutions in the last few years to increase the sustainability of the products, such as designing rechargeable products. Dior already highlighted its innovative know-how launching a range of rechargeable luxury care products packaged in pressed and blown glass jars at the beginning of the 2000s. Afterwards, the main challenge, that we do appreciate, is to find a good balance between needed materials, sustainability of the products and in the meantime preserving the luxury image of Dior that they do embody.
Does this “eco responsible” approach represent a brake or a creativity generator?
Of course, this makes things more complicated because we have to think and design products that are made of different materials that must fit together. But the necessity of finding a content fitting with a container enables us exploring new ways that may generate creativity. We also take particular care about new composite or plastic materials, some of which being highly degradable. Unfortunately, these materials can be used for the conditioning but they don’t bring the level of quality that complies with our expectations in terms of transparency and holding.
You recently participated in the jury of the Concours Emballé 3.0 organized by the CNE having Dior as a partner. What do you take away from this experience?
I think it was an interesting challenge since it demands a deep questioning from the students concerning packaging innovation. The results showed that most of the candidates managed having an original design and innovative approach. From now on, I think we could go further in this field and set more ambitious goals in terms of eco design involving creativity.
Is this important to you that the packaging designers take part in the works of the CNE? Why?
It is even essential to me. There is no creation without technic and without technic you can’t manage any creation either. That is why I formed a little department dedicated to engineering within the creation studio. We are no longer in the time when designers worked on their own and the manufacturers had incredible difficulty to deal with their products starting the production phase. Today, there is an essential collaboration between engineers, manufacturers and designers. The work of the CNE with all the packaging chain participants also contributes to improve this collaboration.