The Faltazi Lab
Faltazi, in dates

Faltazi, in dates
2009: Development of kitchen fit-out to manage wastes, VIA ‘Carte Blanche’
2007: Enterprise & Environment prize, Ministry of Ecology & Development, for Shock Absorber vacuum cleaner made by Rowenta .
Since 2005: Collaboration with York Neige, Dorel – Bébé confort, LPS Déco System, Aldebaran, Espace Loggia, Tefal, Rowenta.
2002: Beginning of collaboration with SEB group and Monsieur Faltazi exhibition at Saint-Étienne design biennale.
2002: 1st prize in VDID/DSM Somos ProtoFunctional Design Competition, for Jellynoctil project (Monsieur Faltazi)
2001: Winners of Agora scholarship with Monsieur Faltazi project. (, Teaching at Ecole de Design de Nantes.
2000: Creation of Faltazi, industrial design agency

2009: Takes part in debate over wastes in built-up area of Nantes, and in Camp Climat protest against construction of new Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport.
1997: DESS in urbanism, local planning & development, Institut d’études politiques, Paris.
1994: Diploma at ENSCI.
1993: Becomes member of Greenpeace France.
1991: Adopts bicycle as daily means of transport and takes part in Vélorution events while creating models for vehicles that use human power.

Since 2008: Holds breath for ten minutes everyday to reduce personal emission of CO2.
2006: Purchases first earth worm composter.
2003: Imagines and organizes 1st Kitchen Garden Olympics (
2002: joins network for distribution of baskets of bio vegetables and adopts two laying hens to recycle part of his own production of food wastes.
1997: Diploma at ENSCI.

1. Shock Absorber was developed in partnership with the ADEME and the ENSAM.

Victor Massip and Laurent Lebot met up at the ENSCI in the middle of the 1990s. At the time Victor was designing an electrical vehicle for the city, with automatic battery charging stations. He was absorbed by the question: ‘What means of transport for what life style?’. Laurent Lebot helped him on this project, and two years later, imagined Magic Factory, a service machine that applied technologies for fast prototyping, in the form of a distributor, which could build any desired object instantaneously. This project was a founding act. It grew into Monsieur Faltazi1, the working hypothesis for the Faltazi Lab, when the Faltazi17 agency was set up in 2000.
Their professional experiences (some of which are shared) with manufacturers or architectural offices have led them to experiment with the limits of traditional industrial processes to redesign them. These few details give us a closer perception of the focus of their activity, which lies at the basis of their collaboration. How do we think design into a social context? How do think out the relationship between the global world and local situations? How do we produce more frugally only what is needed? How do we work with what already exists, in an approach that favours eco-design? How do we reinvent relationships between producers, designers and consumers?

Design in a sustainable world
The Faltazi are designers, of the industrial kind. They have collaborated with the SEB group since 2002, and have designed for them steam irons, vacuum cleaners or electric jugs. For LPS Deco System they designed a range of cardboard furniture, while Dorel - Bébé confort is also one of their main clients. The Faltazi are often described as being atypical, but what they are involved in doing is to propose a concrete vision of the world and of their profession. As Laurent Lebot insists: ‘We are pragmatic’3, and happy to be so.
This is an important point, because their commitment to ecology and society, their genuine aspiration to help develop a sustainable world, combined to their practical experience of industry makes their approach all the more interesting and unusual. Without rejecting the world of production, they imagine alternative, collective scenarios that challenge and seek to change the paradigms that have become settled in design, which is all too often the handmaiden of industrial and economic power. Their contribution is in fact critical. As Laurent Lebot points out: ‘Everyday industrial reality isn’t green at all, and in the short term, laws are going to have to be made.’ Their discussions with clients are often intense, when specifications have to be changed to respect ethics. But this is all part of the thinking designer’s role. What it entails is to remain close to the etymological origin of the word ‘design’: to have an intention, to plan, to organize.

Alter: from the Latin ‘other, what is other, otherwise’.4

Alter5-networks for alter-relations
Monsieur Faltazi is not a designer. It is a system, a de-materialized, digitally-enabled micro-plant: a service. It exists in the format of a platform on the web, simulating a business site, producing objects that are digitally distributed via telecom networks. Consumer services and products (in 3D simulation) can be selected and downloaded, and then picked up at the nearest Faltazi boutique within a 10 km radius, or sent by postal delivery. These objects, materialized on demand (POD6) have the benefit of extreme flexibility of form enabled by layer-design technologies. They are made of a single material (ex machine), and consigned by a cash deposit, which is an incentive to return the object to the maker for partial recycling when it is no longer of any use.
This is what alter–relations are, an alter world in which production is a participative process. By enabling this transfer of technology,
Monsieur Faltazi bypasses the usual intermediate phases of industrial production, warehousing and transport costs – and adapts technology to local situations: it is ‘eco-production on demand7’.
Projects by Faltazi Lab promote these same intentions. They always place the end-users, their real needs and ways of doing things, at the core of the design/production process, the aim being to limit their eco-footprint. Thinking out a foldable electrically-powered vehicle, ‘robotized solutions’ for eco-friendly housework’ (using technology in the right way), or scenarios that will enable people to re-appropriate and cultivate bio-intensive kitchen gardens in urban areas are among the things they propose as ways of re-valuing our relationship to the world, our action on it, and in return, its action on us. For Victor Massip, the designer’s responsibility is tied up with the process in the same way as that of the consumer – both are living in the real world.

Victor Papanek8 is one of the key references of Faltazi Lab. Long before the first petroleum crisis in 1973, he pointed out the fragility of the Earth’s resources and the responsibility of design, which he saw as being enslaved by the dominant economic system. What he wanted to initiate was sustainable design for the ‘real world’. What he meant by this was that the designer ‘should become a tool for innovation, highly creative in many different areas, adapted to the real needs of people’, and should be ‘more concerned with research’. In the introduction to one of his books, he wrote: ‘We have to stop cluttering up the Earth with badly designed objects and structures 9’. In an article published in The Politics of the Artificial in 200210,
Victor Margolin11 put Papanek’s thesis into perspective in the history of design. He showed that up to the present day ‘sustainable’ projects imagined by designers who were often isolated figures are salutary reactions, which immediately illustrate ecological urgency. Many have been seen as pleasantly utopian, and have made little impression on design processes over the past three decades.
Today, the experimental work of Faltazi Lab figures as a concrete exercise in design projection. It integrates ‘upstream practises, simple gestures and attitudes, know-how that is often just lying dormant in culture, to bring about a soft transition towards a enduring and sustainable world12.’
Who says they’re crazy, atypical? Why not. They are committed and worthy representatives of an endangered species that is coming back strong: the alter-designers.


1. In 2001, the Faltazi won an Agora scholarship (see biography in dates). The ‘re-mounted’ the project and worked on it for a year.
2. Imagination, mind picture, in Breton.