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Alain Hens, The Summer of 2017 Interview: A wind of change

Dear Alain, could you please explain why you have been working so hard this summer?

 

Fifteen years in the world of design have brought me some maturity and expertise. I was one of the early adapters of selling design online in Belgium, now I am ready to take my work to the next level. That’s why I am looking for a new connection with my customers, introducing some new playfulness into our relationship. It all feels like an urge to return to more connectivity, now that we live in a world of platforms.

 

I always worked alone and was so busy, traveling to so many places. I never took the time and distance to think about marketing the services I was already offering for a long time. I realize now that I’m already delivering an amazing range of services to my customers spontaneously. Being more mature, there’s a momentum now to deal with my work more consciously. I have to make a choice in my work: Reshape it, or let it turn into chaos.

 

What is The Wall?

 

For me, The Wall is a place, grown out of the urge for connectivity, to discover. It is a place to meet, for my customer and for me, where there is more room for dialogue and experiment. It is a ‘lab’ for taste and style. It has a lower threshold than my other work, and focuses on staying within the budget of a younger group of clientele.

 

How did the rebranding come about?

 

Rebranding is just a logical result from the urge to reshape my work. Paul Boudens (paulbaudens.com) is someone I know for a long time and I really like his style. He’s not the regular graphic designer. He has his own authentic signature, and is very much rooted in Antwerp fashion. As he passes by every day on his bike at the store, observing my shop window, he understands we need to bring an evolution, as a next step in the story we are already telling.

 

What kind of projects did you do in the past? Could you give some examples? How did you deal with them?

A lot is set off talking to my customer, who might have some experience with me in previous projects, or not. We try to make a synthesis of keywords and needs, like: How does a person go through a day? Does he like to throw a lot of dinner parties? Maybe he needs a big, beautiful dinner table with some soft adjustable lighting to create a nice homey, personal atmosphere? Or are we talking about people who work very, very hard and prefer to stay at home and rest in a comfy armchair, reading an art book?

Anyhow, it’s so amazing that we did quite some interesting projects as an interior decorator, took on quite some specific assignments over time… I hope we created more space on the new website to value them and show them and future projects to you, so that you can enjoy the result with me.

We have put some examples of my older projects on the new website! E.g. look up the ‘1920 – 1986 Assemblages Golden Flower 1 & 2’ exhibition of the Belgian artist André Bogaert that I curated, the decorator project for Le John. Or you can see beautiful pictures of items I was assigned to find for a private 18th century house at the lovely Hoxton Square, London…

 

Please enjoy your visit on the new website, and I hope to talk to you soon!!

 

Thanks, Alain! We will!