Up-cycling and the designer’s process par Alexander SMITH, a 4 week residential summer school in Paris : in the creation of the objects, which designers, makers and manufacturers bring into the world, we create waste, offcuts and by-product, which all too often are discarded and forgotten. In this project the student is urged to consider the importance of re-use and re-cycling and our responsibility not only to the materials that we use but also to those that we discard.

With its foundations as an up-cycling project, the students will work with offcuts and waste materials from the manufacture of jewelry and luxury goods to create an object, concept, secondary material or other. Students are encouraged to consider the nobility of materials and how through better understanding and creativity they can give them a useful and long life, which will elevate their value and keep them out of landfill.

Alexander Smith is a Paris based, British designer with over 15 years experience in the design of furniture, homewares, retail furniture and 3D installations. He studied Product and Furniture Design at Kingston School Of Art London and worked for two furniture design studios in London before starting his own consultancy. He has creatively directed, managed and delivered projects with residential and professional furniture marques, lifestyle and luxury brands, manufacturers, architects and private clients in Europe, America, Asia and Russia.

He has been a visiting lecturer at The Pratt Institute and Kean University in the USA. Alexander is a sponsored advocate for Solidworks and Solidworks Visualize 3D computer aided design packages. Current projects involve a range of furniture in collaboration with an architecture practice in New York, a furniture and homewares collaboration with a French retailer, point of sale furniture development for a British perfume brand, architectural detailing for a private client and the acquisition and restoration of a struggling French furniture marque.

Alexander’s attitude to design is rooted in a need to be unique whilst accessible, true to materials, commercial and sustainable. He believes that the designer should play the central role in the creation of any object, not just as ideator or creative but taking an holistic, central responsibility for the management of their projects, the safeguarding of the design intent, and most importantly the promotion and protection of the corporate, social and ecological credentials of every object.


This course is taught in English


  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate Artists & Designers
  • Fashion Designers
  • Adult learners seeking to develop or enhance skills

All levels of experience welcome


4 200 €

(1 050 € per week)


From 17/06/2019 to 12/07/2019

(4 week course)

Project – Up-cycling and the designer’s process.

In the project’s program the students will follow the key points in a professional designers process including :

  • Brief interpretation.
  • Material and conceptual research.
  • Creative ideation.
  • Sketch design, observational research drawing and maquette making.
  • An introduction to CAD and technical drawing.
  • Design engineering.
  • Manual fabrication of a final model.
  • Public presentation.
  • Collaborative discussion.

Museum visits will take place each week in which the students are expected to draw inspiration for their project, to carry out research, to sketch, to make relevant observations and annotations and of course to enjoy the cultural diversity and beauty of Paris.

Throughout the process students will be expected to work both on their own and alongside one-another in a spirit of collaborative discourse. Upon completion they will have gained experience in the typical designer’s process, attained with consideration to sustainable design practices and hopefully a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities as designers towards our resources and planet. They will complete with a strong project, ready for their portfolio and hopefully will have built new friendships and become better acquainted with Paris along the way.

After presenting their projects, students will graduate and receive a diploma from l’Académie des Métiers d’Art.

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