True to their free-ranging, innovative approach, the Fritsch & Associates design office will present their latest projects at the next international Biennale of design in Saint-Etienne this November. A small yacht, a bike, horse-riding gear and furniture: four prototypes to commission, which display the same vigour and a keen sense of form following function. Not to mention their enthusiasm and questing creativity, always a step ahead of market demand.

Class 2M : elegant safe-haven sailing

Minimalist and sheer-lined, the Class 2M is a plaisance craft designed for safe-haven sailing. Its translucent dragonfly sail, spacious open cockpit and handling qualities make it the ideal day-boat for solo or family jaunts. One genuine innovation is its retractable keel, which makes it easy to transport and easy to launch : just the thing for inter-club regattas.

BEE furniture range

As its name suggests, the BEE range is eco-designed. But instead of wax it is made of bamboo fibre. Light-weight, resistant and for use inside and out, its honeycomb structure principle cuts matter down to the minimum, as in an aeroplane wing. A paradox in terms of function that retrieves the ecological qualities of pre-pollution, craftsman-built aviation.

B2O bike

There is nothing paradoxical or written-between-the-lines about the B2O. Here the muscular exertion of the rider is paired to the tensile qualities of bamboo fibre to produce what must be one of the most eco-friendly means of locomotion ever conceived of. Artisan-like by its material, its advanced design includes back- pedal brake system and 8-speed hub gears: technical options that hone its lines down to blueprint purity.

3L lamp

This lighting system uses low consumption LED technology and is designed as two articulated arms set in equilibrium, which make for finger-tip ease in handling. An anthropomorphic and poetic presence, for those suave bedside moments or work desk routines. The 3L assumes two distinct positions: switched off, it folds in to configure in minimalist spatial mode, switched on it stretches and swings to adapt to different needs.

The 3L lamp was awarded a VIA 2008 project assistance grant.

FREE JUMP clip stirrups & riding boots

Free Jump is a sports goods firm that has innovated in stirrup technology, using a clip system for fixing boot to stirrup, in the manner of a cyclist’s shoe-to-pedal groove or a ski boot-to-ski clamp.  The system, which enables maximum stirrup leverage and yet allows instant release in the event of a fall or when dismounting, is already used by a number of pros.
Fritsch & Associates have developed in parallel the ‘X up’ and ‘Soft up’ range of stirrups and boots, both of which use a high tensile steel branch integrated to an injected plastic shell and are demountable to enable recycling. The boot is  designed in phase with  the stirrup, and shaped as near to the foot as possible for maximum comfort and sensation, in particular by means of a Pebax sole. Instead of a made-to-measure solution, mini-leggings add on to the boot to keep it as close as possible to variations in ankle and calf sizes.

All of these projects will be on show at the international Biennale of design in Saint-Etienne
From 15 to 30 November 2008
‘Flight number ten’ exhibition
Manufacture building H

Fritsch & Associés was set up in 1993 as a design office working to balance creativity and industrial constraints. This is a stance that may seem obvious but which calls for dialogue with every branch of the client-firm, plus a capacity for objective analysis that favours only the most forward-looking projects. Working from a studio at Conflans-Saint-Honorine outside of Paris, the office steers clear of style effects to tap the collective imagination of designers in handling new materials and ideas. Seven-time winners of the Observeur du design award (Kayak Bic sport, RATP, Chronoexpo 2, …), Fritsch & Associates have also been distinguished by three VIA project assistance grants. Work references include industrial projects and creative research studies for leading firms including SAGEM, RATP, HERMES and OTIS.