“Very few practitioners are willing to push themselves, those are the ones I want to work with,” when she speaks Anne-Laure Pingreoun exudes passion. A curator by trade, her involved approach is much more hands on than her title suggests. Instead, design coach feels like a more apt description of her enthusiasm, vision, and execution. While she takes a role behind the scenes, her vision is apparent in the ambitions of each of the projects she works on, from a mural covering the wall of a seven story building, to an installation of a house made of recycled materials in the center of Times Square.
Five years ago Anne-Laure launched Alter-Projects, a series of collaborations that connect brands with creative talents to produce thoughtful, unprecedented work. In the current race for brands to generate immersive work, Anne-Laure saw an opportunity to create something more lasting and meaningful than typical advertising oriented installations. Brokering mutually beneficial collaborations Anne-Laure helps brands to disrupt and innovate while simultaneously enabling creators to actualize their dreams and to exceed the limits of their practice. Rather than commissioning variations of past work she sees the potential to create something new together. Through the integrity and caliber of her work Anne-Laure builds trust that emboldens everyone to take risks. “I am trying to find ways for the designer to really shine and for the work to be mind blowing”.
Anne-Laure has worked in a range of media, from the digital space to massive installations, undaunted by large scale work and always eager to bring something new into being. “My collaborations are less with established names and really with up and coming artists and designers who are on the verge of being big. That [most importantly] wish to challenge themselves,” she explains.
In 2017 she worked with immersive food design studio Bompas and Parr to create a provocative multi sensory campaign for Glenmorongie Whisky. Oriented around the theme ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) a fairly niche sensation which ballooned in popularity due to internet interest, the team used it as an opportunity to explore the phenomenon and produce a rare series of videos. In all the work that she takes on, Anne-Laure is interested in projects and practitioners who have a story to tell. Working with artist Camille Walala, she has helped facilitate the installation of bold and bright geometric murals and installations internationally. Glowing from the sides of buildings, street furniture, and walls, Walala’s work enhances the saturation of the urban landscape.
Anne-Laure’s most recent collaboration was with Nassia Inglessis of Studio INI and A/D/O by MINI, where she is the Global Curator. In the short course of 4 months they managed to create Urban Imprint, an exploration of analogue mechanisms resulting in a dreamy canopy space. As people travel through the piece, enchanted and bewildered, the canopy lifts and becomes a reflection of their unique movements. Impressive in part because it is not digital, it is delicately made of dozens of small parts shipped from Inglessis’ studio in Athens and assembled in Brooklyn, NY for Design Week. Rather than an instagram backdrop, the space is designed to be experienced and the full magic is felt by relinquishing oneself to the space. Anne-Laure saw the potential to provoke an audience to consider their built environment through Inglessis’ work and challenged everyone involved to execute it.
In the same week, Anne-Laure helped produce Tiny House which opened in Times Square. In the epicenter of frenetic energy Fernando Mastrangelo constructed a peaceful enclave out of reclaimed glass. Complete with a technology that mimics circadian rhythms, visitors were given a respite from the pulsating mania of lights outside. Typically a sculptor of large furniture and mirrors, this is the first piece Mastrangelo created at this scale. Anne-Laure was instrumental in helping bring in collaborators who made it into a multi sensory experience. More than an installation 'Tiny House' is a provocation of living with a smaller footprint and designing with sustainable materials.
There is something transformative that occurs when working with Anne-Laure. Brands are more willing to experiment and creators leave empowered by what they are able to produce. Whether you are a brand or a creative, a cultural institution, or an individual, you want her on your team. Anne-Laure has the rare capacity to make a project exceed far beyond the sum of its parts.
Article written by Lily Saporta-Tagiuri - August 2019