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Dimitry Hlinka

September-October 2022

Nicolas Bruzel

Dimitry Hlinka

  • Craft & Design
  • Miami

” I would like to work on a subject close to my heart that I have never had the chance to deal with in my career – the living world “

Dimitry Hlinka studied cabinetmaking and marquetry, before receiving training in design. This remarkable path has helped him develop a fertile dialogue between craftsmanship and design through his deep understanding of techniques and materials. He has made himself known through calls for proposals, residency workshops, competitions, and exhibitions, in which his prototypes have stood out for their French spirit of innovation.


In 2015, he joined the Ateliers de Paris incubator and enjoyed support in creating his workshop, Atelier-Hlinka. Through several residencies, at Taiwan’s NTCRI, in Kyoto (Japan) for the “Takumi Know-How” project, and in the French départment of Tarn for the stonework association Granit et pierres du Sidobre, he was able to develop a special focus on interactions between know-how, techniques, and fine materials. He has made use of this by responding to contemporary concerns, creating markedly singular objects he designs and makes himself.

The Bettencourt Schueller Foundation is supporting Dimitry Hlinka’s residency, as sponsors of ‘Design and Craft’ Villa Albertine residencies. He and Nicolas Pinon were awarded the 2020 Prix pour l’intelligence de la main (Dialogues) of the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller—a prestigious award in craftsmanship.

Eco-design and recycling are the main themes of this residency. I would like to work on a subject close to my heart that I have never had the chance to deal with in my career–the living world.


During my residency, I would like to explore a question: what do seeds represent? How do we make them grow? In what form? How? What do they represent symbolically and practically in light of the climate challenge we all face and the planet’s food challenge? Naturally, a designer only examines these themes through the lens of methodology, and does not claim to provide an answer.


Could seeds become a bridge between different cultures in a given place?


How can such a project be given form in situ in the US?


My approach and intuition have led me to put forward a method, rather than a project per se. I have identified four stages to help me gather data and materials, and thereby establish a basis for formalizing the project.


1/Materials basis: identifying raw materials on site through mapping.

2/Identifying local players: recorded discussions and interviews.

3/Artisanal/industrial applications: research and experiments in materials.

4/Formalization: scenario and use of project.


Because my residency in Miami will last two months, it is fair to assume that each stage will last about two weeks. In this way, we will be able to create the material the project needs, and ensure it results in tests and prototypes that relate to its local context.

I will start by identifying raw materials and local players, through data-collecting mapping, to be later used in the research project.


This analysis and observation will begin in Miami. I will then undertake a roving trip to grasp the complexity of the challenges on site.

In partnership with

Bettencourt Schueller Foundation

Bettencourt Schueller Foundation strives to embody the will of a family, driven by the spirit of enterprise and awareness of its social role, to reveal talents and help them thrive, in three fields that contribute concretely to the common good: life sciences, the arts and solidarity. Both a family foundation and recognized as a public utility since its creation in 1987, the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation intends to give wings to talent to contribute to the success and influence of France.

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Mobilier national

Mobilier National’s mission is to ensure the conservation and restoration of its collections resulting of purchases and orders. Back in the time they used to be designed for royal and imperial residences, and today for the official palaces of the French Republic. These collections are made up of more than 130,000 furniture and textile objects.

The Mobilier national has seven restoration workshops – tapestry, carpets, upholstery and decorative tapestry, seat carpentry, cabinetmaking and bronzeware.

The national factories of Gobelins, Beauvais and La Savonnerie, as well as the lace workshops of Alençon and Le Puy-en-Velay are attached to the administration of the Mobilier national.

The institution has also a research and creation workshop – the ARC – to promote creation and contemporary design in official buildings. 600 prototypes from a hundred designers have been produced in over 50 years.

The services of the Mobilier national and the national manufactures embody the prestige of French tradition, the excellence of exceptional know-how and the vitality of artistic creation and contemporary design.

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