Tristan Titeux of Empatika designs and makes contemporary style fitted furniture. Using wood from sustainable sources, he also plants a tree for each of his customers and funds rainforest conservation.
Influenced greatly by his mother and father’s commitment to living with the lowest carbon footprint possible, everything Tristan makes is to the highest ethical standards.
Why I do what I do:
I have built things since I was little. I watched my dad and helped him where I could. I used the tools in his shed and always enjoyed making things, from go-carts to houses in the woods.
My bedroom was a workshop too, where I built wooden planes and other models.
When I came back to London I had a loft room. There was a workshop in part of the room where I happily carried on fiddling with wood and electronics, making models cars and all sorts.
I did photography for about 11 years and found I had a natural eye for composition, which is very useful for designing furniture.
I started as a handyman in 2003 and built up my business, but I got bored with what I was doing so in 2011 decided to I wanted to return to my ‘environmental’ roots. I wanted to give more and make a difference, so decided to offer an eco friendly option. I research all the time for the most ethical materials from around the world.
Where I do it:
I design my fitted furniture on computer in my new office at Create Space in London which is an amazing place, it’s communal were you can pay a very small monthly fee to use all their facilities from carpentry, pottery, computer, screen printing etc. I used to work from home, but now I have space to breathe and don’t get distracted.
What drives me on:
I am driven by the need to want to help others. I take my work very personally, too personally sometimes, and when I visit a client I really want them to have the very best solution possible – sometimes this means having to disagree with them in the nicest way possible to enable them to envisage the most desirable solution.
I really love meeting people and coming up with a design that is beautiful, practical and perfect for them. I’m driven by the need to promote positive change, looking for solutions that don’t destroy the planet or people’s health. I want to be part of the solution and support a movement where people collaborate, are kind, help each other and do that without abusing others or the planet.
What I’m working on:
I am just finishing off a prototype eco fitted tv unit in my own house, to use as a showcase. It’s painted using plant based paint from Auro paints. The wood is Medite Ecologique which uses wood grown in Ireland and a formaldehyde free glue. The unit is designed to be adaptable with adjustable shelves and a panel that is capable of taking different size sound bars. My tv unit is made using as little glue as possible and visible screws in order to make it easy to take apart and reuse once it’s life is over.
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