Thierry Bouët presents his Offices series as follows:
Offices is a series of portraits of men and women whose work makes them influential people. In the collective imagination, the office is the emblem of our professional power. Exuberant or humble, isolated or shared, this room in which we spend more time than in our bedroom is a reflection of our identity. By choosing inventors, public figures, artists, leaders, the portraits show the workspace before it migrates home in the coming years.
The 13 photos in the portfolio are captioned as follows:
Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr
Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr, Auctioneer. He only takes ten days of vacation a year in a family home where he is bored and doesn’t talk to anyone to regain his strength. The rest of the year he is at his office ten hours a day, seven days a week. His office is his family, his two sons work there. Passionate about art, the only other profession that would have attracted him would have been to be a cosmonaut. He sees his era as a new Renaissance. 90% of humanity’s scientific discoveries have been made since 1950. The future of work will be the business of robots. All human knowledge doubles every seven years and will double every seventy days in 2030. He recommends enjoying this extraordinary moment.
Inès de la Fressange
Inès de la Fressange, consultant and ambassador of the Roger Vivier brand. When she is not traveling or at the store, Inès arrives at the office around 9:30 a.m. and works there until 7:00 p.m. She lunches there and entertains like at home. Work is about conversation. She takes a lot of vacation: fifteen days at Christmas, fifteen days in February, fifteen days at Easter and two months in the summer. She found the furniture of her office in the shop of a 20th century antique dealer. For her comfort she would need two offices: a flea market overflowing with objects of inspiration and an empty room for wisdom. She finally adopted a pink living room.
She spends ten hours a day at her desk and takes the scripts to read on the weekends. Thanks to her children, she takes six weeks of vacation a year. She could take more, finding them virtuous in cleansing the mind and the emergence of new ideas. Her work is about the dream world but the human and financial commitments are heavy. Each film is an adventurous prototype which does not always succeed. She does not decide on her salary and appreciates earning a good living in response to her investment. Success is a matter of timing. We succeed in a dish or a film. On the scale of life, the assessment is only made at the end. Her projects cover her desk in the form of sheaves of paper. In retirement, she will devote herself to other subjects and other territories. She chose her work table for the freshness of the glass and its transparency. She embodies her arrival at his new position.
Augustin de Romanet
Augustin de Romanet is CEO of the ADP group. Among 99% of French people there is a taste for electric trains and model airplanes. This is the public company. It strives to create wealth in the service of prosperity and therefore jobs. Success is a work of art. It is a combination of original acts informed by work which deliver a message that transcends time. This originality is the result of long reflection, work and modesty. According to his projections, the airport of tomorrow will resemble a hotel in which no one will sleep.
Jacques Antoine Granjon
Founder and CEO of the site vente-privée.com. To the great regret of his wife, he works 24 hours a day. The iPhone has revolutionized consumption. He jumped on it and put it down when he is scuba diving. Frustrated idler, his mind is unsuited to idleness. He started working at age 22. For him, retirement is an absurdity where you are paid to do nothing. He has power internally but for the proper functioning of the company, the power is delegated. He is giving himself 20 years to build the most successful European e-commerce company. His office was designed by Jean Prouvé. It comes from the Marcel Dassault workshops where the Mirage was invented. At the head of a personal fortune estimated by Challenges at 750 million euros, he failed his university entrance.
Before going to the office, he spends an hour writing at home. He is on his 28th book. He is the father of the Havas group, of which he hired all the managers. His office is behind glass and therefore always open. He spends 48 weeks thinking about the four weeks he spends in the summer in Ibiza. His work is his mistress. He has set his retirement at one hundred and wants to be the Molière of advertising. He has no superiority or inferiority complex. He has neither attraction nor rejection for money. He has no direct power except that of words. Besides, Vincent Bolloré calls him a legend. He only has nostalgia for the future. He has been sitting in the same armchair designed by Charles Eames for forty years. His work table is twenty years old and is signed Armani. Old age begins when regrets outweigh dreams.
The chairman and CEO of E.Leclerc has been based on the sixth floor of its head office in Ivry-sur-Seine for seven years. The building was built by the architect Wilmotte. Judging the project of furnishing his office too expensive, he called on his designer friend Olivier Saguez. Not considering himself a status person, he asked for an office where he could change places and entertain. Thanks to the speed of his decisions, he allows himself more than two months vacations a year and leaves every fortnight for Brittany.
Jean Paul Agon
He works 60 hours a week, 47 weeks a year. Since the age of 25, he has held every position in the group, each time feeling like he was in the right place. He is very happy in his work and believes in beauty for its positive and useful impact. He loves marketing and takes immense pleasure in conquering global markets. In a company where meritocracy is cultivated, he has never haggled over his salary. His power is exercised over the energy of 72,000 people and the direction of the group. To get to his chair, he won all the battles, supported by a solid luck factor. He will retire at 65 to devote himself to travel and boating. Not having the habit of doing things by halves, he will change his life without the slightest regret.
Gilbert Edelstein, seventy-one years old, president and owner of the Pinder Jean Richard circus. His office is hidden behind the impersonal facade of a pavilion in Sucy-en-Brie. When he took over the business, he worked between thirteen and fourteen hours a day. Since his house is opposite, he only works four hours a day. He never takes a vacation to always be on vacation. He had his desk made by a cabinetmaker from the Lido twenty years ago. He ordered it in his image, in solid wood. Very attached to his animals, they are all former house artists.
Of Kuwaiti nationality, Ahmad Jaafar was born in Beirut in 1974. He works in business from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except Fridays and Saturdays. He takes five weeks of vacation a year in Beirut and on the French Riviera. His family owns nine homes in nine countries. He collects watches, pens, lighters and automobiles distributed according to the following scheme: a Range Rover for everyday use, a Rolls for representation and an Aston Martin for the weekend. He designed his office himself, drawing inspiration from the French style. His dreams only come true when he sleeps.
For more than twenty years, Christian Louboutin and his eponymous brand have occupied rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. Out of superstition, he wouldn’t move from this old butcher’s slaughterhouse for anything in the world, even if the history of the place is not to his liking. His office, designed by Jacques Adnet, is in his image: it does not follow any plan. Having arrived at the head of his own company surrounded by two of his best friends, Christian Louboutin is the exception who confirms the rule that work and friendship should not be mixed. Aware of enjoying an independence and freedom rare for a professional, he keeps a busy schedule without ever worrying about the passing of time.