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Roger Tallon

(b. 1929)


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(1929– )

Tallon was a leading figure in French industrial design in the second half of the 20th century. Having studied engineering in Paris he joined Studio Avas from 1951 to 1953 when he joined the Technes design consultancy, which had been established by Jacques Vienot. From 1963 he taught at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, establishing the Department of Design with Jaques Dumond. The creative side of his thinking was underlined by close links with the fine arts, especially the Nouveaux Réalistes. He gained widespread recognition for his transportation design; in 1967 he began a long period of collaboration with French National Railways (SNCF), modernizing their trains. His most important outcomes in this sphere included his designs for the high‐speed TVG trains. These culminated in his designs for carriage interiors, exteriors, and the visual identity for the whole TGV network. In the early 1990s he became the design director of the TGV Eurostar rail project which was financed by Britain, France, and Belgium. He founded the multidisciplinary consultancy Design Programmes in 1973, ten years later joining Pierre Paulin and Michel Schreiber's ADSA+Partners, followed in turn by involvement in Euro RSCG Design, established in 1994. Tallon has been a prolific designer across a wide range of products, from ski boots to cameras, from machine tools to furniture. His designs have included the Taon motorbike (1955), the ergonomic Gallic machine lathe for Mondiale (1957), the sleek, black‐screened P111 portable television for Téléavia (1963), and Zombie café seating (1967). Tallon also received many awards, including a Milan Triennale Gold Medal (1954) and the national Grand Prix for Création Industrielle (1985). He also represented French design at the inaugural exhibition of the Centre de Création Industrielle entitled Qu'est ce que le design? Other prestigious exhibitions of his work included the Roger Tallon, Designer Industriel (Industrial Designer) show at the National Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa (1984) and the retrospective Roger Tallon: Itinéraires d'un designer industriel organized by the CCI at the Pompidou Centre (see Centre Georges Pompidou) in 1993.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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