French architect-designer Sophie Dries (born 1986) studied first at L’Ecole du Louvre from 2004—specializing in contemporary art advising—then at the ENSA Paris-Malaquais (the National School of Architecture in Paris), graduating in 2009 with a Master of Architecture, before attaining her Master’s in Furniture and Interior Design from the Aalto University of Helsinki in 2010. Dries also worked on exhibition design for the prestigious Musée d'Orsay in Paris and held a number of project manager roles working on private residences being constructed in St. Tropez, Munich, and Paris. In 2014, she established her eponymous studio, Sophie Dries Architect.
Dries has collaborated with numerous luxury interior design and architectural agencies in Paris, including Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Pierre Yoganovitch, and Christian Liaigre. In 2015, she was part of the Danish Art Foundation’s Committee for Architecture residency program run by The Utzon Foundation in Aalborg, Denmark. Dries works with one foot in design and the other in interior architecture and does not recognize any divisions between architecture, interiors, or product design. Indeed, in recent projects, like her work on filmmaker and artist Zoë Le Ber’s apartment above the Hotel Particulier d’Aligre in central Paris in 2017, she combines all of her cross-disciplinary skills to create minutely detailed living environments that react to the context and lifestyle of the client.
Dries’ aesthetic is near-impossible to categorize since the designer explicitly avoids repeating herself or developing a consistent style—rather, she prefers to adapt to the individual settings, materials, and the characteristics of each new project. Nevertheless, there is a common thread running through Dries’ work; one might call it traditional with a twist. She often chooses to work with authentic, traditional materials such as ceramics, marble, or wood—but she always adds an element of surprise; something that goes against the grain of the material, so to speak. The Traces (2016-2017) collection of vessels in ceramics, pyrite, brass, copper, and steel, for example, are all literally marked by the designer’s hand; the ceramic elements are often scored by hand in detailed textural patterns. Traces was presented at Milan Design Week in 2016 and pieces from the collection have also been exhibited at Le Paradox in Paris. Dries has also presented her work at Pad London; Paris Design Week (both in 2016); New York Collective Fair; The Impermanent Collection, Brussels; Salone del Mobile, Milan; and Château de Ste Colombe en Auxois (all in 2017), amongst others.