Stone Age Tool

I found this object on the ground in the country around 37 years ago. This stone age tool was the expertise of the Mousterian period (160.000BP to 40.000BP). The Neanderthal who cut this stone was another species of human, extinct after the rise of modern human species we belong to. But he did not completely disappear; except for Africans, the global population still carries 2 to 4% genes from the Neanderthal. Their genes have been intermixed with modern humans and still live within us today.

Shards have been percussively detached from a river pebble to create this tool, probably used for cutting hunted animals. Interestingly, this one seems to have been shaped for use with the left hand, as the grip is almost impossible the other way around.

Creation is the flame which links human beings all around the planet, without any consideration of race, culture, eras, and geography. That capacity is deeply rooted in our genes, from a simple stone tool to a spatial vessel to explore the cosmos is a heritage dating back from the beginnings of humanity.

As a designer I can’t help but be moved when I hold in my hand such an object. It is an incredible link from the first humans to actual handicraftsmen, designers, artists, masons … and forces me to remain humble and conscious.

It also reminds me there was a time when hunter gatherers only collected from nature what was necessary for their needs, living with almost no impact on the environment. I believe our current environmental impacts, as well as climate change, are primary challenges for the survival of humanity today. This object that I use as a paper weight on my desk helps me to keep in mind, instead of always working to get more, to also be content with less. And as an interior designer it is also my responsibility.

Dominique Jean Lavabre

Dominique is a self-taught designer. He was born in France and after escaping a corporate life, he founded ASTANA Dom Jean Lavabre Design Studio in 2016, a multidisciplinary hospitality concepts and interior designing consultant studio based in Udaipur, India. Dominique’s style is in line with a natural relationship with the environment. It is very important for him to respect the architecture of the space - the box, the light, the proportions, the circulation it all starts with.

He likes the simplicity of shapes and the neutrality of tones, luxury for him lies in the simple brutality and nobility of the materials. He creates environments where first and foremost we feel good, or friends will feel good, places that allow people to communicate in a natural way. He enjoys creating authentic spaces and working on history and experience when it comes to boutique hotel projects. Places, Dominique says, offer their own inspiration and speak, it's a bit magical ...

Dominique likes classic lines on the condition of working with their metamorphosis; he also likes to divert objects to give them new functions. He does not remain frozen in a specific universe- for each project he follows a guideline, keywords that define the project from start to finish as a way of maintaining the consistency of the whole. Nothing worse than stacked spaces between which there is no dialogue.

Dominique’s work has been published in many magazines. He is a contributor for Elle Decor magazine and is always excited to participate in design fair symposiums, to share experiences and mentor young professionals.