Interview between Jean Fajon, the Founder of the BettercallJohn studio, behind the embellishment of NEWCAP Event Center and Jérôme Linÿer, Deputy Director.

Oct 17, 2022

Jérôme Linÿer :
Hello Jean ! You run the Bettercalljohn studio, in a word how do you define your activity?

Jean Fajon :
BettercallJohn is a creative shop specializing in showcasing projects.
I support companies and places on positioning, graphic and interior design. I worked a lot in events, particularly at Auditoire on scenographic projects for Adidas, General Electric or Renault and today on more permanent projects such as a training room for Coca-Cola, a hotel from A to Z for BestWestern, and quite a few offices… Some references on and I know this environment, the desires of customers!

J.L. : We called on BettercallJohnn to support us in the repositioning of the NEWCAP Event Center. What did you think of the place when you visited it for the first time?

J.F. : The establishment exudes a lot of power, great technical capacity and offers modular spaces. What is striking, however, is the “coldness” of the place, which is a little too clinical, without real promise or storytelling.
The spaces lack bias, they do not really reflect the values or the desired tone of the brand, which is more focused on human relations.

J.L. : What was your approach to rethinking NEWCAP Event Center?

J.F. : We always approach projects in the same way, trying to understand their universe, their story, the promise it delivers, and defining an overall concept…

J.L. : That is to say ?

J.F. : A concept expresses the story told by the place.
On the other hand, a space, like a brand or a company, commits to a promise, and must keep it. A place is in itself a medium, a communication support. As such, it deserves to be positioned with precision and to have a clear concept, before touching on the decoration.

J.L. : What was your bias, your guiding axis?

J.F. : Due to its proximity to the Grand Palais, we wanted to focus the place on innovation.
As you know, from London in 1851 to Dubai in 2020, World’s Fairs have always been great international events with the aim of educating the public, promoting progress and cooperation.
A Universal Exhibition is the technological, industrial and artistic showcase of a country, open to the whole world.
NEWCAP Event Center, due to its appearance and its proximity to the Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower, can claim a legitimate connection to these events.

J.L. : Okay interesting 😉
And in relation to the human relationship you were talking about earlier?

J.F. : Yes, we wanted to bring life. This place is too hard and empty, it needed a little warmth and comfort, to encourage meetings, creativity, all in a chill atmosphere…

J.L. : What were the design biases?

J.F. : Several parameters had to be taken into account.
First the floors. This marble was a bit cold in the back, and above all inscribed the place in a past that no longer has a reason to exist. We therefore covered the spaces with a vibrant gray carpet, to soften the atmosphere, and unify the spaces.
The luminous universe has also been redesigned because it is too anarchic. The ceiling has been completely redesigned at reception for greater clarity.
Generally speaking, the place is quite convoluted, it doesn’t need more complexity, but rigor for easier reading.
J.L. : You also brought in materials that didn’t exist before, like wood and color…

J.F. : Yes, a range of blues on the ground floor to express innovation, reflection…
For the wood, as well as the new furniture, the idea was to warm up the atmosphere, to make it more human, while remaining in a sober design, comfortable but well drawn, to stay in this idea of innovation!
We have created lounge areas all over the ground floor to allow people to sit down and talk effortlessly. Around the elevators, metal coverings; facing a small library/exhibition, which highlights inspiring and techno objects…
The perception that we wanted to give revolves around the notions of quality, performance, but also creativity.
This place should be seen as a facilitator of creativity and innovation for its guests.

J.L. : Has work also been done on the signage?

J.F. : Yes, we often tend to neglect it even though it is a key element in terms of design and perceived quality…
Inside we worked on a harmonization for more clarity!
Outside, it was more of a work of artistic direction, to manage to make the image of the brand exist on a facade on which we did not have the possibility of fully expressing ourselves. The idea was to impose a color, and the logo in a more obvious and recognizable way, by integrating into the exterior urban universe.

J.L. : Jean, thank you for all these details!

J.F. : With pleasure Jérôme, long life to the new NEWCAP 🙂