Paris 2020 – Every year at MAISON&OBJET, an illustrious international jury gives voice to a new generation of designers from a specific country inviting them to showcase their work with capsule exhibitions. In 2020, for the 25th anniversary of the fair, the ‘guest’ country was France itself.
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“There are currently two main trends in the young French design scene”, says René-Jacques Mayer, member of the jury and director of the Ecole Camondo. “The first is that designers are developing stronger links with craftsmanship. They are distinguishing themselves less with industrial products than with objects produced in limited quantities using traditional savoir-faire. Secondly, they are no longer interested in simply designing a chair, but develop projects that are much more societal. Their overriding aim is to solve problems and come up with new uses”.
Strict lines and simple forms define Adrien Garcia’s concealed wooden tables, chairs and consoles. The designer is a firm advocate of working with French artisans. “I desire to create “durable objects that can be passed onto future generations. The advantage of having craftsmanship in France is that it allows you to dream and to create things on the spot.”
“I like the idea of repetition, but with subtile variations” says Julie Richoz who presents a minimalist chair, eclectic glass vases and a contemporary rug. The Franco-Swiss designer, probably the most established one of the group, has been creating objects for some of Europe’s leading design firms such as Alessi Tectona and Louis Poulsen.
Colour is king in Laureline Galliot who defines herself as a designer and a painter. “I want to turn on its head the paradigm that dictates that colour is only a finishing touch”, she states. “I work with it as a material”. On show vibrant quirky vases and rugs. ““My works integrate colour into design instead of layering it over the top at the end”.
Why an object has a certain form rather than another? Wonders Mathieu Peyroulet Ghilini. His enigmatic Sophistication series reimagines ceramic in unprecedented ways. “They’re all quite differently aesthetically, but all created by the same person”, he remarks.
Natacha and Sacha studio presents a collection of furniture betraying a certain fascination with heating. “We asked ourselves how to provide warmth while reducing the overall temperature of rooms.” Their Briques partition-like radiator consists of refractory bricks suspended from an electric rail while the Parterre thermal fabric is embroidered with heat-transmitting threads.
“I like the weight, the texture and the smell of things”, says Wendy Andreu who presents the Regen chair made from a highly innovative material consisting of cotton fibers and latex, all wrapped around custom laser-cut steel molds. Other furniture designs on show include a steel and concrete minimal shelf, a wheeled patinated metal stool and a minimal aluminium bookcase.
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