Design Parade Hyères
13th international festival of design
From June 29 to July 1st, 2018
Exhibitions open until September 30
Opening hours during the festival
Friday June 29, 19.30: Official opening of festival and exhibitions
Saturday June 30: 10.00 – 18.00
Sunday July 1st: 10.00 – 18.00
Please note the villa Noailles is closed on July 2nd and 3rd.
Opening hours after the festival
From July 4 to September 30, the villa Noailles is open everyday from 2pm to 7pm. Friday late night opening from 3pm to 9pm.
Coming to the villa Noailles
!!! Warning, do not use GPS instructions !!!
Please, follow the recommended itineraries.
1. From Toulon:
rond-point Henri Petit
avenue Alexis Godillot
avenue Victor Basch
Chemin de la porte Saint Jean
Parking du Château
2. From Le Lavandou:
avenue Ambroise Thomas
avenue Jean Jaurès
rue de Verdun
rue de l'ascension
avenue Paul Long
Parking du château
Design Parade Toulon
3rd international festival of interior design
From June 28 to July 1st 2018
Exhibitions open until September 30
69 cours Lafayette
Opening hours during the festival
Thursday June 28, 18.30 : Official opening of festival and exhibitions
Friday June 29 : 14.00 – 18.00
Saturday June 30 : 11.00 – 18.00
Sunday July 1st : 11.00 – 17.00
Opening hours after the festival
Open everyday from 11am to 5pm
Sunday from 11am to 1pm
Closed on Monday and bank holidays
la Galerie des Musées
22 - 24 rue Pierre Semard
Open everyday from 12pm to 18pm
Closed on Sunday and Monday
La Rue des Arts
rue Pierre Semard
galerie de L’ÉSAD TOULON PROVENCE MÉDITERRANÉE
20 rue Chevalier Paul
Vintage design market
place du globe
Thursday June 28 Midday to Midnight
Friday June 29 10.00am - 4.00pm
Saturday June 30: 10.00am - 6.00pm
Sunday June 1st: 10.00am - 6.00pm
This collection consists of benches, stools, and chairs made in solid maple wood which has either been blackened or whitened. The radicality of these two chosen tones is tempered through the veined details of the natural material and the sensual anatomy of this furniture, which one might think is sculpted from a single piece of wood. There are no bones jutting out of the legs of the seats whose connections disappear, as if they were subsumed by an imperceptible material. This designer has erased any angle which might snag either an eye or a hand, he thus wishes to awaken the tactile senses of his end users. We are surprised to discover these objects through touch, taming them before sitting down and becoming one. The analogy with the human body can be felt as soon as these silhouettes are perceived, outlined by a compact skeletal structure in the case of the chairs, an assembly of rounded scapulae for the stools, or through large limbs with soft knee joints for the benches. This designer’s work is particularly suitable for the visually impaired, in order to provide them with the comfort of an object which does not affront, but instead asks to be caressed. Loïc Bard aspires to create objects that, upon interaction, invite us to connect with the real, with the instant, and to live and feel.
This designer has taken the myth of Prometheus as a metaphor for the relationship between the human and the technical. Through a triptych composed of two lamps and a clock, she operates a parallel between the stages of the domestication of electricity, and the history of a titan overcoming his fear of the Gods in order to steal fire and offer it to mankind and then sharing the knowledge of the arts with them. For this affront he would be eternally tormented. Anaïs Borie purposefully designs figurative elements that reference the archetypes of Hellenistic architecture as much as their postmodern interpretations by designers who are no less iconic. The first, a lamp, with its ceramic base, evokes Mount Olympus, and its lightning strikes in neon tubes symbolise the arrival of electricity. The chaos of cables expresses the complexity of this undertaking. The second lamp materialises man’s victory and mastery over this feared and coveted gift. The triumphant hand at the summit of the column firmly grasps the gaseous tube which lights up when it is disturbed; it turns through 360° on its base, animating this trophy decorated with olive branches. The allegory achieves its conclusion in a third object: a digital clock. Like Prometheus bound to a rock, suffering the same torment every day, the hours slip away undisturbed upon an LCD box fastened to an acrylic glass supported by multiple wires. The designer thus attempts to question our relationship with the technical and the role of the object as a narrative support.
By exhibiting three examples of mini power stations, this designer offers an alternative approach to destructive consumption. He demonstrates that one can reasonably and totally consciously, channel and amplify available energy available with simple tools in order to limit the consequences of our activities upon non-sustainable resources. He combines rustic materials with modern techniques in order to create simple and efficient mechanisms destined for domestic or public use.
The description for a Hydroelectric station for public spaces gives us an idea of his process. A burnt pine drainpipe, waterproofed with oakum and grease (a combination of hemp coated with beef grease) directs the water through a flexible PVC and neoprene pipe towards a stereolithography printed generator.
This device creates the electricity necessary for small appliances without monopolising the water supply. The pipe can easily be detached in order to fill a bottle, a watering can, and why not a steam engine. This designer is making a wager on the future.
The entire system is weighted down with granite bases combined with an arched steel tube and a further drain pipe, to which a bike can be locked. The networking of the different basic, found, recycled or manufactured elements, increases the possible functions or the production of energy. His field of exploration remains open and can be shared in an act of democratisation of production processes.
This ingenious lamp takes its name from an object essential to climbing and was the designer’s aesthetic and technical inspiration: a piton, a simple and robust metallic spike used as an anchor by mountaineers for their equipment. These same qualities can be found in this lamp, composed of anodised aluminium and acrylic, which can be lit thanks to a USB rechargeable battery-powered LED bulb. Its autonomy and its structure make it an all-embracing object which can be used just as easily indoors or out. It can be easily handled thanks to the cylindrical body which houses the bulb, whilst the handle, thanks to its multiple lines allows for all kinds of potential compositions and combinations with other elements (ropes, hooks, clips, karabiners). This lamp (which is balanced thanks to a weight inside) can be placed on either side, attached just as easily to a wall or a branch, or suspended… The possibilities are infinite, thus allowing for the direction of the beam to be controlled. The designer has employed the skills of manufacturers from Ontario, an industrial area where metal is worked on a large scale. This lamp meets the requirements of mass production whilst being locally recyclable.
By appropriating two disparate techniques this designer composes a contemporary landscape which is inspired by the colours of the South of France.
Jaspé pottery (a marbled glazed earthenware), a traditional craft of the potters in Apt, is used to offer a family of forms that are either practical or decorative, and united through the use of the same materials and motifs. Clay, kaolin, ochre, and charcoal are worked in sheets and then embossed in moulds before being baked and enamelled. This mixture of natural materials outlines coloured layers which are curved according to the shapes of the moulds and then interpreted by the designer in an abstract camouflage, in illustrations of regional geologies, or evocations of the local fauna. The organic contours of these objects reply to one another, from the vase to accessories.
The tapestries are produced through a re-appropriation of industrial production methods used for felt, which consist of pricking wool in order to blend its fibres. Marie Cornil designed her own machine in order to freely direct the direction of the threads, to add colours, and to create the effects of embroidery on its surface. She uses her machine like a brush in order to “paint” felted patterns in warm colours upon a textile base of neoprene. Through her pictorial approach, a new palette is borne from the intertwining of threads and produced through the fate of felting and accumulations of materials.
Coming from a family of winegrowers, this designer has often observed and taken part in grape harvests. She has put her knowledge to use in order to perfect the preservation of grapes, an essential element in the production of wine. Indeed, the careful handling and conservation of the grapes avoids their oxidisation, limiting the need for chemical products. She has also noticed the lack of ergonomics in the accessories worn by the pickers. From these observations arise a basket for small harvests and a crate for more intensive use.
The crates are produced out of high density polyethelene which grants strength. The sides and the bottom allow for a reduction in the plastic used and make it more lightweight. It is easy to carry thanks to large handles. The small flared crates can be nested when they are empty or stacked perpendicularly thanks to notches on their bases. Thus, the grapes are always ventilated and spread out in small quantities in order to avoid being squashed. The basket answers the same problems but on a larger scale. It can be slotted into an aluminium tubular structure that is worn thanks to a nylon fabric rucksack. Thus, the grape picker’s back is protected and the large straps over their shoulders and around their waist provide them with greater comfort. To unload the harvest, all that is required is to place the basket upon a lorry’s flatbed and to slip on new basket without undoing the straps.
The physical properties of epoxy resin is central to the production methods of this series of small furniture and shelves. Rather than accepting the mould as a limit which constrains the material, this designer works the plastic, while it is still liquid, into open shapes by undertaking inclinations and lithe rotations, which only manual manipulation permits. The translucent layers are placed successively in order to create different thicknesses which form the surfaces and bond together in order to give the structure, becoming more opaque and creating unique contours. The manufacturer is thus a creator, reacting to the behaviour of the resin and constantly defining the harmony of the object under construction. The producer’s hand becomes an essential tool, sensitive and intelligent, allowing them to accompany the material in its transformations into a finished product, permitting them to endlessly evaluate the original design in order to obtain a functional sculpture which is unique and unexpected. The colourations of the synthetic glazing underline the options taken during the modelling, in order to display to the user the delicate stages at the heart of these one-of-a-kind objects.
Through a process which is both philosophical and sociological, this duo undertook a trip in the north of the United States on a search for local materials and artisans, industries where craftsmanship has developed around local materials and regional traditions. They travelled through Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and New York state for a year. This rite of passage encouraged them to question their responsibilities as designers confronted with the standardisation of mass-produced products, along with the idea according to which a good material for industry, is a good material for humanity. Through this surprising series they celebrate values which cannot be quantified: the wealth of human experience and the emotional charge which exudes from the artefact.
The computer (with its screen, keyboard, and mouse) is retained as one of the most representative archetypes of the standardisation of products. Assimilated by everyone, it is the perfect example for challenging passive automatisms and questioning the relationship between an object and its conception. With humour and sometimes irony, these two designers offer variations inspired by their journey: in clay, charcoal, ice, lard, calcium, peat, beeswax, green plants and stoneware. So many different materials and unexpected methods of production in order to initiate both reflection and discussion.
This duo interrogates the role of the designer in an urban context and aim to consider “shared materials” with the same freedom generally offered to furniture destined for private use. Their bench features like a fundamental object within a public space, becoming their field of research: “Sitting on a bench is to undergo the shared and simultaneous experience of a design, a question of sharing the same material support.” A few initial remarks are required; a communal seat defines a location and incurs a duration, it inscribes itself within a landscape, it unites and directs the gaze. Their research has encouraged them to investigate comfort, reception, conviviality and the robustness adapted for a collective usage. Cultivated through forty or so different models and various designs, their experimentations have today taken form in the creation of an Exedra. This bench unites all of the characteristics previously listed. Its yellow colour signals it out, its semi-circular shape gathers together as it invites passers-by to make a detour in their paths. The birch seat is supported by eight legs constructed from lacquered steel and aluminium, each crowned with an ergonomic back. This multiplicity symbolises the association of individualities in order to maintain a communal foundation. A further central support rises up in order to receive a clock. The designers thus proffer a reinstatement of a traditional meeting place, for the duration of a pause.
Designed as a condensed modular living space, this station allows for several activities to be concentrated within a limited space, whilst adapting to the unique needs of each user. Rather than designing a collection of objects and furniture to be accumulated, the designer has stripped back anything that is superfluous, in order to retain nothing but the essential structure. Thus, around, attached, or suspended from tracks, he has created elements whose forms immediately signal their purpose and manipulation. The bench consists of wooden slats in soft colours positioned upon a steel framework and inscribed within a perimeter that is defined by two parallel cables attached to the ceiling. These rails support the vertical elements (a mirror, a glass partition, a ceramic plant support) and provide electricity for the lamps and the night-lights, which can be attached in a single click. Counterweights and pulleys assist in the adjustment of this station’s elements. Several masonry objects complete the design. The simplicity and sobriety of the whole grants the user total freedom in personalising and appropriating it, through the addition of a mattress, cushions, and personal objects. The designer imagines himself as the creator of tools for a micro-architecture, the producer of “bricks” to be assembled and adjusted at whim.
This is a subtle, though ingenious way of looking at the world of design. Objects rarely bear an inner elegance, a silent smoothness, such as these created during Philippe Malouin’s first ten years of activity.
Malouin’s journey within the design realm can certainly be considered exceptional. The body of work created by the Canadian designer (1980), who opened his London studio in 2008, could be seen as a sequence of episodes, comprised not only of a thoughtful and distinctive path, but also featuring a precise approach to design. As a whole, it clearly reveals a theoretical and tangible consistency — which is not an easy goal to achieve.
This consistency has somehow continuously evolved, hence his objects have gained in presence within the space they occupy. It seems that from various examples of occasional furniture, whose aim is to disappear, Malouin has reached a level where his designs truly take command of the area they inhabit. Early experimentations bear this distinctive feature, namely his graduation project Grace, an inflatable table able to accommodate ten people when needed (including some sort of robust exercise to be installed) or the space-saving Hanger Chair (both from 2008), which you can fold up when not in use and even hang to save some room; further to these, a few years later, he created Typecast Aluminum Chairs (2013), a set of ultra-thin legged seats that look fragile, although they are not. There is a seamless rhythm, which also includes some speculative excursions such as the flying Alvin Mobile (2010) or Pendulum’s suspended candle (2013) — both installations play with air, while the second also involves fire. A slight change of pace is obtained through a few much more massive manifestations of his artistry, as per the Mollo Armchair for Established and Sons (2014), which speaks louder when compared to previous, lighter proposals. Another good example of a bolder slant is the colossal concrete Core Bench (2017), Malouin’s most recent brutalist endeavour, realised for Superbenches, a public intervention in a suburban park in Stockholm, curated by Felix Burrichter, now part of a limited edition for Salon94, also available in a smaller domestic version, the Core Stool (2018).
Excerpt from the text by Maria Cristina Didero published in the Design Parade catalogue.
Research scolarships in partnership with Sèvres - cité de la céramique and CIRVA (International Glass and Visual Arts Research Center in Marseilles) ~ Exhibition produced with the support of Puntoseta
Sèvres - Edible Seaweeds
Inspired by the location of the villa Noailles in Hyères overlooking the sea, I decided to dedicate my residency at Sèvres and CIRVA to aquatic plants. A highly underestimated and versatile type of plant, in both shape and possible edibility. The beauty of this fascinating type of flora comes directly from its habitat, the water.
The watery home of seaweeds has shaped their nature in several ways; for example, buoyancy in water has allowed free-floating algae to minimize tough structural supports and maximise photosynthetic tissue. Some algae (such as nori and sea lettuce) are essentially all leaf and just one or two cells thick. They are exceptionally tender and delicate.
On the plates is a relief of different edible seaweeds found in supermarkets and specialist food shops. When I went to those shops and bought all of the different types of seaweed, I realised that they are often cut into small pieces, dried, and or salted. And, that their colours are dark and unappealing. This is a relatively new food source, or rather, a reintroduced food source. But, if it looks as unpalatable as it is sold now, how can it become truly popular? That is why I wanted to “plate-up” seaweeds in their real shape, the way they grow in the water.
At Sèvres we have moulded the actual seaweeds directly within the mould, something that has challenged the, sometimes stubborn, memory of the porcelain. But finally, we have created nine different moulds of the six previously explained algae. The compositions of the seaweeds show and celebrate their characteristics, whether it is the super thin sea lettuce or the enormous oarweed.
Three plates have been painted with three different seaweeds. Thanks to the skilful hands of the craftsman it is almost like having the real seaweed on the plate. These plates are a suggestion of a series of tableware that allow us to become accustomed to having seaweeds as a food on our plates and to create a subconscious desire for it.
Cirva - Underwater flowers
Flowers play a very significant role in culture. When looking into the history of flowers, they are often praised for being mysteriously attractive through their transparent, fleeting smell and unearthly grace, but not from the very beginning it seems.
Science and the understanding of how things came about, is an essential part of any design process, for me. The evolutionary necessity of flowers to exist baffles me. With this new-found respect for these lovely smelling beauties I realised that flowers have become witnesses to our lives, they accompany us in the most important of moments.
For CIRVA I have designed a series of vases that make it possible to have aquatic plants as decorative elements into our homes. The vases have a separated “bottom”, with an intense colour, to provide a place to put the roots, with some sand or rocks if necessary. The “belly” of the vase is accentuated by being blown up in shape and transparent in colour. The “neck” of the vase has a subtle, darker colour, to highlight the focus to on the “belly” even more.
The three different sizes have been designed to house a large variety of aquatic plants. The tallest shape is especially made for deeper aquatic plants like water lilies, that have roots dug into the bottom of a lake and a long stem to reach the surface of the water. The broad vase is designed to have “floaters”, plants that happily float on the water surface or just beneath it, like water hyacinth and water lettuce. The smallest vase is to display and enjoy the beautiful array of micro aquatic plants, such as duckweed and fanwort.
“What we would like is to stumble upon an arcade myth, with a legendary source at its center — an asphalt wellspring arising at the heart of Paris. The tavern advertising beer “on tap” still draws on this myth of the waters.” Mythological recollections grafted upon everyday life, punctuating the prosaic space and imposing themselves like little brutalist mementos.
It is this symbolic and commonplace burden which Arthur Hoffner’s works inherit. As domestic objects, his fountains accomplish more than just re-establishing decorative typologies: vases, rugs, adornments. They retain their almost useless beauty and encumber it with a metaphorical weight. The Danaids’ small pvc casks bind Asclepius to an industrial object. They mimic cornucopia. Plastic tableware and lengths of recycled piping, fragments of precious ceramic, and pieces of rope torn from the DIY aisle, intrigue and draw in our attention.
Above all, they speak to us and ask us how the designer’s memory is constituted. Recollections of the fable, recollections of Duchamp, recollections of Droog or Sottsass… A formal return to illusionist games: real marble and fake sponge, a technological circuit and fake magic, genuine banality and a fake perpetual movement. An encounter between a baroque collection and a modern lexicon. A pop intersection of colour. Palimpsests and imbalances.
This time which passes, does it make its return here, like the water which rises back up a wooden batten or a hollowed and motorised block of marble? Displaced into an everyday objectivity, is it the crazy resurrection of a repressed design that is weary due to its functions and uses? Or, a wistful assault and lament towards sculpture — plinths, figures — which attempts to camouflage pink and orange stains behind the sounds of the flowing water?
Picasso, Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles’ collection
Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles were married in 1923 and commissioned one of the first homes representative of the modern movement to be built in Hyères, on the Côte d’Azur. Following this venture, in only a few years, they were to become invaluable patrons for numerous artists, writers and institutions.
Patrons to the 20th century, they wholly recognised Picasso’s importance. It was Jean Cocteau who, in1917, pronounced for the first time in front of Marie-Laure, the magical name of this Spanish artist. Charles de Noailles, only a few months after their mariage, in order to console his bedridden wife, acquired the “smallest Picasso in the world.” This Little house in the trees from 1919, which marked the beginning of their modern art collection.
Following attempts to commission a portrait of the Viscountess — which were never completed —-the Noailles contented themselves with buying several of his works. Naturally, Picasso, whose importance grew daily, had no need of their support. Whilst they did not become close friends, the Noailles remained keen collectors nonetheless.
Thus, in Paris as in Hyères, they hung paintings and drawings, owning no less than fifteen different works by the painter. In 1928 they spent 175 000 French francs on a Still life with sand created at Juan-les-Pins in 1925 — a record amount for a work in their collection. This picture was displayed in a meticulous mise-en-scène devised by the interior designer Jean-Michel Frank.
Two works (belonging to a private collection and the National Museum of Modern Art) will be presented during this summer’s rendering of the permanent Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, a life as patrons, accompanied by an ensemble of archives on loan from the Picasso museum, as well as scrapbooks by Marie-Laure de Noailles, thus shining a light upon the little known relationship between these important collectors and one of the major artists of the twentieth century.
Droits de reproduction des oeuvres de Picasso: au quart de page libre de droits,
pour tout autre format se rapprocher de Picasso administration (01 47 03 69 87)
pour l'acquittement des droits.
This year, the map of regional savoir faire that the villa Noailles explores as a part of Design Parade since 2010 is carrying out a freeze frame — by Louise Desnos — on the timeless, yet vintage, fairness of rattan. The name alone sounds like a “French touch”, an invitation for lazing about on some patio belonging to a mythical palace on the Côte d’Azur, or in front of one of the numerous Parisian cafés which make this city always festive. Or, more modestly, but no less enticing, an invitation to read, during a siesta, in a pine forest with cicadas as a soundtrack, as if behind some venetian blinds which gently filter the light that is doubly mise en abyme due to the up and down weaving of the rattan. It is, for that matter, this soft and sensual interplay, between the light and the shadows cast, which has served as a common theme for Joachim Jirou Najou in creating the scenography for the exhibition in the gymnasium at the villa.
Often similar to wicker in the manner that it is woven, but different to hollow bamboo this long creeper — which attaches itself to certain species of tropical palm trees — is inseparable from Mediterranean “slow life” furniture. For example there are these chaise longues, chairs, sun loungers, headboards, mirrors, and all sorts of handrails for gardens overlooking the sea at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat or the Cap d’Antibes which François Passolunghi, the last rattan worker in the Alpes Maritimes, created and restores in his workshop in Contes, above Nice. A craftsmanship which was passed down from his father, who was also a basket maker. Passolunghi has a vibrant passion for this material which can be curved, woven, plaited and whose pith can even be spun, like a fabric which, it should be mentioned, also marries extremely well with interlayed cushions. This film, created by Louise Desnos, is projected in a vertical format in order to echo this new mode of viewing on smartphones and to underline the extent to which it would be vain to want to confine rattan to nothing more than the nostalgia of the sixties. Instead it offers a virtual immersion into François Passolunghi’s workshop where this material is straightened, either with steam or a blowtorch, then curved against a wooden frame, thus granting its final shape. A process by hand which is sometimes not dissimilar to that of a sculptor. Named skin or core, depending on whether it has been stripped or not, the rattan skin can be used for weaving or for ligatures. Nothing is wasted therefore, and this environmentally-correct profile — except that is for the carbon footprint due to transport from the Asian countries where it grows abundantly: Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillipines, Vietnam — corresponds perfectly with the expectations of Millennials who have enthusiastically rediscovered it in high street and online secondhand shops as an alternative to pale Scandinavian wood. If rattan arrived in Europe first through the Netherlands, then England and France at the end of the nineteenth century in the wake of colonies and the trend for exoticism, it is above all known for its popularity from the 1940s to the 1970s and the democratisation of paid holidays and holiday homes. Next to pieces by modern designers which fly off the vintage market, such as the Soleil and Citron chairs by Janine Abraham and Dirk Jan Rol (to which the Pascal Cuisinier gallery devoted a retrospective last year), or Tripode by Joseph-André Motte, one may also easily find the anonymous but archetypal shell-shaped chair, for which there are probably as many variations as there are artisans, a bit like a Provençal recipe for ratatouille. It is no surprise therefore that the young designers discovered by Design Parade are now freely writing their own contemporary chapters on this saga of design and rattan. If one was to keep but one example, it would without a doubt be the directional wall lamp, a kind of graphical screen, devised for adjusting the light, which Giorgia Zanellato and Daniele Bortotto (Zanellato-Bortotto) created, with assistance from François Passounghi, for one of the five bedrooms in the artist’s residence at the Moulin des Ribes in Grasse. This is another beautiful project anchored in the Mediterranean countryside, founded by Silvia Fiorucci Roman, in partnership with the villa Noailles, and inaugurated at the beginning of May.
François Azambourg ~ Bless ~ Valentina Cameranesi & Enrico Pompili ~ Julien Carretero ~ Sébastien Cordoleani ~ Thomas Defour & Antoine Grulier ~ Jean-Baptiste Fastrez ~ Constance Guisset ~ Claire Lavabre & Adrien Goubet ~ Odd Matter ~ Julien Renault & Amaury Caeyman ~ Inga Sempé
Scénographie de l’exposition :
Thomas Defour et Antoine Grulier (Superpoly)
In 2016, David Pirone, a fan of design, decided to bring back to life one of this town’s mythical hotels: La Reine Jane, a sleeping beauty situated by the Ayguade quarter marina.
Recognisable due to its overhanging balcony and its white facade, this building evokes the charm of Riviera architecture from the 1950s, it was also the backdrop for a few scenes in Jean-Luc Goadard’s film Pierrot le fou, shot in the summer of 1965 in the city of palm trees.
The décor was planted, leaving the interiors up to the imagination.
Far from being a nostalgic approach, the owner has opted for a selection of fourteen designers in order to create as many different contemporary interpretations as there are rooms available.
He called upon Jean-Pierre Blanc, founder of the Design Parade festival who, in more than ten years, has witness the birth of a number of young talents and has been responsible in revealing to the public the work of some of today’s most important designers. The friendship borne out of these collaborations with the arts centre made choosing these designers easier.
For them, the exercise of creating a hotel room is a particular one. A temporary sojourn and the anonymity of holidaymakers allows them to leave a more important mark than if it was for a private residence. They have each designed an entire bedroom and bathroom, from ceiling to floor, and furnished it with a bed, a desk, a chair and lighting, in order to offer a total and unique immersion to these travellers.
Xénia Laffely works on the questions of intimate space and “self-care” by creating various objects which combine the decorative, magical objects and practical objects.
Blankets, interior fountains, cushions and mirrors, her interest is in the limited geometry of the domestic space. She invests this often scorned yet intimate and essential location within which one can be naked, both literally and figuratively. By creating collections of objects and images, Xénia Laffely aims to provide a dimension which is more like a narrative, but also more engaged in the manner of private spaces as an area for revitalisation.
A blanket is at the same time an ideal support for an image, in terms of surface area, but also as an everyday and comforting object. Symbolically, it refers to the concepts of intimacy and “home”, notions which are of particular interest to this designer. The domestic space, and in particular a bed, allows for us to break free from under the gaze of others and to obtain a kind of ultimate freedom with a feminist perspective, as evoked Virginia Woolf in her essay A Room of One’s Own, as was more recently conceptualised by Mona Chollet in her work Chez soi, and as has been displayed by the exhibition “Women House” at Monnaie de Paris, which closed in January 2018.
Each blanket is inspired by a woman, fictional or real, and belongs to her personal legacy. Thus the blanket becomes at the same time a subjective mise-en-scène by these figures and their collective heritage, a possibility of “safe-rest”, a portable location and a manifesto for a domestic space as a legitimate living space. It also evokes the possibility of a carnal union with the image of these women.
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