Designer’s Days Event, Parisian Design Show, Architecture Products
Designer’s Days in Paris : Architectural Products Event
Parisian Architecture & Design Event, France
11 Jun 2012
Designer’s Days in Paris
Designer’s Days in Paris under the title “Identité(s)”
At the Designer’s Days last week in Paris, architecture did not take centre stage, however there were architects present and presenting. The whole event kicked off at the Gaîté Lyrique, which has been successfully restored by Manuelle Gautrand in 2011.
After the welcome speech by the Designer’s Days president Alain Lardet and some general information, the guests of the day raced off to hijack one of the 10 cars that Audi had provided to drive journalists around. As there were more than a 100 venues this year, it was clear from the start that this would be a speed operation, so all sensorial activities were on maximum. As the engine “stalled” for the third time at the third traffic light, I asked the driver in a trembling voice, while scanning the horizon for a métro station, if everything was okay with this brand new Audi. Indeed everything was fine. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce the first design of the event, the “stop and go” engine! For some of us, it brings back memories of adventurous trips to the local baker in a Renault 4; for others, this is the zenith of engineering achievement.
This year the Designer’s Days organisers had included the up and coming area, Patin (93) just out side the Paris boundary. It was and still is to some extend a poor and run down area, but as property prices in Paris rise, companies are looking for alternatives and finding them here. The first venue on the tour was the Eliumstudio exhibition in the newly renovated Rotonde de la Villette. Designed by Ledoux as a tollhouse in the 1780s, the Rotonde is not new, but Ledoux’s designs, considered by many as a precursor of modern architecture, are distinctly unique due to their simplicity, exaggerated structural details and their playfulness. It was restored in 2010 and now houses a café-restaurant, thus allowing the public into the building. The exhibition gave visitors access even deeper inside, a great opportunity for architecture addicts. The Eliumstudio exhibition was a collection of good, well known objects such as the Tykho Radio produced by Lexon, and a new range of health appliances developed for the iPhone with Apple.
Rotonde de la Villette – designed by Claude Ledoux as a tollhouse:
photos : Rebecca Breun
Another opportunity not to be missed was the visit to the le petit h studio; a new studio set up by le grand H, Hermès of Paris, master saddlers and designers of luxury goods. The aim of this studio is to take faulty products, discard the fault and create a new object giving the materials a second life. Hermès has 25 designers working in the atelier creating limited editions or one-off products. These are sold at special events in Hermès stores throughout the world. Many of these objects move away from the very conservative image of the make while still keeping the brilliant savoir fair, which has allowed Hermès to establish itself as a luxury brand throughout the decades.
Issey Miyake used the Designer’s Days to launch a new collection of lamps created in collaboration with Artemide, Italy. The polyester material is made from recycled plastic bottles and was developed in Miyake’s Reality Lab in Japan. This collection takes the ordinary paper lampshade into another sphere and is a follow-on from his 2010 fashion collection 132 5.
The visit to Jean Nouvel’s exhibition in Paris itself was an opportunity to discover the new furniture collection Essences created in collaboration with cabinetmaker Eric Rouchon. The objects are available in seven different kinds of solid wood, all from his home region in the Perigord. Though the design is reduced, the materials are thoughtfully treated and beautifully jointed.
La collection Essences – Furniture Designs by Jean Nouvel:
photo © Jean Nouvel Design
The visit to the Wilmotte exhibition was a bit of a discovery. This office seems to have an iron in every fire, from architectural design, urban design to furniture design. Their streetlights were on display on the Pont des Arts and looked wonderfully alive against the evening sky.
My final visit was to Boffi’s showroom on the boulevard Saint-Germain. Here the elegant show rooms had been taken over by the French street artist, dAcRuz. The sleek kitchens had received facial expressions inspired by Columbian tribal masques, an unexpected turn, but an interesting contrast to Boffi’s purist design. These kitchens would fit beautifully into my world, no problem!
The Designer’s Days provided a four-day opportunity to get immerse in design with a string of evening events hosted by the sponsors, allowing for plenty of opportunities to discuss design with people involved in the various projects. Professional designers need this exchange as much and the novices. Now we are just waiting for the Design Week in September, and then we can continue the report.
Designer’s Days in Paris Event image / information from Rebecca Breun
La Gaîté lyrique
photograph : Philippe Ruault
La Gaîté lyrique
Parisian Architecture – Links
Ateliers Jean Nouvel / Valero Gadan
image © Ateliers Jean Nouvel / Valero Gadan
Atelier Christian de Portzamparc
photo © Kamel Khalfi
Le Monde Paris
Novancia business school
photograph : Georges Fessy
Novancia business school
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