French “Nouvelle Vague” @ Milan Design Week 2011

French “Nouvelle Vague” @ Milan Design Week 2011

“Nouvelle vague, the new French domestic landscape ” / Curator: Cédric Morisset

Entitled Petite Friture, Moustache, Superette, Specimen and Goodbye Edison. Punchy and easy to remember names chosen to stand out by the plethora of new French furniture and objects editors. Difficult to believe in such a sluggish, but this is reality: France has never known such an entrepreneurial frenzy in the design world.

In barely 3 years, the French design market has seen more editors emerge, but also design galleries than over the last ten years.  In very little time, their pioneering work, production, and commercialisation of new object and furniture collections has permitted a new generation of designers to stand out and become visible. Their work has also given this new wave confidence.

Now uninhibited, polyglot and entrepreneurial, they take risks, auto-produce and are opening out to the world. From amongst these numerous new faces, five will be presented at this exhibition: A+A Cooren, Ionna Vautrin, Pierre Favresse, Studio Nocc and Pool.

Centre Culturel Français / Palazzo delle Stelline

corso Magenta 63


Ionna Vautrin

Mirror “Oeil de sorcière”

Formerly called “witch’s eye” convex mirrors adorned with a large ornate frame. These mirrors give the strange and intriguing feeling that a someone else is watching us from the other side. This convex mirror sits on a conical foot concrete like a statue of a character observing his environment.

Floor lamp “Forêt illuminée”

Two trees intertwined, an imaginary animal, a cloud hugging the ground …  Composed of a luminous cocoon wearing two trunks of wood, this light awakens the imagination. Two simple wooden cylinders extend as light masts on which lies a misty lampshade in tyvek. Prototype for Super-ette 

A+A Cooren

“Torii” stool

Inspired by the traditional Japanese Shrine gate, Torii is a comfortable stool made in Ash and Oak wood. The Torii can fit in any small space, and can also be used as an ottoman. The shelf under the comfortable curved seat can be used as a useful storage space for magazines or books. Proposed in several colors, including vermilion red, which visually replicates that of a Shrine gate.

“Hippo” lamp

As joyful as a hippo’s head and as playful as a magnet, Hippo is never exactly in the same position as everything in nature. The Hippo is a series of lamps attached on a magnetic spindle. The rounded glass volume with the reflective metal calyx stays stable by the pull of magnetism.

“Metal band” shelves

Inspired by a children’s rubber-band toy gun, the wooden shelves are affixed to vertical tube legs by a large metal band. By combining the module elements, the height and width are easily customizable. The vertical protruding part of shelf prevents books from falling sideways. Metal band shelves are perfect for storing books as well as for displaying objects.

Pierre Favresse

Collection “Perch”

Today, “good” design is often too expensive, so my first idea was to draw something simple which could be made, and therefore sold, at an affordable price.  At the same time I wanted to adhere to my philosophy of using specific technology and materials to create objects filled with lightness and simplicity.  The answer was the use of birch wood as a base material and simplicity of design.

The Perch Collection consists of several pieces based on the same construction: a reading chair, coat rack, rocking chair, chair and desk with integrated light. With this collection I wanted to show a large family of functionalities working off the same principle.  Colour scheme harmony was also an important part of the project with each colour “coded for a different function, or specific place you would typically find the piece of furniture in your home.

Jean clock

Time and life are inextricably linked – we feel time pressures in our daily lives and wish we had more time; our time on this earth is limited and dictated by a clicking clock…  Time therefore is something powerful yet fragile, which is why I wanted to encase it in a delicate white cloud of glass.

Inside this bubble time is magnified, protected and cared for.  Each clock is made of hand-made glass, blown with a single breath, each piece unique – just as each of our lives are.

So why the name “Jean”?  My partner’s name is Jean – a girl who to me reflects the idea of something powerful, yet in a fragile envelope – a girl you want to take care of, yet who is free and lives to her own rhythm – just like time, just like life.


“Wryneck” side table

Borrowed from the forest, the trunk “Wryneck” uses both the craftsmanship of the veneer and industrial technology of the digital cutting to find its place in a domestic space,without renouncing its original state. Materials : walnut & cork

“Souviens toi que tu vas mourir” chair

The emblematic monobloc chair reinterpreted as an expression of vanity…This memento mori represented by a skull acts as a leitmotiv for those who seek the comfort of a chair and the ceremonial act of being seated.


Chaise “Rush”

Rush is a chair that is entirely covered with straw using a traditional rushing technique.

This technique, strongly associated in popular culture with traditional peasant furniture, is used here to trigger the memory of the childhood chair. The straw, which evokes the memory of the childhood chair, is transposed and expanded on the Rush chair to the point where it becomes the main element. Through this process, the memory is transformed into the essence of the chair.  Thanks to the inner steel structure, the chair’s overall shape is no longer restricted to the bulky aesthetic of the past; it appears light and aerial, maintaining the stiffness that the rushing technique affords.

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