maison & objet – CREATOR OF THE YEAR

01/01/2006

Every year, the MAISON & OBJET Fair inPariscelebrates the career of a personality of international renown.

In2006, inthe heart of Hall 5B, next to the “interior scenes” and “now! design for living”  exhibits, a 200-square-metre space was dedicated to the design creation of architect, Jean Nouvel.

The emblematic pieces, familiar to the general pubic and professionals alike, hide more secret pearls rarely associated with the image of Jean Nouvel. The focus on Nouvel’s design creation was an opportunity to discover or rediscover furniture and objects that are now found throughout the world.

Most of the pieces were made within the framework of architectural projects; but gradually it become obvious that they needed to be issued in retail settings for the greater pleasure of fans who could then get their hands on objects and furniture that unite simplicity and efficiency to such superlative effect.

In an age when everything is compartmentalised into sectors and specialisations, Jean Nouvel demonstrates that an architecture dealing with the monumental and immobile can be scaled down to embrace the small and mobile, with a bit of talent. Jean Nouvels stands in the line of great architects who have made their contribution to planet design, a line that runs from Mies van der Rohe to Gio Ponti, from Pierre Chareau to Alberto Meda…

“Elementary” is the key word that defines Jean Nouvel’s design. It is an uncompromising design that rejects the anecdote and stylistic chatter. Form results from a functional and spatial necessity, and from a simplicity that is an obvious fit for the space it sits in and, ultimately, its user.

Jean Nouvel cuts himself off from historic or stylistic networks to focus on the use, relevance, logic and honesty of the proposal to hand. An architect’s furniture, the evident coherence of these objects derives partly from the strong personality of their author, who is a force to be reckoned with, but equally from the meticulousness of his quest for the essential.

But behind every object hides a “poetics of the useful”. Beyond function, there is in Jean Nouvel’s creation a sensual approach in which the material ia paramount: the warmth of leather, the suppleness of plastic, the softness of aluminium…

Jean Nouvel seeks the ultimate essence of the thing. This is demanding, uncompromising design, as revealed by the exhibition at the MAISON&OBJET Fair.

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