French art and design at Milan Design Week

French art and design at Milan Design Week

In the endless offer of the Milan Design Week, a particular cut is given by AN INNOVATIVE TOUR OF THE FRENCH PANACHE, an overview of the spectacular French creativity. From a study created by Le FRENCH DESIGN French creativity can be defined through ten values: Art de vivre, creativity and industry, elegance with a touch of luxury, sustainable innovation, audacity, savoir-fairefaire, balance, heritage and cultural openness. The last value is PANACHE, an attractive combination of vitality and glamour, imagination and impertinence.

View of the installation and furniture by Joana Vasconcelos in the Roche Bobois showroom. ph. Emanuele Magri for Juliet

But we want to dwell above all on the incredible coexistence of design and art in the locations visited. In particular those presented at the French Institute at Stelline, in corso Magenta 63, at Palazzo Citterio, in via Brera 12, and at the Roche Bobois flagship store located in the heart of the Durini Design District, in via Felice Cavallotti 14. And from here we would like to start because, on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Roche Bobois unveils its new collaboration with the visual artist Joana Vasconcelos, with a double presentation: the new collection created by the artist and, at the same time, an exceptional original work, Valchiria. It is a work suspended 8 meters from the ground, which winds for almost 45 meters to the showroom window, of great visual impact. For those who want to learn more, at the Salone del Mobile (Hall 6, C30) there is a stand dedicated to the collaboration of Roche Bobois & Joana Vasconcelos entirely designed by the Portuguese artist. Since the mid-1990s, Vasconcelos has been exhibiting his work on the international scene, questioning the status of women, the consumer society and collective identity, reflecting on Portuguese artisanal traditions and savoir-faire. In Venice, she exhibited at the 55th Biennale and at Palazzo Grassi – Pinault Collection, and is the first woman and the youngest artist to have exhibited her works at the Palace of Versailles.

View of the installation and furniture by Joana Vasconcelos in the Roche Bobois showroom. ph. Emanuele Magri for Juliet

Joana Vasconcelos has been collaborating with Roche Bobois since 2019, designing works for a wider audience than art lovers. Each piece, from sofas to carpets, is upholstered in fabric inspired by the pastel colors of the colorful houses in the historic center of Lisbon. The artist states: “For the BOMBOM collection the main inspiration came from my wall “paintings”, crochet creations that stand out on a frame, almost like a landscape that does not belong to a wall and wants to interact with us, with round and fluid shapes, colorful and eye-catching. The idea is to create a bridge between the spaces of the museum and the gallery with the domestic environments in which we live”. Vasconcelos says: “As a Portuguese woman, the know-how and materials of my culture are essential. Examples are the azulejos that cover both the interiors and the exteriors of our buildings, or the crochet doilies that are present in all Portuguese furnishings and that cover sofas, tables or televisions. For me, this collection in collaboration with Roche Bobois represents the perfect alliance between art, design and life”.

View of the installation and furniture by Joana Vasconcelos in the Roche Bobois showroom. ph. Emanuele Magri for Juliet

At the Institut Français Milano the exhibition “Surprise Party”, dedicated to Constance Guisset, can be visited from 18 April to 13 May 2023. The designer reflects on the concept of the imperceptible but constant shift between art and design, scenography, performance, where games of colored lights, lightness and evanescence of materials, poised between research and production, find their conjugation in objects, drawings, sketches, inspirational films, installations, interior architecture and scenography. The studio of Constance Guisset, founded in 2009, involves the creation and design of interior architecture and scenography, as well as furniture, up to the set design for shows and exhibitions. Costance Guisset states: “Creating Ether for Ginori was like conceiving the setting for a ballet. Ether is the set I imagined for the pieces of the Aria collection. The movement of the graphics seems to evaporate in an intertwining of lights and shadows that makes the dishes a frame on which the chefs can play”. The designer collaborates with many international furniture companies such as Petite Friture, Moustache, Pierre Frey, Tectona, Dior, La Cividina, Zanotta, Richard Ginori, Zilenzio, Billiani, ZaoZuo, among others. His objects are part of numerous museum collections, including that of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which houses the Leviosa lamp.

Frames from the video on Monsieur Dior, the Medallion armchair designed by Philippe Starck. ph. Emanuele Magri for Juliet

Finally at the Brera district, at Palazzo Citterio in via Brera 12, we find the exciting collaboration between Dior and Philippe Starck: “Monsieur Dior” in which the Medallion armchair designed by the famous designer is celebrated. A symbol of the Louis XVI style so dear to Christian Dior, the Dior Medallion chair has been reinterpreted by Philippe Starck and transformed into an original armchair inspired by the emblematic figure of the founder-couturier. Called Monsieur Dior, this exceptional model, presented in a variety of materials and colors, combines the distinctive references of the maison with a process that extends the limits of excellence. Continuing his research, Philippe Starck has created a work of art and an object of desire that reveals itself in a set of furniture, the most complete ever produced by the House, which expands the “Dior family by Starck” and reflects the freedom and inventiveness of the dialogue between Dior and the French designer. The creator has managed to reveal the very essence of the legend that the Medallion chair embodies in his eyes, through different variations of the original model, emphasizing in particular the delicacy of the iconic fabric of Jouy.

Emanuele Magri


Joana Vasconcelos & Roche Bobois a Milano
Showroom Roche Bobois
Via Felice Cavallotti 14, Milan

Constance Guisset Studio, Surprise Party
Institut Français
Corso Magenta 63, Milan

Philippe Starck, Monsieur Dior
Palazzo Citterio
Via Brera 12, Milan


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