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ECAL Students, Playing With the Distinction Between Object and Art

An exhibition curated by an artist closely affiliated with the Fluxus movement — John M Armleder, to be exact — is sure to be liberated from traditional constraints. “More Rules for a Modern Life,” a selection of pieces by ECAL students in industrial design and fine arts that debuted last week in Milan, turns out to be just the case.
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Swiss Product and Furniture Designer Adrien Rovero

The work of Swiss designer Adrien Rovero has a certain recognizable Western European vibe — simple, often rounded forms paired with planes of solid color and an understated element of playfulness or cleverness. There's always a small innovation, a small twist. That latter part is what Rovero particularly excels at.
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Tunisia Furniture Studio Marlo & Isaure

When we discovered the design duo Marlo & Isaure — founded by former ECAL classmates Marlo Kara (Swiss-Greek, born in Geneva) and Isaure Bouyssonie (French, born in Tunisia) — we assumed they were simply a furniture studio, creating products like the Fabrique lights, pictured above, for galleries and manufacturers. But it turns out that assumption was only half correct.
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ECAL Takes Over Apartment 50 in Le Corbusier’s Radiant City

Since it was renovated in the early 2000s and restored to its original 1952 condition, Apartment 50 in Le Corbusier's famous Cité Radieuse housing complex in Marseilles, France, has played host to a rotating cast of designers — Jasper Morrison in 2008 followed by the Bouroullecs, Konstantin Grcic, and, perhaps most successfully, Pierre Charpin. But a group of Swiss design students may have just completed our favorite intervention yet.
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e7’s Zinc Project Was One of This Year’s Salone Satellite Standouts

Our last bit of Milan coverage this week comes from a brand-new design studio comprised of three ECAL grads — Giulia Chéhab from Italy, Micael Filipe from Portugal and Romain Viricel from France — whose Zinc Project caught our eye in the very last row of this year's Salone Satellite. A table and shelf series made from galvanized zinc, the project was inspired by the aesthetic irregularities that arise from the galvanization process.
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Josephine Choquet, Designer

As longtime talent scouts in the field of design, we can say this with absolute confidence: There are only a handful of schools out there whose students consistently produce well-resolved, magazine-ready work. ECAL, of course, is one of them, and you'll see several of its recent grads on Sight Unseen in the coming months, starting with today's interview with Joséphine Choquet. We featured one of the French talent's projects just before the holidays — a line of acetate sunglasses made in collaboration with another ECAL up-and-comer, Virgile Thévoz — but wanted to come back and finish the job with a short profile cementing her status as one to watch. Like many young designers these days, Choquet is particularly interested in old craft techniques and simple materials, which she then marries with her love of line, pattern, and contemporary art. Check out some of her past and present work after the jump.
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Sunglasses by Joséphine Choquet & Virgile Thévoz

We're planning a bigger story on up-and-coming designer Joséphine Choquet in the new year, but before then, we wanted to share with you some work the French-born designer recently sent us: these gorgeously styled shots of the Luns sunglasses she created earlier this year in collaboration with fellow ECAL master's grad Virgile Thévoz. "The sunglasses use classic as well as more witty acetate patterns, as a tribute to this material, which carries on the essence of vintage and kitsch yet remains utterly contemporary," the designers write. There are 10 different models at the moment, in search of a producer, with a second collection already in the works for 2014.
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