Alexandre Benjamin Navet - Hôtel des Arts - 01 © Luc Bertrand : villa Noailles

With Design Parade Postponed Until 2021, the Cities of Hyères and Toulon Took Their Exhibitions (Mostly) Outside

Like most international art and design festivals this year, the annual Design Parade — which typically takes place across two cities in the south of France and is on record as one of our favorites — was forced to postpone its summer edition until 2021. Somehow, though, these restrictions don't seem to have reduced the activity in Hyères and Toulon by much.
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Each Piece By French Designer Baptiste Lanne is an Ode to Nature, His Biggest Inspiration

After almost 10 years working for acclaimed studios like Habitat and Philippe Starck in Paris, French designer Baptiste Lanne felt a longing to get away from the screen and 3D modelling software. It was a trip to Japan to visit some woodworkers’ workshops that influenced his decision to make a living out of his personal affinities. Today he hand-carves impossibly refined design objects out of rough hunks of wood as if they’re as malleable as clay.
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A Former Dancer, Virginie Hucher Uses Her Whole Body to Sketch Out Paintings in the Earth

French artist Virginie Hucher’s paintings begin in the middle of nowhere. Through a meeting of performance and land art, she uses her whole body to carve large symbols into the sand, the snow, or the clay alongside a river bed with a stick as her only tool. She then documents her process in film and photographs, so she can appropriate the gestures when she begins to recreate the forms in paint back in her studio.
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A New Independent Design Label Launches in the South of France

The tiny town of Hyères in the South of France is only 50 square miles, but has long had an outsized presence on the contemporary design map as the home of the arts foundation Villa Noailles and its annual Design Parade festival. The festival was canceled this year due to the pandemic — more on that next week! — but two young Parisians have managed to fill in the gap with an exhibition called Été Super, which is serving as the launch of their independent design brand 13Desserts and its permanent showroom in a former Hyères skate shop.
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At Villa Cavrois, Muller Van Severen is an Eerily Perfect Match for the Modernist Estate

This month, the Belgian design duo Muller Van Severen begin a four-month intervention at Villa Cavrois, the modernist French estate designed in the late 1920s by Robert Mallet-Stevens. The show is a retrospective of sorts for the husband-and-wife duo, featuring everything from their leather-and-steel Duo Seats to brand-new work like the Alltubes series they launched this spring with Valerie Traan at Collectible and a sofa they've designed specifically in response to the installation site.
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Meet Léa Munsch, the In-Demand French Ceramicist Working from the Woods

In 2018, French ceramicist Léa Munsch traded Paris for Lorraine, and a new studio in a former factory that’s perched on a river in a forest. There, she has been particularly called to draw inspiration from nature — producing unglazed stoneware pieces that preserve the texture, imperfections, and color of her raw materials.
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The 2019 Design Parade Festival Is a Total Visual Overload — In the Best Possible Way

If you've ever looked closely at coverage of the annual Design Parade festival in France, we're guessing that like us, your reaction was probably a mixture of bafflement and awe. How do they manage to get so many new objects and new ideas in one (tiny) place, not to mention so many balls-to-the-wall interiors with what appear to be no-expense-spared, move-in-tomorrow production values? Design Parade is practically on the level of the Milan Furniture Fair in terms of the volume of visual inspiration it provides — check out our sprawling overview of 2019's show here.
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An Artist Responds to the Work of Victor Vasarely, Father of the Op-Art Movement

An internationally exhibited conceptual artist working in photography, sculpture, and installation, Oran Hoffmann was invited to the Fondation Vasarely in Aix-en-Provence in 2017, where he sifted through boxes of Vasarely’s tiles, parallelograms, serigraphs, and other ephemera used to inspire and lay the groundwork for the unusual architecture of the foundation and the optically boggling sculptures and spaces within. Hoffmann’s new book is the culmination of a year of research and working with Vasarely’s archives.
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The 40+ Best Things We Saw at IMM Cologne and Maison & Objet 2019

Our trend-spotting needle hasn't exactly gone haywire in the first few weeks of this year — and we, for one, think that might be a good thing, considering how frenetic the pace of trends has been of late. IMM Cologne and Maison & Objet, the first two big furniture fairs of the year, have also traditionally not been the first places you might go to scout for said trends, whether owing to their spot on the design calendar (just before Milan) or the regional peculiarities of each host country (Cologne, to this day, always has a preponderance of Bauhaus-inspired pieces). And yet, scrolling through our picks this year, you'll see a few things that look just different enough that they might be harbingers of things to come.
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