In 2009, Constance Guisset, then a recent graduate of ENSCI, receives the audience award at the Design Parade festival. Twelve years later, the designer is back at the Villa Noailles in Hyères (Var), but this time as chairman of the jury (see results at the end of this article) and guest of honor.
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Design Parade, its chairman Jean-Pierre Blanc entrusted the first floor of the Mallet-Stevens building to the Parisienne, who invested it in an immersive staging, an area in which it excels. Both an intergalactic journey to discover an unknown planet… and a reflection on the designer’s profession, its joys and its torments. “We’ve all done a quarantine; now we travel! †she confided to the first visitors to the exhibition.
Beyond the iconic architecture of Mallet-Stevens, it was the personality of her sponsor, Marie-Laure de Noailles, that inspired her, and in particular her taste for astronomy and gymnastics. That is why she considered the four rooms of the exhibition as so many stages in a star journey that she invites you to explore with a notebook.
The odyssey begins in the old squash hall where, in a studied penumbra representing the interior of a spaceship, throne-like meteorites completed objects (the paper lamp) angeline, the suspensions coat…) and which are still in the making. A staging that resulted from a collaboration with choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, whom she accompanied on numerous projects. We then land on the terrace overhanging a mast/weather vane, which seems to have been planted there by Constance Guisset to mark her territory.
New pieces from Constance Guisset
Central element of the exhibition, the pool offers a vast space bathed in light, whose walls the designers have decorated with a landscape of candid colors, unusual in its palette. The room is interspersed with furniture she designed, as well as objects reminiscent of Marie-Laure de Noailles, such as this rope that falls from the ceiling and waits for a brave climber.
On this unknown planet, Constance Guisset’s objects came to life and went out to drink in the glittery-carpeted pool, a bit like animals come to drink in ponds at nightfall. We find the lamp of course Fear of heights and its recent variations, as well as new pieces such as armchairs wide brim hat (Constance Guisset Edition) or the modular sofa dolmen, recently made for Pierre Frey.
A reconnaissance mission
Between the two, we cast an indiscreet glance through an eye-level crevice into a workshop populated by unfinished models and prototypes. The laboratory of an alien civilization or Constance Guisset’s? This engine room is seen as a room of possibilities, of future forms… A way to evoke prototyping work with paper models, a very time-consuming but essential activity for the designer.
Last step, the Noailles gymnasium, where sketches and photos unfold around the sofa waves (La Cividina)† In this room where the scientific reports of this reconnaissance mission should be collected, Constance Guisset has put together drawings made during the incarceration of objects collected on a Normandy page. A way for her to show her creative process, her organic inspirations and the crucial role of drawing. In short, everything that makes his work as a designer…
> “Objective Villa”, until September 5 in Villa Noailles. Montee de Noailles, 83400 Hyeres. FREE ENTRANCE. Tuesday to Sunday, 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM; Thursday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Also on display at Villa Noailles
> Parade design
The 10 young finalists of the major design competition organized by Design Parade exhibit their projects in the basement of the Villa. The chance to discover the wind turbine boards of the CanelAverna winners, the formal research work around the hole by Henri Frachon or the plasticine furniture by Johanna Seeleman.
Winners Design Parade 2021:
> Grand Prize of the Jury Design Parade Hyères & the Sammode Prize: Cécile Canel and Jacques Averna
> Special mention from the jury: Henri Frachon
> Special mention Eyes on Talents x Frame: Johanna Seeleman
> Audience Award City of Hyères: Arthur-Donald Bouillé
The historical exhibition at Villa Noailles is dedicated to Hélène Henry (1891-1965), a French pioneer of textile design. This woman was one of the first to use artificial silk in the 1910s and then collaborated with Mallet-Stevens, Pierre Charreau, René Herbst… Her lively fabrics, which sparkle in the light, are displayed in a remarkable scenography.
> Gregory Granados
The winner of Design Parade 2019 tells in a room about his two-year stay in both Cirva (glass research center in Marseille) and the Cité de la Céramique de Sèvres. In his highly poetic works, the plants dance when music is played and the porcelain resonates…