Milano Design Week. Monde Parallèle
From 12th to 17th April 2016 in the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum, Milan.
The two rooms created by Gwenael Nicolas reveal an original approach to objects and design, which has developed by his Japanese experience. Simplicity and complexity are the two complementary poles which characterize his projects. He does not wish only to develop an aesthetic idea, but also overtake some limits of European culture. That is, before looking for the solution, we should find the starting point: we have to be convinced that something new can happen.
Entering these rooms we are surprised because we are not able to recognize the function of the forms around us, but we are seized by a special and silent atmosphere, that is waiting for our intervention. Then, a transformation occurs and the objects around us acquire their function. Gwenael Nicolas creates interior to be experienced, not to do something conceptual, but real: tomorrow someone can decide to have a room like this.
The idea is to take some of the most representative and iconic elements of an interior. In the living room: sofa, consoles, coffee table; in the dining room: table, bench. And design them again, writing another story, introducing a new dimension in design: time. A piece of furniture is usually static, stationary: what you see is what it is. But Gwenael Nicolas wants to create objects that will change the perception of our daily lives, where it is not the technological aspect to predominate, but the questions the objects pose us. Not a simple transformation, but the notion of a “parallel world” (Monde Parallèle).
Today in design we tend to re-design, re-use, re-define, too often the action is limited to surface: a little more colour, a shape retouching, a gadget...
all remain “peripheral”. Let’s remove the “re”. Today we need to go to the centre of the problem, picking up all the everyday objects and create a sort of “evolution of species” and a new dynamic: to define the evolution of our culture, to ask ourselves what we can do to change our lives and what we want for real.
Gwenael Nicolas has a holistic approach to the project: he doesn’t care the single object because an object is always part of a context, by definition. When we enter a room we perceive it in its whole dimension, through the spatial relationship between the space and the objects it contains, and above all is the light that vibrates like music. And it is the light that determinates the changing of time. The function of the object does not matter (which does not mean that will not be functional), but it is important what it can “bring in more” in the overall design of the project.
We always tend to turn our gaze to the Past, when it’s just looking at Today, looking around us and deciding the direction we want to follow and the goal to be achieved, that we can find inspiration.