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A sneak preview of the M&O PARIS January 2017 Inspirations Space!

Inside M&O

Next January the Inspirations Space will explore the soothing world of silence, a theme selected by the MAISON&OBJET Observatoire. Read on for Elizabeth Leriche’s analysis of her contemplative exhibition design.

Why silence?

In a context of generalised hyperconnectivity, the incessant flow of information and omnipresent images, screens and noise, lifestyle and interior decoration will increasingly need to answer the need for calm and serenity by proposing new ways of living and being. This quest to disconnect comes in answer to a desire to regain control of the time of our own existence. Architects are exploring soundproofing solutions and designers are tackling new ways of shutting oneself away from the world, both in public or private spaces. Serenity and simplicity are like two doors that open out onto beauty and these realms are being investigated by photographers, artists and designers. My Inspirations Space is an invitation to journey through the sacred lands of silence, a silence that is precious because it is so rare and which has become a luxurious element that inspires every sphere of creation.

How did you choose the layout of the space?

After an airlock type zone of hyperconnectivity, the visitor experiences the passage from blaring noise to silence, from chaos to calm and from darkness to light through successive veils in a progression through different cocoon-like spaces which each reveal a different manner of personifying silence. For example in the felt room – a material that has amazing sound insulation properties – visitors discover a contemporary take on ways to cut yourself off from the world. They can try out the a wood and felt Nascondino alcove and the Cork Helmet, both of which were designed by Pierre-Emmanuel Vandeputte. The special Libratone headphones will immerse you in the audible landscape of nature and reveal sounds that we are no longer used to hearing. The visit includes a space with a video by Cécile Letalec and a zone entirely set aside for contemplation. As you continue your voyage of discovery, minimalism, transparency and finesse gradually foster well-being.

What colours have you associated with silence?

Traditionally black and white are the colours of silence and that is the meaning behind the two highly symbolic silent rooms just after the contemplation area. First there is an immaculate white library, entirely covered with veils and full of books and handmade ceramics; on a table is a presentation of Nadia Gallardo’s paper creations. Both contrary and complementary the bedroom (the other silent domestic environment) is treated in black to express the mysteries of the night. I have also used a palette of some very watery shades of blue lagoon for another space based around the idea of a dreamy, aquatic world.

What place do objects have in this circuit?

I have chosen to highlight archetypal forms, restful functions and everyday objects that are designed to make time for gestures, such as utensils derived from the Japanese tea ceremony, for example the Mu Cedar Board by Native & Co and Michael Anastassiades’ Meditation Stools. An essential feature is the object’s ‘mise en abyme’ within its setting. That’s why I placed eight cells around the contemplation zone which are like monk’s cells and that establish an intimate tête-à-tête between the objet and a window that looks out over a landscape. Objects have a role to play in winning back the nurturing silence of a location.

Discover the ‘Silence’ Inspirations Space in Hall 7.
Cahier d’Inspirations #30, 112 euros.

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