Our first double issue of the year is about Paris and France, and as usual it is published in English, ready for the upcoming international events on design. The reason for this specific focus lies in the fact that the Ville Lumière and its vicinity, from architecture to design, center to outskirts, countryside to city, are producing some strikingly fresh thinking and very stimulating projects.
In architecture, the latest works by protagonists like Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Rudy Ricciotti help us to discover non-linear narratives in a humanistic spirit, adding spectacular presences to the urban fabric. Likewise, in the Cité internationale de la langue française, created inside the Renaissance heritage of Château de Villers-Cotterêts, the interventions of Atelier Projectiles invite visitors to play an active role in the various activi- ties of the museum. In the 10th arrondissement, the Agency Art Recherche Industrie of Ramdane Touhami immerses us in a private dimension of unconventional creativity.
And Les Italiens do the rest. Paola Navone, a designer much admired on the French scene, reveals the value of connections, perspectives and sensations that break free of any linguistic and geographic parameters. She is joined by Alfonso Femia, Diego Grandi, Ferruccio Laviani and other well-known design exponents who talk about their relationship of affection and inspiration with Paris. All of them emphasize that France deserves credit for assigning to décor the same dignity attributed to design, thanks to an age-old tradition that now comes back to life in the experimental attitudes of a new generation of creators, including a remarkable number of women.
Tribute to French creativity
The great school of French contemporary design is represented here by Ronan Bouroullec, the creator of refined artworks that accompany his research on products, and by the timeless brilliance of Philippe Starck, whose provocative vision of design, since the 1980s, has shaped many of the talents now famous on an international level, who tell us about the meaning of this important background today. The tribute to French creativity concludes with a que- stion: is it possible to identify a fil rouge in the work of designers from across the Alps? We asked for the views of seven renowned French designers who interact with the companies of Made in Italy. Our aim here is to understand how much their culture of origin influences their approach, and how the vision of each has been grafted onto the know-how of Italian firms, giving rise to projects capable of crossing boundaries and speaking the languages of the whole world.