Something I really fancy about my job is being a witness of young talents developping their art, their skills, style and business. I get to meet bright designers and most of all I can (try) to understand what they want to convey as a message or as a contribution to the society. I like that very much. Last May I wrote this paper about POOL. They have just introduced new furniture designs in collaboration with Galerie Bensimon for french e-retailer La Redoute (yellow string chair and dining table). The collection includes as well designs by Laurent Coriot, Cristian Mohaded, Mark Braun and Antoine Phelouzat, and is due to be sold by mid-december. Of course I am always keen on any mix of high-end galery design (hence the talented Mr Serge Bensimon) with popular mass-distribution channel (La Redoute).
There is something special about Pool, a ‘designers duet’ formed by Lea Padovani and Sébastien Kieffer.
When Lea worked at some designers studio I would by then be in touch with her but it was only in 2010 that I was first introduced to her work with Kieffer. We really met a few years later in Milan through a common friend (journalist and curator Cédric Morisset) whom had curated and commissionned ‘Nouvelle Vague : the new French domestic landscape’ (then in its ‘primera e prima edizione’), an exhibition that promoted french new design scene. In addition to showing their own furnitures, Pool created the logo and other brand related artwork for Nouvelle Vague. The whole project was a huge success and travelled a lot (Canada, Israel, France, Italy, …); a second edition of the exhibition is due for the Designers Days in Paris (June 2013). At the time I met visited their boot on the ‘little fair’, Lea and Sebastien had yet been given the opportunity to work on some relevant projects with key players (I can remenber of an innovative noise reduction ceiling system). At the same time they’d manage to confront their abilitity to collaborate with industrials and run more personnal projects. Not that they aimed at the limited edition, gallery driven and collectible design sector … ‘Souviens-toi que tu vas mourrir’ a seat that reached some kind of hall of fame (not that I am exagerating but it became a cult piece in its own way) was a quintessence of this ambivalent direction nurtured by POOL.
I also like the fact that Pool can play both on the graphic and industrial design scenes. With some kind of de Valence or M/M influences it still bears its own style and its french DNA. All coming with awesome craftmanship, multi level intelligence, … Shown below is the limited edition and antithesis fiberglass chair (12 units only) that looks like from some point of view (only) just like your childhood cheap mass produced ‘plastic’ seats …
Habitat creative director, Pierre Favresse, commissioned Pool on a beautiful table lamp for the SS13 collection.
© Benjamin Le Du
What else ? There is something that reminds me of Italy of course but you cannot refrain from feeling a ‘scandi’ touch in their approach as well. Unless you prefer to stop in Paris and meditate on their french touch, this very one that is now acclaimed and got them to be granted the prestigious UK ELLE DECORATION New Designers Award 2013. This being a recognition of their decorative talent whilst they received the LABEL VIA 2012 for their lighting ceiling system W&W (ALTER). When a poetic approach meets innovation in all its meanings …
Pictured below are : poster for Nouvelle Vague Volume 2, ‘Parasol’ table lamp for Habitat and ‘Ustensiles picturaux’ a project for the ceramic Biennale in Vallauris
©POOL + Virgili Jubero (portrait picture)
- Parasol Lamp by Léa Padovani & Sébastien Kieffer (mocoloco.com)