The display cases of Sept Appartements based on groundsman Hervé Liénard's DIY approach to renovation and upkeep of seven rental apartments.
What is your favorite object? The young designers from Benetton's prestigious Fabrica Institute presented this question to 15 staff members from Belgium's Grand-Hornu cultural center and museum. Translating their responses into considered one-off furniture pieces, the 15 objects were presented as one-half of the Objet Préféré/Objet Coloré exhibition at the Triennale Design Museum.
The interviews with Grand-Hornu's staff members—ranging from museum guides, administrative managers, site electricians to the museum's director—looped on a video inside the exhibition and were also accessible via transcripts laid out on newsprint. Grand-Hornu was built in the early 1800's as an industrial mining complex—today it hosts innovative design exhibitions and cultural events.
Under the art direction of French industrial designer Sam Baron, unlike typical exhibitions, individual designers and the Grand-Hornu staff members that contributed their thoughts are not identified—each piece is named solely after the object it is based on.
United Color of Benetton presents Objet Préféré
An exhibition by Fabrica and Grand-Hornu
Triennale Design Museum
On View through April 22nd
Nesting tables of Bottines pour Enfant & Crâne (Boots for Children & Skull) based on head of Grand-Hornu Images Françoise Foulon's first pair of baby shoes and the, "little skulls adorning the site's founders in the Grand-Hornu crypt." (Foulon couldn't choose which she liked more.) The tables extend to resemble steps as a reminder of Foulon's of first steps and the skull, as a memento mori, reminds her of the end.
Sophie Trivière, head of the cultural department of the MAC, loves her Jardin (Garden). As someone who has had several gardens, Trivière notes, "you can transport furniture and objects...but not gardens." Fabrica's designers built a set of delicate planter boxes that would allow for her to create the portable garden of her dreams.
Album Photo is a family-focused shelving unit that would be perfect for an entryway—shelving in the front, hooks in the back, seating and a perfect nook for the sacred family photo album. From on-site electrician Cataldo Zitolo's favorite object: his family photo album.
Brigitte Delattre, head of the administrative and finance department, shares that her favorite object is her great-grandmother's Broche (brooch) which was given to her by her grandmother. "Because it has sentimental value...when I see the brooch I think of her and the good times we shared together." The table built to house the accessory has a single drawer to highlight the preciousness. Sliding open the drawer, a mirrored base reflects the face of the person who opened it, a nice take on the idea of memory and sentimentality.
Sketch of above Sept Appartament.