Design Diary

A personal review of design creations.

Révélations 2019: The World of Fine Craft in Paris

Somdulyawat CHALERMKIAT_hero.jpg

Révélations is set to open from May 23rd until 26th at the Grand Palais in Paris. 450 artists from 30 countries will be showcased with new sections and Luxembourg as Guest of Honour.

The fourth edition of the international fine crafts and contemporary creation biennial Révélations is returning to Paris, hosting over 40,000 visitors with an even greater focus on showcasing its international dimension and cultural programme both inside the venue and out, Révélations 2019 is pushing its boundaries and aspirations a little further afield.

Nathalie Massenet Dollfus: 2 Butterflies, handblown glass © Nathalie Massenet Dollfus

Nathalie Massenet Dollfus: 2 Butterflies, handblown glass © Nathalie Massenet Dollfus

Révélations has been run by Ateliers d’Art de France since its inception in 2013, and is attended by an illustrious steadily-growing audience. The scenography by Adrien Gardère offers an equal staging to the 450 creators, removing any hierarchy or gimmicks allowing these exceptional works forge a strong connection between creator and visitor.

L. Andrighetto & J-C MIOT - BUOYS (glass & hemp)

L. Andrighetto & J-C MIOT - BUOYS (glass & hemp)

The Biennal welcomes 33 countries represented, doubling the total of the previous edition. Following on from Chile, Luxembourg is this year’s featured country: a combination of tradition and innovation, the Grand Duchy is home to a myriad of crafts and will be showcasing them in all their glory. The selection of 15 artists has been curated by Jean-Marc Dimanche and the staging is made by Gilles Gardula under the patronage of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Guillaume, the crown Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Princess Stéphanie, the crown Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

The artists are Ellen van der Woude (ceramic), Camille Jacobs (master stained glass), Jeitz & Calliste, Sarah Meyers & Laura Fügmann (textile and ceramic), Pascale Seil (master glass-blower), Doris Becker (ceramic), Marie-Isabelle Callier (encaustic painter), Tom Flick (sculpture), Sandy Kahlich (milliner), Ezri Kahn (artisan couturier), Carine Mertes (felt designer), Claude Schmitz (jewellery), Léa Schroeder and Marianne Steinmetzer (ceramic), and Kim-Jung Vu (jewellery).

Artists below are Wouter van der Vlugt & Roxanne Flick + Michael Nätscher.

As for the backbone of the event, the ‘Le Banquet' international exhibition will continue its world tour, inviting nine other countries (Thailand, Romania, India, Iran, Cameroon, South Africa, Spain, Chile, Luxembourg,  to stand alongside France and the featured country. In doing so, the biennial puts its international dimension firmly in the spotlight, supported even further by the number of European and international visitors in attendance. Here are some creations from:

South Africa: Artists featured below: Marisa Fick Jordan (Ukhamba Zulu basket; 2018; Telephone wire) & Chuma Maweni (Painted Ceramic; 2018)

Cameroon: Artists featured below: Beya Gille Gacha (Orant; 2017; pearls embellisched sculpture) & Edith Tialeu (Nubie: 2018; Ceramic)

Iran: Artists featured below: Kourosh Arish (Threshold; 2018; Ceramic, earthenware, alkaline glaze, hand painting) & Behzad Ajdari (Passing; 2018; Ceramic & metal)

India: Artists featured below: Om Prakash Galav (Kagzi pottery; 2018) & Prithviraj Singh Deo (Kangan; 2013; Ceramic)

Finally, the Norwegian designer, Hanne Friis created a piece that embodies the identity of Révélations 2019. ‘Nuances in Blue and Black’ (pictures courtesy of Oystein Thorvaldsen) is a huge sculpture made from blue and black jeans, and is the result of tremendous sewing effort transforming loose fabrics into a compact mass.

Hero picture: Somdulyawat Chalermkiat (Thailand) Bua; 2016; Metal flower pot

Untitled Karl


From fashion to photography, Karl Lagerfeld is a genius ‘touche à tout’. He is now launching his first ever series of sculptural works in Paris.

‘Architectures’ will be unveiled at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris on October 19th (until December 23rd). The collection is made of an artistic series of functional sculptures designed by Karl Lagerfeld and directly inspired by Antiquity, referred to as the origin of beauty, culture and modernity by the designer.

© Carpenters Workshop Gallery

© Carpenters Workshop Gallery

With a precise use of canonical proportions born from the use of the golden ratio and the most noble material, marble, the ensemble of gueridons, tables, lamps, consoles, fountains and mirrors materialize the perfect balance of classical foundations with a present-day vibe, like a modern mythology. 

© Carpenters Workshop Gallery

© Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Each piece is carved from a carefully selected marble block, the Arabescato Fantastico, a rare vibrant white marble with dark grey veins which has not been quarried for more than thirty years, or black Nero Marquina marble, curated for its brush stroke-like, milky white veins. The combination of the material uniqueness with the timeless designs makes every piece exclusive. 

Only available as limited edition of eight pieces in each marble color, plus four artist proofs, each sculptural work is made with the special marble, which is then precisely cut, sculpted, faceted and polished in Italy by the best craftsmen, to achieve the vibrant exactness of the elements.

The architect Aline Asmar d’Amman carried out the studies and the development of the works created by Karl Lagerfeld. 

© Carpenters Workshop Gallery

© Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Lebanese Supernova in Paris


They have been compared to a shooting star but now they have settled their own constellation. From Beirut, to Milan and Paris, David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem known as david/nicolas are brimming with talent. My best and warmest wishes to the duo for this first solo show at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris

‘Supernova’ is composed of Constellation and Monocle, an interpretation of a post-explosion phenomenon.

Constellation - C070 (2018), Travertino Navona, Silvered Brass

Constellation - C070 (2018), Travertino Navona, Silvered Brass

The Lebanese duo unveils a collection of tables, cabinets and rugs built upon their fascination with time and the universe. They created a retro-futuristic ensemble that speaks to the beauty of regeneration. The show exhibits pieces that chart the transformative nature of the celestial body through materials that evoke concepts of both form and void.

DAVID & NICOLAS_Constellation C070_05 2.jpeg

Monocle represents large masses of dense matter (wood, marble, bronze, glass). Constellation is inspired by the new life of a star and the explosion phenomenon (low tables).

‘Supernova’ runs until 6 October 2018.

The Lamps That Will Make Paris Melt

Tarek Elkassouf Hero.jpg

Lebanese designer Tarek ElKassouf unveils his new Melting Lamps in Paris this September.

From his designer’s notes, Tarek describes ‘Minerality II’ as an exploration of materiality and surrealism in design. 

Tarek Elkassouf - The melting Lamps - 02 copy.jpg

The physical properties of the design elements are transferred so that the fragile light creates the illusion of melting through a rectangular block of marble.

Light elements are dropped onto the marble to mould a liquefying effect in the solid structure. The materiel used are nero marquina with reflective stainless steel or statuario with reflective brass. The base is 150mm x 150mm x 300mm and the light is 750mm.

The Melting Lamps will be presented during Paris Design Week at the Gallery S. Bensimon in Paris.

Tarek Elkassouf - The melting Lamps - 03 copy.jpg

I met Tarek back in 2016 when he was part of the Squad Design creations presented during Design Days Dubai. Based between Sydney and Beirut, Tarek goggles with both the macro and micro dimensions with either large-scale projects (such a house in Lebanon) or small corporate gifts. His attention to details and materials makes him someone, although rather discreet, with whom you can count on the beauty of the finishing. 

During my last trip to Australia in 2017, he shared his passion for food and introduced me his ‘Something by Tarek’ collection. The limited edition pieces are all handmade by artisans and can also be called ‘Collectible Curiosities’.