Nouvelle Vague: The New French Domestic Landscape

A+A Cooren, Pierre Favresse, Studio NOCC, POOL, Ionna Vautrin

Curated by Curated by Cédric Morisset

August 11 – August 11, 2020


It’s difficult to believe that in such a sluggish economic climate, France has never known such a creative and entrepreneurial frenzy in the design world.

In a matter of three years, the design industry has seen more designers, independent labels and design galleries emerge than over the past 10 years.

In this short time their pioneering studio work, production, and promotion of new objects and furniture collections has allowed a new generation of designers to stand out. This exhibition recognizes the designers who are an integral part of the community’s recent success. Among the numerous new faces, five had presented for the first time new work in prototype editions and small production during the Milan Furniture Fair in 2011. Radically different from each other, but united in the spirit of collaboration and solidarity, these designers are risk-takers in the new French domestic landscape.

– Cédric Morisset



This Exhibition is presented by Harbourfront Centre in partnership with the Consulate General of France in Toronto, and with support from the Institut français.



Cédric Morisset

With a degree in History of Art and Cultural Management, Cédric Morisset turned towards design after a brief entry into contemporary art. He then became curator for an exhibition in 2003 at the invitation of the International Biennale of Design in Lisbon. Since then, he has been pursuing an interest in design through several exhibitions presented in France and outside the country such China, Brazil and Italy. Morisset is also a permanent collaborator, as a specialist in design, for A.D. magazine and Le Figaro. He also wrote the chapter on design for the book, Louis Vuitton: art & création, published by Rizzoli New York; interviewed the Brazilian designers Humberto & Fernando Campana for a book published by Archibooks; and he collaborated with Marion Vignal on the book, Les 101 mots du design (One hundred and one words of design), also published by Archibooks.



Upon graduating from the Ecole Camondo in Paris in 1999, the French-Japanese design duo, Aki and Arnaud Cooren, founded A+A Cooren Design Studio in the same year. Fundamental to their design approach is the Japanese aesthetic of simplicity, allowing the studio to integrate a subtle reference to nature into everyday objects and interiors. This multidisciplinary duo specializes in lighting, but also excels in product, furniture, and interior design. With ongoing research into simplicity of manufacturing and the ease of use for the final user, they believe that creating a good product is the outcome of teamwork between the manufacturers or craftspeople, and the designers.

Some of the pieces on exhibition are part of collections at the French National Contemporary Art Fund and the Contemporary Art Fund of the City of Paris.



After having specialized in design at the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris, Pierre Favresse worked with designer Mathieu Lehanneur, later becoming studio director, before founding his own studio in 2010.

Favresse’s creations are characterized by their simplicity, balancing craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology. His studio practice emphasizes use of new materials while maintaining a strong focus on social and environmental concerns, be that through reduced manufacturing costs or eco-friendly methods and materials. Today, he concentrates his efforts towards developing relationships with international manufacturers across Europe. Since November 2010, Favresse has been the resident designer at the Ateliers de la Ville de Paris and has been the artistic director of Habitat since December 2011.



Jean-Christophe Orthlieb and Juan Pablo Naranjo met during their studies at Strate College Designer in Paris. They both graduated in 2008 and established Studio NOCC that same year. Naranjo is Colombian and an engineer from Universidad de los Andes in Bogota. Orthlieb is French and studied Physics at the university in Nice. Their collaboration is a permanent dialogue guided by a shared scientific mind and conceptual vision. The never takes an object for granted and focuses on adding different layers of meaning by playing with archetypal concerns in a poetic yet useful way. In 2009, Studio NOCC developed the “Object of Sound” for Self Studio which consisted of a collection of objects whose forms are generated by the shape of soundwaves that are recorded when the name of each object is pronounced. Studio NOCC was awarded Humanitech’s 2010 first prize for a cardboard bed intended for humanitarian emergencies, developed for the company Leaf Supply.



POOL is a Parisian design studio founded by Léa Padovani & Sébastien Kieffer. After meeting in 2006, when they worked at a design studio led by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, their first experiments began to take shape and the beginning of their artistic collaboration was born, with Padovani working as both interior designer and studio director and Kieffer as designer. Their collaboration led the duo to create POOL in 2010, and as a collective, aims to explore associations between objects, architecture, and images. Looking beyond an object’s beauty and function, the designers search for multiplicity of meanings and highlight the emotions and reference points that colour the way each of us views and interprets a creative work. They were named the “Talents à la carte” by L’Éclaireur during the Paris furniture fair in January 2012. AD Magazine also selected POOL to compete in a contest where 10 young design firms submitted designs as contenders for a new Thierry Costes restaurant.



Ionna Vautrin graduated from the Nantes Atlantique Design School in 2002 and has since worked for Camper in Spain, George J. Sowden in Italy, and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec in France. At the same time, she developed her own projects with different manufacturers, starting with Industreal, the Tools Galerie, Wallpaper, and more recently, for Foscarini, Moustache and Super-ette. She opened her own studio in January 2011 after receiving Paris’ Grand Prize for Creativity in 2010. She currently lives and works in Paris.