For the seventh year running, PARIS DESIGN WEEK presents Now! le Off, an exhibition that is a springboard for young designers taking the first steps of their career. It is open to new talents, emerging design companies and students at design schools. Applicants can present prototypes or finished products ‘as long as they haven’t been commercialised yet). The platform is resolutely in touch with the avant-garde of young designers and has brought together some fifty projects from which to select the most innovative. This year, Philippe Brocart (SAFI managing director), Chantal Hamaide, (editor and founder of Intramuros magazine); Hakim El Kadiri, vice president product development at Rado and Yann Fabès, director of ENSCI – Les Ateliers make up the jury, which is presided over by Philippe Nigro, Designer of the Year Now! design à vivre 2014.
The applicants imagined objects and furniture around a set theme: the technical nature of materials. “We greatly appreciated the diversity of the designers’ reflections and the types of objects they presented”, Philippe Nigro says. The jury president goes on to praise “the great ideas and high overall level of the projects, which all tell a unique story using a well-thought-out aesthetic”. After careful consideration, the experts chose Julien Manaira’s project.
This young designer from Nice graduated from the ESAD de Reims (where he majored in object design) and continued his training with a master’s degree in design at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, where he lives and works today. A few weeks ago, he applied to take part at Now! le Off with Once Liquid Plastic and ‘bingo!’ Philippe Nigro justifies the jury’s choice by underlining “the interesting aesthetic quality of its shape and the use of materials that is faithful to the theme”.
The award-winning shelving unit does indeed express the quality of the material chosen by its designer. “Epoxy resin isn’t a new material, but here it is explored in an experimental way that allows a play of transparency. The spectator wonders if it is in fact glass or plastic. I particularly appreciated the deliberately unfinished aspect of the object and its contours that give rise to questions. The designer has managed this by superposing three layers of material, which explains the sensation of depth that he has obtained. We liked the result”, Philippe Nigro sums up.
At the heart of the prize-winner’s project is a play of perception that was a big hit with the jury: “I made the manufacturing process and the actions carried out on the material explicit, in order to develop the user’s awareness of the material’s successive transformations in becoming the object”, Julien Manaira explains. It was a way for him to “highlight the relationship between the end-user and the object, by making the latter the point of dialogue between the hand of the person who made it and the hand of the person using it”.
In parallel to the Rado Star Prize France 2017 Prix du Jury, ten remarkable projects were shortlisted to take part in the online vote, which is open to all fans of design. As varied as they are creative, they are all in competition for the Rado Star Prize France 2017 – Prix du Public. So what are you waiting for? Get online, you have until September 9th to vote for your favourite!
For more information: www.radostarprize.fr