Launch of Oui Design: a Groundbreaking Program to Enhance French-American Cooperation in the Field of Design

January 19, 2016 | By French Culture

Logo created by Antoine+Manuel

New York, January 19, 2016 - The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States is thrilled to announce the launch of Oui Design, a multifaceted program to foster creative exchange in design between France and the U.S. By partnering with individuals and institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, Oui Design supports and initiates creative collaborations with designers, artisans, curators, inventors, researchers, teachers, students, and manufacturers. It also brings French designers to the U.S. to exhibit their works, and engage with industry professionals and the public. In so doing, the program aims to enhance the economic and creative aspects of the design industry in both countries.

Supported by Institut français-Paris, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and the Florence Gould Foundation, Oui Design will consist of exhibitions, talks, workshops, debates, residencies, and more in New York in 2016 and 2017. Meanwhile, additional projects and events will take place in Boston, Chicago, and Miami. The program will offer U.S. audiences a context in which to discover and exchange with some of the most important designers and professionals in France today.

The program kicks off in January 2016 with Ionna Vautrin’s Le bestiaire, an exhibition of surreal animal costumes previously presented at France’s most respected design fair, Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne, in 2015. The exhibition opened at the FIAF Gallery in New York on January 16th, as part of the Tilt Kids Festival co-presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF). It will travel to the French Cultural Center of Boston on April 6th.

During NYCxDESIGN, New York City's official citywide celebration of design (May 3-17), Oui Design will explore the intersection of design and savoir-faire, and investigate the impact of design on our daily lives with a series of projects at WantedDesign. The program will include the Transatlantic Creative Exchange, which will showcase the glass, upholstery, and aluminum creations of French-American creative teams made up of a designer and a manufacturer each. Celebrated French designer matali crasset will present We trust in wood, a series of objects that came out of a collaboration with local artisans during a residency at Vent des Forêts rural art center in Meuse, France. Finally, students and instructors from one of France’s most prestigious design schools, the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle-Les Ateliers (ENSCI-Les Ateliers) will lead a week-long workshop for American and international design students, who will collaborate on a project and present it to a jury of experts. The workshop, Thinking and Making, Exploring Materials with the Notion of Playfulness, will be directed by Matt Sindall (French designer and teacher at ENSCI-Les Ateliers).
At the same time, WantedDesign Manhattan will feature a French pavilion organized in partnership with Business France, with other French-American projects soon to be revealed. This kick-off during the WantedDesign tradeshow underlines WantedDesign’s commitment as a main partner and co-curator of Oui Design.

On May 11th at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, YMER&MALTA Director Valérie Maltaverne will give a presentation on the philosophy and process of her French design studio, which she conceives of as a research lab. On May 13th and 20th at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), curator Alexandra Midal will present Designers Screenings, a series of films and videos by designers.

“The energy around design in New York City is undeniable. The city has always attracted creative people by virtue of its excellent museums, galleries, artist communities, and design fairs. In France, creative industries like design are integral to French life. They are as much a part of our national heritage as they are key players in our economy. Excellent design schools and a longstanding tradition of decorative arts have allowed France to cultivate a rich and varied design legacy. As a result, many French designers and companies from the cultural and creative sector have become global leaders in their field, contributing to the vitality of France’s economy. Our goal with Oui Design is to showcase this artistic excellence on an international stage, and sow seeds for an even deeper international collaboration,” said Thomas Michelon, Deputy Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the U.S.

The French Embassy commissioned French graphic artists Antoine Audiau and Manuel Warosz (Antoine+Manuel) to create a logo and visual identity for the Oui Design program. In their work, Antoine+Manuel often use typography and illustrations to make collages and photo reconstructions with a surrealist or dreamy flair. For Oui Design, Antoine+Manuel designed a contemporary, innovative, dynamic graphic that evokes architecture, typographic drawing and contemporary design. The letters that form the words “Oui Design” link together like a mobile or a toy train. The textures and bright colors form a landscape or planet.

Additional Oui Design events during NYCxDESIGN will be announced shortly.


Oui Design during NYCxDESIGN - May 2016 - New York

INNOVATION AND SAVOIR-FAIRE:
WantedDesign: Design Schools Workshop with ENSCI-Les Ateliers
Transatlantic Creative Exchange
We trust in wood by matali crasset & Vent des Forêts
May 7-17, 2016 - WantedDesign, Brooklyn

DESIGNERS SCREENINGS
Friday, May 13, at 7:00 pm
Friday, May 20, at 7:00 pm
Museum of Arts and Design

THE NEW SAVOIR-FAIRE: A TALK WITH YMER&MALTA
Wednesday, May 11, at 6:30 pm
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
 


About
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions, and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts. www.frenchculture.org

The Institut français implements France’s cultural action abroad. Under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its role is to act as the conduit for a “diplomacy of influence,” which includes the promotion of visual art, architecture, and design, lending support to artists living and working in France, Africa and the Caribbean. Through the creation of a greater dialogue between France and foreign cultures, the Institut français responds to the needs of France via a policy of listening, partnership and openness to other cultures.
www.institutfrancais.com


The French Ministry of Culture and Communication aims to make the major works of humanity—and especially those of France—accessible to the largest number of people possible. As such, it maintains a policy of conservation, of protection, and of development of all components of French cultural heritage. It promotes the creation of works of art and of the mind, and the development of art practices and education. It further contributes to cultural initiatives outside of France, and to initiatives relating to the establishment of French cultural programs throughout the world. www.culturecommunication.gouv.fr

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