Oui Design During NYCxDESIGN Draws Thousands

May 18, 2016 | By French Culture

From May 7 through 20 in New York City, Oui Design, the French Embassy’s program that fosters creative exchange in design between France and the U.S., co-presented over 20 events within the framework of NYCxDESIGN, New York’s official city-wide celebration of design. Oui Design brought the work of 27 international designers and curators as well as 15 manufacturers and institutions to New York.

The events, which welcomed thousands of design enthusiasts and professionals, took place at WantedDesign Brooklyn and Manhattan; the Museum of Arts and Design; and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, among other prestigious arts institutions.

Two exhibitions were on view at WantedDesign Brooklyn from May 7th through 17th showcasing the work of French designers and artisans. We trust in wood came out of a collaboration between the celebrated French designer matali crasset and local artisans in Northern France during a residency at Vent des Forêts, a rural art center. The Transatlantic Creative Exchange, a program curated by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, co-founders of Wanted Design, paired French-American designer and manufacturer teams, who showcased their creations, which were created with glass, aluminum and upholstery in order to stimulate innovation using those materials. The project will recur for a second edition in 2017 with new intercultural partnerships. 

During a private Design Schools Workshop—also a collaboration between Oui Design and WantedDesign—French designer and ENSCI-Les Ateliers instructor Matt Sindall conducted a five-day series of workshops with students from six international design schools. Students worked together to create a final project to be presented to a jury on May 16th.

At WantedDesign Manhattan, French design team Antoine+Manuel—creators of the Oui Design logo—crafted a large-scale interactive installation that was commissioned by WantedDesign Manhattan and used magnetic materials by Visual Magnetics.

At the Museum of Arts and Design, design theorist Alexandra Midal guest curated a vibrant two-part celebration of film and video created by designers—Designers ScreeningsExpanding the boundaries of the design discipline, the selection of films illustrated how the moving image has become a powerful medium for designers. And at Cooper Hewitt, Valérie Maltaverne, director of French design studio Ymer&Malta spoke about the “witty combination of traditional craftsmanship and cutting edge innovation" that infuses her designs during at talk at the acclaimed design museum.

At the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design; Michelle Millar Fisher, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design; and Alexandra Midal, Design Historian, presented an abecedarium exhibition exhibition entitled Is Fashion Modern? in which 26 garments and other iconic elements—one for each letter of the alphabet, s—"Z" for zipper, for examplespanning from the early 20th century to the present.  

These projects were created to highlight France’s unique savoir-faire and the unique skill of French artisans, designers, and manufacturers. Oui Design will continue with similar events through 2017, bringing French design and collaborative projects to cities across the U.S. including Boston, Miami, Detroit, and Chicago.


The Oui Design team thanks all of the designers, curators, manufacturers and other participants who took part in the ambitious project: Sarah Coffin, Alexandra Midal, Antoine+Manuel, matali crasset, Noé Duchaufour Lawrence, Benjamin Graindorge, Steven Haulenbeek, Michael Sean Stolworthy, Matt Sindall, Jonah Takagi, Marc Thorpe, Yann Grinenberger from Centre international d'art verrier at Meisenthal, Isabelle Reiher from Centre international de recherche du verre et arts plastiques, Antoine Roset, Alex Rasmussen from tabisso, Pascal Yonet from Vent des Forêts, Licia Bottura from ENSCI and Valérie Maltaverne from Ymer&Malta.

Oui Design would not have been possible without its generous sponsors—Institut français-Paris, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, FACE Foundation, Air France and the Florence Gould Foundation—and its partners—Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat at Wanted Design; Caroline Bauman from the Cooper Hewitt; Glen Adamson, Katerina Llanes, and Claire Laporte from the Museum of Arts and Design; Paola Antonelli from the MoMA, Tori Deetz from Visual Magnetics, NYCxDESIGN, and Surface Magazine.

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