The year's finest furniture
Even seasoned travellers welcome the insight of the right sort of local, a gently guiding hand in new territories or a fresh take on the familiar. With this in mind, Wallpaper* in collaboration with Tudor watches has produced a series of Style Files; country-specific, cliché-dodging dossiers and in-the-field notes for the contemporary explorer who really knows where they are going.
One look at the smooth, rounded forms of his wooden furniture will tell you that French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance has a thing for curves. His ‘Manta’ desk for Ceccotti Collezioni, for instance, is clearly for urban use, but its form is aquatic; solid woodwork appears almost fluid, with wind-sculpted scoops and oceanic cambers. ‘I think it’s vital we make an organic connection between the interior and the exterior through objects we design,’ says Duchaufour-Lawrance, who finds inspiration in the area around his country house in Amiens, as well as his daily walks around Île de la Cité, near his Paris atelier. ‘It is very important that people living in the city can make a visual link with nature and the elements too.’ Since grabbing the design world’s attention with his audacious interior for London restaurant Sketch in 2003 (like being in 1970s sci-fi Paris – Guy Bourdin as directed by Ridley Scott), Duchaufour-Lawrance has created a new identity for Air France’s business lounges, candelabra for Baccarat, a perfume bottle shaped like a gold bar for Paco Rabanne, a brand identity for Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics, furniture for SaintLuc and more. ‘I’m also designing a restaurant for the tallest building in Paris,’ he says. ‘I can’t tell you exactly where… you’ll have to guess.’ Food, drink and cafés play a pivotal role in his design process, it seems. Each morning, he goes to the same brasserie and sits sketching for a disciplined two hours. ‘I try every day to come up with something new,’ he says. ‘I love to eat. To me, food is even more important than design!’ he adds, making an appropriately curvy connection between both oeuvres. ‘Just as with design, food is all about a focus on good materials, a consideration for proportion and presentation.’