Constance Guisset stages a harmonious duet of apartments in monochrome and colour

Woman standing on a wooden table and bending down with arms out
Part retrospective, part playful treasure hunt, Parisian industrial designer Constance Guisset transforms Lausanne’s Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (MUDAC) into a suitably bright ode to colour. Courtesy of Constance Guisset
(Image credit: TBC)

The bright visual language of industrial designer Constance Guisset has transformed the ground floor of the Swiss Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (MUDAC) once again. In a bold and somewhat anachronistic move, she has returned the museum’s space to its original historic function – that of a private home – whilst making a decidedly progressive ode to colour. 

For ‘Anima’, as the exhibition and accompanying catalogue are called, Guisset has created two almost identical apartments which echo one another; the first in black and white tones, the other in a vivid medley of warm hues. Part retrospective, too, the mirroring rooms are furnished in Guisset’s greatest designs. Among them, her ‘Vertigo’ lamps and ‘Pebble’ sofa for Petite Friture, her Ankara tables, Angelin lamp and – most recognisable of all – her colour wheel ‘Windmills’ poufs.

Polar bear jumping over a large colourful seating area

Guisset’s pouf collection ‘Windmills’, pictured, was inspired by chromatic circles; the colour variations and curve of the seat giving the illusion that the poufs are in motion

(Image credit: TBC)

Beyond the aesthetically pleasing effect of such a theoretically simple juxtaposition, the Parisian designer aims to invite museum goers to sit down and discover new perspectives. To reflect on the properties of a given material, its expressive power, manoeuvrability and functional potential. 

Furthermore, it is a whimsical investigation into the expressive potential of cold and warm colour palettes, and their inherent ‘genderisation’ (where cold shades are seen as ‘masculine’ and warmer hues as ‘feminine’). Guisset’s approach rather breaks with convention, showing subtly, but with mischievous glee, the way in which colour, or its absence, can date and animate any given object. 

‘To dress objects in colour is to give them materiality, sensuality. The sensation of a coloured effect which, taken in by the eye and retransmitted by the brain, invokes intense emotions,’ she explains discussing why her prototypes and research always begin in a neutral colour palatte. This, she maintains, is when the ‘formal characteristics’ of her objects emerge, before being ‘disguised’ (the Latin word for ‘colour’ comes from ‘celare’, which means ‘to hide’) in chromasticity.

‘Guisset has many surprises in store for us,’ explains MUDAC curator Susanne Hilpert Stuber, ‘with objects hiding into recesses and the partitions of her apartments, like a treasure hunt.’

Interior of a museum

Restoring the ground floor of the museum to it’s original original historic function – that of a private home – Guisset has created two almost identical apartments which echo one another...

(Image credit: TBC)

Room with a desk and chair and pictures on the wall

...the first in black and white tones, melting into the second which springs to life with a vivid medley of warm hues. 

(Image credit: David Gagnebin-de Bons)

Colourful hanging lights, with wall full of art

Intended as a whimsical investigation into the expressive potential of cold and warm colour palettes, Guisset explores their inherent ‘genderisation’ – where cold shades are seen as ‘masculine’ and warmer hues as ‘feminine’

(Image credit: David Gagnebin-de Bons)

Room furnished in Constance Guisset design

Part retrospective, too, the mirroring rooms are furnished in Guisset’s greatest designs. 

(Image credit: David Gagnebin-de Bons)

Pastel coloured hanging lights

Among them, her Ankara lights, pictured. The faceted lamps in metal are inspired by unfolding skirts. Courtesy of Constance Guisset

(Image credit: TBC)

Sculpture with chairs in front of it

Created for Petite Friture, the 'Drapee' chair is made of steel wires, which appear to be draped as the lines unfold between the back and the seat. Courtesy of Constance Guisset

(Image credit: TBC)

A hanging lamp with white paper wrapped around it

The prototype lamp ‘Angelin’ can take multiple shapes. A central metallic structure contains three rolls of paper which can be arranged and draped to create different levels of warmth and transparency. Courtesy of Constance Guisset

(Image credit: TBC)

INFORMATION

‘Anima: Carte blanche to Constance Guisset’ is on view until 15 January 2017. For more information, visit the MUDAC website (opens in new tab) 

ADDRESS

MUDAC
Place de la Cathédrale 6
1005 Lausanne

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