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House of Games

Erin Tallman
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“Oh, that’s funny,” says a 3-year-old boy on his dad’s shoulders, looking at Morrel’s Strangeye Flower and Bugs, “but scary.”

Hands in his dad’s hair, he was taken around the rest of the museum space of the House of Games exhibition at Maison&Objet’s September show in Paris.

Three wildly fun rooms made up the House of Games: the game room, the salon and the museum. Exiting the museum, visitors could enjoy looking through the various works dedicated to games and gaming at the House of Games bookstore/café. Down the hall in the conference room, the creator of this year’s inspiration exhibition, Vincent Grégoire from Agence NellyRodi, spoke about his installation.

The Break & Make Design Gen

“They grew up with games. Everything’s a game for them.”

Grégoire explained that games now appear in every area of life, including work, and links this to a new game, the goal of which is to play with identity; he believes gaming brings positive results, allowing people to be more creative. During the conference he gave Friday (Sept 2), he points to three aspects of the game that’s reconstructing the design world: society, role and chance.

We don’t work, we play.

In society, we see a growing need to leave the screen and spend time with others, so we’re finding co-workers playing games like Scrabble together at lunchtime or companies like Google who install play areas. There’s even a mixing of the classes as big brands begin producing stylish board games. This “We don’t work, we play” ideology is the heart of today’s design generation.

As for roles, such as male and female or young and old, a mix-and-match system through digital surrealism seems to be of order. While artists such as Blase add humor to restored paintings and portray the male-to-female role exchange like in Elzo Durt’s collages, architects redefine structural use by plopping hotels, for example, on the roof of other structures. “I can’t count the number of architecture projects that use the roof as a podium.” Grégoire points to Philippe Starck’s ”surrealist” and ”poetic” hotel to be launched in 2018.

“We need to let go of what’s ‘good taste’ or ‘bad taste’ and just add some taste.”

Lucky numbers and symbols are scattered upon objects, offering a chic spirit of hope. Designers are amplifying this “luck is in the stars” philosophy. With eyes everywhere–like Marion Delarue’s Amulet Set of Jewelry–, Grégoire believes this shows the present generation’s desire to feel surrounded, rather than alone in front of their device, “While still holding onto the idea of fantasy,” he said when presenting work from Kristjana S. Williams and Moooi.

Studio Job, according to Grégoire, exemplifies the idea of “making fun of ourselves and playing with the system.” Grégoire explained that today’s design generation bends the rules, takes things apart and builds from pieces taken left and right. He defines them as the break-and-make designers.

Courtesy of Maison&Objet and Frederique Morrel
Courtesy of Maison&Objet and Frederique Morrel

Courtesy of Starck

Studio Job and Land Rover 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

Image via ViviCreativo

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