Draft in the design

By Véronique Lorelle

Posted today at 6:00 p.m.

Under the copy of the dome of Cahors Cathedral, the installation of the Finns of Lundén Architecture Company (Another Generosity, 2018) deflated the day before the opening. This is the risk of the trade with balloons filled with air. The one taken by the Center Pompidou-Metz and the City of Architecture and Heritage, co-producers of the “Aerodream. Architecture, design and inflatable structures ”, to see – after a semester spent in Lorraine – in the capital until February 14, 2022.

In the Parisian museum, six works of art take wind under the walls, de facto enlivening the permanent collections dedicated to architecture and heritage from the Middle Ages to the present day. They are new to the Paris exhibition compared to Metz, starting with these glass bubbles (Moments of Happiness, 2019) by Verhoeven Twins, which welcome visitors from the entrance hall. The essence of the subject is in the basement, in the temporary exhibition gallery which is teeming with drawings (they have also been changed, for conservation reasons), films, models, and many balloons more or less functional.

Another Generosity (2018), by Lundén Architecture Company under the copy of the dome of Cahors Cathedral, Paris.

With more than 300 works and 500 references, the Parisian exhibition focuses on two decades of disheveled creation: the 1950-1970 era of triumphant plastic and its running mate (rubber and derivatives, woven mesh, etc.). The craze for these new, light, fun and inexpensive materials is international and transdisciplinary, mobilizing the imagination of scientists, artists, architects and designers. The route begins with these pneumatic shapes that make innovation in aeronautics (Nadar hot air balloon or zeppelin airship), then these weightless creations in architecture and art: Aerostatic sculpture, by Yves Klein in 1957, or Silver Clouds, pillows inflated with helium by Andy Warhol, in 1968. We then enter the space devoted to design.

Psychedelic trends and the conquest of space

A paradoxical universe since the inflatable furniture, symbol of freedom and accessibility, is presented there on catwalks, untouchable. “It is a material that has a short lifespan: suddenly, it is difficult to keep period pieces; these are exceptional and required restoration work ”, explains Valentina Moimas, co-curator of the “Aerodream” exhibition with Frédéric Migayrou.

Quasar Khanh's creations, under the Aerospace brand, range from armchairs to lighting, from the inflatable partition to the coffee table ... Here in the Aerodream exhibition.
Apollo low chair, by Quasar Khanh (1968).

Among them, the design creations that Quasar Khanh (husband of the designer Emmanuelle Khanh from whom he had borrowed the name) launches, under his furniture brand Aerospace, are the most complete and successful. Its hyper-colorful line, inspired by fashion, psychedelic trends and the conquest of space, ranges from furniture to lighting, from the air-filled partition to the house itself which, alone, is not presented in the exhibition. . As early as 1967, he even revisited classics such as the English-style Chesterfield armchair which does not lack air. Exhibited in 1968, its products met with tremendous success on the market. Especially since the inventor provides a repair kit with his products, as for bicycles.

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