From the Bouroullec brothers and Philippe Starck to Jean Nouvel, there are plenty of designers and architects who embody and promote French style on the global stage. Marking its 40th anniversary and the Milan Furniture Fair, which runs April 4 to 9, France's VIA is paying homage to the country's home-grown design with an exhibition of 40 works by French designers.
The works were selected by a committee of designers, philosophers and artists, as well as industry professionals, journalists, gallery owners and photographers. The most well-known figures on the panel include designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, chef Guy Savoy, fashion designer Chantal Thomass, designer Matali Crasset and architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte.
The works have been organized into 10 sections, representing 10 inherent values of French style: heritage, balance, cultural openness, industry and creativity, savoir-faire, audacity, sustainable innovation, elegance and a hint of luxury, panache, and art de vivre.
Design fans will no doubt recognize the Bouroullec brothers' "Ploum" couch for Ligne Roset, India Mahdavi's "Bishop" stool and Constance Guisset's "Vertigo" lamp for Petite Friture.
The VIA enlisted French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac to design the exhibition. He created a series of 10 red and blue tents, inspired by Napoleonic campaigns, to present the works, with each tent housing one of the exhibition's 10 sections.
The "No Taste for Bad Taste" exhibition will then travel to more than 20 cities worldwide, including London, Frankfurt and Cologne, Stockholm, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Montreal and Toronto, New York, Chicago and Miami and Mexico City .
"No Taste for Bad Taste" opens April 5 at the Institut Français in Milan, Italy.
More information: www.via.fr (in French and some English) institutfrancais-milano.com (in French and Italian).