Archipelago chairs evoke the visual language of island landscapes.
Mohammad Yusuf, Feature Writer
Beirut-based designer Roula Salamoun, who showcased her designs at Dubai Design Week, is showcasing a series of new pieces, alongside her signature Strata rugs, at Paris Design Week (September 8-12).
Exhibiting at the Espace Commines, it presents the new Archipelago seats and the Strata tables, which are inspired by nature.
Archipelago chairs evoke the visual language of island landscapes. Seemingly shaped by the passage of time, they reveal sculpted edges and striking views. The slender bases of the archipelago allude to coastal erosion, while their prominent backs are reminiscent of mountainous highlands.
Mimicking island clusters and peninsulas, their organic silhouettes suggest complementarity and independence, inviting the user to unite them freely or use them individually. Coordinating fabrics, available in a range of colours, are selected to reflect these different natural environments in a tactile experience; soft to the touch, both textures elicit a sensory response.
The seats are handcrafted – their cores are foam on a solid wood frame – and upholstered by hand. The design of Strata tables is rooted in topographic studies; they are an evolution of Salamoun’s Strata rug collection, this time manifesting the explorations in a series of three-dimensional objects.
Mimicking the tectonic landscape of cliffs and sea stacks, the collection investigates the ubiquitous richness of textures and colors revealed in the stratification of dissimilar topographic layers. Shaped by earth, water, wind and also human gestures, the topographies testify to time. Strata tables echo the variations of the terrain, inviting the user to imagine how they came to be.
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The pieces are cast by hand using resin and natural marble, applied with a characteristic intuitive casting method. To transform the rich colors of the natural realm while being mindful of environmental impact, the designer carefully selected natural stones left over from the construction industry. Each piece is special, as natural variations in color and texture may occur from edition to edition.
Salamoun is an architect and designer, and founder of a studio developing multidisciplinary projects. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in architecture with distinction (American University of Beirut, 2007) and pursued her Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design in New York (Columbia University, 2011), where she received the William Kinne scholarship. In 2019, her collaboration with Ieva Saudargaite Doueihy entitled Nationmetrix, received the Arte Laguna ARS prize at the Venice Art Biennale.
She has collaborated with Columbia University on a number of regional projects in the Middle East and worked with Bernard Khoury/DW5 for over six years as a project manager and lead architect before establishing her cabinet in 2017. His work has been presented at Studio X in New York, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the House of Today Biennale in Beirut, the Piasa auction in Paris and Dubai Design Week.
She has been featured in major trade publications such as Wallpaper, Architectural Digest, Galerie Magazine and she was listed as a designer to watch by Domus Magazine.
Salamoun’s technical experience covers all phases of the project (see her website) from design, to tender and construction supervision, which she combines with her experience in team management. and resources, responding to calls for tenders (requests for proposals) and negotiating contracts.
She explores her interest in multi-scalar design, experiential design and experimentation with sustainable materials through projects ranging from architecture to experimental installations and develops the artistic side of her practice through works that address the relationship of the body. human, space and the objects that occupy it. .
His design studio strives to explore the boundaries between analog and digital design, experiential design and material experimentation through architecture, interiors and product design. Extraground, the laboratory section of the practice, is an exploratory space for research and investigation on the built environment and its representations through its urban fabric and its cultural production.
He brings an alternative approach to the practice of architecture and urbanism through research, installations, workshops and archival practices, imagining a symbiotic relationship between commissioned projects and self-initiated research.
“We approach product design as we do architectural projects, reinterpreting form and function through the lens of research, topics of interest, and informed by the results of our investigations,” the studio explains. “We strive to create unique projects that revisit the user’s relationship to space.”
Paris Design Week (September 8 to 17) allows professionals, design enthusiasts and the general public to immerse themselves in the very latest trends in design and decoration.
On the program, the possibility of discovering emerging talents on the way to becoming the big names of tomorrow at the Paris Design Week Factory; a series of new Parisian addresses to add to design musts; a future-oriented approach to design supported by the Campus des Métiers d’Art & Design of the Académie du Climat, a veritable laboratory presenting the work of the most exciting young designers; and a gourmet itinerary signed Gault & Millau, a prestigious publishing partner.
“With over 300 addresses to choose from,” organizers say, “how will you decide where to go? Whether you are looking to sharpen your eye for collectible design, update your little design address book, familiarize yourself with French design expertise, dive deeper into the world of “Meta Sensible”, to meet new design talent, or simply see Paris in a whole new light, Paris Design Week offers everyone an endless array of tantalizing ingredients for a truly inspiring stroll.