For each edition, Maison&Objet names a Designer of the Year, celebrating the work of the most outstanding talents on the international design and decoration scene. Having been unable to present his installation on receiving the accolade in September 2020, Franklin Azzi took centre stage at the March 2022 edition with RETRO FUTUR, an immersive exploration of his creative process.
RETRO FUTUR is an artistic installation that explores the creative processes of the future using tools from the past, echoing the way in which Franklin Azzi approaches his work as an architect.
The immersive RETRO FUTUR installation stages the architect’s day-to-day activities via a digital, modular and pared-back table in black lacquered metal: it diffuses, across a series of screens, a selection of basic and traditional tools (set square, rotring pen, tracing paper, light table, etc.) as well as the various items required each day when developing a project: architectural models, materials, sketches, etc.
Static and moving images appear in succession, showcasing the manual techniques the architect employs in conjunction with his latest creations. Strapping made from strips of upcycled industrial felt separates the object from the rest of the lounge. As Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was keen to convey, felt is an outstanding natural material that can help retain heat, a source of energy that served as a veritable creative driver for the German artist’s work.
The space itself is entirely upholstered with felt, including the ceiling, creating an acoustic bubble that fosters concentration. The slatted curtain, meanwhile, invites visitors to enter and exit the installation at will. The durable and natural felt, which is manufactured in France by Le Feutre, imbues the space with an intimate, calming vibe. The installation resolutely embraces the retro futurism trend that is sweeping through the creative arts (design, architecture, cinema, literature, fashion, etc.), and is one of the sources of inspiration underpinning the agency’s overall approach. It is characterised by a fusion of imagery that sees progress and science-fiction pictured in the past with a view to seeing all futuristic aspects of the present become retro-futuristic over time.
Strapping: Dimensions 7.5m x 13.5m (approx. 100m2), Height 4m.
10 screens of 75 inches
Materials: Felt (curtains: 8mm felt, width 20cm, ceiling: 2mm felt), black lacquered metal table