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mathieu lehanneur talks ‘outonomy’ exhibition as maison&objet’s 2024 designer of the year

Mathieu Lehanneur is Maison&Objet designer of the year 2024

 

Maison&Objet 2024 is wrapped in the future-speculative theme, ‘TECH EDEN.’ As this edition’s event postulates, explores, and pontificates on the technologies that have and will define the very texture of the design industry, the group aptly recognizes interdisciplinary designer Mathieu Lehanneur as its Designer of the Year. Held from January 18-22, the fair celebrates his work with ‘Outonomy’, a pensive, immersive environment that has flowed from the mind of the designer himself. 

 

In an exclusive interview with designboom, Mathieu Lehanneur talks about the inception of his pavilion exhibition, saying, ‘I didn’t want to make just a retrospective of my work: I will wait a few decades to do that. I wanted to use this carte blanche invitation from Maison&Objet to create something that is a new project on life.’

mathieu lehanneur talks ‘outonomy’ exhibition as maison&objet’s 2024 designer of the year
Maison&Objet 2024 recognizes interdisciplinary designer Mathieu Lehanneur as its Designer of the Year

all images Janvier 2024 © Felipe Ribon

 

 

As Maison&Objet’s Designer of the Year, Lehanneur is celebrated at the trade show for his adeptness at moving across disciplines while synthesizing, growing, and manipulating complex ideas into creative works. The designer’s ability to do this is apparent, just look back at his ongoing career. In the art world, his pieces have been acquired by the MoMA in New York. In technology, he was appointed chief designer at Huawei in 2015. In the sciences, he worked alongside Harvard professor David Edwards to design Andrea, an object that uses living plants to purify the air. Throughout all these activities, he has maintained a design studio with an impressive body of work. His accolades continue as the creative behind the Olympic and Paralympic Torch for the Paris 2024 Games.

 

This dynamic way of designing is reflected in his Maison&Objet pavilion. On the motivating energy behind the work, Lehanneur comments, ‘the question for me is how to use science, the arts, and the human way of being to achieve a more fundamental, transcendent way of living.’

mathieu lehanneur talks ‘outonomy’ exhibition as maison&objet’s 2024 designer of the year
nternationally recognized design fair, Maison&Objet, sees thousands of skilled designers, brands, and creatives pass through its events

 

 

Outonomy’s yellows and conceptual origins

 

As an internationally recognized design fair, Maison&Objet sees thousands of skilled designers, brands, and creatives pass through its events – it’s a wealth of inspiration to be explored. But in 2024, amongst the busy backdrop of the event, Lehanneur creates Outonomy: a striking yellow space that invites visitors to think about a world away from quotidian, metropolitan life. 

 

In creating this space, Lehanneur asked himself, ‘what if I would move away from Paris? Far away from the city, noise, pollution and people, somewhere in the middle of nowhere like a forest in the mountains.  From there the idea of this project became: what should I bring with me?… In the Outonomy space, I gathered elements that, for me, are the core of what I would need to bring a sense of comfort. I don’t want to go back to the prehistoric cave or go to the middle of nowhere with nothing.’

mathieu lehanneur talks ‘outonomy’ exhibition as maison&objet’s 2024 designer of the year
in this yellow paradigm, Lehanneur explores what it is he would need to survive in this barren space

 

 

In Outonomy’s bath of yellow, there is a notable absence of individuality in the objects present. Within this barren space, Lehanneur explores what it is he would need to survive. He frankly notes that he is not trying to go back in time. Instead, he uses this space and the objects in it as a testament to the ingenuity of human-made systems. 

 

On curating his survival objects in Outonomy, Lehanneur remarks, ‘today’s big opportunities are present because, for centuries, we have been able to develop new tools, systems, techniques, and technologies. Within this space, the idea was to make a selection of interesting technologies that can give forms new modes of use… the idea was to create this perfect match between my prehistoric needs -to get food, to be safe- and the currently available technologies. Then use that to invent what could be my prehistoric cave 2.0.’

mathieu lehanneur talks ‘outonomy’ exhibition as maison&objet’s 2024 designer of the year
the French-designer uses this space and the objects in it as a testament to the ingenuity of man-made systems

 

 

Blanketed in yellow, there is an undeniable presence that comes from the monochromatic space. On choosing this particular tone, the french designer comments, ‘the yellow is interesting because it is the perfect balance between something that provides you energy and something that imparts a sense of urgency. Outonomy presents a new way of considering survivalism so I wanted to bring this contrast with me, accepting its sci-fi movie feel… I wanted to play it, not just as a “feel good” color, but also as something that imparts an artificial, toxic, and weird mood.’

mathieu lehanneur talks ‘outonomy’ exhibition as maison&objet’s 2024 designer of the year
in exploring the emotional, symbolic, and aesthetic shades of yellow, Lehanneur cleverly tosses the viewer into discomfort

 

 

In exploring the emotional, symbolic, and aesthetic shades of yellow, Lehanneur cleverly tosses the viewer into discomfort. His Maison&Objet exhibition is a reflection of the particular in-betweens that has fascinated the designer throughout his career. In his ceaseless exploration of human potential, 2024’s Designer of the Year has fostered a sense of curiosity that injects a distinctive energy into his body of work. 

 

On his interest in science, arts, and behavior, Lehanneur expresses that, ‘I love the fact to put science, art,  belief, and, basically, needs on the same level. In doing so, I can experience a closeness to the human being. At the end of the day, I’ves always considered the human being, not singularly as a user, consumer, patient, or a believer, but all those things together. This is the main interest of our species. It is absolutely consistent with our way of living.’

maison-et-objet-2024-mathieu-lehanneur-designboom-fullWidth-01

blanketed in yellow, there is an undeniable presence that comes from the monochromatic space

mathieu lehanneur talks ‘outonomy’ exhibition as maison&objet’s 2024 designer of the year
his ceaseless exploration of human potential, 2024’s Designer of the Year has fostered a sense of curiosity that injects a distinctive energy into his body of work

mathieu lehanneur talks ‘outonomy’ exhibition as maison&objet’s 2024 designer of the year
Lehanneur is the creative behind the Olympic and Paralympic Torch for the Paris 2024 Games

 

 

project info:

 

platform: Maison&Objet | @maisonetobjet

name: Designer(s) of the Year 2024

designer(s) of the year winner: Mathieu Lehanneur | @mathieulehanneur

dates: January 18-22, 2024

exhibition: Outonomy

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