raphaël navot sets the stage at maison&objet 2023


Raphaël Navot immersed Maison&Objet January 2023 visitors into a theatrical stage of lights, sound and textures, called the Apothem Lounge. The creator was awarded Designer of the Year by the fair. On this occasion, the designer celebrated his unique approach to interior design by juxtaposing a calming, circular room within the exhibition hall, evoking emotions from guests, and providing a moment of relaxation.


When Maison&Objet asked me to curate a space, I questioned what kind of mood they wished me to make. I had an idea to create a lounge like a theater because when you think about design, it is theatrical; the designer creates characters and characteristics that extend an emotion to the user. The Apothem Lounge feels super intimate,began Raphaël Navot in an interview with designboom.

raphaël navot composes theatrical, maze-like lounge at maison&objet 2023
Raphaël Navot invited Maison&Objet January 2023 visitors into the Apothem Lounge



raphaël navot awarded designer of the year for 2023


I mostly work in interiors for public spaces, from restaurants through to showrooms and shops. When I create interiors, I also normally design my own furniture for the project. I find this very natural to do. It is all about creating a universe,continued Raphaël.


Interior design is seen as a theatrical stage, a form of scenography to Raphaël Navot. The Jerusalem-born and Paris-based multidisciplinary designer explores the concepts that transverse art, design, and interior architecture. His previous work includes public spaces such as the Parisian Silencio club, furniture collections with Cappellini, and art work with Friedman Benda in New York, for example.

raphaël navot composes theatrical, maze-like lounge at maison&objet 2023
The comfortable lounge offered a space for tranquillity amongst the trade fair environment



Raphaël Navot realized the Apothem Lounge as a sanctuary beyond the typical function of the fair at Maison&Objet January 2023. Two layers of curved walls created a circular architectural structure, connected by 12 portals that worked as entrance/exits. The design felt as if a simplified maze that benefitted visitors with both liberty and intimacy. Guests entered and experienced the quiet space mentally miles away from the trade show.


The lounge has an open architectural structure so fair goers can freely walk in and out. However, it does feel protected from the rest of the trade show. There is tranquillity inside. Humans can feel a sense of wonder when our senses are stimulated in curated atmospheres, like in this lounge, added the designer.

raphaël navot composes theatrical, maze-like lounge at maison&objet 2023
A constellation of lights by Flos cascade down the center of the circular hall



The space is very abstract,’ continued the Designer of the Year. ‘Natural, organic forms of furniture are paired with porous flooring or fabric dividers that shift from pale blue to dark. I used familiar companies and crafters, such as Oscar Ono for the floor and Flos for the lighting. This is important as I integrate real materials and traditional crafts to create a timelessness in my designs. I avoid the pressure of trends.’


There are no uniform aesthetic nor trends that distinguish Raphaël’s work. Instead, his projects are noted by the philosophical approach, noble materials and collaborative partners — all on display in the Apothem Lounge. A constellation of glass and wood lights cascade down the center of the hall, shimmering above a small mirror as if it were water. This collaboration with long-time partner Flos was joined by Oscar Ono flooring and Roche Bobois armchairs. Every piece showcased the use of natural materials formed through artisanal techniques.

raphaël navot composes theatrical, maze-like lounge at maison&objet 2023
The designs follow Navot’s philosophy of natural materials and craft techniques



Light, colors, textures, and sound combined to create this space. As visitors sat inside the Lounge, a calming score played in the background to fully transport them away from the fair. W/AV/E by Thomas Roussel is a musical composition that plays the sound of waves using a 50-musicians with string instruments. The artist composed the orchestra and then let an algorithm take over. Underwater microphones, set near Canada and the United States, record waves in real time to direct and adapt the music. The result was a continuously comforting sound of nature in the Apothem Lounge.


The sound is super important for the space. Every element is part of the scenography for an interior. I worked with Silencio with Thomas Roussel in 2010. For this lounge, he created an AI algorithm of the sound of waves in the ocean,concluded Raphaël Navot in an interview with designboom at Maison&Objet January 2023.

raphaël navot composes theatrical, maze-like lounge at maison&objet 2023
The designer approaches interior design like theater to create emotions



project info:


designer: Raphaël Navot

project title: Apothem Lounge

event: Maison&Objet

date: January 19-23, 2023