sam baron / fabrica: objet préféré at grand-hornu images
sam baron / fabrica: objet préféré at grand-hornu images sam baron / fabrica: objet préféré at grand-hornu images
jun 21, 2011

sam baron / fabrica: objet préféré at grand-hornu images

sam baron / fabrica: objet préféré at grand hornu images‘appartamento’ by fabrica for grand-hornu images all images by gustavo millon, courtesy of fabrica



fabrica: objet préféré grand-hornu images, belgium on now until october 23, 2011



the design team of fabrica, benetton’s communication research center in treviso, italy, and its art director sam baron, have created the 15-piece furniture collection, ‘objet préféré’. conceived in collaboration with grand-hornu images, the works interpret the favorite objects of the belgian art and design center’s employees, ranging from the practical (computer) to the sentimental (pair of baby shoes). named after the objects they draw from, the resulting works reflect the personal attachment of each who mentioned their item, but also expand to include a greater audience with their simple and universal functionality.



designboom recently sat down with sam baron at the scuola politecnica di design in milan and discussed the ‘objet préféré’ exhibition: ‘the main challenge of this project was to illustrate, by means of a unique and special exhibition, the beauty of the favorite objects of grand-hornu personnel,’ says baron. ‘design therefore becomes a way of uniting communities of people of different background, language and age.’

‘scarpette teschio’



françoise foulon, director of grand-hornu, stated her first pair of shoes were her favorite object. not only a gift from her 91-year-old mother, the baby shoes represent her first steps and the growth that followed. this memory is transposed into ‘scarpette teschio,’ a set of shelves which can be nested or expanded based on the available space.

‘scarpette teschio,’ side view

‘scarpette teschio,’ compressed configuration



the concierge maryvonne dislikes darkness and thus names modern chandeliers as her favorite objects, for their light and optimism. the resulting work, ‘lampadario,’ features a single light bulb as chandelier, hanging suspended over four gathered chairs.

‘album foto’

‘album foto,’ rear view

‘album foto’ detail, slot for photo album




translating as fork, ‘forchetta’ takes its concept from the educational department’s marie-jeanne vanaise, who said her favorite object was an 18th-century silver fork displayed in seneffe castle.  sharp and yet recalling the curves of a female figure, the object is made further enticing by its untouchable display. ‘forchetta’ takes on a similar sense of duality and showmanship with its upright arrangement of plates.

‘viaggi in treno’ (train journeys)



named after the italian word for ‘aviary,’ this object is created for david vilain, an electrician at grand-hornu, based on the one in his garden where he breeds hundreds of birds. ‘voliera’ is designed to reflect vilain’s joy fromtaking care of the birds, hearing them sing, and seeing them grow.

‘libri’ (books)

‘giardino’ (garden)

‘profumo’ (perfume)


‘letto’ (bed)

‘letto’ detail

‘coltello’ (knife)

‘spilla’ (brooch)

‘bicchiere birra’ (beer glass)

concept sketch

concept sketch

grand-hornu workers respond to the question, ‘what is your favorite object?’ (apologies, but this video is only available in french)


baron also talked to designboom about his role at fabrica, his own freelance work and his design approach:

  • cool impossible objects with a great taste for new ideas

    teo says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,388 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample