(adam štěch) The French Normal Studio ranks among the incoming generation of young designers who set a new direction for French design. Now we have an opportunity to see what direction it is going through the large furniture collection for Tolix, the legendary French brand.
Eloi Chafaï and Jean-Franois Dingjian, who founded the Normal Studio in Montreuil, have collaborated with several significant institutions and companies such as the Tools Gallery in Paris, which organized their solo exhibition, as well as Eno and Ligne Roset, for which they have designed a few objects.
The Tolix company, which is famous primarily for the A metal chair model designed in 1934 by the studio’s founder, Xavier Pauchard, has just presented a large furniture collection designed by the Normal Studio. Tolix still benefits from its manufacturing facilities, which have specialized in the manufacturing of metal furniture since the company’s beginning. This strategy befits the Normal Studio, whose work emphasizes elaborate and functional expressions.
Thus, its collection for Tolix can be perceived as a kind of follow-up to the exhibition in the above-mentioned Tools Gallery, for which they designed metal cabinets and lighting two years ago. However, the same technique that was used for an exclusive utilization in a gallery is enriched with a new dimension of quality lot manufacture.
The Surfaces collection is a diverse mixture of several products. All of them make use of a precise metal production; each part makes use of it in a specific way. The drawers and sides of the Diamond cupboards and cabinets are simply shaped into a crystal relief. This part of the collection is monochromatic – grey.
The designers have also created Plate-Forme color tables. Simple rounded cuboids are made from perforated plates and, thus, create an interesting optical moiré motif. Especially the bent edges and corners are made with an extraordinary sense for detail.
The Y tables and benches are monochromatic. Their legs represent a re-design of the famous A chair. Thus, the immortal design is endowed with a new look, which is the case of the Y stands as well.
The Ecran lamp is their last original design for Tolix. It is made in two shapes and with different color variants. This lamp was also influenced by the French tradition – look at the concrete lamp designed by Le Corbusier for the city of Chandigahr. However, concrete turns into the contemporary delicate look of an elegant metal.
In addition, the Normal Studio has added a subtle re-design of the iconic A chair to its collection. It is made from perforated plates instead of full metal plates.
Tolix, an expert in metal, could not choose a better group of designers than Normal Studio to complete this project. The studio puts an emphasis on materials in both its previous and current collections. Their work involves exploration and confrontation, especially due to their use of the various forms of a given material and its color combinations. The Surfaces collection only demonstrates their interest in this issue – now in collaboration with a modernist classic.