My and Thien present their latest creations based on the concept of the “Pâté Chinois” or Quebec’s much beloved shepherd’s pie. The idea behind Pâté chinois refers to the chaotic mixing and layering of materials, textures, and forms.
A series of 5 pieces of furniture specially designed for this occasion articulate this process of mixing and merging.
BABEL storage system
“We are in the mood for happy furniture, less rigor and more flexibility. A shelving unit that evolves according to our frame of mind, a chair that transforms itself each season, a sofa that can take endless configurations and looks. In short, furniture that grows and change with time!” says My.
Materials have always been an important source of inspiration for the two designers, since the launch of their line PERIPHERE in 2001. Each year, the duo likes to experiment with different materials and production techniques. Steel, solid wood, plastic, fibre glass, concrete, injection foam, fabrics have all been used and worked by Thien and My over the past few years.
“The way we approached materials has recently produced mostly “monomaterial” designs. This year, we decided to put everything together and make a big stew of our favorite materials, a bouillabaisse, a goulash, a ratatouille, a lasagna, a big PÂTÉ CHINOIS...” explains Thien.
The five items:
Freedom and versatility is the starting point for this new seating system. A metal back frame made in steel clamps on a sofa base. Depending on where one clamps it, the metal frame support becomes an armrest, or a backrest. This allows each person to customize his configuration. To add even more customization and personality, a slipcover in a variety of styles and fabrics can be put on the frame like a glove. The base as well as the back support comes in a multitude of colors which all contribute to an endless combination of shapes, materials and finishings.
BABEL storage system
A shelving unit that evolves with time, with our mood and with our needs is the idea behind BABEL. Using the well known clipping track system, Thien and My gave this classic arrangement a contemporary twist. Conventional shelves are replaced by a more dynamic mix of unique modules made from all kinds of materials and shapes. Marble, Plexiglas, oak, walnut, steel, leather, maple are just a few materials that sit side by side in an ever changing order and layout. The infinite combination of materials and the endless choices of storage modules make the BABEL system much more personable and unique to each owner.
Keeping with the idea of mixing materials, this slender tubular lounge chair blends a variety of materials and shapes to create a series of surprising chairs. A thin dish of solid maple seat is combined to a backrest upholstered in a vivid color and gold-plated frame. This is the kind of outrageous and quirky jumble that Thien and My wanted to present with this new chair design. Lots of colors, shapes and textures that we would not normally put together.
The idea of this seating system came up while landing in Vancouver. From the plane window one can easily see clusters of floating logs. This very beautiful and graphic image was the inspiration behind the creation of BILLOT, a French term that refers to logs. For this furniture piece, Thien and My played the layering of colors, sizes and materials. Making the whole piece in upholstered foam would have been too easy. To make it more surprising, they added a wooden texture and a stainless steel tube. While the final result looks sharp and clean, the production process for each material required extensive testing, trials and mostly excellent execution. Round items are always more difficult to produce and this piece shows the high level of production techniques that can be achieved in Montreal!
To add a little fun in the collection, Thien and My decided to create a chair that would totally come apart in a blink of an eye. The chair could be put back together with different new parts and pieces. Depending on the selection of legs, body, backrest and seat cushion, each combo would create a complete different chair. The user totally designs his piece of furniture. More than simply choosing fabrics in the conventional way, the user now can decide on the shape, material and finishes of EACH part of the chair. Moreover, once one gets tired of one look, one can easily change any part to create a new chair. The choices of materials range from stainless steel, wood to upholstery. Modern, retro, bohemian, classic, futuristic, ethnic, the choices are endless!
Taking this idea further, Thien and My invited the public to create their own lounge chair on site at the launch of the collection. The initiative turned out to be quite a success and incredible and inventive live creations came out of this process.
Photos: Michel Touchette, Steve Montpetit, Charles Spina
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