Paris – In 2017, when ENSCI – France's industrial design school in Paris – realized that it needed new furniture, it launched a competition. After asking the 19 students in his class to propose projects, the teacher/designer Jean-François Dingjian selected those by Solène Jarroux and Jean-Christophe Devatine. Jarroux designed a range of chairs, Devatine a range of tables. Manufactured by Maiori, the aluminium furniture is now being used in the school.
The winning attributes are how the chairs and tables provide flexibility for an agile school environment and are aligned with workspace trends. ‘It was necessary to have evolving furniture for different configurations of spaces,’ Dingjian says. ‘We chose Solène and Jean-Christophe's work because it corresponds to a system that can be adapted for everywhere.’
Both Jarroux and Devatine, currently in their final year at ENSCI, had similar ideas in mind: that the products should be easy to assemble and disassemble, stack and adjust. The modular furniture can be cleared away easily for exhibition opening days or other events.
Devatine has designed a family of five tables, comprising circular and rectangular forms and a tall table for students to use whilst standing up. ‘One can create different compositions and islands,’ Devantine explains, adding that electric cords and shelving units can be inserted onto the table tops.
Jarroux, meanwhile, conceived two colour schemes for the chairs: pale pink seats and backrests with orange and grey legs, and black seats and backrests with khaki and grey legs. ‘It's a play on colours and a way of working with aluminium,’ Jarroux says. Each chair is composed of eight pieces that can be unscrewed, dismounted and replaced, as required.
Jarroux and Devatine travelled to Maiori's production site in Hong Kong to participate in part of the industrial development stage, which culminated in 1,500 pieces of furniture being installed in the school in the summer. The aim is to commercialize the range and propose it to other schools.