U Magazine - - EXPOSURE -

Born in 1966 in Brit­tany, France, Gwe­naël Ni­co­las grad­u­ated from the Royal Col­lege of Art in Lon­don with a Master’s in in­dus­trial de­sign. In 1998, he founded Cu­rios­ity, his Tokyo-based stu­dio, which works with ar­chi­tec­ture, and prod­uct and in­te­rior de­sign. Ni­co­las be­gins each of his de­signs with a sto­ry­board into which he in­cor­po­rates el­e­ments of dis­cov­ery and un­pre­dictabil­ity, an ap­proach that al­lows him to com­bine beauty and func­tion­al­ity in his prod­ucts and spa­ces. The first for­eigner to be awarded Ja­pan’s pres­ti­gious Kukan in­te­rior de­sign prize, Ni­co­las has de­signed two stores and a mai­son for Louis Vuit­ton in Ja­pan. LV: Why did you agree to cre­ate an Ob­jet Nomade for Louis Vuit­ton? GN: I loved the idea that the de­signer could pro­pose the ob­ject he wanted to de­sign; it be­comes very per­sonal and a se­ri­ous com­mit­ment. A pro­ject like this is an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover a mys­te­ri­ous world, to go be­hind the cur­tain and see how prod­ucts are ac­tu­ally cre­ated and de­vel­oped. LV: What were the in­spi­ra­tions for your ob­jects? GN: I al­ways start a pro­ject like this one with a scene, like in a movie, with the ac­tor, the light­ing and the com­po­si­tion. I was think­ing about a great voy­ager and I thought about Ernest Hem­ing­way, and I imag­ined a scene dur­ing one of his jour­neys to Africa. It is late evening and, with his mind and eyes full of the im­ages and dis­cov­er­ies of the day, he wants to rest in a bed float­ing over the rough floor of his tent, with a light he can pull from his bag to read a fa­vorite book or write a new es­say. That is why the bed is called Ernest and the lamp Miller: Ernest Miller Hem­ing­way. LV: What does Louis Vuit­ton mean to you? GN: Louis Vuit­ton has al­ways asked me to cre­ate unique spa­ces that imag­ine and re­veal a dif­fer­ent facet of the brand, while be­ing avant-garde and sur­pris­ing. The House has a very dif­fer­ent way of work­ing with de­sign­ers. The team con­stantly asks for rein­ter­pre­ta­tions of the brand, de­mand­ing fresh eyes and dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives to chal­lenge the brand’s iden­tity and stretch it to­wards the fu­ture. Yet it al­ways re­mains strongly rooted in tra­di­tion and savoir-faire, and re­spects the peo­ple who de­sign and make the prod­ucts.

Ernestbed —In­spired­by­ernes­them­ing­way’safrican trav­els,theernestbedun­roll­sto­be­comealux­u­ri­ous­cot: aleather-edged­can­vas­mat­tres­san­dat­tached­no­made­leather­pil­loware­sup­port­ed­byas­tur­dyoak­struc­ture.

Miller­lamp —Sim­plystretchthemiller Lamp’scaramel­grained-leather­case tore­vealashade­of­fold­ed­fab­ric­that soft­en­s­the­lightoftherecharge­able Led­hid­den­within.

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