Franklin Azzi Is the Designer of the Year of this Edition of Maison&Objet

Maison&Objet names a Designer de l'Année at each edition. Franklin Azzi was selected Designer of the Year in the September 2020 issue, however the award ceremony has been postponed until March 2022. As a result, the architect, and designer will present RETRO FUTUR, a study of his creative process.

Franklin Azzi is a multidisciplinary architect who works on architecture, interior design, and industrial design projects. From urban microarchitecture to towers in Dubai and Paris, not to mention the renovation of existing structures like the Alstom warehouses in Nantes. His work strives to suit the needs of his customers and project users. The new Montparnasse Tower, scheduled to open in 2024, is emblematic of his ability to build and innovate via reuse. It epitomizes his vision of the vertical city: energy efficient, open, and robust.

Franklin Azzi has been working on this major project with Nouvelle AOM – a collective he founded for the international Demain Montparnasse competition – and practices Chartier Dalix Architectes and Hardel Le Bihan Architectes since 2017. All of these venues help to create a whole new world of possibilities, serving up sustainable and modern solutions that benefit their users.

The RETRO FUTUR installation

RETRO FUTUR, is an artistic installation that explores the creative processes of the future using tools from the past. This immersive installation stages the architect’s day-to-day activities via a digital, modular and pared-back table in black lacquered metal. It diffuses, across a series of screens, a selection of basic and traditional tools of the trade (set square, pen, tracing paper, light table, etc.). It also features the various items required each day when developing a project: architectural models, materials, sketches – everything you need.

Static and moving images appear in succession, showing the manual techniques the architect employs in conjunction with his latest creations. Strapping made from strips of upcycled industrial felt separates the object from the rest of the lounge. The space itself is entirely upholstered with felt, including the ceiling, creating an acoustic bubble that fosters concentration. In the meanwhile, the slatted curtain invites visitors to enter and exit the installation at will. The durable and natural felt, which is manufactured in France by Le Feutre, creates an intimate, calming vibe. The installation embraces the retro-futurism trend, characterized by a fusion of futuristic images of the past that become retro-futuristic over time.

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