Text + images: Anne S. Ditmeyer
Back during Paris Design Week I first discovered and reported on Le Lieu du Design as an exploratory space looking at various facets of design. Sous les Pavés, le Design Espace Public & Designers is the latest show on now through the 23rd of June. In looking at public spaces and the designers behind them, the show strives to understand the ways in which public spaces hold value (physically, socially, as urban environments, economically, ecologically and culturally), the ways in which design and designers have the capacity to improve the quality of life, and the various ways we can engage with these spaces.The show itself is designed to be a public space within the gallery. The first stop is to stop by one of the newspaper stands to pick up the “guide” to the show that will help you gain a deeper appreciation of the works on display and concepts behind the show.
Overall, the somewhat raw setting, is zoned into different spaces based on the themes of: designer as humanist, designer as creator and inspirer, designer as innovator, designer as economic agent, designer as driver of sustainable engagement, designer as problem solver, designer as mediator, and designer as creator of identities. The space is designed to encourage exploration and to move at your own pace, whether it’s exploring a website on a tablet device, reading posters plastered on a cinder block wall or sitting on the plywood stairs against the wall as you catch up on your “newspaper” or enjoy one of the books about urban enviornments. Both sound and video are also integrated to give further glimpses inside the design of public spaces and the thought process behind it.
As the show is a collection of numerous individual projects and ideas assembled into one place, it takes the visitor a bit of time of time to process and put together the ideas inside the show. The newspaper is an extremely smart element of the design of the show that helps make sense of the exhibit, just as a newspaper in “real life” enhances our knowledge of the everyday. Now it’s time to go out into the world and start thinking about public spaces through new eyes.
Sous les Pavés
Le Lieu de Design
on through June 23, 2012
74 rue Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75012