“Think Global, Act Local”
Villa Noailles considers that being present on the local scale means dedicating time and attention to the youngest. This is why Design PARADE is first and foremost an international competition allowing young designers to meet a very high-profile jury of professionals. During the three days, they are the focus of attention from their professional community, from the designers, producers and distributors present at the Villa. They will learn about the ties between the Villa and the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres and view the presentation of an ongoing project on contemporary works underway at Sèvres (Lace, Christian Biecher). They will also see the works of last year’s winner, Michel Charlot. Act Local…
In parallel, Design PARADE, young event, will open its 4th edition with a 35 mm short film by three graphic artists and film directors, members of H5. As we go to press, this film is being rewarded at the Cannes Film Festival. The news delights us as Logorama, an animation film, is the humorous description of a virtual world and of the often harsh reality of local situations submitted to global thought… or how local and global illustrations (the setting of the film is L.A.) in fact reveal that the global situation is local. Logos, brands, visuals, charters, architecture, furniture, clothing, even people in the “branded” and “stamped” maelstrom surrounding us. A maelstrom that design itself has to cope with. Today, it is undoubtedly up to the brands which govern our lives to look beyond the current context and to open up to the creations and reflections of designers (graphic arts, products…). This sharing leads to great things. Gordon Bruce’s lecture on Eliot Noyes and IBM will remind it to us. In the same manner, it is the right and the duty of the stakeholders involved to reflect on the new possibilities offered by a more complex modern world. This is why one of our guests is Jerszy Seymour, a designer whose actions propose to link situations to the festival and its exhibitions. The program this year focuses on the ties between design and experimentation, exploration and marketing… Jerszy Seymour’s Being There is a puzzling stroll for any fan of the more traditional expression of design through beautiful drawings. In this case the Think Global objective will hold the position of honor.
“Think Global, Act Local” works like a slogan… Is it the logo of a famous corporation (which one?) that has given design a central place in society (theirs, ours, who?)? A society today turned towards entertainment as culture, giving access to the popular and industrial dimension of this very same culture of entertainment. A society that has understood that the new economic stakes require the intelligence and appropriateness of physical objects and their contents. BUT “Think Global, Act Local” is not the slogan of talented ad-men. It is an aphorism in the book entitled The Evolution of Cities, written by Patrick Geddes in… 1915! He was a biologist and botanist who worked on landscaping and urban planning and who shared with Ruskin the idea that social progress and spatiality were linked. For this reason, and because he works both for the industry of consumer goods (Seb, Magis) and on radical experimentation associating productions and collaborative works, Jerzsy Seymour’s main contribution will be organized around the Villa, that impertinent maverick, to explore its grounds and ties to its city. “Act Local” will be Jerzsy Seymour’s basic principle, as it was applied last year by the city of Hyères who commissioned two young designers, Adrien Rovero and Stéphane Barbier-Bouvet, to undertake projects for the city. Their initial production is exhibited in the Tour des Templiers.
The other strong point of the event will also involve “act local” and “global outreach”. In the exhibition dedicated to Djo-Bourgeois on the first floor of the Villa, visitors will be able to see the roots of the permanent exhibition scheduled to start next year. Like Marie-Laure and Charles de Noailles, “act local” (inviting artists, helping them, restoring their image as patrons) for an open future – more than global, maybe this is the lesson to be drawn here, to give artists the opportunity to become important, primordial contributors to the European creation of the inter-war period, a complex period, at once solemn and joyful, healing from one ordeal and preparing to face another.
Can design draw the lessons from this intelligent approach? What is its significance at the scale of the Villa Noailles in its role as beacon of avant-garde culture? A place where creation and entertainment were omnipresent. Which entertainment? Who were the visitors? Why did they come? As a reward for what? “Act Local” is this year’s chosen precept for the Villa and design, to stimulate reflections on the culture of creation, of the industry (from the small to the large) and to understand the viewpoints of the times. We sincerely thank the designers who dare to be insolent and elegantly irreverent, who accept to be difficult to comprehend, who are filled with joy.