Design

Sam Baron: his design addresses in Saint-Germain-des-Prés

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Black and white portrait of designer Sam Baron.

Marco Zanin

The design stands in the district of Saint-Germain in Paris. Here, the icons are sitting, storage or lighting and easily cross boundaries and eras. Sam Baron, renowned designer delivers an interview ... and his favorite design addresses in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Designer, consultant, scenographer for brands such as Vista Alegre, Hennessy and Dinh Van, Sam Baron also takes care of the creative direction of the design section of Fabrica, the Benetton group's research center in Treviso, which brings together young people international creators. Interview of the designer, accompanied by his favorite design addresses in the district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris.

What is your approach to design?

Sam Baron: Design is a service. Designers are hands that give shape, serve a function and respond to a request.

You split between Italy, France and Portugal. What is their relationship to design?

Sam Baron: Italy is the cradle of design. Although the industry no longer knows the glory days, it continues to innovate and consider the place of designers as paramount. The country also has its "paw", a little crazy, very creative, between sculpture, nature and design, as evidenced by the drawings of Andrea Branzi, Michele de Lucchi ...

In France, the past has always counted in the creation since we have a history of furniture out of the ordinary. What other country can boast of having a style for every king! We have a unique decoration culture, from which our profession was born. In Portugal, production is stimulated by an industry and craftsmanship allied to a skilled workforce, it is still a country where the design barely surfaces. But brands such as Topazio or Black Cork are entering the market.

How does one live this multiplicity?

Sam Baron: It's sometimes a little tiring, but it's also very refreshing not to have habits!

What are the most important Parisian design events?

Sam Baron: Maison & Objet is the recognized business meeting place. The D'Days are the inspiring moment, to see news and talents. Professionals and the general public discover unusual presentations as showrooms and stores invite a designer to stage their collections. I collaborated with Maxalto and Silvera.

Design projects?

Sam Baron: A recent collaboration between Vista Alegre and the Martine Gossieaux Gallery in Paris gave birth to a collection of porcelain with drawings by Sempé. With Fabrica we work for Daikin, where the air will be a creative element that engages in everyone's life. A new collection around the room for La Redoute. And a restaurant celebrating French culinary know-how ...

Black and white portrait of designer Sam Baron.

Marco Zanin

The choices of Sam Baron in the shops of Saint-Germain

The icons give a basic style to which is added the rest of the story that will become part of life. The common point of my selection is functional seating, essential in an interior.

At Kartell, Philippe Starck's "Victoria Ghost" chair. Because Starck has given an international level to French design. In just a few decades, its ability to communicate has become a recognized profession that is close to consumers. For the perfect connection between French culture and its decorative arts with this allusion to Louis XVI furniture, its modernity when it was designed using transparent plastic that makes it "invisible". A smart product, not invasive and a great commercial success. Because Kartell is a reference brand of design. Created in 1949, when Italy knew an industrial boom, it allowed to give birth and to develop the design.

"Victoria Ghost" chairs at Kartell

Nathalie Baetens

At Poltrona Frau, the armchair "Dezza" by Gio Ponti (1965). Because it reminds me of the blue and white hotel "Parco dei Principi" that the designer made in Sorrento in the south of Italy, in 1962. It is a memorable place combining design and crafts, Gio Ponti having done make the tiles, the pebble walls, by the local craftsmen. A generous approach for those who, like Jean Royère, thought of architecture and design as a whole.

The armchair "Dezza" by Gio Ponti, Poltrona Frau.

Nathalie Baetens

At Molteni & C, publisher of the Gio Ponti collection, founding designer of the magazine Domus, an installation reflecting the process of creating a piece of furniture. Front, chair "270.2" and coffee table "555.1".

Nathalie Baetens

In the window of the Maeght gallery, brilliant works by Fernand Léger and Miró.

Nathalie Baetens

Nathalie Baetens

As in Milan, we finish the design day with a Spritz at the Café Saint-Germain.

Nathalie Baetens

The "MahJong" sofa, icon of Roche Bobois, designed in 1971 by Hans Hopfer, dressed in Missoni Home fabrics. Avant-garde at the time of his creation, he claims total freedom.

Nathalie Baetens

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