By kristin


In celebration of Patrick Jouin‘s New York debut and new exhibit, Design and Gesture, we were feeling quite at home in the Museum of Arts and Design last week. Anxious to meet the French design phenom, we first headed to Columbus Circle on Monday for a special VIP members preview.

Front and center of the exhibit, perched in the lobby, we were struck by the large-scale cloud installation made of handcrafted lights from Venetian-based Leucos/FDV Collection.

Advancing to the second floor, the exhibition continues with a panoramic video by Belgian director JÈrÙme de Gerlache that explores the relationship between object and gesture. Several of his popular kitchen products (including every cook’s favorite: the Alessi pasta pot) were on display backed by pantomiming hands emerging from a glass mirror.

Praised for his futuristic use of manufacturing techniques, objects using rapid prototyping, including the One_Shot stool for MGX and the S1 Solid ottoman and S2 Solid chair, make our must-see list at this exhibit.

L-R: S2 Solid, S1 Solid and One_Shot.MGX

Wednesday night we returned to the museum for a party hosted by Interior Design to hear a few anecdotes from the down-to-earth design superstar. One of our favorites was a charming tale about his work with Alessi. He had originally  pitched them a prototype of a pasta pot with a a handle that also served as a spoon cradle. Although Alessi liked the idea, they told him to “Take some time to get to ‘know’ the significance of a pot and come back in a year.”  Jouin took their advice and went so far as to take a risotto lesson from Berlusconi’s personal chef (using pasta pots for making risotto was a trend at the time). As a result of the culinary tête-à-tête, Jouin went back to Alessi with a redesign which clicked with the Italian design firm. Jouin was now selling the Italians a product that would enhance their risotto and pasta making. “Quel scandal!  A Frenchman teaching an Italian how to cook his pasta properly!” Jouin exclaimed.  And that is just one of the many entertaining stories he told throughout the night.

Hanging with Matt Schroeder, Designer Pages

Ether, designed by Patrick Jouin for FDV Collection

Man of the hour: Patrick Jouin

Design and Gesture will be on display at the Museum of Arts and Design until February 6, 2011. For more information, visit:

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