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Hidden Side of Design

Hidden Side of Design
By Cristina Morozzi -

Defining Florence Doléac a designer could be considered indelicate just when this plucky young woman with the inquiring expression is going through a period of self-examination. Former member of the avant-garde Radi designer group, Florence recently decided to go it alone. She piled all her things into large cardboard boxes and left home and studio for a bed-sit in the artists’ quarter of Montmartre. Today she is alone professionally and in her private life since the end of her marriage with fellow Radi member, Robert Stadler.  “Asking questions”, she says, “ is a way of defining oneself.” In her past life, she would bounce things off other members of the group; today she confronts herself alone. And the soliloquy is producing more art than design, even though her most recent projects draw no lines between design, art and fashion.
“Ramblings” is how Doléac defines her latest creations that try to show the hidden side of things, the poetic and magical qualities she believes should be brought out. This requires looking at ordinary objects and imagining how they could transform, taking on other shapes and functions. It means looking anew to see the hidden aspects of the commonplace. Overturning accepted codes so as to multiply function is how Florence Doléac changes the useful into the imaginary, unfolding the untold tales behind ordinary things. Her projects are conjuring tricks without the trick. The shopper, Obracadabra, designed for Ocaba, materialises from a classic little zip-up handbag, like a rabbit out of a hat. The felt carpets for  Paris art gallery, Aline Vidal, become huge boards on which to play backgammon or solitaire. Again for Aline Vidal, Doléac created “Chaise mise à nu”, or the chair laid bare. Taking her cue from a Kirghiz tradition whereby a mother on her daughter’s marriage gives her a felt carpet  whose every stitch signifies a day of happiness, Doléac developed this soft felt embroidered chair covering that trails behind to form a carpet....

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