Maison & Objet 2014 Preview: Kartell Bourgie Collaboration

“For the 10th anniversary of Ferruccio Laviani’s iconic lamp, Kartell has invited the designers on its team to re-interpret it in a new and fun way. This has resulted in a series of unique pieces that are part of a travelling exhibition. For Maison&Objet in Paris the flagship store on Blvd. Saint Germain has gathered together an evocative presentation of the 14 interpretations of Bourgie by Patricia Urquiola, Piero Lissoni, Front, Mario Bellini, Alberto Meda, Lenny Kravitz, Philippe Starck, Eugeni Quitllet, Christophe Pillet, Nendo, Tokujiin Yoshioka, Patrick Jouin, Ludovica+Roberto Palomba and Rodolfo Dordoni.

Kartell has dreamed up a unique initiative for the January edition of Maison&Objet in Paris to celebrate a special occasion. 2104 is an important year of anniversaries for Kartell as the brand celebrates 65 years from the year of its establishment and 15 years since it opened its corporate museum. This year holds yet another anniversary close to the company’s heart: the Bourgie table lamp by Ferruccio Laviani is celebrating 10 years in production.

In the short time from 2004 to the present, the Bourgie lamp has become a veritable design icon. The image of the classically designed table lamp and its shade has been re-interpreted by Ferruccio Laviani in transparent polycarbonate – a technological revolution in style and taste. A transversal and eclectic lamp that shines in any context from the most contemporary to the most classic.

When a design product becomes an icon with these characteristics, beyond the bounds space, time and geographical and cultural limitations, it is also fun to ‘play’ with its image, push the boundaries of design and suggest other interpretations and executions.

Kartell therefore wanted to celebrate the Bourgie and pay tribute to its creator, Ferruccio Laviani, inviting all the other designers on its team to create a unique and new interpretation of it. The designers either worked on the product itself or suggested an alternative design. For example, one suggested an ironic interpretation by decorating it with costume jewellery and typically French symbols like the Eiffel Tower (who could it have been if not Philippe Starck!?) and another dressed it in an elegant all black dress, a sort of “film” of black matt felt (Christophe Pillet) and one saw it as white rice paper and wrought iron (Piero Lissoni) while another suggested a sort of genetic mutation (Front).

The result is 14 unique pieces, all brand new takes on the original, by Patricia Urquiola, Piero Lissoni, Front, Mario Bellini, Alberto Meda, Lenny Kravitz, Philippe Starck, Eugeni Quitllet, Christophe Pillet, Nendo, Tokujiin Yoshioka, Patrick Jouin, Ludovica+Roberto Palomba and Rodolfo Dordoni.

Ferruccio Laviani adds: ‘I have always supported and promoted the ‘remix’ concept to explain that what I create is something that already exists but becomes something else through my revision of reality, my re-interpretation of things. From Bjork to Madonna, from the U2 to the Daft Punk, many others have themselves been remixed by other artists often creating incredible tracks that are diametrically opposed to the original and often even better. I am honoured and flattered that some of the most influential contemporary designers offered to remix an object of mine and I admit that their complete willingness actually even embarrassed me. I would like ‘Re-design the Bourgie’ to be seen not only a tribute to and a celebration of the Kartell Light collection and of the Bourgie itself but also as a manifesto in the design world, precisely because of the profuse wholehearted efforts of all the other designers in this project. A manifesto whose key message is that ideas, culture and the differences of others can render the work of an individual more interesting and contemporary.’

The unique pieces will be part of a travelling exhibition all over the world with events taking place over the year 2014: next steps will be Milan, in April, on the occasion of Salone del Mobile and New York in May during ICFF.

At the end of 2014 Kartell will organise an on-line auction for the sale of the unique pieces, of which the proceeds will go to charity.” maison_objet_2014_kartell_bourgie_collaboration_02

Philippe Starck “Trainer dans les endroits ou l’on vend des bracelets “cheap”. Puces, tout pour rien, échoppes, trottoirs…Acheter tous les genres de bracelets (si possible élastiques) plastique, caoutchouc, métal spirale, … tissu, fils et boules de plastique ou verre, gourmettes dorées de rappeur, avec et sans breloques… Tout ce qui est drôle, coloré, rutilant, divers comme la Vie (des autres) puis les enfiler bordéliquement sur la lampe.”




Christophe Pillet “From Transparent Crystal to Coal Black…”



Patrick Jouin “The future is a present from the past.”




Eugeni Quitllet “Bourgie is a gift in the form of an imaginary cake … after surprising and exciting the world for 10 years, it is time to light the 10 candles for its birthday and make a wish! Happy Bourgie to you!”




Alberto Meda “‘Return to the future’ to go beyond the liking for quotation and rediscover a unitary vision, of the whole, beyond the fragments and details.”


Front “Liquid. By heating up the Bourgie Lamp Front could re-shape it and give the lamp an unique shape. The lamp looks like it is moving or leaning over your shoulder to give you light when you read. Front has given an individual shape to the lamp that inspires you to imagine the character of the lamp.”


Ludovica+Roberto Palomba “Our Bourgie is a tribute to Ferruccio, to the pen sketch that generated the shape of the object. That iron wire that we imagined thus became our design, the watershed between the idea and the design brought into being.”


Piero Lissoni “My inspiration came from a documentary on Fellini who asked his set designer to build him a big city made of paper. And that is how I saw the Bourgie: big and made of paper.”


Tokujiin Yoshioka “The light sparks as if a star shines.”

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