June 23, 2011

Domaine de Boisbuchet presents first collaboration with Parsons

Parsons School of Design at The New School

Domaine de Boisbuchet, a country estate in the Southwest of France that is renowned as an international site of experimentation in design and architecture, will present Naked Shapes, an exhibition of minimalist, aluminum Japanese household objects from the first half of the 20th century.


The exhibition, which launches the 2011 season at Boisbuchet, was realized by students from Parsons The New School for Design in New York with exhibition designer Daniel Kern. The project marks the first exhibition developed by Parsons in collaboration with the Centre International de Recherche et d’Éducation Culturelle et Agricole (CIRECA), the organization that oversees cultural activities at Boisbuchet, which is headed by Alexander von Vegesack, founding director of the Vitra Design Museum.


Naked Shapes focuses on the period during and after the Second World War, when there was a severe shortage of materials in Japan. One of the few metals that could be easily recycled was scrap aluminum from U.S. combat planes. The Japanese turned this into various household goods such as kettles, hot water bottles, chairs, baby rattles and more. Most of these objects were produced in small local factories and by individual artisans: industrial designers did not exist. These goods were produced out of necessity, which kept their design to a minimum.


“The Japanese never forget beauty in daily life even when they are facing extreme hardship and poverty,” said curator Ayako Kamozawa, who drew from the collections of industrial designer Seiji Onishi, gallerist Keiichi Sumi, and graphic designer Nobuhiro Yamaguchi for the exhibition.


Parsons students, led by faculty member Michael Morris, a partner in the multidisciplinary architecture practice Morris Sato Studio in New York, will work closely with Kamozawa and Kern to conceptualize, design and install the exhibition within the 300 square meters of space in the long-empty, unrestored Boisbuchet chateau during a two week residency that runs June 13–25.


The collaboration between CIRECA and Parsons was initiated by Bridget O’Rourke, director of European initiatives for Parsons, and Alexander von Vegesack.


About Parsons The New School for Design


Parsons The New School for Design is one of the leading art and design schools in the world, and builds on The New School’s legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship, and pedagogy. For over a century, the school has pioneered art and design education, establishing the first programs in fashion, interior design and communication design in the nation. Based in New York City but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of design disciplines. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, please visit


About Domaine Boisbuchet


The Domaine de Boisbuchet, an idyllic country estate in the Poitou-Charentes and Limousin region, features a large landscaped park with pavilions designed by internationally acclaimed architects, temporary exhibitions in its uninhabited, 19th-century chateau, and a bistro with a small design shop located in a historic mill on the banks of the river Vienne. In cooperation with the Centre Georges Pompidou and Vitra Design Museum, a series of workshops are organized in the summer months under the direction of internationally recognized artists, designers and architects. For more information, please visit


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