Edge design + the way things are
Jean Louis Frechin's Thoughts
Annie Gentès + Jean-Paul Robert, April 27, 2020
Jean Louis Frechin_WaDoor UP, porte-écran
Jean Louis Frechin_WaDoor UP, porte-écran
Reflecting and intimate, the ‘Wa’ objects are also communicators. Instead of a finite living space enclosed in an interplay of surfaces and mirrors, communicating objects create depth that is internal as well as external. They open doors to other homes and set up a forum for interaction between all the members of a family. In a flat-screen world, emotional dimensions are introduced by relationships with others. This is the ultimate mission of the digital designer, whose task is to create objects for structuring relationships between people, modify the modalities of sociability and exchange, and redefine symbolic territories. With objects that communicate, or are ‘relation-oriented’, as Jean Louis Frechin describes them, the designer has the responsibility of framing and influencing relationships. WaDoor UP, Wanetlight M, WaSnake ELA, Waaz AL, all denote a choice of protocol and poetics. The accent is on welcoming hospitality. The modalities of their presence conspire to avoid any brutal intrusion. The digital object is designed as a space for writing and sharing the family chronicle.

Jean Louis Frechin_Wapix YJMM, cadres chronopictographiques
Jean Louis Frechin_Wapix YJMM, cadres chronopictographiques
If there is a gentleness in the digital objects that compose this exhibition, it is no doubt because digital applications have reached a form of maturity in them. In the same way as Gilbert Simondon analysed the evolution of technical objects towards internal coherence, the design of the ‘Wa’ series expresses the effort to interpret the principles of a precise aesthetics, pertinent to 21st century communication devices. In the final analysis, they are open-ended objects that invite interaction. And they are discreet, because they efface themselves in their usefulness (shedding light, storing books), and poetic too, since they recreate choreography in space. A space for sharing secrets and leaving clues rather than mere information, in the fragile present that is ours to renew.

Jean Louis Frechin_WaDoor UP, porte-écran
Jean Louis Frechin_WaDoor UP, porte-écran
Objects weigh us down. Worse, they take over our lives. Indoors, while our houses, in cities, are getting smaller; outdoors, where they proliferate, disfiguring public space by their disparity and crowding out possible liberties; on our persons, in the bags and pockets that we keep needing more of to carry them around. And that isn’t all: objects are becoming fluent. They talk and some even talk to themselves. They slip in everywhere, keep themselves in order, never leave us in peace. They pretend to serve and set free: yet they alienate. They are no longer inanimate. In digital mode, they have even become ‘intelligent’. The Austrian writer Robert Musil wondered whether it was possible to say that a race horse was ‘brilliant’.

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