Awarded with the Carte Blanche grant, Gilles Belley proposes three free agents in habitat, that as such enable users to install new protocols for living.
The VIA Carte Blanche award project developed by Gilles Belley invites us to reconsider the way we inhabit space and also questions furniture, both in relation to the environment around it and in reaction to the stimuli that it produces.
The Rooms system consists of three components: Area, Wall and Block. Each one proposes a modality for laying out space: area circumscribes, wall fragments, block condenses.
Area, Wall and Block are free agents in habitat, and as such enable users to install new protocols for living. Belley proposes an alternative for configuring living spaces, using purpose-designed elements that delimit without freezing up, accomplish several functions, introduce space-within-space… In doing so he creates atypical typologies. “The idea is to condense the scale of the furnishing to incorporate modes of functioning that overlap from one room to several rooms: putting the living space into the furniture,” remarks the designer. Habitat becomes an environment that modulates to adapt to the lifestyles of the occupants, with real interaction between users and the things that surround them.
With Rooms we are clearly in the register of furniture. Or more precisely, of furnishing. We tend to lose touch with the exact meaning of words, but while “furniture” suggests the isolated mobile piece, “furnishing” introduces the idea of an enhanced spatial arrangement. This is what Gilles Belley reactivates with Area, Wall and Block, which were designed with a view to industrial production. The structural design of these elements relies on the same logic of panel assemblage used in most of the contemporary furniture produced today. The process of installation reflects the reality of mass production. There is no notion of adjusting as there would be in a made-to-measure solution, as used by layout professionals.