Ukrainian designers haven’t featured often in these pages.

Arguably never.

And may never have, had it not been for the exhibition Transformation staged at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre during Paris Design Week 2017

The installation Pulse of Life by Nikolay Kabluka & decorKuznetsov, as seen at Transformation, Ukrainian Cultural Centre, Paris Design Week 2017

As regular readers will be aware, for us there is little more elegant and logical than the modular shelving system.

And in the variety of systems developed, little which better illustrates both the multitude of options available for the seemingly most simple of functionalities, and thereby the talent required, or perhaps function, of the designer in developing something meaningful, interesting and, ideally, attractive.

Of late we have seen several interesting new modular shelving propositions, Arronde by Camille Ravanel being one of the more pleasing.

Arronde by Camille Ravanel, as seen at Paris Design Week 2017

Having grown up near Quimper, Brittany, Ronan Bouroullec moved to Paris in 1989 to study industrial design; since when the French capital has not only witnessed him complete his studies, but establish a studio, achieve his first commercial success and together with his brother Erwan develop projects for a roster of international clients including, and amongst many others, Vitra, Magis, Flos, Kvadrat and Samsung, in addition to realising numerous collaborations with Galerie kreo.

We met up with Ronan Bouroullec to discuss Paris, his experiences in, and relationship with the city, but somehow the conversation kept drifting outwith the city limits…..

Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec in their atelier in Paris Belleville (Photo courtesy Studio Bouroullec)

Paris Design Week is largely about brand in-store and similar PR driven presentations. An extension if you will of Maison et Objet into the city, and thus predictably prosaic.

Largely.

Not exclusively.

Throughout the city there are/were stimulating and challenging presentations to be found and interesting designers and manufacturers to be discovered and enjoyed.

Among the new discoveries we made at Paris Design Week 2017 was Paris based studio woodmade.

Mali à bascule by woodmade, as seen at now! le Off!, Paris Design Week 2017

If Milan marks the start of summer, Paris marks the end: the gentle warmth of the Lombarden sun and the fresh alpine breeze blowing over the Saloni ceding as it invariably does, nay must, to the brisk crispness of Maison et Objet.

C’est la vie!

The September 2017 edition of Maison et Objet was a disconcerting mix of baroque revival and picturesque, fantasy, Scandinavian, as if late 1980s Philippe Starck discovered hygge.

And over large stretches Maison et Objet 2017 is/was just as terrifying as that sounds. Our only consolation being the certainty that those responsible are but blindly chasing the shadow of a fashion, ’tis but a trend, and trends always, but always, fade.

Fortunately some objects on show arose from more honest origins. As ever we didn’t see everything, apologies to all we missed, but here our Maison et Objet Autumn 2017 High 4!! And some poppy, late ’90s dance…

While it’s hard to feel anything even vaguely resembling joy in a month which sees the UK start its senseless and cowardly, withdrawal from the European Union … life goes on!!

Our five top distractions for April 2017 features new design and architecture exhibitions in Berlin, New York, Paris, Dessau and Milan.

For George Orwell nothing heralded spring quite like the re-appearance of toads, emerging from their subterranean hibernation and setting off, once again, on life’s great cycle.

Our toads are the flurry of new design and architecture exhibitions which open globally every March, as the international museum and gallery community awake from their winter slumber.

Our highlights for March 2017, featuring new exhibitions in Bielefeld, Helsinki, Weil am Rhein, Utrecht and Paris

5 New Design Exhibitions for March 2017

Culticycle by Green Tractor Farm through Farm Hack Tools (Photo: By Farm Hack)

Slowly but surely September is becoming Europe’s summer. Whereas July and August increasingly fail to produce anything even vaguely “summery”,

Design European Championship 2016 Final - Starting line-up Portugal

After four weeks of competition at venues throughout France the 2016 Design EM prepares to bid adieu, au revoir and

Pleasureground am Bad from Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau's book, Andeutungen über Landschaftsgärtnerei 1834 (Courtesy of the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn)

Whereas April showers tend to make you wet, grumpy and late, May showers are much more agreeable – or more

Henry van de Velde not only helped define Art Nouveau, he was also party to Art Nouveau’s christening; even if

Grand Parc, Bâtiment G, Bordeaux, After.. Architects: Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal, Paris (Photo: © Philippe Ruault, Courtesy of architekturgalerie am weißenhof)

“This is a job of work whose goal is precision, delicacy, amiability and attentiveness: being attentive to people, uses, buildings,

Le Centre Pompidou, Paris (Photo Maureen, via commons.wikimedia.org)

In 1969 the then French President Georges Pompidou announced his desire that Paris should posses a large museum dedicated to

Le Corbusier Le Modulor 1950 (Photo, © Centre Pompidou / Dist. RMN-GP/ Ph. Migeat © FLC, ADAGP, Paris 2015 Courtesy of Centre Pompidou, Paris)

On days when his sketches didn’t meet with his own, self-critical, approval, the Swiss architect and urban planner Le Corbusier

D'Days Paris 2015

From June 1st until June 7th the 15th D’Days Paris will be staged under the theme “Experience” Which is hopefully

kyle bean mobile evolution

“Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?” asks Obi-Wan Kenobi, more or less rhetorically, in

Only Wood Galerie kreo Paris

Until December 20th the Paris dépendance of Galerie kreo is presenting an exhibition dedicated to the vivacious variety of contemporary

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Villa Tugendhat Brno

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” exclaims Anne Shirley in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel

Unsichtbare Dinge Typisch chinesisch Typisch deutsch at the Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg Germany erledigt

Mayday! Mayday! Don’t panic. It’s just a public holiday. You’ll survive. Barbecue something…… And afterwards, when everyone else is back

Exposition internationale des Arts Décoratifs et industriels modernes Paris 1925

“What is the Paris Exposition?”, asked Roger Gilman in the September 1925 edition of The Art Bulletin, “It is a

Man Machine by Konstantin Grcic at Galerie Kreo Paris Lounge Chair

By way of unwinding ahead of his forthcoming solo exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum, German designer Konstantin Grcic is

The evenings are getting longer and the rain is a little warmer: Spring is unquestionably approaching. And with the rising