In 2017, after 40 years of providing commitment and guidance to the design industry, VIA launched a major research project encompassing the values of le French Design, with the ambition to conceptualise the singularity that is typical of French creativity.
10 essential and indispensable values – a definition of the essence of the French Design – stood out : “Art de vivre”, creativity and industry, elegance and a touch of luxury, sustainable innovation, audacity, know-how, balance, heritage, cultural openness, panache.
This reflection is continuing and intensifying in 2018 through the study 2059, Le French Design : VIA is collaborating with the best contemporary thinkers to imagine the French “art de vivre” in a wider context – not just objects but living spaces, and in a forward-looking vision. "The future can be seen in the present", sociologist Michel Maffesoli points out.
Homes are a space for dreams, a refuge for memory. This space for resistance is breaking down in these times of reconstituted families. Is this why new generations want to feel at home in workplaces ? Can we recreate a grandmother’s wardrobe, a tranquil corner, a country house in an urban tower block ?
Major brands shape trends and styles. Terence Conran and IKEA have inspired a disruptive international contemporary style. In France, Mobilier National, Roche Bobois and Ligne Roset champion a French “art de vivre”.
What will the brands and styles of tomorrow be ? What will be their challenges, their DNA ?
How to create French-style disruption ? Positive and sustainable. How can the thirst for change be reconciled with the charm, poetry and elegance of French living spaces ?
40 billion connected objects, robots that choose for us; how do we make sure that Artificial Intelligence does not become artificial stupidity ?
The social nomadism of young generations, constantly recomposed around tribes and new images, demands original spaces, third-places, co-working, co-living, pooling resources and skills.
The togetherness present in our culture, exemplified by literary gatherings on café terraces, does it have something to bring to these new “tribal” meeting spaces ?
The act of buying, statutory or consumerist, is becoming a pleasure, an experience, hedonism.
Design, linked to objects in the home, is coupled with a personal search for meaning.
Are the cultural heritage, the balance and the cerebral approach of French design an advantage or a constraint when it comes to creating design that appeals to collective emotion and sensitive reason ?
Faced with the tyranny of search engines, how do we preserve the diversity of our creativity ?
How do we preserve our cultural openness to the other and the elsewhere ? How do we make public spaces, urban spaces and transport spaces catalysts for sharing, meeting and intellectual reflection ?