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Wednesday, the Pompidou Centre will be opening its doors to the first retrospective devoted to the work of Pierre Paulin. Until 22 August this year, 50 years of design will be exhibited in detail, thanks to a wealth of furniture, archives and also documents and drawings dedicated to the designer’s oeuvre, and to his work between 1950 and 1960 in particular. An abstract of style that reveals the genesis of this key designer of the second half of the twentieth century who was also interior architect to the Pompidou and Mitterrand presidential households. Throughout his career, which included industrial design, the single driving force has been comfort; comfort for the body but also for the mind, thanks to a constant search for innovation. To be immersed in the world of Paulin is to discover a new dynamic through a colourful art of living that’s uncluttered and spectacular with evocative names that we’re completely blown away by. So, it is without hesitation that we head off to the world of Benjamin, the master’s only son. He is a professional artiste who, like his father, is bursting with talent. An encounter that begins with a F444 chair.
Benjamin, can you introduce yourself?
I’ve been playing with music and music lyrics for some time. First with my band Puzzle and some other names too; Le Vrai Ben, Benjamin Paulin and soon Meilleur Espoir Masculin. Finally, I’ve helped my mother since a few years to manage the work of my father, Pierre Paulin with our family business Paulin, Paulin, Paulin.
What is your training in relation to decor and furniture?
I have no specific training as such but I think infusing the work of my father has made my assimilate in a natural way.
What styles inside you?
The style of my wife, Alice Lemoine who is the designer of Le Moine Tricote. I like the combination of the homage to times gone by, mixing of genres and ultimately not being in the thick of trend ideas. Alice happens to integrate choice a lot more than I do, I tend to be more instinctive when tackling projects.
Where of you like to spend time?
The room of my daughter, Irene. It is a place we came up with and built in its entirety, Alice and I… More so Alice actually!
How did you design the space in terms of furniture?
We tried not to furnish the space with all Paulin pieces and maintain the consistency and respect the Parisian focus. I think our idea was to create a space that has no requirements. People don’t usually believe our apartment is as small as it is.
Do you have a treasured item or bargain, of which you are most proud?
Alice found some chairs on eBay by a Swiss German designer, but the name is unknown. They look wonderful around the dining table.
A piece of your wildest dreams?
Perhaps some of the Verner Panton furniture that I used to play with as a child. It’s a nice memory to have. The furniture of my father was like this, adopted pieces instinctively. It was a great pleasure of his.
Do you find it easy to reconcile family life and having a nice decor?
My daughter loves the decor of our home, her main principle is to coat the rooms with orange blossom. The cat, Pipi, is responsible for our ageing carpets and throws. They make a good team!
Your crush of the moment?
Stools designed by Sanaa for the Teshima Museum.
Your favourite motto?
A restaurant you’d recommend?
Table, it’s the restaurant of Bruno Verjus close to Marché d’Aligre.
Any future projects?
Inevitably, the Pierre Paulin exhibition at the Centre Pompidou which is opening tomorrow. My new project is Meilleur Espoir Masculin and then perhaps a little brother for Irene.
11 May 2016 – 22 August 2016
From 11h00 to 21h00
Galerie 3 – Centre Pompidou, Paris
Credits : Constance Gennari