Art Design Exhibition Furniture design

A+A Cooren’s solo show at London’s Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery includes lamp inspired by a Japanese island

May 25, 2021

Paris-based design studio founded by Aki and Arnaud Cooren in 1999 has been invited to present their debut solo show Tiss-Tiss at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London.  

The exhibition features a selection of nine works, of which eight are new, including chairs, a dining table, bedside tables, stools, a bench and lamps. Each work exposes a relief of fabric on the surface and sewn stitch imprints on the edges which are cast in aluminium. They capture a moment in time during which the linen fabric was carefully laid out and emphasise the beauty of traditional hand-weaving techniques and resulting irregularity. The fluid impression of the textile imprint is juxtaposed to the architectonic, self-supporting structure of the rigid aluminium plates.

Tiss-Tiss Rocking chair and Tabouret Bas A

The unique Ishigaki Lamp, inspired by Arnaud’s freediving experiences off the coast of Ishigaki island, south of Japan, stands apart from the Tiss-Tiss series visually but continues its material and conceptual themes, combining the harshness of metal with the fragile poetry of fabric.

Ishigaki Lamp

The lamp’s light is projected upwards from a bulb in the base, through the lampshade, producing a mesmerising shadow on the ceiling, representative of the small circle of sunlight on the ocean’s surface as viewed from many meters underwater.

Aki (left) and Arnaud Cooren; photo credit: Gwen Le Bras

Aki, the daughter of Japanese jewelry designers, was born in Paris and grew up in Tokyo. She returned to Paris at the age of 18 to study interior and product design at Ecole Camondo where she met Arnaud, a native of northern France. She then studied contemporary art in Belgium before moving to Paris.

Since opening their A + A Cooren design studio in 1999, the pair has worked for brands as varied as Shiseido, Artemide, ClassiCon, L’Oréal, Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, Yamagiwa, Saint Louis, Boffi Bains, Cartier, ClassiCon, Vertigo Bird and Mobilier National on interior, product and furniture design projects as well as scenographies. They also create special pieces for private customers and collaborate with architects on interior design projects.

Since 2019, the duo is represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery, one of the foremost proponents of collectible design-art with a presence in London, New York and Paris. Founded 15 years ago by art and design connoisseurs Loïc Le Gaillard and Julien Lombrail, its first gallery was located in a Chelsea carpenter’s workshop in London, which inspired the name of the high-brow gallery.

Through their minimal, simple Japanese-French design aesthetic, Aki and Arnaud seek to integrate subtle references to nature in the everyday interiors and objects they create. Design for them is all about context and the act of sharing: sharing ideas, sharing with people of companies and, above all, sharing with users. They see design as everything that surrounds us whether it is industrially made or handcrafted, and proceed to form new ideas in harmony with their industrial, temporal and economic contexts.

The exhibition runs at Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery till June 11, 2021, Mon-Fri 10am to 6pm.

Carpenters Workshop Gallery
4 Albemarle Street,
W1S 4GA London UK

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