Rencontre avec : Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

The VIA (Valorisation of Innovation in Furnishing) has 40 years! To celebrate this anniversary, the organization offers a traveling exhibition, "No Taste for bad taste." On the occasion of his presentation at the French Institute in Milan, writing Muuuz met at Hands-On and unclassifiable Jean-Charles de Castelbajac who is here folded in the exercise of the scenography. It was the second degree, poetry in the air, the emotion in words and stars in their eyes.

Muuuz: VIA Why he chose you to be designer of this exhibition?
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac: I'm excellence personified! Since 30 years, I design-plan way: I always do design, fashion, art, etc. Initially, I was like a small stream against the current, and then I became a river, a river, now I got to the sea.
It's fun that VIA has chosen me. When I was offered, I immediately accepted with joy!

How did you choose as "No taste for bad taste"?
We chose with VIA teams, but it could also have been "No taste for good taste" because the taste is something subjective. Personally, I feel like imperfect.


How have you made the selection of forty pieces of French design presented at the exhibition? and their ten associated values ​​(lifestyle, heritage, know-how, elegance and luxury touch, etc.)?
All this is decided collegially, rigorous and arbitrary. My only regret: that there are no more rooms 10 who speak tomorrow because for me any exposure should announce over.
The ten core values ​​that have allowed us to distribute our selection of forty objects have imposed themselves on their own, together with the Board of Governors of the VIA. Me, I just gave them a modern definition by associating them each a pictogram that I drew, because I have the passion of coats of arms. For me a picture says more than long sentences.

Of these ten values ​​in which you acknowledge you particularly?
"The good weird! "Could have been the eleventh of these values! or disorder, the unseen, the mystery ...

What principles have guided your speech distributed in ten tents?
The idea was to talk about nomadism, time travel. To do something very dreamlike, very French, with a reference to the national style, tradition, and continue to make the know-how. Indeed, these tents are anything but modern: its capital is cast, they are painted by hand ... but they are above all the expression of a gesture. The basis of my work is how to take the story and turn it: I am a storyteller. This is what I meant in my set design, make live visitors an almost childlike journey regressive.


What is the story behind these tents so?
They were made in Paris by Richard Workshops, with whom I had worked in 1970 years in the fashion shows framework and already manufactured such structures of the time of the court at Versailles. With them, I wanted to bring the taste of excellence. For a long time I was not so much go into details, as did example Mies van der Rohe in his houses. I also wanted to create a drama around the arrival of these tents, drawing painted wooden boxes in which all camp can be transported and can be fitted as a mechanic. As a travel actors in time or the military campaigns of Jules César, each box contains an element here: the hangings, pillars, capitals, etc.

"In the end, I have never been so creative. It's fascinating ! When you create for fifty years without melancholy emotional generic classification intrudes inside you. The concept then starts immediately on the way ... " Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

1) © James Bort (
3, 4, 5,) © Francesco Secchi

To learn more, visit VIA Site, from French design and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

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