Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
28 March – 14 September, 2014
107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
+33 1 44 55 57 50

Through a series of furniture pieces (nineteenth century to 1960) this exhibition explores the history and evolution of wood techniques, with a special focus on the process creating compressed wood.

The technique of densifying wood is a complex process that enables the transformation of wood without using a specific chemical substance, simply heat, moisture and pressure. Its composition remains entirely natural. This method allows soft woods, such as spruce or pine, to become as hard as certain tropical woods.

The ability to control the technical properties and the shape (through bending and moulding for example) in compressed wood presents major scientific and technological challenges. This exhibition showcases the joint projects of EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) and design school ECAL (Ecole Cantonal d'Art de Lausanne), which reveal the potential of densified wood through the creations of five designers: Paul Cocksedge, Chris Kabel, Lea Longis, Normal Studio and Big Game.

As well as these cutting edge pieces, the exhibition also showcases wood objects from the permanent collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, including iconic works by Alvar Aalto, Charles Eames and Grete Jalk.