Aiming to rethink the way we interact with design in our everyday lives, Paris-based Matali Crasset creates unconventional work in nearly every area of design from products and interiors to architecture and art, asserting herself as one of the most acclaimed and intriguing designers in contemporary culture. Celebrating this extensive body of work is “Matali Crasset: Works“, a massive monograph spanning 16 years of diverse projects.
Organized in reverse chronological order and separated into color-coded sections whose graduated pages form an easily navigable and nicely graphic index, the book offers a visual timeline of Crasset’s design portfolio from 1995-2011 with insightful essays and more than 700 brightly hued images. Her clever and colorful designs create their own social narrative through multi-use spaces and objects in the designer’s distinct way that esteemed curator Zoe Ryan says extends “beyond traditional questions of form and function” in the book’s introduction.
Bucking conventional methods by publishing the introduction on the yellow hard cover, the anthology starts before even being opened, asking the reader, “Do Matali Crasset’s designs playfully return experience to its central place in our relationship with the world?” At the same time that Ryan points out Crasset’s boundless style, she outlines the designer’s three fundamental values—conviction, an heuristic approahc and a horizon—before we even open the book.
One clear example of Masset’s spirit of design can be seen in Phytolab, a transparent educational room where students learn the benefits of plant life simply by being surrounded by it. This unique design encourages guests to interact with the plants through gardening, drawing a connection to how we view and care of ourselves. The innovative laboratory of sorts embodies Casset’s drive to improve the way we experience design and navigate our surroundings.