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Patrick Jouin

It’s no fluke that Patrick Jouin was born on June 5, 1967 in Nantes, a city with the motto, “May Neptune favour those who sail.” After graduating from the École Nationale de la Création Industrielle (ENSCI) in 1992, the designer founded his own agency in 1998 in the 11th arrondissement in Paris. Since then it has grown into a reference on the international stage. Patrick Jouin stands out through his refined and sometimes bold designs, mentally joining the mortises and tenons of his productions as elegantly and skilfully as he organises their material layout.Patrick Jouin’s designs have never been about making a statement: they are not allegorical and do not herald a new era embodied in objects or a space. Yet he is not an artist in a position of withdrawal or humility that would put his production at a distance. He conveys an aesthetic, a story, in a process that refuses to cast into oblivion the forms which the 20th century invented.It might seem unusual to claim that at the height of modernity—the nerve centre of consumer society that is design—lies a melancholic sensitivity. Yet we must accept that modernity generates its own tales and myths. The more it progresses and develops its implacable logic, the more it provokes an inward-looking vision of a bygone industrial world, one that bore the utopia of mechanical mastery, a happy and vitalist world. Patrick Jouin does not try to restore a pre-modern past; he draws on industrial culture to cast into oblivion the forms which the 20th century invented.It might seem unusual to claim that at the height of modernity—the nerve centre of consumer society that is design—lies a melancholic sensitivity. Yet we must accept that modernity generates its own tales

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