How to make the invisible visible. MP2013 gives a boost to a new breed of French designers

Innovation Stories  by Onclaude

A year-long initiative by Marseille-based organisation Le Showroom and sponsored by BPPC (Banque Populaire Provençale et Corse/Popular Bank of Provence and Corsica) with the support of Marseille OFF (Marseille-Provence Capital of Culture 2013 off-circuit of events), Parcours Invisible Design aims at giving a voice to new local talents and challenging them to turn intangible emotions, such as their relationships with the sea, for instance, into tangible objects and experiences through the practice of design and the use of the “intelligence of the hand”.

“Parcours” means “itineraries” or “processes” in French and, in fact, the initiative includes a call for projects and a scholarship grant for the most interesting artists and designers working in Marseille to help them manufacture six prototypes to be showcased during a series of exciting events all around the city as part of the MP2013 cultural programme. There will also be a Facebook competition to engage the public, a final prize and an exhibition at the recently opened Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM).

Entrants submitted their projects last December and six shortlisted candidates have since been selected from an original 25 by a jury presided over by interior architect and designer François Champsaur. In June and July, the prototypes were presented to the public at Marseille’s auction house Leclere and the Kulte pop-up shop. “We wanted to tell the stories behind design creations, where the inspiration comes from, what is the starting point and how the project develops” explains Patrick Blancheton, curator of Invisible Design, during our visit to the Kulte exhibition in July.

Among the projects that we particularly love is Etienne Rey‘s “Voile & Odyssey Blues Modulations”, 25 square metres of suspended triangular mirrors swaying in the wind, which invite the public to embark on a visual journey where space becomes liquid. Another fascinating work is “Cabestan” by Caroline Perdrix, a limited collection of six handmade tricot shirts made out of fishing knots dyed in different shades of sea colours. Caroline’s work has been inspired by traditional tricot fishermen clothing, where different combinations of tricot points corresponded to particular families and were, in this way, used as a kind of “textile passport” to identify the bodies of fishermen taken by the sea.

The Invisible Design closing exhibition will take place at the MuCEM at the end of October (18-21) and will be enriched by a series of sound performances by Soundwalk Collective. You can find details of the event here and more information about MP2013 programme in our reportage Marseille, a new Mediterranean hotspot for innovation?

Marseille, a new Mediterranean hotspot for innovation?

Event Info

Invisible Design

Curators and organisers

Showroom association (Patrick Blancheton and Ginie Bel)

Participating artists and designers

Antoine Boudin, EM Design, Etienne Rey, Jean Baptiste Warluzel, Margaux Keller and Caroline Perdrix


Leclere Maison de Vente

Kulte Unlimited


Useful Links

Invisible Design website

Councour Bleau Phtyteas (Facebook Competition)

Antoine Boudin

EM Design

Etienne Rey

Jean Baptiste Warluzel

Margaux Keller

Caroline Perdrix

Marseille OFF website

MP2013 website


Comments are Disabled