Maison&Objet names Franklin Azzi Designer of the Year

Maison&Objet has named Paris-based architect Franklin Azzi Designer of the Year ahead of the Maison&Objet Paris January 2021 edition. Azzi will share his expertise via a 300m2 temporary exhibition on the theme of the workspace throughout the ages.

Photo Credit: Noel Manalili

The architect will present his vision in a scenic, immersive presentation that will largely consist of images and films. The space itself will be largely mounted using structural elements recycled from previous editions of the fair.

Born in 1975, Azzi studied at the Glasgow School of Art, and graduated from Paris’s Ecole spéciale d’architecture, where one of his teachers, the philosopher Paul Virilio, made a lasting impression. “He was a catalyst for many things”, says Azzi. “He not only influenced the way I work today but taught me really how to see.”

Azzi’s influences also include architect Claude Parent, artist Donald Judd, pianist Glenn Gould and psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. He additionally avows a passion for American novels and loud rock music and brings a similar diversity to his work, with projects encompassing everything from urban planning to interior design.

Photo Credit: Alexandre Tabaste

After founding his own agency in 2006, which now employs a staff of 60 housed in a former warehouse at the heart of Paris’s 2nd arrondissement, Azzi considers himself to be an “architect-technician” and professes to not having a signature style.

His best-known is probably the metamorphosis of a stretch of expressway directly on the Left Bank of the Seine into a 2.5km-long pedestrian promenade.

Azzi’s firm is also part of the Nouvelle AOM collective (along with ChartierDalix and Hardel Le Bihan Architectes) selected to transform Paris’s iconic Tour Montparnasse skyscraper and the district around it.

Photo Credit: Isabel Marant

He also regularly under- takes assignments related to the world of work, whether they be the Workstation and Dock en Seine office buildings in the Paris suburbs or the Deskopolitan Voltaire co-working project in the east of the city, which incorporates among other things a gym, kindergarten, restaurant, barber’s shop, rooftop vegetable garden, and nine room hotel over 6,000m2.

From January 22 to 26, Maison&Objet will host an unprecedented edition of its trade fair, attended by all the market players who are keen to further pursue and strengthen their efforts to get the industry back on track.