Raphaël Navot: Maison&Objet 2023 Designer of the Year

7 February 2023

Raphael Navot

His furnishings are unique pieces inspired by nature, psychology and craftsmanship

Like every year, Maison&Objet, the Parisian design fair, identifies a talent that more than the others is capable of interpreting our time and enhancing its quality. For the January 2023 edition, the title of Designer of the Year was assigned to Raphaël Navot, born in Jerusalem in 1977 and Parisian by adoption, given that he founded his own design studio in the French capital after graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven. And it was precisely from the Dutch school that he drew the fundamental lessons for his design characterized by philological research, in-depth study of production techniques, formal experimentation, and an approach that he himself defines as non-industrial.

Poh bench by Cappellini

Non-industrial because it is inextricably linked to the artisan knowledge which for him is a source of ideas for the genesis of each of his projects: the craftsmen are closest to the materials and are the custodians of skills that are transmitted from generation to generation, that’s why they have a lot to teach on the behavior of materials and their potential. Respect for the characteristics of the material is another distinctive feature of Navot’s approach which avoids, for example, paints preferring to leave the surfaces in their natural colour. In this regard, the designer explains that the natural sciences are another great source of inspiration: in the natural world, he says, design takes on shapes and configurations never seen before.

Poh bench by Cappellini

This is why Navot defines himself as non-industrial: his choices are not guided by trends or by the mainstream design scene but rather by an introspective path towards creating an overall experience for those who immerse themselves in his project. This is why he tends not to take on private interior design assignments, preferring top-level public spaces in which he feels he can give life to a story in which the user can immerse himself completely.

Ysa lamp by Veronese Paris

This is what he did, for example, in the project for the Hotel National des Arts et Métiers in Paris which has become a sort of personal manifesto in which he expresses the primacy of custom-made furniture, the craftsmanship of materials and the possibility, for guests, to experience with the senses the characteristics, laid bare, of each surface.

Toh lamp by Veronese Paris

Proximity to materials and devotion to those with the skills to transform them is also the basis of his works for major brands such as Cappellini for which he designed the Poh bench: the name is an acronym for Patchwork Oval Hemisphere precisely because the bench, which can also be used as a coffee table, is made up of a patchwork of wooden dowels covered in solid natural American walnut. Each bench is a unique, numbered piece: the pieces of wood are in fact assembled randomly and then carved by a numerically controlled machine.

Raphael Navot

As well as the Toh lamp imagined by Navot for Veronese Paris: the name is an acronym for Trigonometric Oval Hemisphere and the lamp interprets the theme of the classic prism chandelier in a contemporary key. It consists of a series of glass elements, positioned to form a crescent that enchants, leaving the observer speechless.

Toh lamp by Veronese Paris

Enchanting the visitor is also the aim of Apothem Lounge, the immersive installation designed by Navot for Masion&Objet. It is a circular hall in which the furnishings are inserted to form a sort of scenography: to experiment with each element not so much for its function as for the suggestion it transmits through lights, colours, comfort and other specific characteristics.

Cappellini Poh Bench
Veronese Paris Ysa Wall Lamp
Veronese Paris Ysa Wall Lamp
Veronese Paris Toh 220

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