Designing new layouts for the Laboratoire, Mathieu Lehanneur has created functional spaces on the borderline between art and science: LaboBrain is a private think-tank, LaboShop, a public sales outlet.

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LaboBrain

The LaboBrain is a tailor-made all-white studio for David Edwards, the founder of Laboratoire. It is a gym, a place for working out thought, with all the appropriate tools cerebral athletes need to hone their performances. Projected in brainstorming mode, the user does not have a sit-down work post. He works moving about in front of a concave Velleda screen, a secret alcove that is also a surface where this space age cave-man scrawls ideas and drawings, a sounding board for the creative intellectual.

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Buckminster Fuller haunts this alternative space for thought-on-the-move. The cool old self-taught theorist-architect is present in every detail of a solution that puts together science, art and design. In homage to his geodesic dome, a half-deflated leather soccer ball offers laid-back rest between two work-outs,
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while under the floor-level grate, plant-life is busy eating CO2 and pumping up oxygen to bring organic relief to the interior
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Almost classic, the table and chair in the office of David Edwards’ assistant is the right-side lobe of this brain, the rational part for organization and storage. But there is one constraint: not a single stray artefact to catch the eye. A wall of immaculate white cardboard boxes salutes the Imac in manual mode, and will serve for several years of paper archives.

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A wall of boxes also figures in the main space, but in sheet metal. Their sides embossed in a wafer pattern call to mind a New York hot dog stand revamped to Italian design codes: chic, stained, shiny, and with a leather hand hold. Pop-style luxury in a place that pulls together the USA and France.

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Mathieu Lehanneur, designer. Graduated from ENSCI-Les Ateliers in 2001; is currently exploring possibilities in nature and technology for their break-thru potential in functions and their capacity to work magic. Made his international début with a series entitled ‘Elements’ (VIA Carte blanche 2006) and the ‘Bel Air’ filtering system for plants (2007), six objects that form a domestic ‘Health Angels’ kit for rebalancing everyday physiological needs (such as lack of sunlight in winter) and countering aggression factors in urban settings (noise & air pollution).

www.mathieulehanneur.com

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