Messgewand French Dutch


Romain Coppin and Alexis Bondoux are the two freelance designers who form artistic duo Messgewand (German for “chasuble”, which in French means a priestly vestment but also a colorful sporty tank top.) Messgewand is a collaborative practice, based between Lyon (FR) and Amsterdam (NL). The two designers met while studying at applied-arts school in Nevers, France where they bonded over a shared skepticism regarding the product-driven nature of their design education. After seven years of education in product/object design, they utilise their disciplines as a medium to question aesthetic conventions and define their own plastic language. Messgewand explores the concept of mental furniture, midway between functional sculpture and nonfunctional design. That position makes them answer to professional assignments as much as self-initiated projects with a critical approach towards modes of production and representation. Their experimentations are visualized using objects, furniture, sculpture, image, and drawing. By doing so, they challenge the contemporary visual codes and rules of the object design field. Each project is an opportunity to experiment and precise their personal design language. All of them put together are determining a large research area positioned in a narrow gap between art and design. Messgewand sees themselves as designers/researchers that have a fascination for aesthetic ambiguity, which is something they use as a tool to create aesthetic contrasts within their objects and try to keep their work constantly in between. Always oscillating between sacred and cheap for instance, which is helping them to mix mass culture and avant-garde. Being ambiguous is also the way they choose to approach as closely as possible a new discipline related to object/furniture, and to the crossroads of many others. They use their design background to hack the usual product design process of creating and making, such as thinking, sketching, drawing, modeling. They see each step of it as a potential final proposal instead of having them linked in a global and closed production loop.


For Messgewand, it is more fulfilling to experiment with all these mediums independently from each other by keeping them in an open relationship, where they all have the same hierarchy regarding the notion of finality. One of their challenges is to display the results of their experimentations in stages that are not the usual ones. Challenging the conventional process enables them to give abstract and maximal answers to the design practice that they question. The intuitive and raw collage is the main part of their practice, their favorite and most powerful tool to produce their pieces so far. It appears also convenient to express their desires for maximalism. It allows them to mix mediums, popular aesthetics, and domestic codes. Their work is a collage of effects including texture, colors, decoration, accessories - combined with poor material, semi objects, and leftovers that they enhance by layering, covering, compositions, and ornamentation. Thanks to that process, they are able to create dynamic objects, made of contrasts and ambiguity between trash aesthetics and plastic radicality.



Impétueuse santiag , 2019