BURO MESNILDOT is a french art and design studio which explores narratives and objects as as way to bring up new perspectives upon our daily habits.
Facing the many questions and concerns imposed to us everyday, Mesnildot found — in the field of representation and storytelling — a form of soothing as well as an endless source of tools and inspirations.
Breaking down the fourth wall dividing the fiction of the stage to the reality of our living, it aims to create domestic artifacts that blend the infinite possibilities of one with the tangibility of the other:
Objects based on narratives —
— Narratives based on objects.
I. BASED ON THEATRE
Mesnildot's interest in theatrical tools as a methogology for its design process began in 2014 with its first proposal for a Domestic Theatre.
Fascinated by the historical use of theatre as a place for political organization during roman antiquity, then by the 18th century theatre as a place for social critics, codes and trends [...]
Diving into the field of representation was, at first, an entry point looking for a better understanding of the social construct. It took no long to unfold its many layers where theatre and design meet in the material tangibility of object, props and decor - just at the intersection of imaginary and reality.
Thus, Waiting for Godot becomes a collection of clocks questioning the absurdity of ticking time,
The Miser's characters are turned into piggy banks telling a story upon economy and savings,
and Ibsen's Doll's house a set of ghostly printed-curtains evoking the underlying reminiscence of an illusory bourgeois ideal of life […]
II. RESEARCH PROGRAM
Since finishing its academic training with the obtention of a master degree in social design from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2015.
Mesnildot has joined several research programs to pursue social matter issues through its design practice.
Led by independent design studios as well as public and private institutions, Mesnildot was invited to participate in researching upon topics such as : production, territories, democracy, governance, public policy, labour, mobility — and to confront its opinions within a wide community of multidisciplinary actors.
Among them :
Ernesto Oroza (CyDRe), Benoît Verjat (Sciences-Po medialab, EnsadLab), Pauline Gourlet (Sciences-Po medialab ), Simon Chignard (Etalab), Bureau d'études (An Atlas of Agendas), Jean Katambayi (Charging Tesla Crash), Mélanie Burlet (ANACT) , Jeremy Cheval (EUL), Jan Boelen (Z33, Atelier Luma, Social Design), Olivier Peyricot (Biennale Design Internationale & Cité du Design - Saint-Etienne), Simone Fehlinger (Deep design lab), Rianne Makkink (studio Makkink-Bey), Agata Nowotny (Innovatika), Manuel Charpy (CNRS) […]
III. SOCIAL CONSTRUCT
The bond between social construct, objects and representation has been grounded in the work of many thinkers from philosophy and sociology such as Jean Baudrillard's essay The System of Objects or Guy Debord's The Society of the spectacle.
It explains the why and how design and art expression can legitimately position themselves into reflecting upon social matters.
« What is termed culture reflects, but also prefigures, the possibilities of organization of life in a given society. » Guy Debord, Report on the construction of situation (1957).
Mesnildot approaches its design practice as a tool to build Heterotopias* : a concept developed by Michel Foucault to describe the physical location of the utopia, a concrete space that houses the imaginary. It is a space within society which obey its own rules : it can see its functioning change over time, It can juxtapose in a single place several spaces that are themselves incompatible in real space, It can breaks with traditional chronology.
* Michel Foucault ,“Of Other Spaces, Heterotopias.” Translated from Architecture, Mouvement, Continuité no. 5 (1984).
From the concept of "anthropocene" used for defining the contour of human impact on Earth's ecosystem as a geological epoch of its own — "Anthropo(s)cene" with an additional /s. reinforces the feeling of a human-centered era, with all its concerns.
However it also opens the idea of a stage for imagining possible futures and defining the contour of an upcoming era to strive for.
To try out and experiment with:
- Representation and displacement to generate a tilt in the picture and switch our points of view.
- Prefiguration and fiction to imagine and experiment with future scenarios.
In 2015, «The theater of negotiations», an experiment hosted by a parisian theater under the lead of Bruno Latour as a pre-enactment of the real COP21 was a notable exemple of this approach.
As an important practice for its research process as well as a grounding of its reference writing occupies a major position in Mesnildot's practice. Not only imagining objects and settings inspired by literature, Mesnildot also writes for designers, institutions and specialized revue.
Inspired by shapes, matters and uses in echo to a social system and historical background she deconstructs the creative process to unfold it in a form of a scenario based on facts and/or fictional projections.
Mesnildot's style is neither academic nor journalistic. It lays between theory, poetry and collage foreseeing writing as a playful combination of words and meanings that can be designed accordingly to the story it aims to tell.
Each object and prop presented by Mesnildot is either self-produced either realized in close collaboration with crafts, artists or designers - with a particular attention carried upon local ressources and sustainability.
Part of very limited series, numbered and signed. Each piece is delivered with a certificate of authenticity. They are available for loans and purchases - prices, quotes and tailored commissions on demand by email.
Mesnildot also proposes small and temporary selections of pieces through its online shop.
VII. SET DESIGN
Buro Mesnildot responds to commands for architectural projects and set designs such as photoshoots, videos, windows or events.
It realizes made to measure objects, props and installations according to your needs, and accompany in the artistic direction of your projects.
Inspired by theatrical narratives, Mesnildot's pieces are meant to be enacted as part of a scenario. Whether on stage or in mundane and domestic situations; they are objects to interact with, be used and performed.
"One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn't going to go off. It's wrong to make promises you don't mean to keep." Anton Chekhov, Letter to Aleksandr Semenovich Lazarev, 1889
Following this approach, that she also admires in Guy de Cointet's work — who's props become ints for narratives to be performed — Mesnildot is always looking to collaborate with stage professionals such as: actors, dancers, musicians and lighting engineer among more. Please get in touch if you feel like we could do something together in this regard.
Buro Mesnildot shares its methodology through the form of workshops that can be adapted to a wide range of publics - from children to design students.
To Mesnildot, theatrical design is collective, playful, critical and most importantly public — therefore it aims to keep its practice open. It wishes to develop partnership with institutions such as schools, libraries, theaters and neighborhood communities and aspires to regularly invite specialists from representation, edition and design fields to bring additional depth to its proposals.
If you would like to book a workshop, please get in touch and describe the context, the age and the number of participants - quotes on demand by email.