"Tiss Tiss" armchair
Liliane Bettencourt Prize pour L'intelligence de la main - Dialogues - 2017
Liliane Bettencourt Prize pour L'intelligence de la main – Dialogues 2017 has been awarded to David de Gourcuff, a craftsman specialized in foundry work, and designers Aki and Arnaud Cooren for their "Tiss Tiss" (2017) armchair.
“Combining the harshness of metal with the fragile poetry of fabric”: this was the challenge taken up by craftsman David de Gourcuff and the creative duo Aki and Arnaud Cooren with their “Tiss-Tiss” armchair. This required many months of close collaboration from the earliest days of the project with the choice of the basic material, an aluminum alloy, for its lightness and resistance to corrosion. Reproducing the print of the fabric on both sides of the metal sheets posed a major challenge. This rendering called for a perfect mastery of casting techniques, from delicate sand casting to the different parameters involved in metal casting (temperature, speed and regularity).
It also led to a search for techniques that had never before been used to engrave and tint aluminum. The result is a resounding success, since each of the fine aluminum sheets reflects, on both sides, the delicacy of the fabric’s weave. The blue color recalls the hue of foundry work and traditional indigo dyeing from Japan, the native country of Aki Cooren. These sheets were then assembled using traditional techniques, and finished with a seam of solder and and strips of the same alloy to provide solidity. The fruit of a rich and original transmission of skills, the armchair is a work that reveals the savoir-faire of the foundry artist and the weaver, industrial traditions and contemporary aesthetics – the perfect marriage of past and future, craftsmanship and imagination.
This work is above all the expression of close collaboration, the pooling of distinct forms of savoir-faire from the earliest stages of the project.
Aki et Arnaud Cooren, designers