Written by Kieron Monks
29 Friday 29th January 2010

Ozcollective are an exciting group of Paris based designers, who came to our attention through their masterful arrangement of umbrellas called Abri no 177. But they go beyond the odd craftily arranged parapluie, which main men Alexandre Pachiaudi and Gaëtan Kohlerthey told us all about.

How was Ozcollective formed? What are its guiding principles and beliefs? 

AP: It is a simple story. We met as freshman students in the same workshop at l'Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris. We then learned together during the next five years. 

Much of your art has crossed over into architecture. Where do you identify yourselves on the spectrum?

AP: You describe us as artists, and we enjoy that, but we come first as architects. 

GK: It is true that for the moment our projects are pre-eminently research that have not a direct link to architecture. 

AP: And what is architecture...?   It is something very transdisciplinary. Every master architect has given to the community a definition of this word: Vitruve, Alberti, Le Corbusier, Mies ... Each one of them defines in his own words a different color/taste to this discipline. And at the same time they all say the same thing!   For me it is something between science and arts craft.

Could you tell me about the creation of Abri no 177 from the original idea to exhibiting it?

AP: The first step to understand the Abri No.177 stands in its name. In french Abri means shelter. We developed this project around this idea. The umbrella was chosen as the main material for the project because it is a fascinating manufactured object with plenty of evocating meaning. It is one of the most tiny and delicate shelters a human can ever use. We tried to create something between the roundness of a human breast and the agressivity of a hedgehog.

Inside the Alibri No 177

What has been your most satisfying project to work on? 

GK:  Definitively the Abri No.177 but also on a short video we made on the theme of living tomorrow.

AP: Yes, the Abri No.177 was a very good source of satisfaction for both of us. This was a big source of stress and complication, but a so big source of enjoyment, satisfaction and emotion that we want to keep on going and pursue more of this intense experimentation.   

What is the most annoying piece of art you have ever seen? 

GK:  I have a rather selective memory. 

AP:  I don't remember, but I am in general bored if I have to read the text of the artist to understand the true meaning of the work.

Our current issue is themed around democracy. If there was an election tomorrow would Sarkozy win and why? 

AP:  I hope not... France is a democratic republic, but it seems more like a democratic kingdom where people vote for the next king... and we get what we deserve. 

GK:  I believe less and less in contemporary democracy. I think it is very important that artists redefine the question of politics.

For more designs and thoughts from the collective, click here

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