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Meeting with architect Patrick Nadeau

Meeting with architect Patrick Nadeau

On the occasion of the release of the book "Végétal Design / Patrick Nadeau" by Thierry de Beaumont, we asked a few questions to Patrick Nadeau in order to know a little more about his work.

Patrick Nadeau, tell us about your background.

I am an architect. I continued my architecture studies with a post-design diploma where I met Christian Ghion. We worked together for several years and separated in the late 90s after staying at Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto. This break in Japan allowed me to take a step back. I wanted to reconnect with forgotten desires, including a nostalgia for not having studied landscaping. I was interested in research on gardens, botany ... It was also the time when I started teaching at ESAD Reims where I initiated the plant design workshop at the same time as my practice was evolving towards living issues.

You cross architecture, design and nature, could you clarify your approach?

It is the everyday environment that interests me, houses, workplaces, commercial spaces or urban spaces… I often work with plants because it is a complete architectural material offering an infinity of sensitive and plastic qualities (colors, tactile, olfactory, even hygrometric…). Designing objects or spaces by integrating plants is working at the margins of disciplines. The hybrid aspect of these projects (between architecture, garden, landscape and design) is very stimulating in terms of design.

What is plant design?

Plant design, as we conceive it with Thierry de Beaumont, is interested in the problems linked to the introduction or the management of living things in the built environment. It is part of a broader reflection engaging scientists, artists and theorists on the evolution of the relationship of man to nature, man becoming predominantly urban and cities being more and more extended. To address these questions, architects and landscapers work at the building, city or territory scale while designers work at the human, object and plant scale. They are based on research in botany, agro-materials, bio and new technologies.

You design gardens as much as furniture, is this a very different job? How do you do it?

I think that, in a way, it is the same project and the same concerns that I develop through the different mediums (objects and spaces). The objects in the "Individual Nature" series, for example, speak of a landscape while the Wave House may have been viewed as an oversized object.

Where does your inspiration come from in all of your work?

Very often the observation of a plant. I, for example, discovered the Usneoid Tillandsias at the botanical conservatory of Reunion Island during a trip with my students from Esad de Reims. These epiphytic plants which live by clinging to the branches of the trees are directly at the origin of the scenography projects that I did for the Boffi showrooms. It is essential to understand how the plant works in nature to give a correct interpretation in the project.

What is your favorite creation and why?

I find Jean Nouvel's building for the Cartier Foundation in Paris absolutely magnificent. The relationship between the building and the garden created by Lothar Baumgarten is exceptional. The building literally lives and changes with the seasons.

What are your next projects ?

Scenography projects, objects for different manufacturers, a personal exhibition at the Granville Gallery and beautiful stories in perspective with the association Particule 14.