Once Upon a Dream by Mathieu Lehanneur
for Veuve Clicquot


Milan 2010: french designer Mathieu Lehanneur presented a bed for curing insomnia in the Zona Tortona district of Milan last week.

The bed lulls users to sleep by enclosing them in automatically-closing curtains then gradually dropping the temperature and lighting, while levels of gentle white noise rise to block out external sounds.

Called Once Upon a Dream, the project was designed for champagne marque Veuve Clicquot's hotel in Rheims, France.

It was shown alongside an installation called Gloriette by the Campana Brothers (see our movie about it filmed at the brothers' studio in São Paulo).

Photographs are by Felipe Ribon.

See all our stories about Milan 2010 in our special category.

The information below is from Lehanneur:

Once upon a dream by Mathieu Lehanneur

After the quality of domestic air with 'Andrea', Mathieu Lehanneur has turned his attention to the quality of sleep. Designed for the Hôtel de Marc at Rheims, where guests of the Veuve Cliquot champagne house often suffering from jet lag stay, 'Once upon a dream' is the ideal room for swift rest-&-resynchronization - sweet deams guaranteed. Between the Sand Man and home cinema, this unit for slumber was designed using tried and tested data gathered in physiological studies for treating people who suffer from chronic insomnia. (Which was the case of the Widow Cliquot, the founder of the firm).

Based on Docteur Alain Nicolas 's work, specialist of sleep in France (Lyon), going to sleep is like stepping off into another state, sifting down into consciousness by successive stages. Each phase is stage-set by the story-teller (Lehanneur), preparing mind and body for abandonment to sleep.

Chapter 1 : automatic curtain closure, the interior show begins. Visually re-defined, the mental slate of the sleeper-to-be is erased for change of consciousness and production of dream.

Chapter 2 : Overall room temperature falls 2° to 19° C.

Chapter 3 : With barely a touch, the user activates the automatic light dimmer via the plant hanging over the bed - a reminiscence of the briar protecting Sleeping Beauty. In fifteen minutes, light dims from 1000 Lux to 0.

Chapter 4 : During the light-dimming phase, low-volume white noise acoustically isolates the sleeper from external sounds. This purr created by adding together barely audible frequencies is used to put certain patients into a Non Ordinary State of Consciousness (NOSC) prior to telepathic experiments. The brain homes in on the neutral swish, and with ideal body temperature, sleep comes.

Chapter 5 : Wake-up. Temperature rises by 2°. Light intensity increases from 0 to 2500 Lux in fifteen minutes. A new day begins.

Once upon a dream was lauched in Milan last week together with the "Gloriette" by the Campana's brothers. It will be set in Reims at the Hôtel du Marc after a world tour trip.

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Posted on Thursday April 22nd 2010 at 3:56 pm by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Darren

    Once again, great work from Lehanneur!! More of the science and design and less of the aesthetic treatment is needed in this world!

  • Andrew

    Looks interesting. I like the idea of a controlled space to rejuvenate, but a bottle of champagne will put anyone to sleep and the quality won't be that great. The bed doesn't look that comfortable either.

  • Lidija

    nothing new….. shigeru ban – paper house

  • modular

    Is Jaime around?

  • Dean

    the only nice thing about the bed was the absolutely stunning guy who was demonstrating it in Tortona – by far the most beautiful sighting at Salone this year!

  • applejack

    Starwars Hoth bed, wait I can see Luke stuck to the ceiling.

  • Val

    @ Dean: I agree with u about the guy hahaha, was gorgeous.

    But I love the proyect, is smart, beautiful, poetic, and functional.

  • nix

    this bed looks 10 times better on the pics than in Milan. Nice idea, star trek design….

  • Prof Z.

    Choose the references:Star Trek design or Jaime Hayon or Shigeru Ban?

  • Klaus

    I am going to try again, as my first comment was too critical to be published.
    I don’t appreciate the work of Lehanneur, because I feel he “cherry picks” scientific factoids from researchers and applies a wacky shape to them.
    I also find it overdesigned, and it uses too much material.
    Don’t understand where the hype comes from really.
    The fact that the client is Veuve Clicquot, for me hints at this project being a representation of vacuous luxury, rather than scientific advance.

  • Lynn

    I appreciate that the scientific basis was given. We could all get ourselves a white noise machine, a timer for our lights and heating, and try this at home! One of my sons suffers from insomnia, and it seems impossible that just these three things – four, the curtains -could make a person fall asleep in such a short time! Thanks, Lehanneur and Veuve Clicquot.