Blanc Industrie by Mathieu Bassée and Christophe Dubois

French designers Mathieu Bassée and Christophe Dubois designed display stands with inflatable shapes floating above them for an exhibition at Paris art centre Le Laboratoir earlier this month.

Called Blanc Industrie, the project was designed for an exhibition titled Innovation in the Air, which showcased equipment and processes used at the centre.

Objects were displayed backlit from beneath on seven plinths that double as storage crates.

Light was reflected back onto the objects and into the surrounding room by floating inflatable volumes tethered above each stand.

See also: installation in the same space by Franch designer Mathieu Lehanneur (December 2008)

Here's some text from the designers:


We are two young French designers (Mathieu Bassée and Christophe Dubois) located in Paris. We’ve recently conceived a scenography for an exhibition in an art centre called le Laboratoire, Paris. You’ve already published an article on the Laboshop and Labrobrain, two spaces Mathieu Lehanneur has designed in this place. The exhibition was named “Innovation in the air” and it ended January 4th. “Blanc Industrie” was the name of our scenography.

The purpose of the show was to present the results of different innovative processes that have been undertaken by le Laboratoire since its opening. Objects and items linked to these processes (from plants to prototypes or videos) where presented along with the final results.

Since the beginning, we’ve foreseen the exhibition from a mobility standpoint, both in terms of itinerancy and also in the building itself, due to its day to day activity. Therefore, we’ve imagined a system that would not depend on the architecture. That could be deployed and retracted at will, only using a plug to get some energy from the place where it is installed. An autonomous scenography, independent from its surrounding.

In the end, we’ve conceived 7 modules that integrate the necessary functions of a classical exhibition process : storage, presentation, lighting. The modules act as containers and display units. The objects and items can be stored in the modules which are also used to present them.

In terms of lighting, each module integrates a light box. The Laboratoire is an art/science center. Using this kind of lighting was a way to introduce light as a tool of observation and recreate a sort of nomad, temporary, if not underground, laboratory. The light boxes are the only light source of the exhibition. The name of the scenography “Blanc Industrie” refers to the neutral and standardized light used in industrial facilities.

Each module also contains an inflatable balloon. Filled with helium, the custom shaped balloons act both as reflectors and diffusers. They reflect light on the objects (without them, there would be a backlighting effect) and in the same time, they diffuse an ambient light in the space. Their presence change the perception of the space, the visitors being successively above or under them during the visit. The videos and interactive interfaces of the exhibition have been created by Coexistenz.