Paul Cournet, CLUB COLLECTIBLE ambassador
12 April 2021
CLUB COLLECTIBLE: What have you been up to recently? Which recent project would you like to draw attention to?
Paul Cournet: While being an architect at OMA implies that I am designing buildings, with AMO – our research entity – we are working on a wide range of other types of projects that include curating exhibitions, developing strategies for cultural institutions and designing objects with brands. As much as possible, I try to combine both of these aspects in my practice.
“I hope that CLUB COLLECTIBLE will be able to open up each city to new ways of thinking and approaching design.”
CC: Tell us about a collectible designer you would love to collaborate with or have enjoyed collaborating with on a past project.
PC: We have recently curated the exhibition ‘Pierre Paulin Program’ with Benjamin Paulin and Alice Lemoine (Paulin, Paulin, Paulin). For this exhibition we have produced the modular system designed by Pierre Paulin in the late 60s but never realised, and now presented it for the first time half a century later in a domestic setting, the Maison Lemoine in Bordeaux [house designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA in 1998]. Following this first exhibition, the aim is to make this project travel to different places, with a new set up every time.
CC: What makes Paris, Rotterdam and Brussels exciting places for contemporary collectible design and (interior) architecture?
PC: I was born, grew up and studied in France. Following that I wanted to move abroad and I have now been living and working in Rotterdam for the last 10 years which has been an incredible experience. Over the last years I have also been working on several projects in Belgium, which has been truly exciting. I am fortunate enough for instance to live in Rotterdam and be able to do a round trip to Paris for work by train in the same day. Too often cities aim to behave in complete autonomy from each other. Instead of considering them as separate cities we should instead understand them as part of a powerful system. In a way, the obvious proximity and the shared cultural history of Paris, Rotterdam and Brussels is the opportunity to re-consider them as part of a network of polycentric places.
CC: What do you think CLUB COLLECTIBLE could bring to the Paris, Rotterdam and Brussels design scenes?
PC: I hope that CLUB COLLECTIBLE will be able to open up each city to new ways of thinking and approaching design. On one hand, it is crucial that each city keeps its own character and identity, and on the other hand, there is so much to learn from each other that connecting them can only foster new interesting initiatives. We are all wondering what turn the world will take post-corona. Instead of rushing back to our old ways of living, a ‘new normal’ will have to be discussed. Hopefully, this collective initiative will be able to propose new ideas for this ‘new normal’...
About Paul Cournet
Paul Cournet is an architect at OMA*AMO and teacher at TU Delft, based in Rotterdam. After studying architecture in Bordeaux and Paris, Paul joined OMA in 2010.
At OMA, Paul has been working on several projects now built or currently under construction. Paul also works within AMO, the think-tank branch and research based entity of OMA. His projects for AMO include exhibitions, publications, research programs, brand strategies, and set design. Paul has been a visiting teacher and lecturer in several universities across Europe, and his work has been published in books and magazines internationally.