© MAD / Photography: Luc Boegly

As any leading museum across the planet proves, exploring the collections will take more than a single visit. But these days, as visitors have become more savvy – if not demanding – as ever before, presentation is key and part of the overall venue experience. The Musée des arts décoratifs, or MAD as it’s now called, is very much a hub dedicated to industrial design, and one boasting a formidable collection that resonates on a global scale. As such, it isn’t surprising the institute continuously tweaks its format, and very recently, a renewed contemporary section has been revealed.

Almost a decade after the exhibition Elementary Design, Paris-based Normal Studio are have returned to MAD to revamp a 2,000 sqm. (22,000 sq.ft.) area where design masterpieces of the era 1948-2018 is presented, creating an engaging dialogue between all pieces along the way. Situated within the Rohan Wing of the massive Louvre complex, the first phase was to strip anything that wasn’t part of the original architecture, removing walls and opening up the windows again to allow in natural light and restore the views of the urban landscape. The new design concept is simple and clever, and is based on raised platforms, pedestals, stelas, and cabinets.

A series of structures, piled and misaligned, gives the illusion of a playfully configurated set, when in fact everything is positioned according to a predefined grid. In the aisles, each alcove is furnished with the same line of furniture, using the same matrix, but organized differently depending on the pieces. Within the library, a special showcase inspired by metal storage racks has been installed, featuring a selection of seats from a period ranging from the post-war era to today. Normal Studio collaborated with lighting manufacturer Sammode on the venue’s sophisticatedlight plan, and Lyon-based graphic design agency Superscript co-designed the signage. Location: MAD, 107 rue de Rivoli (St.-Honoré).

© MAD / Photography: Luc Boegly