Joining the CNAP Collection


Design and the Decorative Arts

In 1981, a new area of the collection was created and endowed with its own commission. Encompassing design and the decorative arts, its purpose is to demonstrate the variety and vitality of contemporary design. Through regular purchases made over the following thirty years, the collection has grown to number some 9,500 objects, including commissions, (2,700 of which were acquired before the 1980s), by over 2,200 artists and designers. It reflects the developments and multi-disciplinary nature of this extremely diverse activity, and provides a succession of views and interpretations of what it represents today, as opposed to an historical perspective.

The collection covers a wide range of areas: furniture, tableware, lighting and textiles, but also fashion accessories, household electrical appliances and new technologies. "Nomadic" objects such as memory sticks and mobile phones, and even Apple products, are all recent additions to the collection. Such a wide variety of form and purpose is mirrored by an equally wide range of production methods and circuits. One-off pieces, craft items using traditional or entirely new methods, prototypes and mass-produced goods all illustrate the great diversity of practice that abounds. The collection also reflects alternative production methods (Fab Lab, hackerspace, collaborative practice), spaces (virtual) and economies (crowdfunding, self-funding).

The collection ranks as one of Europe’s foremost groupings of contemporary design. Acquisitions made in recent decades are representative of the work of iconic international designers including Ettore Sottsass, Ron Arad, Gaetano Pesce, Andrea Branzi, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Jurgen Bey, Jasper Morrison, Naoto Fukasawa, Scholten & Baijings, Studio Job, Noam Toran, Patricia Urquiola, El Ultimo Grito, Studio FormaFantasma, Max Lamb and Jonathan Muecke. France is well represented, with works by Philippe Starck, Martin Szekely, François Bauchet, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Radi Designers, matali crasset, Normal Studio, Constance Guisset, les 5.5, François Brument, Mathieu Lehanneur and Ionna Vautrin. As a forward-looking institution, the Cnap makes it a point to acquire works by emerging designers: Julien Carretero, Jean-Baptiste Fastrez, Sanks, Pierre Charrié, Cesar Harada, Raphaël Pluvinage, Marianne Cauvard and Laureline Galliot.

An increase in the scope of the commission’s remit, which since 2010 has been extended to include graphic design, has enriched the collection with important work by the likes of Peter Knapp, Vier5, Fanette Mellier and Frédéric Teschner. The Cnap also benefitted from a substantial gift by Étienne Robial of his work for the Canal+ visual identity. Works that illustrate the creative process and font designs are additional lines of research in this domain: Jean-Baptiste Levée, Émilie Rigaud and feature among font designers who have entered the collection.

The collection also includes a number of works commissioned by the Cnap, from textiles produced as part of the Métissages programme (Bruno Pellassy, Annette Messager, Mona Hatoum) to projects developed by Des designers à Vallauris (Roger Tallon, Fréderic Ruyant). In 2015, the Cnap produced L’Écouteur, a contemporary environment for listening to music, designed by Laurent Massaloux and Jean-Yves Leloup, and, in 2016, in collaboration with Mobilier national, Old Furniture, New Faces by Martino Gamper. The nomadic auditorium Cavea developed by Olivier Vadrot and the Mon Musée Du Design app, imagined by Sismo Designers, also stem from Cnap commissions.