Photo : VIA/Fillioux&Fillioux

The VIA Gallery: “Designers’ Berlin”
As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the cooperation agremeent between Paris and Berlin, the VIA presents the best of Berlin design in all its forms until 16th December. Furniture, objects, fashion, accessories and the art of entertaining by leading lights and talented newcomers from the German design scene. The VIA Gallery – 29, avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris. Free entry.


OzzGallery has chosen to work together with Frédéric Ruyant for its launch. The designer has created a series of four numbered pieces using one basic element: a plank of ash from the Chaux forest in the Doubs département. This concern for traceability is part of the OzzGallery’s “eco-rare” approach. 21, rue St Paul, 75004 Paris - - Visits by appointment.


Actinéo colloquium: “The New Environments of Performance”
Integrate the changes in the world around us to make the working environment a genuine lever for imrpoved performance in companies.

Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine – Palais de Chaillot – 75016 Paris / 04/12/07

Barcelona Design Week - Barcelona 05-09 / 11

IMM Cologne - Cologne 14-20 / 01

Macef - Milan 18-21 /01

Meuble Paris - Paris Le Bourget 24-28 / 01

Maison&Objet - Paris Nord Villepinte 25-29 / 01

The CTBA and the AFOCEL merge
The birth of a new technological institute on 1st June 2007 – the FCBA (Forest Cellulose Timber in Construction Furniture)

A result of the merger between the CTBA (the Wood and Furniture Technical Centre) and the AFOCEL (the Forest Cellulose Association), the new technological institute brings together experts on the paper, the construction and the furniture industries within one organisation. The objectives of this merger are more innovation, greater synergies, better services to companies and a strengthening of their position in Europe and internationally.

Phaidon Design Classics

The famous publishing house has made a compilation of 999 design classics selected by well-known figures from the sector. A superb box-set contains the three volumes of this richly illustrated anthology which is arranged in chronological order. Editions Phaidon, 1,150 photos, texts in French, box-set €150


Sens Unik catalogue

The catalogue of “Sens Unik, Sensory Experiences” makes an inventory of information about the 60 materials presented in the exhibition of the same name. These materials were listed according to the sense(s) they help to stimulate: sight, touch, smell and hearing. On sale from 1st November 2007 from the FCBA and in specialised bookshops in Paris.
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Sam Baron
Marie-Catherine Dolhun
Gérard Laizé
Stéphane Sarie


FCBA / Innovathèque

Jean-Marc Barbier

Hélène Boga
Erik Martin
Brice Tual
Hichem Vincent

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Wood is a timeless material that has been in use since the dawn of humanity: as structural material for huts and cabins, a defensive material for making weapons, a source of energy for heating and cooking food, a material for everyday furniture or for prestige, a material for packaging and a multitude of other objects for daily life… but also as an essential source of fibre for paper and boards.
Most wood today comes from sustainably-managed forests; it is an abundant and renewable material that is easily available.  From balsa to ebony, via oak, beech and all the coniferous trees, a few hundred species that are traded, providing woods of varying appearance and a wide range of different hues.  From the softest to the hardest, the most supple to the most rigid, wood’s physical and mechanical characteristics are suited for a large number of different uses.
Over the ages, man has learnt how to shape wood by cutting away, warping and compressing the material (sawing, planing, rotary cutting, bending, stamping, etc.).  He has found out how to defibrate it to produce boards and papermaking pulp.  As it is a material that is vulnerable to attack, we know how to protect and make it more attractive at the same time (dyeing, waxing, oiling, varnishing, etc.).
This continual desire to alter, improve and tame wood as a material has never ceased.  The most recent research work makes it possible to use wood, and also other plant fibres, in ways and for purposes we could hardly have imagined even a few years ago.
Some of the noteworthy future technologies we can mention are heat-modified wood, welded wood, extrusible and sprayable wood-polymer composites, and supple or malleable wood.
All of these materials are presented in two exhibitions entitled “growing materials”.  This is a unique opportunity for artists, designers and all users of this multi-facetted material to discover it – or rather rediscover it.


Jean-marc Barbier / FCBA



Paris Nord Villepinte – Parc des Expositions
7th – 11th September 2007


The period after the summer holidays is not traditionally a time when there are many meetings organised for companies in the furniture sector. Instead they are waiting for the major event due to take place in January 2008: the merger of the Paris Furniture Fair and Planète Meuble en Meuble in Paris (24-28.01.08). There is now just one show which the UNIFA and the FNAEM (the French Federation for the Furniture and Home Equipment Trade), in other words industry and retail, are organising jointly.


Promosedia 07: a show aimed at the younger generation
Udine, Italie
From 8th to 11th September 2007 -


The Promosedia fair could still count on a large number of exhibitors for its 31st edition despite an apparent fall in the number of visitors. Manufacturers of chairs for community spaces still have opportunities to sign contracts with architects and promoters here. Most of the companies present, especially those from the Friuli region, who specialise in making wooden and plastic furniture, can take orders for public authorities, cafés, hotels and other public spaces such as football grounds.

100% Design, London
20th-23th September 2007.

One comes back from 100% Design in London with a feeling of something having been missing. It would be logical to expect from a country whose economic growth we have heard so much about that its design industry should reflect this same dynamism. But, in the final analysis, the UK is suffering from the same syndrome as France: natural resistance from the local market due to the fact that it has a historical and cultural heritage that is still very alive and also a lack of manufacturers who are interested in producing what British designers come up with. This would appear to explain why this event is still finding its feet 12 years after it was inaugurated.
FIM, Valencia - Spain
24th-29th September 2007


The 44th Feria Internacional del Mueble de Valencia covered more than 80,000 m2 of exhibition space and 1,200 brands were present. Of the 25 countries represented, France comprised 8% of the total number of brands, compared with 37% for Italy. Despite the quality of the new infrastructure, it was easy to see that this show is losing participants!

Growing materials

The ambition of the two exhibitions “growing materials”, organised at the same time by the VIA and the FCBA, is to show the range of possible uses of renewable materials: wood, multiplys, composite materials of natural origin…
In this context, wood is one of the major elements of a sustainable development approach.  And although talk of sustainable development, ecology and environmental protection can quickly fall into commonplaces, the stakes are still just as high.  Yet, material sciences are continually improving the potential of these materials, which become more coveted every day since tomorrow they will probably be the essential elements of our society’s development.


Design – between the variety of species and plant fibres
Is the emergence of designs for the home in solid wood and using plant fibres simply an expression of nostalgia for a more authentic age? The bubbling interest surrounding these materials is more a reflection of designers giving free rein to their emotions. The (re)discovery of natural materials is often made possible by the innovative techniques developed to make use of them. Moreover, designers and research laboratories are starting to dream up furniture and objects made out of polymers…
How technical innovation has renewed wood’s image

Wood, a compact and lignous plant material, has always been a fundamental element in our environment. One has to go back through history to get a true appreciation of how amazing this material really is. It exists on every continent and has been used by every civilisation as fuel, domestic utensils, a component in architectural and naval construction, a hunting, fishing and fighting weapon, and, much later, for furniture. Throughout his evolution, man has been able to extract wood’s intrinsic characteristics in spite of its particularities and irregularities.

Wood’s particularities: a good way to highlight the natural characteristics of wood

Furniture manufacturers and distributors are regularly confronted with demands from consupmers who are increasingly reluctant to buy products made from materials whose appearance is irregular.
This is no different for wood and professionals have asked the FCBA to help them develop information that they can use commercially to overcome the difficulty they have in explaining the presence of certain characteristics in wood.
Consumers generally have little knowledge about natural materials and they are used to receiving products made from uniform synthetic materials that are smooth, regular and therefore without any irregularities.  They are thus worried when they hear talk of knots, stains, rings, splits, checks and other oddities in the quality of a wood.

September: Paris textile month

Texworld – 17th-20th September 2007/Paris Le Bourget
Première Vision Pluriel – 18th-21st September 2007/Paris Parc des Expositions, Paris Nord Villepinte
The two shows Texworld and Première Vision Pluriel, which are held more or less simultaneously in Paris in September, have much in common to do with garment textiles.
Held every six months, each of them aims to be the world’s leading show for garment textiles and follow as closely as possible the trends in fashion collections in terms of their colours and materials. This edition will have set the tone for autumn/winter 2008/2009.

Cellulose fibre

Lenpur® is an environmentally-friendly fibre that is made from the pulp of Canadian white pine, or to be more precise, from the branches of pruned pines rather than ones that have been cut down.  Its qualities are similar to those of Cashmere since it is extremely soft to the touch, has good absorption and water removal capacity and has a thermal regulation effect.
Lenpur® can be used on its own or woven together with other fibres such as silk (for increased comfort), linen, PLA fibre, etc.  This fibre makes it possible to obtain a quality finish at a comparable price to linen.


Oleotherm or thermo-oiling

Oleotherm is an innovative technique of impregnating wood with plant oils and a non-chemical treatment that protects wood for use outdoors or in wet conditions.  Oléobois’ completely anaerobic process consists of three stages: first the wood is heated at medium temperature (< 150°C) to evaporate the water it contains, then it is cooled which causes the plant oil to penetrate deep within the wood due to the pressure conditions created.  Finally, at the end of the process, the air is dried out which makes the impregnation permanent.  Thus, in one sole operation, one obtains a water repellant wood with an external surface condition.  The finish is dry to touch within a short time and is not filmogenic (i.e. does not flake off).
The mechanical properties of wood that is treated in this way are not altered in the final analysis and its dimensional stability is increased.  Moreover, this treatment shows a good ability to receive any kind of finish which also last twice as long.

Retified wood

Retification is a heat treatment process (pyrolysis at between 180 and 250°C) which causes molecular modification of the lignins in wood.
This treatment gives wood dimensional stability (it does not fix the water) and greater durability (resistance to attacks by xylophagous insects and fungi) without affecting its mechanical properties.  When used in exposed conditions, it takes on a genuine wood patina, becoming grey the degree of which depends on the species.  Furthermore, since retified wood is made from local species that meet PEFC standards (ash, beech, poplar, pinaster, spruce) and provides an environmentally-friendly alternative to the excessive use of exotic timber.  Retification is not an energy-intensive treatment and is entirely physical, meaning that it does not cause any pollution.


Thermoplastic wood

Arboform® is a thermoplastic granulate made from renewable materials:

  1. Lignin, a natural polymer created by photosynthesis which represents about 30% of the mass of a tree or any other living plant.
  2. Cellulose in fibre form, the most abundant natural material.

Combining these two materials creates a material that is close to natural wood with its rigidity and flexion.  The material’s properties can even be altered depending on the quality of the fibre (linen, hemp, etc.) or the quantities of the two components.  This composite material can be processed using the same techniques as in plastic-making (plastic injection, thermomoulding, etc.) and provides an economically viable response that can compete with objects produced from synthetic materials.  Production capacity is currently about 300 tonnes per year but can easily be increased because the production of the various raw materials is similar to that of papermaking pulp.




Marotte has been dedicated to interior layout and top-of-the-range cabinetmaking since 1947 and offers an exceptional range of high quality boards.  As part of its demanding and innovative activities, the company is continuing a tradition of impeccable quality, both in its veneers (of which it has a range of 120 varieties in natural, stained and reconstituted wood) and in traditional and cabinetmaking boards, which is its core activity.