nThe Innovathèque will be showing its
C(h)ameleon exhibition at ARCHITECT@WORK, 8-9 October 2009 at the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris.

 Innovathèque Technical Day:

nWe would like to thank you once more for taking part in the technical day on 4th June. Its success has convinced us that we should repeat this operation when we inaugurate our newt exhibition.
We shall provide more details in the next Innovation Newsletter.

 VIA and the Design Schools 2009

nDuring the two summer months after they have finished their final exams, the VIA provides a forum for design schools to express themselves. The selection of students’ works is intended to give an impression of the range of design courses available in France.
Exhibition at the VIA Gallery from 07/07 to 23/08. Official opening on 07/07 from 8pm onwards.

 Paris/ Design in Mutation

The main theme of this exhibition is the question of mutations and its objective is to present the work of eleven designers or design collectives that are leading the way in the different Parisian design movements.
Espace Fondation EDF (Paris) until 30/08.

 2010 VIA Design Grants

nLike every year for the last 29 years, the VIA (Valorisation de l’Innovation dans l’Ameublement – Promoting Innovations in Furniture) is awarding design grants to young designers.
The VIA thereby fulfils its role of identifying new talent and promoting innovation and creativity.
The juries awarded 1 Carte Blanche, 1 Partnership Project and 7 Project Grants for 2009.

 Cinna – Maison Française Design Competition

nThe 3rd edition of the Cinna –Maison Française Young Designer Competition is off and running!
This ‘Identifying New Talent’ competition is supported by the VIA, Intramuros, Intérieurs, L’Express Styles and Ideat, and is open to any French or international designer under the age of 30 whether they be students or professionals.
The theme of this year’s competition is new materials and new technologies.

Deadline for submissions: 2nd October 2009. Application forms can be downloaded at

 Sylvain Dubuisson

From 4th September, the VIA will be showing an exhibition on the designer
Sylvain Dubuisson at its gallery.
Exhibition at the VIA Gallery from 04/09 to 13/12.

Shenzhen International Furniture Expo – Shenzhen, China (19-22 August)

“Code 09” (Copenhagen Design 09) Fair – Copenhagne, Denmark (27-30 August)

MACEF – Milan, Italy (4-7 September)

“Maison & Objet” – Paris Villepinte, France (4-8 September)

“Scènes d’Intérieur” - Paris Villepinte, France (4-8 September)

“SPOGA” Fair – Cologne, Germany (6-8 September)

The 22nd International Famous Furniture Fair – Dongguan, China (6-10 September)

“China International Furniture Fair” CIFF 2009 – Guangzhou, China (6-9 September)

EUROMAT/MSE – Nuremberg, Germany (7-10 September)

“Abitare il Tempo” – Verona, Italy (17-21 September)

“FIM” show - Valencia, Spain (21-26 September)

“IIDEX/NEOCON” show – Toronto, Canada (24-25 September)

“100 %Design” show - London, Great Britain (24-27 September)

“Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition” – Tokyo, Japan (29 September – 1st October)

“CERSAIE” ceramics show - Bologna, Italy (29 September – 3rd October)

COSMIT – Moscow, Russia (7-10 October)

COMPOSITES / MATERIALICA – Munich, Germany (13-15 October)

“IHDD” International Home Decor & Design 2009 – Shanghai, China (15-17 October)

 C(h)ameleon (French & English)


Amazing, unique materials that change under the effect of light, water, temperature, electricity and handling.
Further information available on (+33) (0)1 40 19 48 94 or

If you would like to subscribe to the Innovation Newsletter:
Click here


Pascal Gentil
Brice Tual
Pauline Bichet


Gérard Laizé
Olivier Waché
Aurélie Breuil

All photos in this publication
are under copyright.

Agence Mazarine Digital
2, square Villaret de Joyeuse
75017 Paris
  Remarks, comments, informations... ? Don't hesitate to get in touch with us :
For information, or sponsorship in this online newsletter, please contact us
at :

To unsubscribe : Click here



No matter the sector, companies that invest in innovation enjoy above-average growth (often in double figures) and export more than most of their competitors (generally accounting for between 70 and 80% of their turnover).
It is a fact - innovation adds value and is a development factor for companies that follow this strategy.
In a market that already has a plethora of products on offer and in which a ‘needs satisfaction’ approach is limited by a drop in the product renewal rate, there is a real opportunity to kick-start demand through creation and innovation. Many people suggest that households are reluctant to change, but the fact that 35% of household income is spent on products that did not exist four years ago gives this received idea the lie.

Yet the furniture sector still has a reputation for not being very innovative and this is probably due to the widespread use of traditional materials and techniques. It could be because the sector is mainly comprised of small and medium-sized companies that it lacks funds. Innovation requires real investment, but this is of course not only financial. It is above all intellectual and requires a good deal of common sense. Design and innovation also require time. Things need to be thought through in an age when, as everyone knows, time is at a premium. Innovation also means using technical resources. Although it is common knowledge that these companies’ size means they cannot afford a research and development department, what is strange is that they turn so little to the collective organisations they help to finance.
This newsletter is an opportunity to remind ourselves again (and again!) of how important it is for a company of any size and tradition, whatever products it makes, to come up with new designs and to innovate.

Gérard Laizé, Managing Director of the VIA

Salon INTERZUM 2009 Germany (13-16 May)

The 2009 edition of the international fair for suppliers of the furniture industry was held from 13th to 16th May in most of the Koelnmesse halls in Cologne. The major highlight this year was Interzum’s 50th anniversary, which was celebrated by a retrospective along the aisles of some of the history of furniture over the last few decades.

Lecture at the Environment and Sustainability Forum, Thursday 18th June

Biomimetism – nature as a source of technical solutions
Nature harbours a multitude of resources. In many cases, these technical solutions have been tested over millennia and have proved their effectiveness. Biomimetism draws inspiration from them to come up with answers to industrial problems. This approach involves artificially reproducing the essential characteristics of one or more biological systems.


Salone Internazionale del Mobile + Euroluce - Milan, Italy (22-27 April)

After the first professional show of the year in Cologne, which had really shown the depth of the crisis on the German market, and Paris, which had lived up to its billing as the capital of design despite the sluggish domestic market, everyone was waiting to see how the Italians were shaping up…

Design & Innovation: the two driving forces of growth

Innovate at a time of crisis? You hadn’t considered it – or don’t dare? Now is the time to start… if you prepare yourself well. We run through the basic rules of good innovation.
“In a period of crisis, launching a new product or a new range can have a positive impact on what your balance sheet looks like, especially because – as IPEA reminds us – one third of households plan to invest in decorating and home improvements. That gives some indication of the opportunities that exist in our sector.”

Innovation Networks

Developing an innovative product or technique frequently requires funds. There are a wide range of assistance available, either for the initial stages of a project that could lead to establishing a company or through a reduction in corporation tax. When we say assistance, we mean a regional network of technological skills that go by the acronym RDT (Réseau de Développement Technologique – Technological Development Network) and grants.


CLIPSO is a range of high-technology wall and floor coatings that are made of a polyurethane-coated polyester canvas. This taut canvas can be customised by high-definition (300 dpi) digital ink-jet printing and can be up to 5-metres wide without any welding or sewing. At the same time, CLIPSO has developed a quick and simple laying system. It is available in a range of basic colours and comes with various properties (acoustic, translucent, antibacterial). These coatings are designed for moist, hydrophobic premises and are not affected by chlorine. It doesn’t blister, nor does it crack. It is antistatic, needs no maintenance, has good acoustic and heat insulating properties, and can be painted. It can be machine-washed.


This innovative process has been developed using a unique, patented technology, which makes it possible to print beneath the surface of synthetic surfaces such as elastomers. The printing is incorporated into the surface of the material at a depth of up to 50 microns. It has special, innovative sensorial, visual and tactile properties. The process involves injecting pigments into the material. The finished object is a mono-composite and the print is permanent.


Cork Design markets a range of Suberis cork fabrics. Suberis has developed this material on the basis of Mrs Grindi’s invention, giving an innovative fabric made from cork that is as soft as velvet, as light as silk, washable, untearable, stain-proof, and water- and fire-resistant. There are very few other materials that can claim the same characteristics in terms of resistance, softness and multiple uses. Suberis fabrics come in various versions including classic, embroidered, plaited, and stretch.


The department of the Arkema group that specialises in molecular chemistry is currently working to develop self-repairing elastomers called Reverlink SH.
This innovative Reverlink SH material is regarded as a research material for the moment and is recommended as an additive to polymers. It gives polymers repairing and ‘scarring’ properties. This means that any break or cut in the elastomer can be repaired at ambient temperature by simply holding the two sides of the break together. Samples that have been repaired have immediately recovered their elasticity.