Sitting Back With Frank Chou
How terraced fields inspired Louis Vuitton's latest Objets Nomades home collection
“Everything can be used as inspiration for creation, not just tangible things. A piece of music, a movie, some scenes, or even a relationship can become a source of inspiration.”
Since its inception in 2012, Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades home collection has invited some of the world’s best designers as contributors, including India Mahdavi, Marcel Wanders, Patricia Urquiola, and brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana.
Among these is renowned Chinese designer Frank Chou, who has infused the recent Objets Nomades collection with oriental charm through his signature armchair and sofa.
Chou says his two pieces were inspired by the layers of terraced fields in the mountains of Yunnan, China. Their smooth shapes evoke the serene atmosphere of the rolling countryside. Like the fields, the furniture can be found in a striking array of colours and flowing lines. The armchair and sofa strike a perfect balance between Chinese subtlety and modern structure.
In addition to the Chinese landscape, another source of inspiration for Chou’s designs was the colourful Antelope Valley in the American Southwest.
“The terraced fields in Yunnan and Antelope Valley were formed by nature over thousands of years. This fascinates me and leads me to think deeply about the philosophy of nature. Its beauty seems to be connected with my subconscious,” Zhou says.
Zhou and his team collaborated virtually to produce the collection’s designs.
“It’s a great testament to our professionalism and trust in each other,” he says. “Despite these limited conditions of communication, we brought the concept from zero to a complete product. It was a wonderful and unforgettable cooperative process.”
Chou’s signature armchair and sofa come with both indoor and outdoor finishings. The dynamic suspended frame is wrapped by iconic Italian brand Paola Lenti’s fabric and by Louis Vuitton’s waterproof canvas. The sofa comes in different sizes that can seat one to four people.
Harmony between East and West
Since its establishment in 2012, the Frank Chou Design Studio has worked with international brands and has won prestigious awards. In 2016, Chou became the first Chinese designer to win the SaloneSatellite Design Award at Milan Design Week. In 2019, he was selected as an emerging designer at the Maison&Objet Paris Fashion Home Show.
The main goal of Chou’s Beijing-based studio is to achieve a balance between Eastern and Western aesthetic preferences. His designs reflect different aspects of Chinese culture and are appreciated by people all over the world.
“For me, the philosophy of life reflected in Eastern aesthetics is different from that of Western aesthetics, and this attracts us and requires us to ponder,” he says.
As a travel enthusiast, Chou is a great fit for Louis Vuitton’s collection since travel is one of the prominent characteristics of Objets Nomades. Yet while going away is still difficult in the current environment of the pandemic, Chou also enjoys his quiet time at home. He listens to music and appreciates a good movie, which gives him the chance to immerse himself in another world. He also takes time to make his house feel cozy and welcoming.
“Everything can be used as inspiration for creation, not just tangible things. A piece of music, a movie, some scenes, or even a relationship can become a source of inspiration,” Chou says.
Whether he is designing for his personal space or for that of others, his goal is the same—to connect the world to his Eastern roots and to share a more calming, carefree way of life.