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deValence-Systems as Playgrounds

  • deValence is one of France's most prolific contemporary graphic design studios. The superlative quality of its design methods has garnered high acclaim in numerous fields. Its institutional clients include La Biennale di Venezia, Centre Pompidou, La Commune (Centre Dramatique National, Aubervilliers), Maison&Objet international trade fair of interior design, and Harvard University. deValence's private client list further includes some of France's leading contemporary artists, among them Pierre Huyghe, Raphaël Zarka and Saâdane Afif. This first exhibition in Japan showcased many of deValence's representative works demonstrating how the studio has contributed to innovation in contemporary graphic design.

  • ID


  • Exhibition Name

    deValence-Systems as Playgrounds

  • Period

    August 28, 2019–October 23, 2019

  • Exhibition Type

    ddd exhibition

  • Venue

    ddd Uzumasa, Kyoto

  • Featured Designers

  • Poster Designers

  • September 03, 2019
    Gallery Talk
    kyoto ddd gallery

    The two founding members of deValence, which was launched in 2001, gave a presentation on the "systems" they see existing in design, using six of their projects on exhibit to illustrate their discussion. In their VI for a theater gallery in Zurich, due to budget constrains they proposed preparing invitation cards using a stamped logo, and the recipients were pleased by this hand-crafted appearance. B42, deValence's publishing house, serves like a library that publishes books useful as tools for graphic designers and typographers. It has also introduced France to the works of Japan's Bunpei Yorifuji and other foreign designers. In response to a question posed by Kiyonori Muroga, who introduced deValence in Japan, about the origin of their studio name, they said they wanted to promote the name of the regional city where they had studied going against the French trend toward centralization. deValence loathes the homogenization of design resulting from globalization and free movement of people; they value context and strive for design stripped of anything superfluous.

  • ICOM Kyoto 2019 Commemorative Talk Event: “Visual Communication in Museums”
    Institut français du Japon - Kansai / Kyoto, Inabata Hall

    This special event took place in Kyoto at Institut français du Japon - Kansai's Inabata Hall. It began with an introduction to five works exhibited deValence at ddd relating to museums. Mr. Kikuchi offered that whereas 20th century typography was static, deValence 's typography is dynamic in seeming on the verge of moving even when standing still. Next, Mr. Kikuchi introduced his exhibition of his graphic works and his VI for a museum. The content vividly reflected his anathema to hierarchy. Mr. Kikuchi says that his current way of working fits him: he performs graphic design on consignment, operates his own shop, also holds his own exhibitions. He added that we should be liberated from the constraining notion that every person has only one profession. Mr. Hosaka sees a point in common between Mr. Kikuchi and deValence, who operate B42 and undertake activities through their NPO F7. The Talk Event concluded with remarks relating to the responsibility of the designer: namely, that being a designer incurs a special responsibility based on a minimum technical basis.


Photographer: YOSHIDA Akihito

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