Olivier Mourgue (born 1939 in Paris, France). Olivier Mourgue is well-known for his furniture design, but he is also a painter and landscape designer. He recently published a book which is titled "Imaginary Gardens and Little Theatres" for the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts.
Olivier Mourgue studied interior design at the 'Ecole Boulle' and furniture design at the 'l'Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs' in Paris graduating in 1960. Additionally, Olivier Mourgue trained from 1958 to 1961 in Finland and also in Sweden where he worked for Maurice Holland, Nordiska Kompaniet in Stockholm.
Olivier Mourgue worked with the French manufacturer 'Airborne International' (located in Montreuilsous-Bois, France) from 1963. At Airborne, Olivier Mourgue designed his well-known classic Djinn chairs (1965) made famous by '2001: A Space Odyssey' by Stanley Kubrick. Stanley Kubrick created a futuristic rotating Hilton hotel in Space. In it, the Djinn chairs received their lasting moment of fame. The Djinn chairs feature a wave-like, low-slung silhoette. Olivier Mourgue named the chairs 'Djinn" which In Muslim legend, a spirit often capable of assuming human or animal form and exercising supernatural influence over people. Stanley Kubrick destroyed all the sets and props of '2001: A Space Odyssey', afraid that they might fall into the hands of lesser directors.
While designing for 'Airborne International', Olivier Mourgue also worked as an interior designed for the 'Agence d'Architecture Interieure Gautier-Delaye'. in 1966, Olivier Mourgue established his own design studio in Paris. At his own design studio, Olivier Mourgue created furniture for French companies like Renault, Prisunic and Mobilier National. He also created a beautiful table- and floor lamp for Disderot, France which featured a stem with flower shaped shades. Olivier Mourgue also designed shop interiors and a factory in tournus. In 1968, Olivier Mourgue created a chair which he named 'Cubique" which won the AID International Design Award.
Olivier Mourgue's most fabulous yet most unknown complete interior design project was made for Visiona by Bayer AG. From 1968 until 1972 (estimate), Bayer AG hired the most talented designers to create an entire futuristic display on board of a ship in Cologne, Germany. Each year, a different designer was hired. Joe Colombo made Visiona in 1969. Verner Panton made Visiona in 1970, Olivier Mourgue made Visiona in 1971 and as far as we know, Jack Lenor Larsen created the last Visiona, either in 1972 or 1974. in 1971, Bayer AG hired Olivier Mourgue for the complete interior installation of Visiona. During Visiona, Olivier Mourgue created an entire natural landscape with rivers, carpets that ressembled earth- grass- and other natural floor coverings, modular movable rooms. It was the most relaxing environment that was ever created during Visiona. Olivier Mourgue who had always been very close to nature, tried and successfully succeeded to implement nature in most of the Visiona. The Visiona of Olivier Mourgue was a Utopia where man and nature lived side by side in peace. It was a wonderful experience to be there at that time and Olivier Mourgue's Visiona was one of the most memorable interior installations that were ever created.
In 1976, Olivier Mourgue closed his studio in moved to Bretagne, France where he became a professor at the school of Fine Arts in Brest. Olivier Mourgue currently lives Plouguiel, a small town in Bretagne, France. Every once in a while he displays his art in Brest, France.
Most of the works by Olivier Mourgue can be found in museum collections. Unfortunately, the main manufacturer 'Airborne International" that used to produce his design, is no longer in business. Original design from Olivier Mourgue can be found at antique shops that specialize in modern design or auction houses. The 'Bouloum' chair which we he designed in 1969 for 'Airborne International' is now in production again through Arconas of Canada.
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