From Torrent to Current
In her book Du Torrent au Courant, des Barrages et des Hommes en Savoie (From Torrent to Current: Dam and Man in Savoy), photographer Céline Clanet documents the infrastructure of hydropower in the Beaufortain region of southeastern France: four dams and ten power plants. Set in the midst of bucolic hillsides and snowcapped peaks, these structural behemoths have had profound impacts on the surrounding terrain. With a documentarian eye, Clanet captures all facets of these dams and power plants—from their monumental exterior scales, to labyrinthine interior spaces, to caretakers—focusing on how infrastructure has merged with the natural and social landscape.
@current / @total
- Quebec City architect Pierre Thibault has designed three Habitats Légers, or Light Habitats—small structures installed in the landscape and meant as creative retreats.
- Edyn is a garden system created by an entrepreneur with an affection for horticulture. It comes in two parts: a sensor-laden stake, and the Water Valve hose actuator.
For the past decade we at Dwell have been ferreting out the best modern design wherever we can find it. And it should come as little surprise that we keep returning to a nation with a centuries-deep lineage of astounding material culture: la France. In honor of photographer Celine Clanet's amazing photo essay in our November 2011 issue depicting the astounding dams of the Savoy region, I've collected a handful of our best stories on French design over the last several years. From the furniture design of Inga Sempé to a masterpiece of rural prefab design by architect Jean-Baptiste Barache, we continue to tip our chapeaux to our amis across l'Atlantique.
- “Technically it’s a cinch,” Patrick Blanc says, and with a wave of the hand ticks off the ingredients needed to build a plant wall: ten-millimeter-thick waterproof PVC slabs covered…
- No backyard? No problem. These indoor gardens show the power of bringing greenery indoors. (And check out these indoor gardening kits to work your own magic!)
- Though Los Angeles offers Lindsay Lohan sightings at Pinkberry and addresses on L.Ron Hubbard Way, Dwell explores a different side of the city with land use interpreter Matthew Coolidge.
- For design mavericks Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan, a challenging site that slopes toward the sea yields a unique opportunity to create an intimate and relaxing hideaway.
- Botanist Patrick Blanc has been bringing the wilds of the rainforests to Parisian walls for over 30 years, most recently at the Jean Nouvel–designed Quai Branly museum.