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POPVILLE: Tribute to visionary designer Quasar Khanh

The“Paris Sur Mode” exhibition in the Tuileries Gardens hosted from September 29 to October 2 a unique exhibition dedicated to the visionary designer Quasar Khanh (1934-2016). It showcases the designer’s iconic pop creations, namely the Aerospace inflatable furniture and the Cube car.

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Nguyen Manh Khanh, his real name, was born in Hanoi in 1934. He left Vietnam in 1949 and settled with his parents in France, more precisely in Paris. He studied engineering at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, opted for the pseudonym Quasar Khanh and obtained his engineering degree in 1959. He worked for a number of well-known companies such as the Société Générale d’Entreprises and the engineering consultancy Coyne et Bellier. Ingenious and inventive, Quasar Khanh has worked on a wide variety of projects: boats, aviation, furniture, cars, fashion…

In 1968, he designed the Aerospace line of inflatable furniture as a tribute to the conquest of space. He was the first designer to have this original idea! Success came very quickly as the range was exhibited in 1969 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and at the Triennale in Milan. He is also the first inventor of a range of vinyl-covered foam furniture:“the velvet cube”. His creations can be seen at the Vitra Design Museum, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Plasticarium in Brussels, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

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Portrait of Quasar Khanh | Voiture Le cube, photo source: © www.quasar-khanh.com

Note in your diaries the publication of the book dedicated to Quasar Khanh, with a preface by Philippe Starck, published by Albin-Michel, jointly written by Benoit Ramognino from Velvet Galerie, Marc Mineray from Galerie 47 and Fabrice Peltier from Design Pack Gallery. Photos by Benjamin Chelly