MODULO: Ora Ito pays tribute to Le Corbusier with a scenography in sculptured wood for Cassina during D'Days 2015

2nd - 6th June, 2015. The D’Days project, designed by Ora Ito for Cassina, is part of the LC50 programme which this year commemorates the fifty years since Le Corbusier passed away and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the LC Collection (Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand). The project features two symbols that are fundamental in the architect’s work and which fully express the maestro’s oeuvre: the Modulor and the Main Ouverte (open hand). Produced in wood, the same material used for the Cabanon, Le Corbusier’s summer home in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, it is a clear reference to Cassina’s carpentry tradition and skill in working with wood.
The Modulor, a new measurement system
Born from the meeting of the Module and the Nombre d’Or, the Modulor is an architectural concept invented by Le Corbusier in 1944. It is a standardised human silhouette which was used to measure and produce the housing units designed by the architect, like for example the Cité radieuse in Marseille, the Maison radieuse in Rezé and the Unité d’habitation in Firminy-Vert. According to the architect, this system was to ensure maximum comfort in the definition of the relationship between man and his living space. Starting from a height of 1.83m, the Modulor silhouette reaches 2.26m with its raised arm.
The Main Ouverte, a symbol of exchange
Designed “to receive and to give”, the Main Ouverte is above all a sign of exchange and transmission of knowledge; it is the symbolic expression of the message that Le Corbusier wanted to express through his entire work. The philosophy of the architect, and also painter and poet that he was, identifies a clear sign of fraternity which transcends time and communicates to all .“Recognise this open hand, raised as a sign of peace, it is open to receive, open to give”.
Modulo, a play on architecture and symbols
The scenography conceived by Ora Ito for the Cassina showroom in Paris plays on scale. Through Le Corbusier’s codes, the designer puts the architect’s furniture (the LC14 Tabouret), and the furniture designed with the co-authors Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand (the LC1 and LC3 armchairs, the LC4 chaise-longue), inside small wooden constructions, making a clear reference to the Cabanon and creating a scene which symbolises a city. “Le Corbusier is here” at least the symbols of his work, together with other characteristic symbols such as the sun’s path. The drawing reproduced on the wall is the Modulor, from the sitting position to the standing position, and expresses the maestro’s desire to propose a system of measurement which is more appropriate than the metric system, which he suggested replacing, because it is completely correlated to human morphology.
Ora Ito, a lover and collector of Le Corbusier
“Le Corbusier was one of the people who inspired me to do this job”, says Ora Ito “and it is thanks to Cassina that I found this great theorist and complete artist”. When he was younger he discovered the Italian brand’s catalogue and was blown away by the furniture designed by the great masters of architecture.
Today, Ora Ito continues to admire Le Corbusier and keep his memory alive. He brings together the architect’s drawings of the hand and owns one of his masterpiece architectures, the gymnasium of the historic terrace of the Cité radieuse which he has transformed into a cultural centre: the MAMO.
And so, thanks to a programme of exhibitions that he organises, for example with works by Xavier Veilhan, Daniel Buren and Dan Graham ,“ Le Corbusier’s oeuvre is everywhere!” he says “and we contribute to keeping his memory alive”.