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Breaking the Rules

Inspired by design, fashion, gastronomy, visual arts and luxury, French designer and artistic director Thomas Dariel founded a bold, fresh and surprising furniture brand.

As great grandson of a French furniture designer, grandson of a jazz musician and son of an architect, Thomas Dariel couldn’t be anything but a creative mind. Since the establishment of his interior design studio in Shanghai in 2006, he has completed more than 60 projects. In 2015, Dariel took the plunge and revived a childhood dream by launching, with co-founder Delphine Moreau, his own furniture, lighting, rugs and accessories brand called Maison Dada. It “was born out of the wild dream to inject a dose of Dadaism into our everyday life, the desire to create the unexpected from ordinary objects, the will to harmonize dreams and reality”, says Dariel. “Maison Dada takes its name from Dadaism. This is for me one of the most significant art movements of the 20th century; as I consider it to be the foundation of contemporary design, contemporary art and a contemporary way of thinking”.

Poetic and playful, all the pieces from the brand reflect an aesthetic that breaks traditional codes, creating a new language based on a mix between references to the past and cutting-edge innovations, French design and Eastern influences. “Dada is a state of mind”, Dariel says. “That freedom is part of my signature, even for interior design. Maison Dada is a reflection of an unrestrained imagination that brings life into objects. I don’t want unanimated furniture. I like them to have a soul, to tell a story”.

With the opening of an office in Paris and the first Maison Dada showroom in Shanghai, the year 2016 was a turning point for Dariel. The furniture brand’s 2018 collection unveiled collaborations with Chinese studio WUU Design and renowned international designer Arik Levy, which were inspired by the relationship between Europe and China over the last 50 years. In December 2019, Maison Dada launched new furniture pieces, accessories and lightings designed by Thomas Dariel while the Paris showroom was fully revamped.