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Objection #1

Objection #1

This beautifully produced, large-format launch is the perfect riposte to anybody thinking that the interiors magazine is a tired genre. Sized just under A3, the unbound pages of Objection flow across the table like prints, revealing a series of clever editorial ideas.

The scale and quality of production might be enough to recommend it alone, placing it alongside the likes of Luncheon and 212 for visual stimulus. But the looseleaf nature of the pages add a further dimension, emphasising the celebration of the printed page.

The rich, silk Fedrigoni paper is heavy enough that the pages don’t immediately disperse into single sheets, while drawing attention to their physical presence in a way bound pages wouldn’t. It’s a simple effect but thoroughly magazine-y – what other form of communication can offer such an engaging physical experience?

That presence is matched by the editorial ideas and their execution. Promising ‘A new look at interiors,’ each new issue will look at a single room type – this is The Living Room issue.

If that sounds like a lifestyle catalogue, thing again. The Living Room is a theme for the magazine team to explore using history, fashion, still life and design in a series of well-made features.

We open with a history of the modern European living room from Dr John Potvin, a professor of art history. One key fact we learn is the room’s shift from being the death room – a parlour to view the deceased –  to its development via the introduction of first radio and later television as the location for group entertainment (above).

Later in the issue, Chris Rhodes photographs rooms with and without their television (above), revealing how the TV drives the placement of furniture and other items.

A visual essay shot in the living room of Charleston House, Bloomsbury Group HQ, adds glamour, with a series of images by Elena Rendina imagining a conversation between Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf (above).

An interview with set designer Carly Reddin brings us back to reality, as she discusses setting tone and character using the visual shorthand of furniture, colour and accessories for TV and movies.

Elsewhere, a still life shoot notes the recent redundancy of the ashtray, and a fashion shoot is based around a room as crime scene.

Just as the magazine opened with a calm welcome, the issue announces its end (above) with precise clarity. The one part of the project that lacks that clarity is its name; I can see what ‘Objection’ is attempting, and like the root ‘object,’ but the word itself means disagreement, the exact opposite of the magazine’s personality. Emmanuelle at the magazine has since been in touch to explain that ‘Objection’ is their reaction to other interiors magazines. Sorted!

Nonetheless, all the stories comfortably occupy their allocated space in the issue well, making the most of the large pages without overstaying their welcome, and spanning different emotions and moods including surprise.

There is just enough here for you to learn about the room in question without being overloaded, something the magazine itself plans to avoid at a broader level by limiting itself to six issues.

Editor-in-chief: Katia Kulawick-Assante
Creative director: Emmanuelle Goutal


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