One of the highlights of traveling with Air France’s La Premiere first class is the food. To go with the topnotch cuisine created under the supervision of great French chefs, artist Jean-Marie Massaud designed the tableware. The white porcelain was created in collaboration with Bernardaud, and the silverware with Christofle. The simple and elegant tableware introduces Air France’s signature winged seahorse logo.
“Eating well defines French tradition. I could’ve easily created tableware adorned with gold and silver and other eye-catching decorations, as an expression of high quality cuisine. But instead, I chose to go with something more imaginative. I wanted to create an image that brings back beautiful memories to mind. The tableware along with the delicious dishes creates a symphony of pleasant memories,” explained Mr. Massaud passionately. True to his words, his creations are refined and effortless. The winged seahorse logo serves as a delicate accent on the designs.
“I had to make the designs small so that they fit into the airline meal cases. But I didn’t want to simply make miniature versions of ordinary tableware. I’ve created the items to be useful and fashionable. I overcame the size limit by placing importance on small details. For wine glasses, I created diagonal cuts to emphasize the aroma of the wines. Casseroles for serving hot dishes have handles that are both functional and blend well with the overall design. My intention was to recreate the atmosphere of a five-star restaurant,” he continued.
Mr. Massaud told us that his favorite color is white, because it represents the color of light.
He lives in sunny Southern France, in an environment that is relaxing and peaceful. This is where he comes up with all his brilliant ideas for designing.
Mr. Massaud said that he is a fanatic of aircrafts since his childhood days. When he saw the Concorde make its first flight in 1969, his heart fluttered. It made him aspire to be an aircraft engineer. He eventually found his vocation as a designer, which combines various elements, emotions and ideas.
His work in design is not limited to objet d'art. He is also an architect and has produced progressive pieces that focus on sustaining the environment. One of his masterpieces as an architect is the Volcano Stadium he designed for the Guadalajara football team. He was also acknowledged for the concept of a flying hotel for his piece titled Manned Cloud. His mission is to seek the balance between peoples’ lives and the environment.
Mr. Massaud said that it is increasingly becoming important to place value on the quality of our experiences, rather than the number of our possessions. Nevertheless, it does not mean that we have to give up material luxuries all together. In his designs, Mr. Massaud portrays a clean balance of our desires and responsibilities to pave the way for a new future.
“I strive for modesty in order to achieve the essence of design,” added Mr. Massaud.
Away from the bustle of cities, Air France’s La Premiere first class aircraft brings out the true beauty of the items that represent its design.