Benjamin Avignon and Saweta Clouet’s approach attests to their particular interest in context and its revelation. Far from resulting in a new regionalism, their projects emerge from a critical dialog between context and architecture. They intentionally manipulate conventions, the reappropriation of techniques, research and experimentation with new materials made through the hybridization of traditional ones. Architecture composed of mosaics stitched together, playful manipulations, assemblages of disordered references, deformations, swellings: these all make up the disparate elements of an approach that seeks to avoid any idea of system. Between reappropriation, collage and repetition, Avignon-Clouet understand architecture as a “place for producing constantly intersecting regulated concepts, a field of coexisting multiplicities that can partially function as a system but never in an integral or totalizing way.” The dwelling remains their preferred program, from the 35 m2 loft (Apartment M, Pouliguen-La Baule, 2001) to public housing involving several dozen apartments (Autrement rue Rebière, delivery, 2013) as well as their numerous completed housing projects.
Winners of the “Nouveaux Albums des Jeunes Architectes” award in 2001-2002, Benjamin Avignon (1971) and Saweta Clouet (1970) founded their own firm in 2000 in Nantes. In 2001 they were the prize winners of the International Festival of Gardens in Chaumont-sur-Loire with their “fungal garden” project, De la Mosaïculture à la Moisiculture (From Mosaic Culture to Mildew Culture), for which they worked together with microbiologists of the ENITIAA (National Engineering School of the Food Processing Industry). Their projects were exhibited at the French Pavilion of the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2002 and in 2008, at ArchiLab (2003) as well as at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal (2006, 2007 and 2008).