By  on February 22, 2002

PARIS -- Don't mention nostalgia to Christian Biecher, the architect and interior designer perhaps best known for some of the most fashionable eateries in Paris, including Korova and its forthcoming spinoff at the Louvre. An exhibition of his designs will run at the Museum of Decorative Arts here from March 14 to April 28. A resolute modernist, his mind is boggled as to why people are so attached to the past when it comes to their surroundings.

"I hate all this stuff that has to do with nostalgia. I cannot see the point of buying Louis XV furniture today and putting a computer on top of it," he said. "I could never live in an environment that refers only to the past. I want to live in a modern era. I want to be happy to live in 2002."

Luckily, he's making progress in the face of a retro-obsessed culture. Shortly after Korova opened in October 2000, Biecher spent some time quizzing diners on their experience. Many of them were surprised to find a modern environment that was actually warm, and that warmed Biecher's heart, since modernism is frequently derided for being cold, uncomfortable and dehumanizing.

A rising star in European architecture and a dashing fixture on Paris's fashion and party circuit, Biecher allowed that the round shapes he currently favors may "echo" the Seventies. But he's got his eyes trained firmly on the future.

"I don't do orange walls and purple furniture," he said. "I have to think about how I would like to live with this furniture or in this environment years from now. The things I design have to last at least five, 10 or 30 years without becoming old-fashioned or obsolete."

Biecher has a theory as to why the "Brady Bunch" esthetic is now so omnipresent in applied arts: His thirtysomething contemporaries, who grew up surrounded by plastic furniture and gaudy wallpaper, are now making their mark on fashion, interior design and architecture.

A graduate of the Paris Belleville School of Architecture, Biecher set up his own design firm in 1997. He has designed hospitals, libraries, schools and community centers in Europe and Asia, as well as furniture and tableware for a variety of manufacturers. But he credits his friend Marie-Helene de Taillac, the jewelry designer, for introducing him to the world of fashion. His projects have included Issey Miyake's headquarters in Tokyo as well as the Joseph, Lucien Pellat-Finet and Tsumori Chisato boutiques in Paris.

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