Based in Villeneuve-les-Béziers, on France’s western Mediterranean coast, Oxyo debuted in 2010 with towering street lamps designed by François Azambourg for the nearby seaside resort La Grande Motte. The name Oxyo, says company founder Arturo del Rio (at right below), is a mélange of oxygen, the perfect number zero and the “io” he shares with co-founder Rudy Iovino (at left below). Their goals, says del Rio, were to prove that in France, as in Italy, “a small manufacturer could produce top design furniture, and to work with a young generation of up-and-coming French designers.”
Since that initial urban project, Oxyo has moved into the domestic field, with simple, contemporary furnishings that blur the lines between public and private, indoor and outdoor, home and office. “A lot of what we do is mobile,” adds del Rio. “Things that you can move around with you.” The colorful Weekend collection by Studio Brichet Ziegler (Caroline Zeigler and Pierre Brichet), in epoxy-painted steel with curved slats that look like stripes, includes tables, a stackable bench and chairs, a sun lounger, a bar chair and a table and chair for kids.
Mister T, by Antoine Lesur , is an ash plywood “basket” holding a pair of cushions, topped by a removable tray in white ABS—a coffee table, end table, footrest, stool, breakfast or drinks tray. Guillaume Delavigne’s multi-purpose Woodmoss, is a contemporary cross between a classic telephone chair and a grade-school desk: the fabric-upholstered oval stool has a raised half with an oak-plywood tabletop.
Oxyo’s newest collection returns to La Grande Motte, a controversial 1960s development by architect Jean Balladur that’s now winning hindsight approval as innovative urban planning. Oxyo has rescaled two of Balladur’s street lights, bringing the lacquered steel Fairy Lamp down to indoor size and turning the chunky BB sidewalk lights into desk lamps. Designer François Combaud transposed Balladur’s S-curve concrete public benches into upholstered foam seating and brightly-colored rugs. And Azambourg added the rotund Resille outdoor chair and footrest in thermo-lacquered steel mesh.
Next up: a collaboration with French star architect Rudy Ricciotti .