Where to get protection in Paris

In Objects of Desire, Small Man, Big Ideas on January 29, 2011 at 11:55 am

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I spent the last few days in Paris. You’ll frequently find me in the French capital imbibing a dose of much-needed inspiration. Sometimes I’m visiting my colleagues in the Onward office there, sometimes it’s a solo trip. There are even some mornings when I leave my flat in Kensington and just turn left instead of right and jump on the Eurostar. (Actually I pop back in and grab my overnight bag which I have on standby in the hallway and then turn left instead of right.) My PA Helena is used to this sort of activity. In fact she encourages it. There’d be nothing worse than hearing ‘tut tuts’ down the phone when I tell her yet again that I’ve gone a bit lateral and changed the day’s plans. It keeps her on her toes and me refreshed.

On discovering that I’m en route to St Pancras station, Helena phones those good folk at my favourite hotel, Mama Shelter, in the 20th arrondissement and gets me booked in. They know me well there. The hotel was designed by Philippe Starck and oozes cool. Old Phil must have had us advertising guys in mind when he kitted it out. Each room has the latest Mac in it instead of a TV. And check out its groovy logo. It’s a chicken! ‘Come to Paris and Mama will shelter you like a hen does her chicks.’ That’s what it’s saying. And on these occasions, I don’t mind being thought of as a chick.

Like all great design, there’s more to this logo than first meets the eye. Look closely and you’ll see that the void between the hen’s legs is actually perfectly egg-shaped, begging the question whether Mama Shelter is the hen or the egg. I’ve deliberated on this and have concluded that Mama’s the hen, the shelter’s the egg and I’m the chick being doubly protected by hen and egg. (Though if you’re the claustrophobic type, you may prefer the free-range feeling of being a chick in an airy egg-shaped space (minus shell) where you could look up to Mama.)

Bet most of you didn’t spot the egg in the first place anyway. But don’t worry, if you hang out on this blog, you’ll see these things with time.

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  1. Hey! A real gad-about, but that is so fine! Liked your blog today and made me realise too that since I had deleted my Other twitter account, I should locate you once more and add you to my NEW twitter. I can’t do the ‘get-away’ thing and so the pressures of life sometimes drive me to delete accounts (ops! my bad)
    Hope you’re having a mar-vell-ous weekend: cheers.

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