Designer Mathieu Lehanneur helps jet-lagged travelers catch some shut-eye.
Author Ted Loos Photography Courtesy of Felipe Ribon
BEING A MEMBER of the jet set isn’t all fun and games (mostly, but not all). One must deal with jet lag, for instance—though not for long, if Paris-based designer Mathieu Lehanneur has his way. His latest project, a sleeping system called Once Upon a Dream, developed in collaboration with the legendary champagne house Veuve Clicquot, aims to wake up weary travelers.
The project came about after Clicquot invited Lehanneur to invent something unique for a private 19th century guesthouse, in which the company (based in Reims, France) houses corporate visitors. In talking with the firm’s executives, Lehanneur learned that traveling through disparate time zones often took its toll on the vintner’s guests, so he worked with a team of sleep scientists to devise a solution.
Once Upon a Dream—which is currently making the rounds of design fairs—resembles a canopy bed set on a stylized platform. But what a bed. The hanging ivy suspended over the occupant is actually a switch. With one touch, the device whirs to life: A curtain is drawn around the “sleeping capsule,” the room’s lights slowly dim, the temperature drops ever so slightly, and white noise begins to hum. As the sleeper drifts off, a micro-diffusion of sea air is released, providing metabolism-soothing antioxidants and hydration. He or she awakes rested and ready to face a new time zone.
The bed is a one-off for now, but Lehanneur has big plans for it. “It’s the perfect device for an airport or a hotel,” he says. And yes, having made his bed, he has actually lain in it. “It was only a one-hour nap,” he recalls of his test run. “But it felt like a whole night.”