Every January, the who’s who of the design world flock to Paris to take part and witness the most comprehensive design show. This enormous exhibition saw over 64,000 visitors and more than 3,000 brands from the corners of the world. The highlights of the year are aesthetic sustainability (like plastic furniture made from old toys), using multiple materials to create one product, minimalistic designs which are lightweight, inspired by the zen concepts. It also features bold and colourful furniture for the inner child which is ageless and depicts the actual lifestyle of the consumers.
Whether you are a design professional or not, Maison provides so much inspiration and innovation that anyone would enjoy visiting. We round up some of the highlights that we saw at this year’s exhibition.
We’re always interested in the kinds of materials designers are using in furniture and Canadian designer Martha Sturdy’s showcase at Maison et Objet really made us look twice. She has used resin in bright, bold primary colours to create playful yet trendy furniture. Reminiscent of the building blocks we played with as children, each piece builds upon the next, creating a story using Martha’s unique design language. Most of the shapes are very basic in nature with the colours red, blue and yellow playing prominent roles. Martha did not want the colours to distract or complicate things and to simply add to the simplicity of her designs.
The Industrial designer shows a softer side with his new textile collection with the unique idea of using the cushions and the fabrics as a canvas to paint or to fetch prints of abstracted landscapes. The range of cushions and throws has pieces that are woolly and thick featuring bright blocks of colour while other pieces feature abstract digital prints on cushion covers. Some of these pieces have been made in Varanasi using a hand-tufting technique that is usually used to make rugs. We loved how he experimented with different textiles, methods, and designs to create pieces that seemed so different yet were somehow connected.
Entertaining is such a huge part of all our lives that Formafantasma’s collaboration with Nude immediately caught our eye. A range of glassware called The Pigmento series shows opaque plates and crockery infused with flashes of colour. The frosted glass serving ware and containers have a sense of mystical beauty that mingles with functionality beautifully. We love that they’ve kept the design and backdrop super simple while letting the colour almost melt into the plates. The sense of artistry and minimalism is what really spoke to us.
“If I can’t express the reason for creating a new product, I refrain from doing it,” states Cecilie Manz, Maison et Objet 2018 Designer of the Year. Cecilie’s re-imagined Scandinavian approach to design means that everything she does has a use and is functional without the severe minimalism of traditional Scandinavian design. Cecilie was named Designer of the Year for this year’s edition of Maison and her work has been described as being humble, minimalist and warm. She creates pieces that reflect how people actually live rather than being a representation of anyone aesthetic or style which is more than just a trend, it’s the way we need to start thinking about design.
Georg Jensen is known for quality craftsmanship and beautiful silverware with a legacy that dates back to 1904. With a strong Scandinavian aesthetic, the brand creates jewellery, watches and lifestyle products. Having become a large brand, Georg Jensen is great for gifting and for decorating your home. For Maison this year, Georg Jensen presented a very New York style steel bar collection that was inspired by Harald Nielsen’s 1922 Pyramid collection. Each piece is a work of art in itself with domes, cylinders, and spheres creating a bar trolley to die for.
The theme for this year's M&O was 'Showroom', inspired by the impact of the digital age on us. The concept speaks about how retail and living spaces become a stage to showcase products in residential & commercial spaces. Staging the products is preferred over social interaction and artistic performance. This is about the new generation of hyper-connected and hyper-informed consumer. It's no longer the product that makes the consumer, but the consumer that makes the product.