Held this January in Paris, Maison et Objet celebrated its anniversary by looking toward the future, zooming in on the attitudes and expectations of Generation Y and Z.
Re-generation was the theme du jour, dedicated to the millennials who are altering the rules and reshaping consumer responses in both the home and lifestyle sectors.
Trends that appeal to this generation such as sustainability, localisation and zero waste were on display with brands such as Arecabio (100% biodegradable eco-friendly tableware), Honeybee Wrap (natural food packaging), Life Without Plastic (sustainable household utensils) , etc. showcasing their ‘green’ products.
This ‘engaged generation’ has grown up on a steady diet of social media and the Internet. Having also witnessed a world in crisis, damaged economies, environmental issues and migration problems have made them acutely aware of making a meaningful difference.
Hence, sustainability was a big factor this edition, along with fair practices, ethics, virtuous trade, re-cycling, up-cycling and social values.
Keeping this subject in mind the Share zone curated by Elisabeth Leriche had natural elements (plant, mineral, earth, fire and water) at the core of her kitchen and tableware selection, with themes like Forest Fever, Sea Shore and Stone Age that showed how materials derived from nature can transform an experience.
Alive! Set the tone for the Living zone helmed by François Delclaux, who explored the trade show’s innovations through the categories of life on earth, through his themes called Mineral Memories, Plant Symbiosis and Organic Life.
Lastly, the Care zone by François Bernard showcased Ritual in the bedroom and bathroom settings through three design themes. Manual, paid tribute to artisanal style and rustic elegance, Contemplative, embraced luxurious minimalism, while Expressionist was inspired by 1950s modern art and Mediterranean colours loved by the great painters of the era.
Ramy Fischler, who was last year’s Designer Of The Year, created a ‘live’ installation of a kitchen, a social hub and a studio. “It’s a ‘behavioural laboratory’ that turns the spotlight on shared living spaces, almost like a life-sized ideas pad, a kind of living display that examines what the future may hold. Five characters share the co-living space of the future and are exposed to different situations, objects and services that question our relationship with the world of tomorrow. My team and I haven’t set out to provide clearcut answers, but rather an open book that encourages each visitor to think about things themselves,” he explained.
Visitors could view the goings-on that explored various concepts like What if…? Sharing could make us more comfortable. What if…?…Cohabiting in a Social Hub fostered new opportunities? What if…? I could run the NY marathon without getting on a plane in my Studio? What if…? My Kitchen took care of me?
The Designer Of The Year was Michael Anastassiades. This Cypriot designer erected for the very first time in one place, a never before seen installation of 16 mobile chandeliers. Driven by motors, the mobiles move through the penumbra like glowing planets. “To design a light, one-first has to embrace darkness,” he said. His poetic lights are designed to interact with people and the surrounding space.
After Italy, Lebanon, China and the United States, the Rising Talent Awards lauded five designers and a duo from France, placing specific importance on craftsmanship and on being 100% ‘made in France.’ “All the materials I use are more or less natural. If not, they’re either re-cycled or re-purposed by an artisan,” said Adrien Garcia, one of the designers being honoured.
The Maison Objet and More (MOM) allowed you to access the latest new products from exhibitors before, during and after the show, with product info just a click away. This year their collectors’ red tote was designed by Pierre Charpin’s that had converging geometric lines, a metaphor for the fair, where people’s trajectories cross paths.
Something unique this season was Maison Objet making a commitment to showcase Chinese design. The international trade fair for the decoration, design and lifestyle sector has announced the creation of the Maison Objet – Design Award China. The initiative will be officially launched in Shenzhen on December 8th and to mark the event, they had a China pavilion which displayed amazing works by renowned
This season as usual set the bench mark in design, with Maison et Objet aways having that certain je ne sais quoi that keeps visitors coming back for more!
Text By Natalie Pedder-Bajaj
Raj Anand & Associates
4 6 / 2 , S i n d h i S o c i e t y ,
Chembur, Mumbai 400071