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Designed to surprise: Maison & Objet Paris gives a glimpse of what the future holds

image credit: luxus-plus.com

It’s no secret that the Maison & Objet fair in Paris is the most awaited, most coveted and ultimately the most visited show by any design connoisseur worth their salt. And the September edition was no different. So, we decided to drop in and find out what the buzz was all about. We saw new designs, great creativity, smart innovations, and a peek into the future!

Around 1,00,000 international visitors converged to interact, engage and share ideas. And over 3,000 established and emerging designers found a platform to showcase their work.

The newly configured layout was split neatly between the Maison (Home) and Objet (Object) areas. These were then further divided into individual sectors for categories – to keep it nice and organized. The layout plan was such that visitors could go straight to whatever they needed without wasting time, but still had a chance to stumble upon unexpected surprises along the way.

Space Ideas

An interactive platform where buyers met sellers, ideas meet inspiration, and brands met buzz.

Experience

The air was pulsating with hot-off-the-pan creativity, with a looking-glass view of what the future holds.

Designs

Within the eclectic smorgasbord of unexpected, the designs thrilled and the concepts surprised all.

Love at First Site

There’s great joy in discovering something new. And when it’s at the Maison & Objet, you just know that it’s worth the wait. There was a lot to be loved at the fair. Here are a few that especially caught our fancy.

Talking Tables: Design Is a Gift!

The smallest things are often the toughest to get. Ask any party planner and they will tell you getting the right trinkets and gifts is a challenge. Thankfully, Taking Tables have got it covered for you. Quirky little knick knacks that are great conversation starters – full of fun and cheer. From the Christmas snow globe with a vintage car inside, to a classic paper honeycomb decoration – the exhibit had everything.

Boho Raibow Disco Ball

Decadent Decs Glitter Honeycombs

Botanical Christmas Car Globe

Planika: The Firestarter

Polish company Planika makes pretty cool designs for fireplaces. So their exhibit was always going to be a hotspot. In the Today: Signature sector, they showcased their latest innovation – Fire Design. It really takes the bio fireplace sector to another level. The Galio Outdoor Gas Fireplace was the centre of attention, igniting curiosity and flaming passion.

image credit: maison-objet.com

Light Moulding by Mardom

Lights have always fascinated us, and when we saw this new creation from Mardom Décor, it was quite a dazzling experience. The Light Moulding is a genius design, with crevices within the mould for installing a light source. When switched on, the light reflects of various surfaces for a mesmerizing effect. It’s a whole new take on lighting, and offers a creative alternative to traditional lighting.

image credit: https://www.mardomdecor.com

Elegance by J. Violette Design Carbone

Some designs just force you to stop and stare. The Elegance carbon fibre armchair by France’s premier artisan company was one such piece. Done up beautifully in texalium finish, with an interior of carbon and the seat in Alcantara. This limited edition masterpiece brings cutting-edge art and design together to make your living space stand out.

image credit: https://maison-objet.com

Kinuya Inzigo

The colours of the ocean were brought to life at the Kinuya stand in Hall 7. Natural blue leather made with traiditonal Japanese dyeing technology. The Kinuya Indigo leather had unique depth of colour, variances and textures that opens up vast opportunities for the fashion and fabric industry. For us, we were just spellbound by the never-before Indigo blue colour on display.

image credit: https://maison-objet.com

Featured Designers

Iconic and emerging designers combine originality and innovation, boldly embodying the essential spirit of our times with added audacity.

Ramy Fischler

This young maverick from Belgium won this edition’s Designer of the Year award at Maison & Objet. One look at his work, and we understand why. His self-developed approach involves question everything – the form, the function. And then create designs that anticipate the future – how humans behave and how they use each project or product. Ambient visualization is a key element in his process. He ensures that whatever he does, it has to make sense in terms of style and substance.

The designer is also an entrepreneur, and is actively involved in a zero-waste corporate catering service. He has even launched a start-up with an out-of-the-box concept – of connected refrigerators that allows cashless payments.

Paola Sakr

Paola Sakr is a Beirut-based designer with a passion for photography and art. Handcrafted furniture is Carla’s forte, crafting her designs to capture the intricate details of fine materials. Lebanon’s experienced artisans are her muse, and she uses the inspiration to create her designs. She holds a master’s degree in product design for the Luxury Industry from ECAL Lausanne. She has also been recognized for her work by the Boghossian Foundation.

In her own words, she describes her work as “little stories from different times; a selfless and ongoing collaboration with the world”. There’s always the purpose of bringing a little something to the world, always trying to do a little good: whether it is environmental, social or simply something for the soul.

Carla Baz

Carla Baz is from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. She is a designer, but with a much wider scope of interests – from photography to art. What drives her multifaceted personality is her inherent curiosity and an unwavering quest for innovation. Not surprisingly, each of her projects have a story to tell.

For instance, take the series of vases called ‘Impermanence’. It seeks inspiration from a pile of cylinders she discovered at a site. Her premise of product design is fundamental – create an answer for a problem that exists. By partnering of thoughts, she adds form to functionality, resulting in magic.

Designs Come to Life

As is the ritual, the 8th annual Paris Design Week was scheduled to overlap the cornerstone Masion & Objet event. Running across 10 eventful days, it provided a platform for international design professionals and the general public to discover, interact and experience the best designs in Paris.

Around 250 participants came together to promote their work. At a time when the city is brimming with new ideas and fresh designs, it was important to bring together the various stakeholders under one roof – be it retailers, galleries, hospitality partners and more to engage with their end users – the general public.

New autumn releases, insightful debates and stunning installations were few of the flavours we got to experience at the event. This year, the focus was also on the technical aspect of design, with the creation of the Projets special itinerary.

Event Takeaways - Things We Brought Back

Creativity meets beautifully crafted handmade products. Novelties, unique finds, all the objects you need to give an interior its personality.

Environs Stir Imagination

From the “happening” imagined by Ramy Fischler, the designer of the year, to relaxing talks and yoga session, the idea was to create an ecosystem where creativity was nurtured. Fischler shared insights on his daily studio activity. There were talks moderated by design queen Rossanna Orlandi. Lebanese designers were the toast of the event – chosen for the fair’s Rising Talent Awards. In a nutshell, creativity was in the air and inspiration was everywhere, to set the imagination on fire.

Go Green or Go Home

“Moral” design was the buzzword this season, with a virtuous theme that propagated the need for responsible consumption, sustainable production and the importance of conserving natural resources was stressed on. Naturally, planned obsolescence was something that needed to go away, and innovation was key to achieve that goal. A key highlight of this theme was the ‘village square’ installed by Nelly Rodi in the Inspirations Space that featured 12 different houses on a human scale.

Product That Stole the Show

image credit: domusweb.it

Macaron Table Light by Brokis

Designer Lucie Koldova’s creation is a homage to the dazzlingly complex structures of the crystalline stone. The Macaron Table light borrows its name, and the inspiration from the quintessential French dessert to explore the concept of illuminated stone. As the light emanates from the onyx base, it ignites the ingrained veins in the stone to create a mesmerizing effect. This show-stopper is designed to turn heads and arrest attention in any space it inhabits.

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