September 14, 2016

32 Show-Stealing Products from Maison & Objet Paris

Wood, often combined with steel or other metals, continued to stand out as the designer material of choice at the September 2016 edition of Maison & Objet Paris. Scandinavian design still dominates, along with such well-established wood specialists as Portugal’s Wewood, but notable new entries to watch this year include Poland’s Tre Design, established just 6 months ago by designer Tomek Rygalik, and Slovenia’s Mitja, a family affair launched in 2015.

One eye-catching Scandinavian standout is the Moth Chair from Denmark’s Nordic Tales, in smoked oak plywood and powder-coated steel, with a simple ergonomic design and gold “eyes”. And in another Nordic tale, By Lassen has finally produced My Own Chair, designed by Danish architect Flemming Lassen in 1938 for his own use and now copied from that original personal prototype.

From Zaha Hadid Design in London comes a project the Baghdad-born architect was working on before her sudden death last March—a new collection of tableware, vases and scented candles. “Zaha was very much a part of Collection 2016,” says ZHD commercial director Richard Leyens, “right down to the candle fragrances. We had to keep trying until we finally found three she liked.” (They are orange blossom, woodland and tuberose.) Hadid was a “great archivist,” he adds. “She archived everything, even drawings on napkins.” The Braid bone china vases in the new collection are based on her skyscrapers, the Illusion bone china dinnerware plays with her love of puzzles.

Hadid is also a link to Vitra’s new accessories collection. French designers Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec have produced new modular aluminum vases using their ongoing Nuage (Cloud) theme, first used for room dividers in 2002. The Bouroullecs’ memorial tribute to Hadid featured an installation of 120 of the new Nuage vases in the fire station at Vitra’s Basel headquarters that was Hadid’s first major building (1993). Anodizing produces the exceptional colors and metallic sheen of the new vases, says Erwan Bouroullec, “They’re relatively heavy and very stable, so they could even hold a tree branch.”

This year’s M&O also brought a noticeable uptick in children’s accessories. Fermob has added to its pint-sized Luxembourg table and chairs, based on the iconic metal chairs in Paris’s Luxembourg Garden, with a new rocking horse and a cabana picnic table in eye-candy colors including Poppy red and Lagoon blue. French designer Marc Venot designed delightful Elephant chairs for Denmark’s EO, and Filipino rattan specialist Kenneth Cobonpue puts elephants to work as desks. Irresistible ceramic plates from Argentina’s KOM are painted with the round faces of jaguars, alligators, and other native animals, France’s Art for Kids has must-have Puzzle, Hopscotch, and Kite rugs, and Normann’s decorative Little Bird figurines offer an old-fashioned visual tweet from Copenhagen.

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