February 4, 2016

Trade Show Report: 30 Highlights at Maison & Objet Paris

Maison & Objet Paris filled all nine gargantuan hangars of the Parc des Expositions fairgrounds for its January 2016 edition. Offerings from more than 3000 exhibitors ranged from tiny and delicate 3D-printed polyamide dragonfly magnets and escargot bookmarks—perhaps a reminder of your pace through Proust—to outsized opulence in lavish, palatial-room decors for budding robber barons.

Wood continues to be the natural, sustainable material of choice, most notably oak and walnut, often paired with metals including wrought iron or powder-coated steel. One standout: Neri & Hu’s new Cabinet of Curiosity for Stellar Works, a handsome walnut and wire-mesh cabinet with glass doors that open front and back, mounted on an industrial factory cart like those used in a ceramics factory—an ambulatory vitrine, bookcase or room divider. (On the stand—also designed by Neri & Hu—it was displayed filled with a collection of objects—a candle lantern, brass letter openers, a mirror—representing the seven deadly sins, leaving visitors to figure out which was which, or just trying to remember what they are.)

Not quite as ubiquitous, but increasingly present, high-tech materials and techniques on show included recycled and recyclable plastics, vegetal bioplastic, polypropylene, polyester resin, and compressed and molded PET felt.

Daybeds, chaises longues and variations on that theme popped up in noticeable numbers, including the classically sculptural Leta at Pinch, upholstered in forest green Kvadrat wool; the sleek Turn bench-with-a-bedroll and leather straps from Ferm Living; and a boldly colorful compose-it-yourself version in Ligne Roset’s reissue of Pierre Chardin’s 1998 Slice. Wewood’s new Lover seat/day bed/chaise longue has switchable oak corner frames in two different heights that can be combined in a half-dozen different ways.

Paris M&O’s Creator of the Year 2016 is Catalan designer Eugeni Quitllet, based in Barcelona, whose honorary stand showcased his recent collaborations, including the new Stone chair for Habitat, the transparent, liquid-look Dream Tools desk accessories for Lexon, and the transparent-seat Dream’Air chair for Kartell. And Young Scandinavians starred in the Talents à la Carte section this time around, including Finland’s Katriina Nuutinen, whose small, mouth-blown rounded glass “boxes” with pale wood tops are jewels in themselves.

Recent DesignWire