September 11, 2023

Maison&Objet 2023: Highlights from the Quest of Pleasures

Author: Radmila Durasinovic
Tags: design Category: magazine

Maison&Objet 2023: Highlights from the Quest of Pleasures

The latest installment of Maison&Objet, one of Europe's foremost design festivals and an integral part of Paris Design Week's September edition, has come to a close. This year, the event embraced the theme of enjoyment, placing a strong emphasis on the celebration of vibrant colors, extravagance, audacity, and humor as essential elements of the showcase. The inspiration behind this theme encouraged exhibitors to reignite a sense of exhilaration, to rediscover the enchantment in our lives, and to break free from the austerity that both society and brands have adopted in response to the challenges of a world in crisis. We delved into this year’s programme featuring more than 2,500 exhibitors from 15 sectors to bring you our highlights from the “quest of pleasures” that was this year’s Maison&Objet.

duo seat + lamp © muller van severen

At the forefront / Designer(s) of the Year - Muller Van Severen

At this year's Maison&Objet, Belgian artistic duo Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen received the annual "Designer(s) of the Year 2023" award. Their exhibition at the event offers a glimpse into their creative world, featuring iconic works from their catalogue. They describe it as a "cocoon exhibition" that mirrors their interior and their minds. The exhibition is designed with architectural principles, emphasizing the boundaries of design as a creative territory. The theme "Enjoy" of this Maison&Objet edition is reflected in their joyful and dexterous designs, including steel wall cabinets and tubular benches. They also present new rugs developed for Kvadrat, inspired by natural sheep shearing stages, and new productions for brands like HAY. Muller Van Severen's work blurs the boundary between furniture and art in their aim to offer objects that can exist both in gallery spaces and in the comfort of homes. In short, their approach: a joyful balancing act between the worlds of art and design.

Too Much. A manifest by Masquespacio © LAK Gallery

This year’s must see / The Designers’ Studio

Since its September 2022 edition, Maison&Objet has initiated a unique showcase for self-published French designers under the title “Talents So French.” This initiative provides designers with complete creative freedom to showcase their creations in a dedicated exhibition space situated at the core of the fair. Named "The Designers’ Studio," this year's presentation expanded to international participants and aims to share the distinctive creative visions and entrepreneurial journeys of designers with a wider audience. In the vibrant Hall 7, visitors of Maison& Objet 2023 had the opportunity to explore the creations of British designers Faye Toogood and Sebastian Cox, Spanish studio Masquespacio, and Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij.

Toogood showcased her "Dough Ceramics" collection at M&O, characterized by robust, sculptural, and playful designs emblematic of her style, which she describes as "rigorous, poetic, and resolutely avant-garde”. Sebastian Cox was a recipient of the Maison&Objet Rising Talent Award dedicated to England back in 2017; at this year’s edition of the fair, he continues to showcase his commitment to generating zero waste and carbon-neutral emissions with products like his Mycelium and timber lamps, grown from local willow scraps. The distinctive style of Valencia-based Masquespacio Studio, characterised by iridescent reflections, bubble-pop tones, and optical illusions, has earned them multiple awards. On display at this year’s Maison&Objet are eye-catching pieces from their recent self-published furniture collection "Mas Creations," though regrettably not including our favourite—their debut piece: a playful marble, velvet, and brushed steel Rocking Chair inspired by the Memphis Style named "Too Much. A manifest." Dirk van der Kooij's journey into the world of upcycling began with melting plastic in pizza ovens at the Design Academy Eindhoven to transform the material into something extraordinary. At M&O, the Dutch designer exhibits seating, tables and lighting from his self-published collection that explore the untapped potential of recycled plastic, pushing the boundaries of what was deemed possible.

Kilometers © Komut

Ones to watch / Future on Stage

The third edition of Future on Stage at the Maison&Objet Paris exhibition in 2023 spotlights three innovative studios: Repulp Design, Komut, and Ostrea, all of which focus on sustainable production solutions with a strong emphasis on comfort and environmental friendliness. These studios were selected by a panel of experts as part of Maison&Objet's initiative to support emerging talent in the fields of decoration, design, and lifestyle.

French studio Repulp Design focuses on recycling discarded orange peels from salad and juice bars to create biodegradable coffee cups. These cups are not only eco-friendly but also durable and can be recycled or composted at the end of their lifecycle. Komut Studio was born from the idea of repurposing silicone and polyurethane molds from architectural projects into design objects like coffee tables and seating. Their collections are characterised by a commitment to sustainability, on-demand production, and upcycling.

Intrigued by the significant waste generated by shellfish farming, the designers behind Ostrea developed a low-carbon, recyclable material made from shell flakes that resembles marble. Fire, scratch, water, and stain-resistant, it can be molded into various products like food trays, stools, and tiles.

© Jeanne Andrieu

More to watch / Rising Talent Awards France 2023

The Rising Talent Awards, which have in recent years spotlighted designers from various countries, including Lebanon, the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, and Spain, are now returning to France to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Guided by the leadership of designer Philippe Starck, the jury chose seven up-and-coming designers and studios to exhibit their groundbreaking creations, aiming to bring about a fundamental transformation in the market through their innovative work.

In an exclusive interview with Maison&Objet, Starck indicates the directions in which young talents are headed, revealing “the new generation of creators is rediscovering the ethical values of certain designers of yesteryear, like Enzo Mari, who shared a humanist and social vision and communist values. Today, we must consider the ecological matter a normal and urgent parameter. As a result, Design must take the opposite view of the fashion trend and concern itself with ethics, ecology, economy, and ergonomics to be of real creative services to the community.” Among the chosen talents is Athime de Crécy—appointed by Starck and reflecting his vision of the future—whose practical objects, such as the "Here Jack" extendable table and the electric motorbike concept "CEB," reflects his dedication to improving the world of consumption. Other approaches, like that of Jeanne Andrieu, bridge the space between reality and dreams—in exploring the sculptural aspects of ceramics, she turns them into artistic expressions inspired by nature, fantasy, and personal experiences.

© 101 Copenhagen

New in Furniture

With more than 2,500 exhibitors, this year’s Maison&Objet is a melting pot of creative talent, both emerging and established. Many well-known furniture manufacturers took to presenting their new collections, with 101 Copenhagen's latest designs being among our favourites at this edition of the Parisian trade fair. A harmonious fusion of Japanese Zen Gardens and minimalist design, the new collection features the sculptural elegance of the Foku Chair, LED light sculptures like the Ghost Chandelier and the sleek Bow Lamp, along with innovative furniture pieces like the Tribu Lounge Chair and Artist Dining Table. Other highlights include collections by Poltrona Frau, Ethnicraft and La Manufacture.

September 11, 2023 Author: Radmila Durasinovic
Tags: design Category: magazine

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