This January was the 20th anniversary of the legendary Paris Maison & Objet exhibition. In the vast hangar like space of the Parc d’Exposition there were 8 halls of interiors products and surface finishes. From ethnic chic to the latest cutting edge design, Maison & Objet has something to suit everyone’s style aesthetic.
This year Maison announced three key themes to the show; HUMAN made, NATURE made and TECHNO made. To help contextualize this there was a section curated by Elizabeth Leriche called Human Made and together with the Secrets d'Atelier space they both provided a platform for the essential beauty of craftsmanship to be viewed. Beautifully hand crafted works by master craftsmen and artisan makers were a humbling and calming contrast to the big, brash and often chaotic surrounds of Maison & Objet.
Tortus Copenhagen created a working potters studio, which was a serene oasis in Hall 7; Watching Eric Landon, the master potter sitting at his wheel was soothing for the soul. Exhibits of porcelain, wool, metal, glass and wood surrounded the studio showing the works of other makers. Paolo Ulian showcased a vase with a dual personality that could be changed by using a hammer to break the thin marble strips. Michal Cerderbaum and Noam Dover’s tailor made vases based on the silhouettes of women carrying vessels on their heads crafted in multi layered cotton fabrics, showed that perfection was overrated.
François Bernard’s Nature Made space included one of my favorite exhibits, the Phytophiler by Studio Dossofiorito, which used mirrors to multiply the beauty of plants. It may have felt a little like a Life Science class, but I challenge any artist or designer to not see the inherent beauty that springs from Mother Nature - especially given the functional appendices that were installed to get up close and personal.
Techno Made tried to explain that as technology advances further, design solutions and objects can become more and more personalized to suit each of our needs. Visually this section was less arresting but the idea of personalization and bespoke solution whilst not new is the ultimate height of luxury.
If you’re in need of inspiration there was definitely plenty to delve into and even if craft isn’t your thing, there was no escaping the essential beauty in materials in their raw and polished forms.
Please join me later this week as we continue our review of highlights from Maison & Objet with New To Market collections.