Got Designs on Paris: What’s Trending at Maison & Objet 2016

December 15, 2015 by

paris_eiffel-towerPhoto: Robin Plaskoff Horton.

I’ve spent a good amount of time in Paris, one of my favorite cities. Paris just oozes style and even a casual stroll through the streets provides an abundance of impromptu design inspiration.

window_shopping_paris_dressWindow shopping by the Seine in Paris. Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton

I’ll be back in January for Maison & Objet, the biannual international design trade show I have visited several times. I go to immerse myself in its wealth of innovative ideas, take note of emerging trends, and meet the design world’s newest talents.

maison-et-objet-baksakBacsac at M&O 2011. Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton.

Maison Inside and Out
I’d say there was nothing garden variety about the designs showcased at Maison & Object (known simply as “Maison” to regulars), but that would not be true. In my past visits to M&O, I have paid particular attention to products that perfectly fit the indoor-outdoor lifestyle, blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior with distinctive and unique designs that enrich our living environments.

marimekko-planter-bags Marimekko’s soft pot bags are made of durable and washable paper. Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton.

Throughout Maison & Object’s eight large exhibit halls, many of the world’s most talented designers and makers converge to unveil the latest in decoration, design, furniture, accessories, textiles, tableware, and much more.

Maison Then and Now: Past and Future Design Trends
After my first trip to Maison in 2010, I brought back with me some of that year’s inspirations and trends–nature expressed in rocks made of felted wool, glass twigs, and hanging planters made of rubber. Nature was a big theme that year as it will be this year, with many of the same brands returning to share their latest collections and products.

marine-peyre-collectionsMarine Peyre’s colorful smooth contemporary pieces for BFLEX, stackable BOA BOA line for kids, and connectable modular pieces for OUTBED, work equally well indoors or out.

Color and lots of it were big in 2011. So were soft planters and that’s where I first spotted Bacsac, who put designer “geotextile” planters on the map. Bacsac returns in January with Balcony Straps, double adjustable straps that can hold designer planter boxes or recycled crates over an outdoor railing or indoors over shelves.

bacsac_balcony-strapsBacsac Balcony Straps.

In 2010, the Italian company, Slide, introduced a collection of illuminated furniture, planters, and spheres that could be suspended, placed on the ground, or in water.  Slide’s thinking outside again this year with its Crown of Love polyethylene indoor-outdoor chandelier. The brand brings to lighting the same wit it brought to its Queen of Love chair, part of the Design of Love Collection’s reinterpretations of rococo-style furnishings.

slide-crown-of-love-moro-pigatti-lamp(5)Slide’s Crown of Love chandelier.

slide-queen_of_love-moro-pigatti-design_of_love_collection_(7)Slide’s Queen of Love chair.

Fatboy is a brand with a sense of humor. It shared the show floor that year with Scan’s witty tables made from oversized planters.

maison-et-objet-fatboy-fun-displayFatboy. Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton

Fatboy will be back again this year with its Transloetje, an indoor-outdoor battery-powered lamp inspired by vintage lighting.

transloetje_orange-fatboyFatboy’s Transloetje indoor-outdoor light.

Flora returns with designer Michael Koenig’s One-in-One aluminum and steel planter collection. Two cubes–an inner and outer container–fit into each other to create versatile combinations using the brand’s famous planting inserts for indoor or outdoor use.

flora-all-in-one-planters-masion-et-objet-urbangardenswebFlora One-on-One planters.

Going Wild at M&O
From January 22-26, 2016 Maison & Objet will explore the theme Wild–a blend of the raw and the refined, the savage and the sophisticated. They’ll encourage us to tap into our untamed imaginations and to be creative without constraints or limitations. Wild challenges us collectively to pull ourselves out of our comfort zones, to reconnect with and re-establish our relationship with nature which has been largely lost with urbanization and technology.

maison-objet-2016-edition-wildPhoto: Maison et Objet.

Wild also extends the idea of an “urban wildness” experienced in urban architecture as well as residential and commercial landscapes. At the same time, the theme will also portray the more spiritual dimension of sacred rituals.

Designer of the Year
This January, M&O presents the Designer of the Year award to Catalan designer Eugeni Quitllet whose work will be exhibited in a space dedicated entirely to him.

Eugeni-Quitllet-by-Nacho-Alegre_maison-et_objet-2016Eugeni Quitllet, M&O January 2016 Designer of the Year. Photo: Maison et Objet.

For the brand Alias, Barcelona-based Quitllet designed The Tabu chair, a fusion of nature and the digital robotics employed in its manufacturing.

vondom_bum-bum-maison-et-objet-2016Quitllet’s Bum Bum bench from Vondom.

For Vondom, Quitllet created the Bum Bum collection of indoor-outdoor tubular pieces made from rotational molded and recyclable polyethylene resin including a sofa, table, armchair, and speaker.

Emerging Scandinavian Talents
The Emerging Talents part of the show is my favorite area, and the one I always head to first. Each year, M&O offers up-and-coming designers an opportunity to present their work to professionals worldwide. This year, six new Scandinavian designers will showcase their pieces in the Talents à la Carte space dedicated entirely to them:


Kaamos_Katriina_Pulu_M&O_urbangardenswebNuutinen’s glass works.

Katriina Nuutinen
Inspired by the interplay of glass and light, the Finnish designer Katrina Nuutinen specializes in modern Finnish glass and ceramics design, things which she says are “unusual, valuable and worth caring for.” Nuutinen designed a glass and stainless steel lantern, Lyhty, envisioning a late summer evening with friends in a garden filled with music, laughter, good food, and mystical, atmospheric lighting cast by several of her lanterns in trees and on the tables.

flensted_tables_M&O_urbangardenswebFlensted’s colorful tables.

Troels Flensted
Also from Denmark, Flensted’s minimalist designs emphasize the materials, exploring “the potential within material behavior, colors, and manufacturing processes,” finding inspiration in the aesthetic and undiscovered possibilities of those combined characteristics.

jonas_edvard_found_objects-M&O_urbangardenswebEdvard’s chair was made of found materials.

Jonas Edvard
The Danish designer Jonas Edvard describes his work as “focused on research into raw and natural materials, the history of their use, and the future of their existence.” In his 2010 project, Fail, the designer challenged himself to live without much of anything during a three-week outdoor experience where he designed a transport vehicle in the shape of a river raft fitted with a sleeping cocoon and a chair with storage. The objects, created from found materials, were ones he could “shape into existence by the need for survival and interest in creating tools for living.”

oskarsson_halo_iceland_maison-et-objet-2016-urbangardenswebOskarsson’s Halo Lava Mirror.

Kjartan Oskarsson
Wanted Design 2015 Launch Pad winner, Icelandic designer Kjartan Oskarsson’s most recent work focuses on lighting and lamps, for which he uses “interactive techniques to connect the user and object.”

kniep-daily-spoon-maison-et-objet-2016Kniep’s Daily Spoon

When not in their studio, Norwegian designer/makers Jørgen Platou Willumsen and Stian Korntved Ruud are out in the forest collecting wood. From their craft, design, and art studio, Kneip, the duo aims to tell stories through their one-of-a-kind or small series of handmade objects, all inspired by nature with attention to craftsmanship.

Färg-blanche-woodtailoring-chair-masionetobjet_urbangardensebFärg & Blanche’s “Wood Tailoring” sewn furniture.

Färg & Blanche
From their underground garage studio, Stockholm-based designers Fredrik Färg and Emma Marga Blanche of Färg & Blanche, are known for experimenting, moving between the exclusive handmade one-off objects and the industrially produced ones. While they collaborate with established Swedish furniture brands such as Gärsnäs, Zero, and Design House Stockholm, they also produce their own collections and limited art pieces for galleries in Milan, New York, and Tokyo. In their new collection, Wood Tailoring, they experiment with “extreme sewing,” combining wood and sewing.

Looking Ahead to January 2016 
Here are some of the January show highlights that particularly pique my interest:

1. 3D Printing Nature
A trend for several years, the blending of nature and technology continues to emerge in new ways, both in product design and architecture. But Dutch ceramist Olivier van Herpt pushes the limits of existing 3D printing technologies, working with materials like paraffin and clay to produce large-scale pieces, and printed collections of objects that redefine industrial design. Although manufactured by a machine, his ceramics and pottery appear hand-woven with his deliberate additions of random imperfections just as if they were sculpted by hand.

oog-voot-boomkweker_3D_printed_ceramicsvan Herpt’s 3D printed ceramics.

2. The Floating Flower Garden
With their roots anchored overhead, 2,300 suspended flowers will float interactively inside a white bubble in the Floating Flower Garden. Created by Tokyo-based collaborative and interdisciplinary creative group, teamLab, the garden’s hanging blooms will rise as a visitor approaches to create an overhead dome, then descend once again as the visitor exits.

Floating-Flower-Garden_teamlabteamLab’s Floating Garden. Photo: Anne-Emmanuelle Thion.

Part of the show’s Scènes d’Interieur area, teamLab’s founder Toshiyuki Inoko described the installation as a  3-D metaphor that derives inspiration from a zen kôan, a part-fable, part-poetic Buddhist enigma. Balancing art, science, and technology, the garden aims to link visitors and the ecosystem to restore a sense of unity with nature.

surnature_maison-et-objet-2016Elizabeth Leriche will style Surnature. Photo: Maison et Objet.

3. Surnature (Supernatural) Blend of Design and Nature
I am intrigued and very curious to see how Elizabeth Leriche of Ateliers d’Art de France styles this space where she plans to establish an exaggerated, transformed, and the dreamy relationship between design and nature.

4. Now! Design à Vivre
Always fun, some of my favorite brands will be back in 2016 exhibiting in this area where they’ll unveil new collections and design concepts, sometimes experimenting with cutting-edge uses of traditional materials. Here are some products I want to see:

neighbirdUtoopic Neighbirds Bird Feeder.
From Spain, designer Andreu Carulla’s modular rattan wood bird feeder can be suspended from a branch or attached to a wall.


Now’s Home is new to M&O 2016, part of the show’s Actuel (Current) section. I love the curves of their 3-seater rattan bench, above, designed by Filipini Sema.


A fallen tree brings a feeling of savage nature to any space, indoors or out; Verter Turroni’s Olmo bench for Il Laboratorio dell’Imperfetto, above, fits right into the show’s Wild theme. Resistant to rain and sunlight, the black fiberglass bench is made from a mold, then hand-sanded, painted, and polished. The bench and the brand’s other pieces will be found in the Scènes d’Intérieur (Interior Scenes) area in Halls 7 and 8.

Visiting Maison & Objet in January 2016
Maison & Objet is reinventing itself this year dividing the show into three distinct parts:

1. Maison
The French word for house or home, this segment is all about interior design. The largest part of the show will fill the space with furniture and small accent pieces, lighting, and fabrics–all divided into four styles: Eclectic, Cosy, Elegant, and Actuel (Current.)

2. Objet
Here’s where you’ll find the objects–but not just ordinary objects–a wide spectrum of products, ranging from well-designed simple gadgets to luxury accessories, the most utilitarian to the most fanciful.

3. Luxury Design and Interior Decoration
A “temple of design and luxury lifestyle,” this area of the show is dedicated to unique and luxury designs, including custom pieces.

I hope to see you there and when I return, we can compare notes on our favorite finds.

Maison & Objet
January 22-26, 2016
Paris Exhibition Centre Nord Villepinte

Unless otherwise noted, photos from the designers and manufacturers, or Maison & Objet.


bandaid-building-eiffel-tower-in-backgroundWe are all Paris. Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton.


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