Paris Design Week and its cornerstone event Maison & Objet are a handful of bustling fall events giving designers and buyers a depiction of the year to come. This year's September edition was no exception, transforming the city into a world stage for the boldest innovations in contemporary design
Maison & Objet 2019 ‘Designer of the Year’ Laura Gonzalez
“I feel that spaces need to have their own soul, that’s why all of my projects have totally different designs”, Gonzalez commented at the time of the awards announcement. This year's winner, architect and designer, Laura Gonzalez, trained at the Paris-Malaquais School of Architecture, at only 37 years old has already completed a number of notable commissions.
Recently, she refurbished the Relais Christine hotel in Paris, as well as the interiors of the French capital’s most iconic restaurant, Lapérouse. She’s also completed the eclectic La Gare restaurant in the 16th arrondissement and a series of Cartier stores. Gonzalez describes her personal style as “classical with a quirky twist”. This ethos is evident not only in her award-worthy portfolio but also in the cafes she designed for Maison & Objet's exhibition halls. Thanks in part to their exotic Pierre Frey wallpaper; the spaces were as appealing for their design style as they were for their refreshments.
New gallery on the block, Maison Dentsu inaugurated at Paris Design Week with an installation on marble; the aim was to highlight how the rare, almost on the verge of extinction material, could be reinterpreted in a playful manner.
An installation view of Marbré(e) by Maison Dentsu
Photo by Matthieu Salvaing
The exhibit titled Marbré(e); is an old French way to describe an exuberantly eccentric person, and the intriguing works ranged from geometric furniture by Pierre Gonalons to Vincent Loiret’s eclectic lamp that stands on two tungsten bulbs along with other notable French designers including Ora Ito, Mathais Kiss, José Levy, Florence Louisy and Pierre Frey. Maison Dentsu allowed guests to discover these exclusive pieces in a homelike space that is described a as a hybrid of a gallery, think tank and event space.
“Trans: Forming Design from Poland”
When it comes to nations at the vanguard of modern design, your first thought might not be of Poland. However due to Polish Agency for Enterprise Development’s mission of introducing the best of Polish design beyond its borders this year’s exhibit of innovative Polish design and manufacturing gets a raving spotlight at Maison & Objet. Showcasing the newest contemporary designs, designers were paired with manufacturers from the country in an effort to boost the industry’s design credentials. Ten meticulously refined collaborations made their debut, marking a new moment for Polish-made and branded furniture.
Ann Demeulemeester for Serax
Belgian fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester has produced her first home ware and lighting collection, which launched at Maison & Objet. She looked to the classical elements of earth, fire and water to join forces with Belgian brand Serax to launch two collections of porcelain, glassware, cutlery and tableware. The designer had always dreamed of using porcelain and glass as a creative language.
"We are makers. Whether it is clothing, furniture, vegetables or dinner plates, we have the tendency to design and produce whatever we need around the house," Demeulemeester claims. Each item is decorated with black or red brush strokes that create a "chiaroscuro" effect on the tableware. Following on from the two tableware collections, Demeulemeester and her husband started experimenting with porcelain ribbons to create lighting.
View of installation by Trans: Forming Design from Poland
Photo by Marek Swoboda
Design Italia BHV Marais
BHV Marais celebrated Italian creativity with an exhibition curated by Milan’s design doyenne Rossana Orlandi. Showcasing furniture by some of the most cutting-edge companies like Seletti, Delonghi, Artemide and Lagostina as well as emerging designers.
The collaboration gained momentum with the support of Guiltless Plastic, her latest international design project, which has spawned Ro Plastic-Master’s Pieces. The event unites some of the biggest Italian designers to launch products and projects that reuse and reinvent plastic to avoid waste and pollution.
Danish brand Ferm Living’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection is all about seeking meaning and comfort in the home, from calm moments of reflection to times of joy. ‘A place where we can be ourselves, realise the true value of things and feel at home,’ they explain.
View of Autumn/Winter 2019 collection by Ferm Living
The collection is characterized by; soft forms, rich textures and deep colors to create an authentic and composed atmosphere, while avant-garde shapes, striking patterns and curious details add a touch of the unexpected. Though based in Copenhagen they work with artisans around the world fusing Scandinavian charm with global skills and traditions.
Raw Edges for Vitra
Based on Raw Edges’ Salone del Mobile exhibition last year that saw the duo experiment with the technique to create the Herringbone’s ambient effect. This year the Herringbone Collection by Vitra embraces the technique of immersion dying to create a trio of products: pillows, vessels, and trees. Herringbone accessories, feature luminous colors and geometric patterns created via overlapping strips of immersion-dyed color in varying intensities.
Herringbone Pillows by Raw Edges for Vitra
Rising Talent Awards: US
This year, Maison & Objet's Rising Talent Awards focused specifically on designers from the U.S.—and six talented individuals in particular. Rosie Li, Kin & Company, Green River Project, Harold, Bailey Fontaine and Alex Brokamp all presented their work at the fair.
The earth tones and curvilinear shapes used by Rosie Li were indicative of the group's strong organic undercurrents. Her alabaster-based floor lamp and expansive Leaf chandelier were standouts in the Rising Talent exhibit while Fontaine's works utilized the on-trend use of concrete and cement.