This year at Maison Objet, Paris’s stand out Interiors event showcasing new and established designers from all over the globe, there were still nods here and there to the favoured materials de jour. Concrete, coppers and marble were still big players, but having reflected on the press from the event – it seems that a lot of designers are really just doing there own thing – following their own aesthetic brand whether it be blinging glitz or industrial minimalism.
The choice for the Maison Objet Designer of Year, Dorothee Meilichzon reflected this diversity. Dorothee, a young French Interior Architect who specialises in Hotel interiors, has a some what maximalist approach, mixing lots of different styles in her designs. Antiques, mid-century, and modern all co-exist in her projects. She draws inspiration from British and American traditional aesthetics but collaborates with emerging designers from all over the world to create something unique. While I am not sure I love all of her combinations, there are elements which I do love and her award is well deserved, more importantly her win represents where the design world is sitting – not too far left, not too far right, somewhere in the middle absorbing inspiration from a multitude of styles and aesthetic philosophies.
See a showcase of Dorothee’s work with the woman herself.
Here is a selection of varied looks that were represented at Maison Objet 2015
The Bouroullec brothers presented ‘Pallisade’ – their new outdoor furniture range for Hay. Industrial yet elegant. Powder coated steel – available in 3 colours.
These beautiful cloud like glass pendant lights are the latest conception by Canadian brand Bocci. The shapes are made by blowing molten glass into heat resistant fabric pillows. The effect is an ethereal, sculptural piece of lighting design.
The Pearl light by Ginger and Jagger – a Portuguese design company specialising in truly luxurious pieces made from the finest materials – all handcrafted. The Pearl light is as unique as a pearl in that each piece of marble is hand carved – no two are the same. Available in 4 different marble colours and 4 metals.
These eye catching lights by Arturo Erbsman bring contemporary design and traditional stain glass together with a nod to 50’s modernist shapes. This interactive ‘Chroma’ light features a number is screens of different colours placed in front of the light source – the effect is a flexible stain glass effect that can be manipulated to change the look and mood of a room.
The humor of the ‘Helsinki’ makes it striking and oh so sweet! To the untrained eye this is a rather cool little handbag in a Chanel bouclé-esque fabric but it is actually a rather cool little portable speaker. The audio specialists and design team at Danish company Vifa, launched the ‘Copenhagen’ speaker last year. The ‘Helsinki’ is its more compact little sister and comes in 4 specially designed Kvadrat fabrics (we love Kvadrat!) – with its adjustable strap and smaller size, the Helsinki can be hoisted over the shoulder or into your hipster bicycle basket as you skip off with your moustachioed friends, jiving to the beats of the crystal clear Helsinki. I dig it.
And last but certainly not least – probably the most talked about presentation at Maison Objet was the magical living installation by Japanese techno-artists ‘ Teamlab‘. The suspended orchid garden provided a low canopy of dense flowers, slowly undulated around visitors heads, a carefully curated soundtrack provided audio stimulation while the smells of thousands of different Dutch orchids meant that all the senses were being fed with this unique experiential work. The Teamlab philosophy surrounds the idea that technology – specifically sound and light can be retrofitted into existing spaces, to change the actions and behaviour of those within the experience. The team draw on ancient Japanese teachings relating to spacial awareness and the ultra-subjective space – the idea behind so-called Zen gardens. While it might not be something that you can buy and take home – I think the essence of good design is a product, building or experience that makes people’s lives better. Judging from the visitors in the Floating Flower Garden, even though it might have only been for a few minutes – from within that canopy of orchids – life definitely looked better.