Twice a year, Maison & Objet grabs the attention of the design world. The design fair is the nucleus of modern design in Europe, and two times a year, the whole European industry takes advantage of the gigantic venue. Temporary exhibitions, happenings and events are at the core of M&O as many brands and professionals gather to celebrate international design.

Courtesy of Laura Gonzales
Courtesy of Laura Gonzales

This year is no exception, as one of the highlights of this edition was the always coveted annual Designer of the Year prize. Following Sébastien Herkner, who received the price in January, is Laura Gonzales. The French designer has had an amazing year, delivering some of the most neat projects through several commissions. On her hit list: a Cartier boutique, the Relais Christine Hotel in Paris and two chic Parisian restaurants: La Gare and Lapérouse. “These places, I chose to design in completely different ways, as I’m obsessed with not repeating myself,” she states in an interview for the design fair.

Is a new era of design on the rise?

Among other events, several talks were held throughout this second edition of the biannual fair. One of them made a lot of noise: “The New American Consumer”. In this talk, Tom Mirabile talked in depth about the different trends the design market is going to face within the next few years. For instance, the expert detailed the up and coming change in societal working habits, especially for the millennial generation. At the center of the design intention, are going to be health, wellness, remote work, sustainability, convenience and identity, among other factors.

But the core of the event was innovation. Just like every edition, new designs and avant-gardist ideas really are everyone’s focus. Function and forms come together for innovative ways of garnishing professional and domestic interiors.

Photo courtesy of Paola Paronetto / Serax / Ann Demeulemeester
Paola Paronetto’s Paper Clay Ceramics (left) ; Lamp by Serax / Ann Demeulemeester.

Designer Paola Paronetto managed to seduce the public with what is now regarded as one of the star items for this year’s edition. Her pastel, handmade — hence unique clay ceramics — are this year’s collectible, for sure. But to fashion scholars, Ann Demeulemeester stole the show with her Serax collaboration, seen above.

Photo courtesy of Marcel Wanders / Leblon Delienne
Photo courtesy of Marcel Wanders / Leblon Delienne

Leblon Delienne for sure had a great expo, too. The French sculpture atelier showed the extent of their savoir-faire through different collaborations, taking pop culture figures as a blank canvas to convey the ideas of Arik Levy, Kelly Hoppen and Marcel Wanders — who has a few things to say about the current state of design and his vision of luxury, in an interview coming your way soon.

Tawfik Akachar
Senior Writer, Paris
Tawfik is a pop culture enthusiast that has a soft spot for the study of emerging movements, casual chic fashion, and technical clothing. Although he loves different foods from all parts of the globe, he considers fried chicken to be the best dish, ever.
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