Regular readers will know est has been fortunate to attend leading international design event MAISON&OBJET a number of times over the last few years, taking in design furniture, objects, artwork, accessories and so much more over the fast-paced weeklong program. This year, we doubled down on our media partnership with the fair, sending est Managing Editor Melia Rayner over to Paris to attend the September edition of the event. For this new edition, MAISON&OBJET’s layout was entirely revamped to simplify the fair’s structure, offering a revitalised way for guests to experience the thousands of design brands exhibiting at the fair. MAISON&OBJET September also took place alongside Paris Design Week, making for a unique opportunity to soak up even more design inspiration and ideas from all over the world, at the usual cracking pace needed to explore the wealth of work on show.
Having immersed ourselves in the halls of MAISON&OBJET and trawled the streets of Paris, we can confirm there’s no shortage of inspiring people, groundbreaking ideas and clever products to enjoy from the event. In order to try and summarise the extensive design on show throughout the week, we’ve compiled the top people and brand names that were on everyone’s lips in Paris this year.
When Objects Work
With their restrained and deliberatively rustic emphasis on natural materials and timeless shapes, Belgian brand When Objects Work were a welcome reprieve for any minimalist attending MAISON&OBJET. Showcasing collaborative works with leading designers like Vincent Van Duysen, John Pawson and Nicholas Schuybroek, When Objects Work unites design talent with authentic materials and craftsmanship, offering pieces that are as useful as they are beautiful. With an evolving roster of architects and designers to work with, we can imagine their pieces are quickly becoming ubiquitous in Australia – for all the right reasons.
The MAISON&OBJET Designer of the Year for September 2018, Belgian designer Ramy Fischler more than lived up to previous Designer of the Year Cecilie Manz with his unique installation space, THE AGORA. With an emphasis on wellness, the natural environment and multipurpose spaces, Fischler illustrated the diversity of his projects and his daily studio practice through a communal space that offered everything from amphitheatre seating space for talks to massage and meditation spaces, a bar and a workspace-like area that explored his visionary and holistic approach. As much a statement on his design philosophy as his practice, THE AGORA cemented Fischler as a designer to watch, and one we’ll likely be seeing a lot more from in the coming years.
After their crowd-pleasing product debuts in January, the Danish brand returned with an elegant collection of new pieces and established favourites. Designed by Emil Thorup, Coffee Table 90 continues the brand’s knack for refined silhouettes with zeitgeisty materials like marble and steel framing, while a favourite for us at est had to be the Lounge Chair in a dusty pink leather, also designed by Thorup. The first chair in HANDVÄRK’s collection, it is meticulously handmade to order in HANDVÄRK’s workshop and can be finished in custom leather or fabric if desired.
Lebanon’s booming creative scene was highlighted by MAISON&OBJET September with the six young designers showcased in the Rising Talents program. The fresh, thoughtful works on show from this group of young designers made a strong impact on the MAISON&OBJET audience, bolstered by further exhibitions in partnership with Paris Design Week and a celebration event at Hotel Prince de Galles. The passion and global intention of this group is evident; what we’re excited to see next is where their careers will take them.
Made by Pen
The Australian design studio are no strangers to MAISON&OBJET, but this time they upped their ante with an innovative new Sway lamp, designed by renowned Australian designer Nick Rennie in collaboration with Made by Pen. The lamp’s silicone, steel and carbon road frame lend it a gently modern style, but it really catches your attention when in motion; its name is taken from the distinctive ‘swaying’ motion it makes when knocked or moved. Chargeable, cordless and easily mobile, it’s no surprise this piece is as child-friendly as it is striking in its design. We can already see it adorning many an outdoor living space come summer this year.
The New York-based lighting design studio’s first dedicated show outside of the USA made its debut for Paris Design Week, with over 20 pieces on view. Bringing on celebrated Parisian decorator Dorothée Meilichzon to bring the exhibition to life, the collection showcased a retro-chic sensibility with simple geometric shapes and decorative details. Founded by Ryden and Lynette Rizzo, Allied Maker continues to make waves in the international design community, and this collection celebrates their creative urgency and craftsmanship in a perfectly Parisian manner. If you’re in Paris you can still catch the exhibition – it’s running at Triode Gallery until October 31.
A fresh favourite here at est hq, FEST AMSTERSDAM are making affordable yet covetable Dutch design, with a collection characterised by its modern sense of form and playful pops of colour. Championing Dutch designers (though they count Aussies Studio Truly Truly among their past collaborators), FEST pieces are created completely in Europe, with the majority crafted in the Netherlands. While many exhibitors at MAISON&OBJET explored bright colours, geometric shapes and an almost-80s aesthetic sensibility, FEST have managed to weave in these design trends without being defined by them. Launched at MAISON&OBJET September, their new collection includes further collaboration with German designer Martin Hirth and a new sofa and bar stool for their beloved Monday collection.
Having followed their work for some time now, it was a pleasure to explore Danish brand Muubs’ impeccable collection of artisanal furniture, objects and accessories at MAISON&OBJET. The brand’s vision to explore the ‘beauty in imperfection’ was nicely realised at the fair, from the raw natural materials and wabi sabi craftsmanship in even the smallest of accessories to standout pieces like the Dakota Chair and incredible Mano Dining Table, made from a single (and enormous) piece of timber. While Denmark might seem like a long way to import a piece to Australia, Muubs have us convinced it’s a worthy investment for those one-of-a-kind, enduring feature pieces.
We’ve really only scratched the surface of the design to digest at MAISON&OBJET September 2018. To attend MAISON&OBJET next year and experience it for yourself, find more information here.