Maison & Objet in Paris, France

Maison & Objet celebrate 25th anniversary

Maison & Objet marked its 25th anniversary in January, recording an increase in exhibitors (2,736), which included 609 new firms, despite a slight decrease in the number of attendees (-3.5%). To herald the start of the brand new decade, the international trade fair dedicated both this year’s editions to the same topic: ‘(RE)GENERATION’, with the aim of exploring the consumer behaviour displayed by generations Y and Z.

Assisted by style consultancy Nelly Rodi, the show examined the level of engagement these new meaning-driven consumers exhibit (with a specific itinerary flagging up eco-friendly brands  launched last year). The September edition, meanwhile, will turn the spotlight on how these digital natives are an augmented generation, raised on a diet of the Internet and social media.

The ‘What’s New?’ exhibits staged by Elizabeth Leriche, François Bernard and François Delclaux also cleverly investigated the way consumers are bringing meaning, nature and virtuous materials back into their homes – all themes close to the new generation’s heart – while for the hotel and restaurant trade, a curated itinerary taking in everything from furnishings and tableware to cookware, lighting, textiles and fragrances addressed the industry’s specific needs in terms of safety standards, accessibility and solidity.

Elsewhere across the show, Michael Anastassiades was named Designer of the Year 2020 and showcased a number of his lighting designs during the five-day event. “Simplicity takes a lot of hard work,” said the Cypriot designer, who first presented his eponymous brand at Maison & Objet back in 2007, after graduating with a Masters in Industrial Design from the Royal College of Art in London and then going on to set up his studio there in 1994.

Returning to highlight the global design scene’s emerging stars, the Rising Talents programme commended six upcoming creatives, all of which heralded from France. Hand-picked by a six-member jury – all experts in French design – Adrien Garcia, Julie Richoz, Laureline Galliot, Mathieu Peyroulet Ghilini, Natacha & Sacha and Wendy Andreu were dubbed the cream of this edition’s crop and all presented their concepts at the show.

Reinforcing its desire to promote up-and-coming designers, Maison & Objet also came up with the idea of promoting rising Qatari talent at this year’s edition, marking the start of the Qatar-France Year of Culture. The same belief in young designers also led to the creation of a Chinese Design Award in partnership with the Chaoshang group, the inaugural edition of which was launched on December 8 2019 in Shenzhen. On the other side of the pond, Maison & Objet, Paris Design Week and NYCxDESIGN, the New York platform dedicated to design, are also getting ready to organise joint exhibitions in the spring inspired by the Rising Talents initiative.

The next edition of Maison & Objet will take place from 4-8 September 2020 and see the return of two key themes, which have been granted fully-fledged spaces within the fair’s “Maison” hub: Work! and Projects. The former will observe the changes that are triggering a need for new cross-functional design solutions in today’s workspaces, as well as accommodating new combinations: well-being and well-working, community and privacy, and experience and performance. A trade fair within the trade fair, Work! will not only boast its  own dedicated itinerary but will also feature an expert-led think tank and meetings space.

Projects, meanwhile, will target interior designers, presenting the very best technical and bespoke solutions spanning hotels, the service sector and residential projects. The space will be a veritable hotbed of inspiration thanks to “Archi Designer”, an itinerary that will give visitors the chance to conduct business meetings in a relaxed and informal setting.

Maison & Objet will also bring industry players together later this year via its digital platform, MOM (Maison & Objet and More), which now boasts over 175,000 members, generating 2.5 million unique visits per year alongside the two annual trade fairs.