design objects on display
Products designed by Ruben Hoogvliet and Gijs Wouters at the Rising Talents awards at Maison et Objet COURTESY ANNE-EMMANUELLE THION

Maison & Objet Celebrates Independent Talent Navigating the New “Meta-Sensitive” World

For its second 2022 showing, the major Parisian trade show was awash in bold colors, playful patterns, and seamless digital integration.

With over 5 thousand visitors interacting with another 2,269 exhibitors, the September 2022 edition of Maison & Objet was a robust offering, particularly for omnivorous visitors interested in everything from discovering new trends to reimagining how they entertain at home. Major manufacturers like Serax, Ethnicraft, and Seletti made a solid return to the event for the first time since the start of the pandemic two and half years ago. A whopping 500 exhibitors who were showing at the fair for the first time reflected a similar renewed spirit and desire to connect in person.

Much like its counterpoint Paris Design Week, this edition of Maison & Objet (September 8th to 12th) was anchored by a strong showing of dynamic, independent talent: newcomers making their debut and established or mid-career designers revealing new concepts. More and more of these makers and thinkers are working in the Metaverse, which offers them the ability to experiment without limitation but might pull them too far away from what can actually be achieved with physical materials and applications. Finding the right balance between these two forces is one of the main challenges of our time, as are sustainability and equal representation. Here are a few key highlights from this September’s Maison & Objet.  

man standing next to colorful table
Designer Steven Visser stands with some of his creations at the Rising Talent award show. COURTESY ANNE-EMMANUELLE THION

Rising Talent Award: The Netherlands 

Every edition of Maison & Objet spotlights the promising output of a specific country. This September, the fair focused on the rich, ever-evolving Dutch design scene that has garnered significant attention over the past three decades. The showcase introduced a new crop of creatives hailing from the country’s main creative centers of Eindhoven, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam. An illustrious all-female jury—including Wieki Somers, Kiki van Eijk, Hella Jongerius, and Ineke Hans, selected eight designers from or working in the Netherlands.

In making their choices, these recognized heavyweights reflected on what Dutch design entails today. For Jongerius, it’s become synonymous with being experimental, critical, and conceptual. “While an increasingly global outlook makes it perhaps more difficult to define than back in the nineties, it remains remarkably free of constraints,” van Eijk reflects. “Spirited and less defined by the commercial sphere, it’s very hands-on.” 

design objects on display
Objects by Simone Post on display for the Rising Talent award. COURTESY ANNE-EMMANUELLE THION

Such an enduring sentiment is embodied in the work of Simone Post—having established herself a decade ago by finding clever ways to craft home accessories from upcycled textile waste—and Strasbourg-born Théophile Blandet—who is championing a new handcraft metal-forging technique using recycled material. Korean-born talent Seok Hyeon Yoon developed a unique resin to glaze his ceramic vessels. “His work fits in the Dutch design tradition as it is both conceptual and aesthetic: clear in form and functionality, surprising in finding new sustainable techniques and materials,” says Somers. 

All eight of the exhibitors awarded a Rising Talent Award challenge common perception and work to rethink the function of historically significant object typologies while finding new and captivating ways to combine color and texture with form.

design objects on display
Objects designed by Seok-Hyeon Yoon on display for the Rising Talent award. COURTESY ANNE-EMMANUELLE THION

New Approaches to Metal: Samuel Accoceberry Studio and Manip

Showing as part of the Talents So French section of the fair, Paris-based industrial designer Samuel Accoceberry presented his new neo-futuristic metal mirrors rendered in two-tone three-dimensional compositions. The graphically sculptural forms adhere to the theme of playful pixelations—responding to increased digitalization—that Paris-based forecasting agency NellyRodi put forward in framing this edition of Maison & Objet. Other talents showcasing this section included craft-focused Charlotte Juillard, art nouveau–inspired decorator Pierre Gonalons, and storytelling architect Bina Baitel.

Making its debut on the international design scene for the first time is Bordeaux-based homeware brand Manip which has found a sleek, equally futuristic approach to bent metal furniture and accessories. “We conceive objects that do not rely on the superposition of materials but rather on the purity of the single material,” says brand co-founder Maxime Lis. “We prioritize manipulations that don’t follow any manuals.” 

a collection of metal design objects on display
Metal mirrors designed by Samuel Accoceberry. COURTESY ANNE-EMMANUELLE THION

Traditional craftsmanship meets digital technology: Trame

Trame is a Paris-based homeware brand drawing influence from what domestic life looks like across the Mediterranean region. In keeping with the theme of this edition of the fair, the relatively new boutique manufacturer seeks to re-enliven age-old artisanal practices through carefully harnessed technological innovations. In its bid to promote authenticity, Trame often works with dynamic independent designers such as Maddalena Casadei, Maria Jeglinska, and Julie Richoz. Each collection—produced using the latest rapid prototyping tools—draws inspiration from a historic site along the sea’s perimeter.

For its third endeavor, Trame called on Paris-based, Korean-born designer and artist Wonmin Park, parametric architect Arthur Mamou-Mani, and Brussels-based research-focused talent Amandine David to reflect on the iconic, cross-cultural architecture of Granada, Spain. The Alhambra.gcode collection comprises 3D-printed ceramic vases. The new wares made their Parisian debut in Maison & Objet’s Signature Collection section.

The trade show is set to return to its regular schedule next year, with its winter edition taking place from January 19th to 23rd, with even more global brands and special exhibitors expected to participate.

a design installation
Wares from Trame on view at the Galerie Signature during Maison et Objet COURTESY ANNE-EMMANUELLE THION
detailed image of design objetcs

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