Cabinet by Jamie Hayon; Chairs by Ligne Roset; Cafe Intramuros.

Cupboard by Joachim Jirou-Najou; Designers Days by Normal Studio; Home fish greens storage by Mathieu Lehanneur.

Atlantide table by Desalto; Hitogramms chair by Fabio Novembre for Pop Corn; Bout de Canape Bamk Stool by Bleu Nature.

Ishtar wall console by Maitre et Lemesle for Ideel; Textured sideboard by Dustdeluxe; Atlantide table by Desalto.

Maze collection by Matteo Nunztai for Coro; Functional tile by Arnout Visser, Erik-Jan Kwakkel and Peter van der Jagt for Pop Corn; Coat Hanger Chair by Jorg Gatjens for Pop Corn.

Hypertrophy Chair by NOCC; Sound objects by NOCC; Sound vase by NOCC.

Maison & Objet Trade show

3rd February 2010

The atmosphere at the recent Maison & Objet home furniture show, the first of this new decade, was optimistic, upbeat and dynamic. There was also a sense of a more thoughtful approach to the future at the Paris show. Rather than flaunting eco or ethical credentials, furniture companies offered a forward-thinking take on sustainability, delivered via high-quality finishes and thoughtful, often modular, design

Many products were recognisable from previous seasons, reflecting the trend away from disposability and toward goods that fit into today’s hybrid lifestyles. The way we live has changed and the divide between indoors and outdoors has become blurred, so furniture is being made that sits comfortably both inside and out, a dual function reflected in choice of material.

All White

Many brands showcased products in bright white, their surfaces ranging from high gloss to matt. These hints of a sci-fi future were frequently softened by wood.

10 designers of the future celebrate a decade of design

To celebrate the show’s tenth year, Philippe Starck, the Maison & Objet Designer of the Year 2010, selected 10 young designers, the ‘2020 generation’. The group, 5.5 Designers, Constance Guisset, Gilles Belley, Joachim Jirou-Najou, Marie- Aurore Stiker, Mathieu Lehanneur, Michel Charlot, Normal Studio, Philippe Nigro, Sam Baron and Normal Studio, were invited to respond creatively to an open-ended question: ‘What is missing?’
Each produced a five-minute video and a design sketch, and these will form the starting point for the next Maison & Objet show,which will be held in Paris in June.

Future Nature

Reflecting growing consumer interest in everything natural, many brands incorporated motifs and materials from nature into their designs. While LS:N noted some examples that featured an outmoded, hippy-style, hemp and driftwood aesthetic, the majority of designers achieved this in a sophisticated, modern manner, creating interesting new material choices and mixes.
Gandia Blasco, for example, created beautiful furniture for outdoors that would look equally appropriate inside the home. Bleu Nature’s ‘Memory bank’ stools in acrylic, resin and wood brought indoors materials more usually associated with outdoor
Other brands blended nature and technology. Desalto’s exquisite plastic and wood inlay table embraced modular thinking, HOW? while Fabio Novembre’s ‘Histograms’ chair seamlessly blended acrylic and wood.
‘Designers are showing a strong interest in natural materials, but with a modern edge or clever blend,’ Moustache’s founder Stéphane Arriubergé told LS:N Global.

Plastic/Wood Luxe

Two materials dominated the show and represented the overall design direction: wood and plastic.
Wood, used to create furniture and interior products, was updated and celebrated in digital forms. Maitre et Lemesle’s wall console, made from brilliant lacquer and vintage wood, offered a perfect blend of old and new, as did Marie Declerck and Usin- e’s multi-faceted seating. Its shape reminded LS:N Global of Arik Levy’s work and the Flintstone Futurism we saw at December’s Design Miami.
Plastic was given a sophisticated, luxurious modern feel; digitised, sharp, simple forms lent a new beauty to a material once considered cheap and nasty.

Hybrid Design/Modularity

Hybrid and modular design was another of the show’s key themes, reflecting consumer rejection of clutter and conspicuous consumption. Products, objects and furniture with a modular structure that provided more than one use included the ‘Coat hanger’ chair by Jörg Gätjens, showcased by Popcorn and the modular sofa by Matali Crasset for Dunlopillo.
‘Our exclusive modular tiles fit consumers’ desire for more personalised products that can attain an emotional attachment,’ Popcorn’s Florent Porte told LS:N Global.
Modular functionality was at the heart of one of the show’s highlights, ‘Lace in Sevres’ by Christian Biecher. This singular porcelain shape is designed to stand alone as a vase or ornament, or can be stacked to create a screen or wall divider.

Process equals form
New thinking is pushing the boundaries of design, and, increasingly, form is being defined by process.
NOCC uses rapid prototyping technologies to create its cutting-edge, quirky products, each made as a direct response to sound. The objects’ forms are generated according to the shape of the sound waves recorded when the product name, such as ‘vase’ or ‘lamp’, is spoken aloud. Each product is unique, as its form is dictated by the individual sound of its owner’s voice.

© LS:N Global