Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Maison et Objet 2012

So we really did try to cram a lot into our stay in Paris. Sometimes I think it would be nice not to plan anything for a trip and just wander, although that would be best when we don't have 32 students in tow.

On the Saturday we took the group to the fabulous interior trade fair Maison et Objet at the Parc des Exhibitions. The vast show would take several days to look around in detail so it was impossible to see everything. Unfortunately there is no photography allowed in the show but here are some of my highlights.

I spotted a lot of lightly textured and distressed metallic surfaces - detailed and timeless. I think we are also due to see a lot of reflective surfaces for interior surfaces and products over he coming year or two. Two weave companies stood out, for creating the most amazing woven metal fabrics:

Sophie Mallebranche, a designer of woven metal fabrics, based in Paris. Sophie's seems to be designing not with solid materials but playing with light itself.

Sophie Mallebranche
Fameed Khalique a London based company specialising in textiles and surfaces for luxury commercial interiors, hotels etc. They produce and source a wide range of materials from laser cut leather and stone to hand embroidered and woven materials. I think perhaps the designs that caught my eye may have been by the designer Annemette Beck, who creates woven designs with diverse materials such as paper, wire and horsehair. Her website is really inspirational too.

I was also particularly enthralled with the craft section of the fair, which presented individual artisans from around the world. A delegation of makers from Korea had a particularly beautiful display of work. But I also enjoyed the work of Janaina Milheiro, an artisan textile designer who's exquisite work employs feathers woven into beautiful woven fabrics..

Janaina Milheiro, Collection Le Fil des Plumes
Sylvie Guyomard was another French artisan maker, who really attracted my attention. Her large scale wall-based works were composed of thousands of tiny flakes of slate, applied almost like sequins or fish scales, so as to catch the light. She says: "Everything is born of the earth and the universe. Finding my source of creativity in the essence of the earth, the faults and movements of techtonic plates, my compostions are energeticas well as gentle and calm. Light plays an essential role, sometimes absorbed or refelcted, transporting us into unexpected landscapes".

Sylvie Guyomard
I also enjoyed the Maison et Objet trend areas, in which artists and trend organisations put together concepts for future trends. Despite my love/hate relationship with trends (I find the concepts exciting but it infuriates me that it engenders an inbuilt disposability within the design industries), I found the areas absolutely fascinating. The 'Crazy' concept for Inspiration 2012/13 is shown in a short film, which contains some of the objects featured in the three spaces for 'Sweet Freeks', 'Art'keting' & 'Dream Box'. Despite being highly disorientating, I was fascinated by Carnovsky's jungle design wallpaper using it's clever RGB design system; take a look at their website to understand what I mean, although the true effect needs to be experienced 'in the flesh'. This was used in one of the 'Dream Box' rooms, to great effect. Another room had a bed covered in a quilt of moss and surreal furniture that appeared to be reverting into saplings.

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