Paris – As the buying power of the millennial generation grows, their consumer habits – and how to be a part of them – are now at the forefront of every retailer’s mind. As a reflection of this, biannual lifestyle, decoration and design trade show Maison&Objet (M&O) faces the question head on: this year, the Paris fair’s theme is (Re)Generation, selected in the aims of analyzing of the consumer habits of the young demographic and their impact on the lifestyle sector.
Sustainable consumption, the circular economy, artificial intelligence, co-living and co-working: M&O CEO Philippe Brocart explains that the rising prominence of each were considered as his team researched millennial priorities. These shifts in the way that we live as a result of a decidedly digital, sustainability-minded and engagement-driven generation are clearly inspiring brands themselves to take on more thoughtful approaches to trade fair presentations – take these stands and products for example.
Fischler – named M&O’s Designer of the Year in September 2018 – orchestrated an XXL installation-cum-trend incubator. In a mock residential space, five actors spent the five days of the fair improvising sketches simulating day-to-day life to help conceptualize tomorrow’s behavioural trends. A dozen short films, shot during the event, will be released in coming months as prompts for the trade fair community to engage in debate concerning changes within the market.
A DELICIOUS LABYRINTH
A Valencian brand specialized in the contract world, Houtique is a branch of Spanish company Really Nice Things. With studio Masquespacio as a long-term partner, it aims to make spaces become unique experiences – such was the case with the A Delicious Labyrinth stand. Showcasing products designed by Masquespacio, Serena Confalonieri, Nika Zupanc, Federico Giner and Elena Salmistraro, Houtique’s vibrant interior told the story of fictional character Mambo finding his way back to a ‘sexy, lux and fun dimension’.
PALACE OF WONDERS
For its 10th year at M&O, Pedrali tapped Milan-based architectural studio Calvi Brambilla to design its stand, Palace of Wonders. Past longitudinal openings set at a 45° angle, the 160-sq-m brand space featured three model interior sets – two restaurants and a bakery – surrounded by lounge and outdoor environments. The Italian company’s novelty product at the fair was Soul Soft, a special-edition version of an armchair designed by Eugeni Quitllet in 2018.
A versatile system of modular seats, Dula is suitable for furnishing rest and waiting areas in halls, offices, hotels and the like. Designed by Yago Sarri for Vergés, the large seats have simple forms that allow them to be arranged in multiple setups. The collection has a single or two-seater armchair version, and complementary side tables can be used on their own or incorporated into the linear system.
Building on their CC-Tapis stand concept that was first presented at Salone del Mobile 2019, the team at Studio Milo developed an immersive experience inspired by space-age fantasy. This year, the stand – thought of something like a retro-futuristic, 1980s sci-fi laboratory –incorporates the chromatic gradients utilized in the photoshoot for CC-Tapis’ Spectrum catalogue. New creations by Mae Engelgeer, Cristina Celestino and Bethan Laura Wood were among the pieces that adorned the space.
With their products, the team at Italian design brand Ex.t is on a mission to establish bathrooms as dynamic living spaces. To create Freize, a collection of three washbasins and various bathroom accessories, Ex.t turned to the design savvy of architectural practice Marcante-Testa. The system is inspired by Roy Lichenstein’s ornamental Entablatures series (named after the Classical Greek structures), and can be installed in many combinations of shapes, colours and materials.
Based of textile and cellulous fibres primarily obtained from agave leaves, WallPepper Smooth is an ecological wallpaper free from PVC. The product – odourless, hypoallergenic and soft to the touch – is printed with eco-friendly, UV-resistant pigmented inks. WallPepper Smooth’s sustainable properties mean that the collection’s installation positively contributes to the environmental evaluation of buildings and their interiors.
THE 410 COLLECTION
Studio Meshary AlNassar
For Kuwaiti interior architect Meshary AlNassar, The 410 Collection conjures up childhood memories of gardens and his grandfather’s architectural work. Radici, Tramanto and Ulivo – three lights with Ocean Blue travertine-sculpted forms – make up the AlNassar-designed collection. The creative incorporated LED systems in the striking 2.8-m-tall pieces, which enable variation in temperature and hue and can be controlled by mobile app.
At M&O, Basque furniture manufacturer Alki presented a new bistro table and new colours for the Form Us With Love-designed Atal collection, in addition to Lur, a collection that mixes wood and terracotta. Industrial design studio Iratzoki Lizaso was responsible for the stand’s scenography, which displayed a flexible communal space with a multiplicity of possibilities and seating positions.
Maison&Objet took place from 17 to 21 January at Paris Nord Villepinte. This year's second fair will be in September.