Maison et Objet 2015

I was in Paris at the end of last month for interiors trade fair Maison et Objet which takes place twice a year (Jan & Sept) at an exhibition centre in Villepinte to the north of the city. The show is enormous, and I mean really enormous, it's spread across eight vast halls each one the size of Earl's Court. To get there you can travel from the centre of Paris on the RER, or it's also very close to Charles de Gaulle airport. I Eurostarred it and stayed in the city centre.

There was so much to see I felt like I only scratched the surface, but I was on a mission as I was writing a piece for a British newspaper so I did my best to race around the show, and the city, snapping away with my phone. 

  Japanese designer Oki Sato, the founder of internationally renowned design studio Nendo, was named Designer of the Year. Here's a picture I took of him facing the media surrounded by his chocolate-themed installation which made me think 1. what a cool dude and 2. god I would hate to be famous. The stand had an appealing, wavy, cocoa-coloured structure surrounding it, but the piece de resistance was nine chocolates moulded into different shapes to play with the idea of how texture affects taste - one is smooth, one is pointy, one is hollow etc. The idea being to get a different perspective on an ordinary thing. It's a bit out there, but I liked it.  Oki Sato also did a video interview on the Maison et Objet website and he comes across really well, especially when he says: "a good design is one you can explain down the telephone to a child, because it's not about forms, colours or shapes - it's the idea". Also, he eats the same noodle dish every day in the same place, so he can "notice the small differences, because it's those kind of differences which generate new ideas". He's so zen. 

 

Japanese designer Oki Sato, the founder of internationally renowned design studio Nendo, was named Designer of the Year.

Here's a picture I took of him facing the media surrounded by his chocolate-themed installation which made me think 1. what a cool dude and 2. god I would hate to be famous. The stand had an appealing, wavy, cocoa-coloured structure surrounding it, but the piece de resistance was nine chocolates moulded into different shapes to play with the idea of how texture affects taste - one is smooth, one is pointy, one is hollow etc. The idea being to get a different perspective on an ordinary thing. It's a bit out there, but I liked it. 

Oki Sato also did a video interview on the Maison et Objet website and he comes across really well, especially when he says: "a good design is one you can explain down the telephone to a child, because it's not about forms, colours or shapes - it's the idea". Also, he eats the same noodle dish every day in the same place, so he can "notice the small differences, because it's those kind of differences which generate new ideas". He's so zen. 

Nendo's 'Chocolate Lounge' at Maison et Objet plays with the idea of taste and texture.

Nendo's 'Chocolate Lounge' at Maison et Objet plays with the idea of taste and texture.

Below is a collection of photos I took at the show, a bit random, but they all struck me as interesting in their own right - from floating cloud lights at Bocci to the fascination with how things are made epitomised by ceramics studio Tortus Copenhagen to some crazy Japanese lighting coolness by teamLab. Oh, and fake cacti at Abigail Ahern - it's the new pineapple, trust me. 

It wasn't all work though. On the Friday night I went for dinner at the Turkish Embassy with Istanbul-based design studio Autoban. I'm not kidding. The Turkish Ambassador to France hosted it and the food was amazing. You can see Autoban's most recent interior design work in London at Alan Yau's restaurant Babaji in Soho. (Thank you Neil and Irene at Tomorrow PR)