Being geographically removed from much of the international design world, we at est relish an opportunity to travel abroad to seek inspiration. While that’s usually done through our computers, the past couple of years we’ve been fortunate enough to experience leading global home decor fair MAISON&OBJET in Paris. Covering all elements of design and home decor from objects to decorative accessories, a trip to MAISON&OBJET is an inspiring and immersive itinerary.
With over 3000 brands from 65 countries exhibiting at the fair, MAISON&OBJET has no shortage of things to discover. Maximising your visit to see and do as much as possible is another matter however, so as we gear up for our third trip to MAISON&OBJET (and our first for their September fair), we thought it was high time to compile our learnings from previous experiences into a guide for the uninitiated and offer a peek into the brands and programming we’re most excited to explore at M&O September.
Getting Around the Fair
MAISON&OBJET September will feature two hubs; MAISON and OBJET. The former will offer four different ‘universes’ to explore decoration and home interior solutions organised by style (‘Today’, ‘Forever’, ‘Unique & Eclectic’ and ‘Craft’), while the latter encompasses seven sectors filled with objects and decorative accessories. All the halls are linked, however the MAISON halls are generally larger than their OBJET counterparts.
If you’re staying in Paris, it’s important to note that the fair’s venue, The Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre isn’t in the centre of Paris – but it’s easy enough to get to. You can organise taxi transfers direct to and from the two main entrances of the fair, drive there yourself (paid parking is available) or take the free shuttle service from Roissy Charles de Gaulle – Paris Airport. They run every 30 minutes from 8.30am to 6.30pm – you can find more information on the departure terminals here. You can also take public transport – M&O have plenty of information on the lines and ticket costs here.
And of course, given M&O is a trade show only, you’ll need to make sure you have your ticket and a corresponding identity card to get in.
Brands to Watch
In September, more than 3000 brands will be exhibiting – safe to say that’s a lot of design to consume! While some of our standout finds from previous fairs have been unexpected (and admittedly that’s part of the fun!) we’re looking forward to some of the global design brands that frequently pop up in featured interiors on est, such as DCW Editions, Ay Illuminate, Menu, Valerie Objects and Republic of Fritz Hansen. Less-entrenched brands we’re also hoping to get to know include Tunisian accessories studio Tinja, Italian brand Stilleben, Parisian furniture design firm COEDITION and Singapore’s Asian contemporary design collective INDUSTRYPLUS.
In addition to the brands on-show in September, trend forecasting agency NellyRodi will be taking over the Inspirations Space and Bookshop-Café to share the theme ‘Virtuous’; focussing around responsible makers, artisanship, fair trade and environmental consciousness. Keep an eye out for the way this theme will manifest through the fair’s sectors and programming in the Inspirations space.
Designers to Watch
Each edition of MAISON&OBJET features a Designer of the Year, honouring one of the most outstanding names in industrial and interior design worldwide. In September, the Designer of the Year will be Ramy Fischler, acclaimed contemporary designer and visionary creative. Motivated by an obsession to ‘never repeat himself’, Fischler’s passion for experimentation has seen him explore design in many forms; from residential interior design concepts to restaurant design to furniture design. Hailing from Belgium, the Paris-based designer has also held residencies at the prestigious Villa Medici in Rome and the Le Fresnoy – National Studio for Contemporary Arts.
Another stalwart of any MAISON&OBJET program is the Rising Talents Awards, which provide a platform to celebrate emergent designers with M&O’s international design audience. After the United Kingdom last year and Italy in January 2018, September will focus on Lebanon’s young design talent. Bridging the gap between East and West, the choice to honour a country with a booming creative scene confirms MAISON&OBJET’s effort to keep pushing the boundaries of creation. The Rising Talents Awards will be under the patronage of Rabih Kayrouz, whose fashion label has immensely contributed to the worldwide popularity of the Lebanese style over the years, and handpicked by a Selection Jury who represent the rival of the Lebanese design scene.
Paris Design Week Program
The September edition of MAISON&OBJET is also distinct for its tie-in with the eighth annual Paris Design Week, which will take place from Thursday 6 to Saturday 15 September 2018. The ten day event invites both local and international professionals, as well as the general public, for a showcase of design in Paris including retailers, galleries, showrooms, hotels and restaurants who will share their experience in design and creation. Paris Design Week also features the LE OFF exhibition, as well as late-night openings, debates and installations to bring the city to life.
The program for Paris Design Week has been established to mirror the MAISON&OBJETS PROJECTS show, with a themed itinerary inviting specifiers and trade individuals to enter PDW participating showrooms to meet interior design professionals. The works of the Lebanese Rising Talents will also be present during the Paris Design Week at the Gallery S. Bensimon, who will host the Joy Mardini Gallery from Beirut.
– Wear your most comfortable shoes to minimise sore feet at the end of the day: the French might be adept at getting around in high heels, but we at est are partial to a comfortable yet stylish pair of leather sneakers.
– Take the opportunity to chat to others at the fair, waiting for transfers or shuttles or at the events program; some of the best connections we’ve made were formed by chance meetings and on-the-go conversations!
– MOM is a fabulous resource for all the brands, products and speakers showcased at M&O. It’s invaluable for prepping your visit as well as navigating your itinerary during the fair, so use it to your advantage – you can even request meetings or visits through the platform. We recommend using it to pre-plan your visit to the fair and plot your way across the various halls, talks and events each day.
– If, like us, good coffee is of the upmost importance to you, the Monocle pop-up shop and café has you covered. Find it in the Hall 6, Stand J2.
– We can’t stress this one enough – as M&O is a trade show, it’s strictly reserved for professionals so you’ll need to have your professional identification on hand at all times.
If you’re heading along to MAISON&OBJET in September, we’d love to connect with you. Drop our editor a line at [email protected] for any potential meeting requests or media opportunities.
MAISON&OBJET will run from September 7-11 2018. For more information or to order your badge, visit the website.