The highlight of this year’s second Maison&Objet exhibition in Paris was a “Work!” theme that focused on the integration of professional and personal settings. “For a number of years,” noted the organisers, “the lines between our working and leisure environments have gradually been becoming blurred, forcing furniture makers and manufacturers to adopt the codes of home décor and develop ranges that meet a demand for mobility, sociability, comfort, personalisation and flexibility.”
Covering 1,200 square metres staged by Philippe Boisselier, the Work! zone showcased a creative range of work space design solutions accompanied by a conference programme, a space presenting new finds and accessories (sourced by Chantal Hamaide), a specific Work! itinerary covering the entire trade fair and a new business-orientated area that hosted more than 500 meetings. As one exhibitor, Bene France director Valérie Ducruet, noted, “By dedicating a specific zone to the services sector, Maison&Objet created a small cocoon within the vast trade fair, perfectly laid out and elegantly staged. In parallel, having the opportunity to meet new contacts during business meetings allowed us to present solutions that were conducive to interaction and collaboration. We would like to congratulate the team behind this first edition for their professionalism and approachability.”
According to the organisers, the event also won the vote of hoteliers and restaurateurs, “who are themselves being confronted with the need to adapt to the changing use of spaces and to design one-of-a-kind environments. The September trade fair featured an itinerary specifically tailored to their needs, accompanied by a series of conferences to help them address the challenges of decorating, equipping and designing each zone.”
Maison&Objet also celebrated the work of architect Laura Gonzalez by naming her the edition’s Designer of the Year. “In the same way some conquer summits, this 37-year-old, who trained at the Paris-Malaquais School of Architecture, already has an impressive list of design conquests to her name, including fashionable venues, restaurants, bars, boutiques and hotels.”
In addition, the event championed six up-and-coming American talents, which boosted the number of exhibitors (55 brands) and visitors travelling from across the Atlantic.
Overall, the international trade fair for the decoration, design and lifestyle sector, held in September at the Villepinte Exhibition Centre in Paris, recorded a slight increase (0.5 per cent) in the number of attendees: 2,762 exhibitors and 76,862 visitors. “This encouraging set of figures in an uncertain economic climate pays tribute to the strategy adopted over the course of the past year: that of organizing the offer into two separate hubs, ‘Maison’ and ‘Objet’, with the aim of making the event clearer and more intuitive than ever.” The September edition (a second one is held in Paris in January) featured a total of 3,137 brands showcasing their latest creations, with 863 exhibiting for the first time ever. Sixty-one per cent of brands were from overseas, representing 69 different countries.
Maison&Objet also has a significant presence on the internet. Launched in 2016, the newsletter for the trade fair’s digital platform, MOM (Maison&Objet and More) is sent to 150,000 weekly subscribers, the Instagram account has more than 700,000 followers and the Facebook page is followed by 543,000 people. The biannual event’s international profile also benefits Paris and the surrounding area, with airlines, taxis, hotels and restaurants reporting combined revenues of approximately €350 million in 2019. In September, the effects were further enhanced by Paris Design Week, an associated event held in conjunction with Maison&Objet which attracted 100,000 people to the streets of the French capital.
The next edition of Maison&Objet, scheduled to run from 17 to 21 January, is set to focus on the topic “Regeneration”, and will mark the 25th anniversary of the trade fair.