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M&O16: Color, Form and Material at Maison et Objet
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Maison et Objet’s strap-line is “essential, international, inspiring” and they’re not far wrong. It was a joy to see new work from familiar faces and to discover a couple of new names. Above – Lex Pott’s Spring Scissors for Nomess were inspired by traditional Asian craftmanship – they are made from a single length of spring steel so they reshape to their original form after use. They are also symmetrical and equally ergonomic for the left-handed and the right-handed amongst us.

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Untitled Story is a new brand from designer Marc Schulthess. The tubular steel Untitled Rail is a wardrobe reduced to its simplest form.

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Fosco and Ciara by Berlin-based designer Elisa Strozyk for Pulpo are powder-coated steel tables topped with ceramic. “Glazing clay is one of the oldest techniques to decorate the products of everyday life,” she says. “The process of firing transforms the liquid suspension of metal oxides and powdered minerals into various glass-like surface finishes.”

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Custhom’s New Cross wallpaper is the result of research into the benefits of a tactile surface for our walls. Working with a British embroidery house, the thread is embroidered directly onto non-woven fire retardant wallpaper, using polyester for high shine to ceramic cotton threads for a flat matte finish. “The needlework provides a delicate and intricate craftsmanship to the wall coverings,” say the designers. “Inviting to the touch and adding tonal elements of a single thread color dependent on the angle of the viewer.”

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Cookie jars and candy jars by Feinedinge are biscuit fired and left unglazed on the bottom for a matte finish and glazed on the lids to create contrast.

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British designer Richard Brendon’s new matte black and burnished gold Arc collection is inspired by the Art Deco movement and is entirely hand painted in celebration of the heritage of hand painted decoration in British bone china. “Arc showcases this skill through a design that is contemporary, graphic and refined,” says Richard. “The look of this collection shines a new light on a decorating technique that has been used on bone china since the material was first developed over two centuries ago.”

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Imperfect Design makes handcrafted designs by Dutch designers in collaboration with craftspeople in developing nations. The Saigon Lacquer Bowl features 16 layers of traditionally-applied lacquer, while the recycled glassware is the result of Van Eijk and van der Lubbe’s first trip to Guatemala and was in fact part of the first Imperfect Design collection in 2011 – new pieces have been added to the collection for 2016.

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Tiipoi is a London-based, Indian-inspired design brand founded by Spandana Gopal in 2014. “We’re talking about a common sense attitude to consumption,” she says. “A design ethos from India, where nothing is wasted – and innovation (though often frugal or homespun at first) that comes from a lack of something rather than an excess.” These beautiful spun copper vessels with simple ayurvedic Neem wood lids are the perfect example of the brand’s approach to design.

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British designer Imogen Heath specializes in creating decorative fabrics and surface patterns for home interiors – her trays are created by pressing her UK-printed linen by hand into a birch tray in Sweden.

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Sue Pryke’s tableware is simple and understated, celebrating the materials used, such as polished earthenware and pewter.

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Finally, the Asola table lamp by Greek designer Evangelos Vasileiou for Ligne Roset is made from powder-coated perforated steel, resulting in beautiful projection of shadows around it. “It is a glimpse of the Seventies and Eighties, as much in terms of the material used and its white color, as its stylized mushroom-like shape,” says the French design brand.

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven writer and keynote speaker championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.