Maison & Objet 2017: Putting the Fun Back into Paris

Marcantonic’s Seletti mouse lamps must have been the most Instagrammed exhibit at January’s Maison et Objet. After a sombre show last year with visitor numbers down by 40% (the January 2016 show came shortly after the Paris terror attacks), exhibitors and visitors were both back in droves for 2017 and so was a much-missed sense of fun, color and pattern.

UK-based British design studio, Wallace Sewell, was established by Royal College of Art graduates Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell – the collaboration an accident after they shared a stand at an exhibition in 1992. 25 years on, they are still going strong and still making all their textiles in Britain.

Kann Design’s products are all made in a Lebanon-based workshop employing 15 craftsmen that was created in 1958 by Kanaan, a renowned carpenter and the father of founder Houssam Kanaan. Two boutiques in Paris now showcase the bespoke collection.

Copenhagen-based design brand Nomess was right on the money for color at this year’s show, with this Yves Klein blue alongside yellow and the dusty pink that seems to be everywhere right now. These cushion covers are made from memory foam, making them super comfortable.

Rivi (Finnish for ‘line’) is Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s hand-drawn 2017 collection for Artek – the Helsinki based design company founded 1935 by Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl.

The Eric bottles by Eric Hibelot for TH Manufacture are inspired by imagining the milk bottles on Eric’s childhood breakfast table have come to life and are telling a folk story. “The setting does not illustrate this story univocally,” he says, “because every childhood is unique.” Their wobbly form and bright pops of color appealed to us whatever their back story.

Jenny Wingfield established Flock in 2013 to discover and nurture the best of new British design. She now works with an eclectic mix of artists, designers and recent graduates to create a bold and beautiful collection of textiles for interiors. We particularly love Northmore Minor (4th fabric from left and 2nd cushion from top) by Rachel Parker.

Another brand established to promote new talent, ‘design editor’ Petite Friture was showing mirrors by Constance Guisset, wallpaper by Tiphaine de Bodman and Shelley Steer, armchairs by Morten & Jonas, and bubble table lamps by Studio Vit.

mud australia was founded in 1994 and today the colorful collection, designed by Shelley Simpson, is made by hand from Limoges porcelain in their Sydney-based factory by a staff of professional and in-house ceramicists. Clear glaze is applied by hand to the inside of each piece, leaving the matt exterior with a stone-like surface that becomes smooth with handling.

And finally, Sebastian Herkner’s glazed ceramic Mila tables for Pulpo perfectly demonstrate the vibrant color palette of this year’s show.

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. 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.