We talk to Philippe Chomat, Maison & Objet directeur de la communication.
[DesignApplause] Philippe, can you share with us what’s new since we last talked one year ago?
[Philippe Chomat] This session is the 20th anniversary of Maison & Objet. It’s a key moment because a lot has changed in 20 years. The market, the information, distribution networks, the projects and the way people see design today. 20 years ago there was no design in our offerings. The design aspect was introduced in 2000 and the designers of that era are now stars. Today everyone wants a designer’s signature on the product to add value to that product. And now at this time we launch inspiration in another way. Then it was more decoration and now, it’s really everything, more than form and function, there’s the materials, the environmental and the brand or narrative elements.
We have a new inspirational term which is ‘Make’ because it’s very important to say to the market and to say to everybody that today you have the internet, social media and the mobile way of life which is to say an non-material way of life. And the heart of Maison Objet represents the material way of life where products are made of wood, metal and other materials.
An important design statement is made within this ‘Make’ envelope if you will and our special design exhibit is named ‘Tendencies’ which comprises three inspirational elements: Natural Made, Human Made and Tecno Made. Natural-made is about designers, creators, using natural materials, natural compositions as found in nature. Human-made is the heart of Maison Objet, designers using wood, metal, handmade items. And techno-made is the new generation of product using technology to create the products.
( more about ‘make’ following Philippe’s comments )
We also have selected a designer of the year for the Paris show, Japanese designer Oki Sato of Nendo. He has created a homage to chocolate and the best way to explain it is to visit his installation. [ Oki talks to DA about installation ] We also award Talents à la carte, six emerging designers. (Christian Vivanco, Liliana Ovalle, Cooperativa Panorámica, Paul Roco, Studio davidpompa and FOAM & Perla Valtierra)
[DA] It’s safe to say we’re in an era of design. Cities are creating design events – design weeks because design is the magnet for addressing and solving a broad spectrum of urban, manufacturing, retail and people needs. Maison Objet is a perfect example. Can you tell us about the inspiration and aspirations of the upcoming Maison & Objet Americas?
[PC] It’s very simple. Today, if you’re not international, you’re dead. For us, Paris is an international city and we, after 20 years, attract a worldwide exhibitor and visitor. The world marketplace is dynamic and each region experiences ebb and growth cycles. Right now retail in France, Europe is down and other countries such as the Middle East, China and South America, retail is up. And you have a lot of new projects coming into these countries because they are in a growth mode.
We feel for us in Paris, we have a successful business model. But we feel we can do more. We now have to propose to our clients, our customers, to go directly to these growth countries because it’s in everyone’s best interest. As you know we ventured into Asia last year. We thought about such cities as Hong Kong and Shanghai and eventually felt that there were many reasons to select Singapore. For example this is Singapore’s 50th anniversary and we’re hosting conferences in March 2015 to also celebrate 50 years of friendship with France.
With Maison Objet Asia we discovered that 30 percent of the participants never visited Paris and they came to us to exhibit because they couldn’t find any show like us in Asia and they never thought to come to Paris. In Singapore we had 272 exhibitors and 13,000 visitors. We felt we discovered something good here.
So now we feel we can find something good in Maison Objet Americas and held in Miami. For one thing there is no show in the Americas like us offering the variety and quality of objects and styles, from the classical to modern design. And why Miami. Because Miami is the gateway and link of the Americas. It was important for us not only to focus on the U.S. but both continents.
Here we find a lot of new projects going up in Mexico City and Brazil is a very important city in terms of decoration and design, the Campana brothers for example and the architecture in San Paulo. So we propose to our customers to reach out to a large base of architects, interior designers and retailers. We are opening in May with 250+ exhibitors and hope to attract 10,000 visitors and we think we are going to do that.
[DA] Along with Maison Objet’s anniversary Design Miami also just celebrated it’s 10th anniversary. I interviewed eight founders of the original 15 design galleries last December and all agreed the fair exceeded their expectations. An important factor was exhibiting during Art Basel Miami, the synergy is great for both. Plus ’80’ and sunny in December. I’m wondering what May will offer you weather-wise, though Paris in January has certainly not deterred Maison’s success(!), and if you’ll find an unknown element that offers a synergistic advantage.
[PC] You raise interesting questions that have already been raised. Everyone’s calendar and logistics pointed to May or June. We will be there 12-15 May. Regarding a synergistic element, we ‘know’ the Art Basel folks. We have mutual aspirations for us to succeed. It’s not a same-day synergy but it makes Miami Beach more and more desirable. We both know, Art Basel and Design Miami helped change the image of Miami regarding art and design. There’s now a spirited design district. People are now used to coming to and finding a very worthwhile destination. We feel we discovered something good in Miami.
[ 2015/16 inspiration ‘make’ ] The M&O future-casting department, Maison & Objet Observatory, has organized emerging trends with the inspirational theme ‘Make’ and spelled out in three categories Nature Made, Human Made and Techno Made. Reminding us of the design magazine Domus 2012 exhibition ‘The Future in The Making: Open Design Archipelago‘ the 2015/16 message presents a trifecta of science, craftsmanship and maybe unforeseen, that of technology placing control of production processes in the hands of designers and consumers.
above / below> new families of objects use organic properties and compose with time, to satisfy our need for contemplation / yoho stool from brabbu
above> / below> the art of making by hand, the new luxury, creating unique shapes and typologies / the tools of the trade, agustina bottoni and simon hasan work with the medieval leather-working technique of cuir bouilli
[ maison & objet paris ] is
[ maison & objet paris ] 20 years old this is, well, big. The event fills eight exhibition pavilions, each dedicated to a certain interior design category for a total of over 3,000 exhibitors from all over the world. The format not only showcases but facilitates a dialog between experts, professinals and the devotee.
49% of international visitors 144 countries represented 3,245 exhibitors
40% of international exhibitors
36% specifiers divided among the following functions:
37% – Interior designer/decorator
18% – Designer
10 % – Agency – hotel director
9% – Certified architects
6% – Restaurant’s chef
5% – Stylist – trend setter
4% – Art director
4% – Property developer
3% – Consultant/merchandiser
1% – Archivist
1% – Landscaper
64 % buyers divided among the following metiers:
48% – Retailers
15% – manufacturers / designers
10% – wholesales / importers
9% – department stores / buying groups
8% – specialized points of sale
6% – e-commerce
4% – other visitors
130,000 sqm net stand space 54% sqm of international exhibition space