Setting the design calendar of 2023 in motion, the January edition of Maison&Objet Paris is right around the corner. Established 27 years ago, the design festival has been a global stage for international design, home decor and lifestyle communities. Twice a year, pioneers in these spheres assemble at Maison&Objet, one of the leading trade fairs for decor and design. Maison&Objet’s mission remains to discover talent, foster connections and provide inspiration, both online and offline. With two yearly trade shows for industry professionals, the Paris Design Week—a public event in September that harnesses the creative energy of designers and brands together in the City of Lights—and MOM (Maison&Objet and more) in the digital world, Maison&Objet is the go-to platform for the whole interior design sector.
From January 19 to January 23, 2023, the upcoming edition of the biannual design fair sheds light on highly meaningful forward-focused values: taking care of each other, our expertise, and our planet. This profound theme that will sweep across the trade fair, trickling into talks and trend zones, will be accompanied by the mandatory award announcements—Rising Talent Awards and Designer of the Year Award. Demonstrating exceptional talent and skill in the international design and decoration scene, spotlighting Spanish design and emphasising the process of reconnection, Maison&Objet is set to grab eyeballs with innovative presentations encompassing furniture design, accessory design, and textiles bedecking the fair venue.
The major social, economic and political crises that the world currently faces provoke global responses that teem with conviction. The upheavals also encourage brands to be more transparent, inclusive and responsible when reaching out to consumers—now is a time for straight talking, taking action, being open-minded, and driving forward change. The design on display at Maison&Objet will challenge contemporary aesthetics of what is beautiful and serve as a springboard for the good. “Today, the second we step outside, we are hit with cultural, environmental and identity issues,” says Vincent Grégoire, Creative Director at the NellyRodi design consultancy. “The under-25s that make up Generation Z are impatiently waiting for something to be done. Today, a new set of ethics are dictating the type of consumer activity we are seeing,” he adds.
Taking care comes forth as an unequivocal necessity at a time when the pursuit of meaning and tranquillity is ubiquitous—an idea that the January edition of Maison&Objet Paris breathes life into. The theme rests on four cornerstones: taking care of yourself, taking care of nature, taking care of and showing an interest in others, and taking care of our heritage and expertise. Mental and physical health suffered greatly during the pandemic, an increased focus on the same is conspicuous in spaces such as the ‘What’s New?’ trend zone, curated by Elisabeth Leriche and appropriately named ‘In the air’ as an invitation to openly embrace lightheartedness and relaxation. The new green ethic and slow living are finding a foothold among consumers; countless socially-minded practices such as La Fabrique à Sachets, Dopper, and knife maker Jean Dubosc, embody this approach. Brands will also showcase their commitment to reforging links between generations, social classes and cultures while young brands and centuries-old firms alike work to ensure the passing down of valuable heritage to future generations. “They all reflect a mindset that is underpinned by a sense of commitment and the desire to root design in a specific region, drawing on local expertise and culture,” explains Grégoire.
Rising Talent Awards January 2023: Spain
"This is the moment for Spanish design," says Jaime Hayon at the opening of his exhibition in Valencia, World Design Capital 2022. In recent years, the identity of Spanish design has been defined in a more decisive way, owing to overflowing creativity, quality and excellence and a socially and culturally committed vision; designers from all over the world contribute to this. This spike and associated momentum came into action in the 1980s, with a high point in the 1990s—the celebration of the Barcelona Olympics, the Universal Expo in Seville, not forgetting the Habitat furniture fair in Valencia. Today, with a renewed and strengthened narrative, contemporary Spanish design is spearheaded by designers such as Jaime Hayon and Patricia Urquiola leaving an indelible mark of creativity, uniqueness, commitment and innovation on the global design landscape. "The opportunity for Spanish design today is enormous, the drive of the talent of the designers is unbeatable," says Spanish designer Urquiola in her recent interventions in Valencia, World Design Capital 2022.
Maison&Objet aims to call attention to the new impetus of Spanish design, expanding its strength in the international context in its latest edition. The assembled jury—comprising Hayon, Álvaro Matías, Inma Bermúdez, Xavier Franquesa, Belén Moneo, and Aude Tahon—was made up of professionals from the sector who are leading the substantial change in Spanish design, each one from their own fields from textile design and craftsmanship to industrial design and visual art. Together, they prioritised fluency and creative flexibility to shortlist the Spanish talents that will be catapulted by Maison&Objet: Marta Ayala Herrera, Max Mila Serra, Miguel Leiro, Tornasol Studio, Marta Armengol, Alvaro Aramburu, and Josep Safont. In each edition of the design fair held in Paris, the new talents of design from different countries are launched — mapping the future of design and its protagonists.
Raphael Navot, Designer of the year
The esteemed Designer of the Year Award is among the most anticipated announcements at each edition of Maison&Objet. This initiative is an effort towards recognising and celebrating the oeuvre of a designer who demonstrates exceptional talent and skill in the international design scene. For the January 2023 edition, Paris-based Raphael Navot is the recipient of the Designer of the Year Award. The multidisciplinary interior designer will unveil “The Apothem Lounge” for the duration of the trade fair. The immersive installation is concocted to “portray a visual emotion” through the curation of an open structure that will enrapture onlookers with light and texture. “Just like a theatrical stage where the guests are the actors in a scene; interior design is a form of scenography, it is made to set up a mood,” says the Parisian designer. “This mood will be brought to the guests through light, colours, comfort, and many other elements that are responsible for the experiences that might occur in this particular interior,’ he adds.
Born in Jerusalem, the designer has built, piece by piece, a portfolio that encapsulates a plethora of multidisciplinary projects that showcase French craftsmanship and skill, ranging from examples of hospitality interiors to both bespoke and commercial product design. His collaborative endeavours include working with David Lynch on the Parisian nightclub Silencio (2011), the production of a highly technical line of end-grain flooring for Oscar Ono (2016), and creating a collection of 12 families of furniture—from sofas and table designs to rug designs and lamp designs—for Roche Bobois (2018). However, his work on the Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers (2017) is presumably the most significant project for the designer so far. “Timelessness for me is a non-decorative quality that does not refer to trends or certain motives that are associated with a specific period. I often think that good interiors seem as if they have always been there,” shares Navot.
The ‘Take Care!’ theme will manifest itself in the fair in multiple different ways, conspicuous in exhibitors’ offerings and the fair’s special feature areas. Whether it is as part of the installation design for the Designer of the Year area, the scenarios for the curated What’s New? spaces, or the rest zones at the exhibition centre, the January 2023 edition pledges to resonate with the frequency of rising collective consciousness.
Maison&Objet January edition will run from January 19, 2022, to January 23, 2022, in Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition center, Paris.