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M&O: A Collection of Heartwarming and Noteworthy Pieces

M&O: A Collection of Heartwarming and Noteworthy Pieces
The Pando Black lamp. Courtesy of Skøg Design.

Think French West Indies, the too-often forgotten islands; Italian glassworkers using a new technique after 300 years of the same methods; sea travel via Mediterranean craftsmanship and more. Maison&Objet is a time to dream but with realistic endeavors. 

March 24-28, 2022—The much-awaited Maison&Objet Paris event originally scheduled for January opened its doors and allowed visitors to freely, without restrictions, discover the ensemble of design pieces for homes and interiors. We enjoyed a thorough tour of halls 5, 6 and 7 from which we gathered information for a handful of our favorite products.

Throughout history, and as seen in our current times, we’re given the opportunity to choose to find the good despite the bad in our day-to-day lives. As the people of Ukraine continue to suffer, as buildings are falling and destruction advances through the streets, a small stand situated in Hall 5 assembled beautiful objects by a number of Ukrainian designers such as Danuta Kril. The collective began before the war, and the team in Paris maintained the project.

The combined efforts included the armchair and pouf MAPICO, made of natural sheep wool, wool of “happy sheep”, which graze freely in the ecologically clean mountainous region of Ukraine, the Carpathians. Our sincerest hopes are that the country once again finds peace.

READ: In Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains, tens of thousands find refuge from war; March 16, 2022.

Ukraine designers (left). © ArchiExpo e-Magazine. Bol by Danuta Kril (right). Courtesy of the designer.

Despite the evident ability to retain our attention, due not only to current events but the exquisite designs, the host at the stand for Ukraine directed my attention to a neighboring stand: Gaston, a new brand that highlights créole art from the French West Indies. 

“We’re a part of France but we’re often forgotten,” Christelle Clairville, the Guadeloupean responsible for founding Gaston only a year ago, told ArchiExpo e-Magazine during our visit. 

Sadly, we couldn’t agree more. It’s a rare treat to come across such incredible crafts from the islands. The young company exhibited for the first time at Maison&Objet, presenting lighting by Ben Artside, Creole objects by editor Damalia, woodwork by Darius Grandisson, ceramics by Marcela Mattone and artistic glass pieces by Robert Manscour. Well organized and laid out, emphasis on quality within each object could be felt within the small space of the stand.

Amantite (left); Bowl by Darius Grandisson (right). Courtesy of Gaston.
Courtesy of Ben Artside
Courtesy of Gaston.

On our way to attend one of the conferences, we stopped at the stand for Italian brand Bosa where the marketing agent introduced us to Margot, a Mediterranean turtle undergoing extinction, the latest edition to their collection. The beautiful and colorful decorative porcelain turtle functions as a dish as well; simply remove the lid.

During the conference on Edo Tokyo Kirari, the panel of three French designers and the head of project discussed the recent agreement between Tokyo and Paris. Initiated by the Mayor of Tokyo in 2016, the objective of the project is to promote traditional craftsmanship and artisanal techniques from the Edo period, a time preceding the 1869 city name change from Edo to Tokyo. As of 2021, in the agreement with Paris, Japanese craftsmen work with Parisian designers in order to bring a touch of Japan to European concepts. 

NOTE: In 1869, the 17-year-old Emperor Meiji moved to Edo, and in accordance, the city was renamed Tokyo (meaning Eastern Capital).

Hanashyo (left); Kimoto Glass (right). Courtesy of Edo Tokyo Kirari.

Divine textiles used as a room separator with Nakamura, a newly designed sake glass with Kimoto Glass Tokyo and more; the French designers collaborated with Japanese craftsmen who have carried techniques through generations from the Edo period to today. In respect to the theme, ‘the old meets new’, they’ve successfully created modern objects with ancient techniques.

Considering the idea of tradition and ancient techniques, Italian company Memmo Venezia has come up with a new technique for glassmaking. Its mesmerizing pieces drew us to the stand, wanting to know more. Located in Venice, where the art of glass blowing is still handed down, the founders searched for new techniques.

Cuciti collection by Enzo Berti. Courtesy of Memmo Venezia.

“In Italy, we’ve been using the same technique for 300 years,” a marketing agent told ArchiExpo e-Magazine. “Now, we’ve developed a new way to work with glass.”

Venetian designer Enzo Berti created the Cuciti collection, inspired by the idea that glass can be sewn like a fabric in which creativity and the search for harmony combine colors, processes and effects that are sewn together with a glass thread. We were especially drawn to the Intrecciati collection of lighting products.

Intrecciati collection by Enzo Berti. Courtesy of Memmo Venezia.
Intrecciati with Cuciti collection by Enzo Berti. Courtesy of Memmo Venezia.

Rethinking materials is fundamental in the design world, especially with the environment at the forefront of any new production. The Gencork wall panel made of natural cork with a design by DigitaLab, which won the Red Dot Award in 2020, acted as the backdrop for a number of amazing designs on display by Blackcork, such as the Cacao Chaise Longue that visitors appreciated testing.

Cacao Chaise Longue designed by Toni Grilo. Courtesy of Blackcork.

We discovered a lot of very young brands, notably a couple we’d like to mention here to conclude the article. The Noctys modular headboard comprises as many square pegboards – perforated panels – as desired to create the appropriate size for the bed and the room, and according to the individual’s tastes. The pegboards can support multiple pieces of furniture and accessories, attached to its diamond-shaped holes. Smart, the Noctys headboard is made up of multiple 40cm x 40cm boards, adapting to all sizes and available surfaces.

Courtesy of Noctys

Skøg Design constructs furniture made from bio-sourced materials as well as recycled materials, with a conscious decision to reduce petro-sourced products and produce locally. The Pando Black lamp caught our eye, but the company has several furniture pieces from tables and chairs to lighting fixtures. Made locally in solid ash from the forests of the Hauts de France and adorned with a bio-sourced lampshade in Linoleum and vegetable plastic, manufacturing the Pando Black lamp requires both artisanal and modern know-how. Its power cable is made of natural linen. (See featured image).