Maison et Objet 2019 has had some interesting and enlightening conferences in the world of design. If you missed these last two days of the event don’t worry: we’ll tell you all about three particular conferences!
This part of Maison et Objet featured a person many participants were willing to see for themselves: Sebastian Herckner, also known as the designer of the year. His work has been regarded and wildly praised as being something that wishes to create designs that fuse tradition with creativity, and also new technology with craftsmanship.
The German designer is clearly quite passionate about the topic of traditional craftsmanship which is something you can see reflected in works of his such as the “Bell” table, composed by steel and brass platter nestles on a hand-blown glass base which was produced in a centuries-old Bavarian glass factory. He even stated that “My aim is to find a way to balance craftsmanship with new technologies’’.
When the question came about his wishes for the next 10 years Sebastian underlined the importance of changing the way people consume goods, by investing in investing in quality materials and craftspeople.
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The Rising Talents section was occupied by 6 Chinese personalities who are having a good relevance in this field as young designers: Frank Chou, Chen Furong, Mario Tsai, Hongjie Yang, Ximi Li, and Bentu. Stéphanie Zao, one of the leaders of DesignChain platform, partner of Maison et Objet and the driving force behind the Rising Talents section of this year led the conference.
However, their work couldn’t be more different from one another. Some of these young designers are more connected to the roots of Chinese design while others have a more multicultural approach in their projects. Frank Chou, for example, has his work very much based on in philosophy and old Chinese ways, while trying to give a modern approach to tradition.
Mario Tsai presented himself as a supporter of minimalism in his design style which is due to his professional background past in Scandinavia. Despite this, he doesn’t like to be too much associated with neither cultures defining himself as a contemporary designer. Chen Furong, on the other hand, bets more in creating timeless pieces in his brand WUU. He pointed out that he accomplishes this by blending handcrafted techniques with a modernist vision (the combination of tradition with technology).
Hongjie Yang definitely was a more extravagant figure. He’s more of a fan of experimentation by creating fewer pieces with a more iconic and different look often combine these two elements with astronomy, an area he adores. Then there was Chen Xingyu, with a more ecological approach to the topic of design. He recognizes that two of China’s word problems are Pollution and Waste Disposal, so in his work, he balances creativity with eco-friendly actions.
Lastly, Ximi Li spoke about his work in combining elements from the East and West with a timeless touch. In his work, he’s committed to global cultural fusion, quality, and good craftsmanship, while adding a touch of irreverence to his work (like Yang) to create art-like furniture.
All of them ended the conference by manifesting that Chinese design is growing fast and it’s expanding worldwide, despite the risk of it stalling one day. They ended the talk with the reassurance that China is one of the top Markets for design. As a matter of fact, you can see their work for yourself at their stands in Hall 6!
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This was the premier conference in the Maison et Objet talks programme, featuring Vincent Grégoire from NellyRodi. The speaker stated during the event that the idea behind the name of the talk conference is the fact that “French people are no longer sure about their identity, but at the same time, they are proud that they are still surprising and intriguing”.
He also spoke about a series of elements (“je ne sais quoi”, the “French Paradox” or effortlessly chic”) that are still often associated with France’s the design industry. However, a “new wave” of creativity is upon this industry divided by four variants: Classic with a Twist, Nouvelle Range, Petites Maisons and French Tech.
Aside from these topics of discussion, visitors were able to fully emerge in the essence of the new French scene in design through a highly curated exhibited in the Trend Forum.