There was plenty of glossy furniture and slick finishes at the enormous Maison et Objet 2013 trade show in Paris this weekend, but the most exciting pieces on show went back to basics, taking inspiration from simpler processes (including DIY and craft techniques) as well as Mother Nature herself. Humble materials, from bread to upcycled textiles, were transformed into thought-provoking designs that ranged from beautiful to disturbing. Here's what caught our eye.
One of Maison et Objet‘s most popular attractions this year was the “Inspirations” trend area, which was curated by a variety of experts. Working under this year’s overarching theme of Vivant (or Living), the inspiration started off with Nourritures Premières, or First Foods. Taking “humanity’s ancestral foods” as a starting point, the display featured conceptual experiments and products derived, both physically and metaphorically, from meat, milk, honey, vegetables and bread.
Artist Tamara Kostianovsky cannibalized her own clothes for the creation of a series of very meaty sculptures. Using a variety of fabrics and textures – from terrycloth towels to delicate lace – to mimic flesh, bone and fat, she crafted life-size renditions of livestock carcasses.
A chandelier made of root vegetables provided edible eco lighting.
Scholten & Baijings’ stunning photorealistic vegetables are actually made of textiles. It’s only when you get up-close that you can see the woven textures and stitching.
Slovakian designer Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny worked closely with professional beekeepers to create his “Vessel #1” beeswax vase, which was created in an actual beehive. The glowing yellow vase anchored a room devoted to honey, which offered tastings of foamed honey.
Food dyes give Maarten de Ceulaer‘s ceramic bowls delicate patterns of color.
Another popular trend area at Maison et Objet was “Pionnier” (or Pioneer). These designs were inspired by the culture of craft and DIY with an underlying theme of self-sufficiency – from growing your own food to building your own furniture and fixing objects you already own.
DIY electronics kits by Technology Will Save Us were featured in the Pioneer inspiration area.
Italian brand PIANOPRIMO‘s new collection included woven plastic rugs that were surprisingly soft and plush underfoot, as well as knitted plastic baskets. The plastic used is the same material used for plastic bags.
The Loppa pendant light by Florian Hauseirth for Foundry has a folded paper structure that surrounds the light like an envelope. It comes flat-packed, and the special edition at Maison et Objet is embossed with the lyrics from The Doors’ “Light My Fire”.
The “Temps Libre” armchair by French interior decorator Virginie Lobrot is designed to be fully disassembled and reassembled in three minutes.
With so much stylish inspiration at Maison et Objet, the future is looking more optimistic already.
Photos by Charlene Lam for Inhabitat