Key Interiors Trends from the 2024 Maison&Objet Design Fair
For its 30th birthday edition, the trade show turned its focus to the link between nature and technology
In spite of the snow, the exhibition centre was full, nobody wanting to miss out on the fair’s next highly anticipated instalment. So, here’s an insight into the key themes and installations that made it an exhilarating event to remember.
Balancing technology with nature
Themed ‘Tech Eden’, the show explored interior design, hospitality and retail through this lens, with specially designed spaces created for each area. The idea was to celebrate the convergence of technology and nature, and to explore how technological innovations can coexist harmoniously with natural elements to create sustainable and aesthetically desirable environments.
The Tech Eden theme was brought to life by the trend forecasters and designers at Peclers Paris as part of the show’s ‘Inspire me!’ forum. The result was a ‘Garden From The Future’: a whole world of new consumers who are “highly attentive to their wellbeing and constantly on the lookout for sensations”, according to Peclers.
It offered a chance to remind ourselves that technology is not irreconcilable with nature; on the contrary, it’s key to living a better, more optimistic future.
Biophilic hospitality venues
The ‘Hospitality Lab’ focused on the future of hospitality, including hotels, restaurants, co-working spaces and spas. To achieve this, Parisian architects Cristiano Benzoni and Sophie Thuillier from Studio Rev were given carte blanche, as they are leading figures in the creation of stylish venues, such as the Maison de Beauté Carita, at 11 Faubourg, and the Louis Vuitton boutique, which they recently redesigned.
The public’s desire for hybrid spaces was translated into a landscape where hospitality venues exist in perfect harmony with nature. Known as ‘biophilic design’, the aim is to integrate living things into architecture, and to reinforce the connection between individuals and nature in the very places where they live and work.
Celebrating the natural world
Staging and artistic direction expert Elizabeth Leriche designed her own inspiration space, ‘What’s New? In Decor’, drawing visitors into a dreamlike representation of nature. The trend forecaster structured her ideas into three separate whimsical installations, guiding the visitor through the colours and materials that are set to define our interior spaces.
Walking through her installation of “Nouveaux Mondes” – or New Worlds – we were first plunged into the luscious vegetation of her dream garden. Next up was a dive into the depths of the ocean (pictured), and finally an immersion into the warm tones of the desert.
Magnifying nature through technology
For this special edition, Maison&Objet decided to shake up the format of the Rising Talent Awards. Instead of recognising emerging talents in one specific country, this time the platform celebrated young designers and researchers from all over the world whose creations successfully fuse nature with new technologies.
The talents were split into two categories: tech and know-how. The know-how category honoured artist Aurélie Hoegy, a graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Aurélie has a deep interest in rattan’s unique charm, which she loves to magnify through vast organic forms (pictured).
In the tech category, we were particularly struck by German design team WINT Design Lab and their specialist use of bio-materials, most notably collagen made from cow intestines to produce technical running jacket fabric that avoids the use of plastic.
Designer of the Year – straddling nature and technology
Each January, Maison&Objet celebrates design talents from different international backgrounds. Following in the footsteps of 2023 winners, Belgian duo Muller Van Severen, French designer Mathieu Lehanneur was named Designer of the Year for his prolific career and unique creations celebrating the hybridisation of nature and technology.
After graduating from ENSCI-Les Ateliers, Mathieu turned his attention to drug design. A few years later, he created Andrea, an innovative, plant-powered air purifier based on NASA research.
As part of the trade show, he revealed ‘Outonomy’ a new-generation, self-sufficient housing project. “The Outonomy project is an ecosystem of living, both minimal and optimal. The history of civilisation and architecture is marked by attempts, solutions and proposals of isolated habitats: igloos, cabins, huts and yurts. The challenge here is to combine our current needs and technologies,” he explained.
Three innovative materials under the spotlight at Future on Stage
For the last four editions of the show, ‘Future On Stage’ has served as a springboard for three emerging companies. This year, the three enterprises all had one thing in common: a passion for producing innovative materials using new technologies.
- French duo Alexandre Alimi and Valentine d’Harcourt of Anga recycle plastic packaging and bags to create impressive imitation marble slabs.
- Portuguese innovator Joana Esteves from Tosco Studio gives life and energy to concrete by painting it and embellishing it with decorative patterns.
- Greek entrepreneur Suzanna Laskaridis from BlueCycle collects used fishing nets from the Aegean Sea and transforms them into a new plastic material, which she then turns into furniture using 3D printing.
Iridescent surfaces offer an ever-changing scene
Finally, it wasn’t so much a single ‘colour of the year’ that stood out to us as we walked through the aisles of the trade fair, but rather an overarching chromatic effect.
Although bright yellow shone out like vibrant flashes of fluorescent highlighter, confirming that this shade is going to be big in our 2024 interior projects, it was more the versatile, iridescent, shimmering and ever-changing effects that really caught our eye, nodding to a world where the beauty of nature and the digital age collide.
Did you visit Maison&Objet this January? What stood out to you? Share your thoughts in the Comments.