While many designers make a statement with avant-garde pieces, others emphasize traditional materials and craftsmanship to create objects destined to become modern classics. Current events and the slower pace of the design cycle have pushed creative and thoughtful solutions to the fore, and the best of them are now on display in two of the most lively, compelling events in the design industry. Here are our picks from Milan Design Week 2021 and Maison&Objet Fair, currently on exhibit this September.
The design world comes alive again in Milan
Innovation, bold looks, and confident uniqueness: for decades, Milan has been the epicenter of Italian style. Design in Milan is invariably rooted in the high-quality craftsmanship that has always characterized its products; but a fearless spirit imbues many of the attention-grabbing, shockingly unusual furniture pieces and objets d’art. Milan’s reputation as one of the world’s foremost design capitals is reflected every year in the Milan Design Week, the world’s largest annual design event, currently taking place at numerous venues in Milan from September 4 to 10, 2021.
Inclusivity is the driving concept at the Salone del Mobile Furniture Fair
Salone del Mobile is the main feature of Milan Design Week 2021. Since its inception in 1961, the event has served as the global benchmark for the furniture and design industry and is focused on promoting Italian furniture worldwide. “The idea behind this year’s fair is to bring people together,” says Maria Cristina Didero, one of the event’s curators. “It needed to reinvent itself after the pandemic.” The event will admit the general public for the entire week, and, for the first time in the event’s history, the pieces on display are available for immediate purchase.
The Alcova exhibition features independent designers
This highly anticipated event is curated by Valentina Ciuffi and architect Joseph Grima, featuring immersive installations inside a historic building in the Inganni neighborhood. “HumUs Fluid Ground” by artist-chef Laila Gohar creates a multi-sensory experience with edible exhibits, paired with a Fabrizio Milesi table.
Hermès applies its signature color-rich aesthetic to a spectacular installation
A surreal interior, decorated with colorful walls, has a floor made of orange sand. Designed by Charlotte Macaux Perelman, the installation comprises five architectural volumes, each one featuring a unique geometric color pattern. The volumes are furnished with elegant pieces and quality materials such as leather, fabrics, stone, and metal.
Maison et Objet invites design enthusiasts to share the art of relaxed and joyful living
In another design capital of the world, the Maison et Objet trade fair in Paris showcases the casual-chic French aesthetic. The event, taking place from September 9 to 10, encompasses the lifestyle sector, including furniture, decorative pieces, accessories, tableware, and even textiles and fragrances. With 3,000 brands participating in this year’s fair, it’s a must-see event for those who want to stay updated on emerging trends in the design world.
French flair in furniture and decor
The perfect blend of elegance and comfort is found in French interior design. Rooms are meant to be lived in and to be used to their fullest extent. Daily life is more enjoyable, beautiful, and comfortable in spaces where elements can be mixed and matched to suit changing lifestyles. FlexCab, Drugeot Manufacture, Gautier, and Chaises Nicole are some of the brands bringing top-quality contemporary French furniture to the event.
The ideal workspace of the future
The post-pandemic workplace requires much more flexibility than the uniform, unchanging office layouts of the past. Individual workers need self-contained spaces for focus and social distancing, while teams need collaborative setups for creative discussions. The workspace of the future accommodates both needs with modular designs and innovative structures. Designs by EOL Group, Blocko Design, Beneoffice, Cytree Design, Silmux, and many other French brands are showcased in the WORK sector of Maison et Objet.
Craftsmanship in France – and beyond
The CRAFT – MÉTIERS D’ART and the UNIQUE & ECLECTIC sectors display exceptional pieces of art and fine craftsmanship. The selections are a sophisticated melange of decorative objects and furniture from designers all over the world, showcasing the best of different styles. Pieces are often artisanal and one-of-a-kind, and these creations are bound to stand out in any setting. Gong Design, Rock the Kasbah, Passion du Tapis, Indochineur, and Oakame have brought some of the most expressive and impactful pieces to the event.