words Marisa Mazria-KatzA great swath of France came to a screeching halt when Maison & Objet opened in late January, a consequence of violent winter storms. Perhaps in sympathy, some of Maison & Objet's pavilions were shut on day one. Security guards barring entry to the design-obsessed crowds admitted the structures couldn't endure the rough weather. Luckily the clouds cleared and the lights were switched on the very next day. Here are our top picks.
top image 01 François Azambourg, Ligne Roset
It was good to see French manufacturer Ligne Roset has put François Azambourg's Noviaz desk, which debuted in 2008, into production. Made of black-stained oak with hand-veneered legs, the desk has a solid walnut storage unit that slides underneath its top. Its slim legs and surface give it a clean yet feathery appearance.
02 Tada Mokko
Tada Mokko's plywood Folding Chair, exhibited at Modern Vintage of Japan, stands erect at almost five feet high in its closed form, but with a slight push, the back slides down and the seat juts out to form a solidly crafted chair. Mokko claims that the chair is multi-functional, and can also be used as a partition, but it looks a little narrow for that.
03 Iris-Lilja Lehto
The British European Design Group presented impressive work from recent university graduates. Iris-Lilja Lehto's Tapas Tower is a four-tiered ceramic ensemble which is topped with a tiny creamer. The Finnish designer has perforated the circumference of the pieces with a smattering of circles, which gives the tower an antique feel. Just don't knock it over.
Again at the British European Design Group, Pacharapong Suntanaphan of London-based studio Visuallyod contributed this silicone rubber form that fits atop household items like glasses and cups, instantly transforming them into vases.
Singapore-based Design Incubation Centre's D.Lab presented an airy collection of tableware called Objects Around the Tablescape. Our favorite was the milky white SLS nylon cups. These malleable pieces are durable, yet have a surprisingly spongy feel.