Battling it out with Cologne for the attention of journalists and buyers, design fair Maison & Objet put on quite a show this year at the Parc des Expositions in Paris. As usual, most of the interesting launches were found in the Now! pavilion, where Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec were honoured with an exhibition –- a warm-up for their large-scale retrospective at the Centre Pompidou this autumn.
Landa storage unit, Alki
Icon first spotted Samuel Accoceberry's creations at a VIA fair in Milan a couple of years ago, where he was exhibiting the Red Dot
Award-winning Air chair. Since then, he has developed the Landa series of office furniture for French company Alki, the latest addition to which is a storage unit. The Landa desk, launched last year, is a clever system of hidden drawers and compartments, the openings of which are lined with brush. This serves to keep out dust, and makes it easier to pass cables from inside the desk. This year, Accoceberry revealed a range of drawers. These are covered in felt on the sides and back, while the openings have the same brush lining as the desk. (top image)
Kali toiletries cabinet and accessories for Authentics
It is nice when designers take on mundane objects, as it always brings a fresh perspective to a product whose flaws we tend to accept as a rule. Doshi Levien's take on bathroom storage started with the Hindu goddess Kali, who is often depicted with 10 arms. "Like her, we wanted to offer several ways of juggling the stuff in your bathroom by adding multiple 'arms' to the design," says Doshi Levien founder Nipa Doshi. This is achieved by giving the plastic cabinet five shelves that protrude through its walls. The cabinet has rounded edges and its door is mirrored on both sides. The Kali series also includes small accessories such as storage boxes, toothbrush holders, soap dispensers and magnifying mirrors, all in primary colours.
Japanese designer Toshiyuki Kita had his own booth at the fair, which was dedicated to earthenware and kitchen utensils. These were all in a traditionally Japanese understated aesthetic and produced with age-old Japanese techniques. The Cooki kettle in stainless steel is a traditional stove-top kettle but its wide, squat design is intended to make water boil more quickly. It also has a large lid, making
it easier to clean.
Ploum sofa and Mobidec stool
It was hard to pick a favourite at the Ligne Roset stand, as it had a series of strong launches by the likes of GamFratesi (Rewrite desk), Daniel Rybakken and Andreas Engesvik (Colours light), and a whole collection by Philippe Nigro. But Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec's Ploum sofa (below) was a real stand-out – its round, low shape a more refined version of the Quilt sofa for Established & Sons a couple of years back. The shape is all in the material: a thick, stretchy fabric covering a super flexible foam. The Bouroullecs were untypically proud of their work, too. "I'm never happy with our pieces," says Ronan, "but I feel quite pleased with this one."
Pierre Charpin's Mobidec stools (right) were like little sculptures in red wool fabric. Influenced by horse-riding accessories, the square shape rests on a metal bracket which is held in place by a fabric strap crossing the seat. It is a nice detail, but above all, it makes it easy to move.
Johanna Agerman Ross