Months leading to its commencement, everything that Cecile Geiger needed for the fair was ironed out to her specifications—and of course, the requirements set forth by Maison & Objet. “Most designers and brands prepare for a very a long time for the event. Some of us devote longer periods for conceptualization and creation of prototypes. Then, there is also the production of the actual items to be displayed,” she shares. “Apart from that, there are logistical concerns such as how to get the items to the venue, and how to make sure that they get there unharmed,” she continues. Geiger is a French metal sculptor who is inspired by nature. She keeps a studio in Beurizot in Côte-d’Or. “Every time there is a design exposition like Maison & Objet, the energy in Paris as well the other places near the center especially the venue is just remarkable!” she exclaims.
This time around, however, that energy that celebrates—and is almost as emblematic as the decadence of the French Capital’s signature aesthetic—will not be there. At least, not physically.
Immediately following the amalgamation of its predecessors, the fair Maison & Objet started out to be an experimental solution aimed to address the growing challenges of shifting distribution models and internationalization. To say that it has been the most fertile ground for the design community’s growth both in design sensibility and commerce for the past 25 years would be a grave understatement. It has catapulted the careers of the likes of furniture designer Ilse Crawford, industrial designer Cecile Manz, Singapore-based architecture firm WOHA, and Sebastian Herkner. Some of the most globally recognized luxury powerhouses that also have home brands such as Missoni, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Hermés use the platform to introduce their new designs.
As agility, persistence, and innovation are deeply embedded into its brand DNA, Maison has successfully reinvented itself at a time when other established expositions of its kind have succumbed—either temporarily or permanently, to the perils of the existing global health crisis. In April 2020, the fair reported 80% space reservation for the September Edition. However, as different nations tread along the embattled path in search for certainties and absolutes during the past three quarters of the year, certain adaptive measures were put in place so the event can still be mounted. Through its managing director, Philippe Brocart, Maison decided to transition the event to the digital sphere. It shall utilize its signature online platform Maison & Objet and More (MOM). “Our teams have spent the past few weeks shaping out plans that will allow brands to present their new collections and continue engaging with buyers and specifiers,” he states. While Brocart remains steadfast that the present condition will soon get better, the organization decided that it is best to uphold safety and precautions. “There is also the lack of clarity regarding the ability to hold large gatherings in early September in France,” he furthers.
THE NEW MEDIA FORMAT
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