12 of the Best Designs at Maison & Objet Asia 2016
July 9, 2016 | BY Asih Jenie
The third edition of Maison & Objet Asia was a well-curated and exclusive affair. Singapore Tatler Homes zooms in on the latest offerings from the design industry’s best.
Returning to Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre for the third time, this year’s Maison & Objet (M&O) Asia felt more like an intimate soiree of the inner circle of the design and lifestyle industry than a trade fair. M&O Asia 2016 made a strategic decision to trim down the number of exhibiting brands from over 300 previously to just 180 this year.
“M&O Asia is a highly curated show that allows people from the design industry to explore all design disciplines under one roof,” says M&O Asia’s Designer of the Year André Fu. “Its focus on the hospitality arena also sheds light on the design community’s new generation.”
The new generation of design communities Fu mentions doesn’t just make and sell finished products, they are big on cross-discipline collaborations, long-term relationships, and meetings of minds to generate new story-telling through design.
“This year’s fair is more focused, and the fewer number of exhibitors works for us,” says Ross Hamilton Englisbe of Hamilton Conte. “And in its third year, you begin to see the result of the relationships we have built over the past three years through the fair.”
Comprising a curated exhibition, an interior design and lifestyle summit, and an award showcase, the four-day fair attracted 7,200 visitors, 62 per cent of whom were key industry specifiers such as property developers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, interior designers and architects. The percentage of interior designers who visited the fair this year was 11 per cent higher than in the previous year, clear evidence of its appeal to specifiers who benefit from a more curated and focused experience.
Framed by Terre
While most of the booths featured foreign furniture brands, it was heartening to see a handful of Singaporean designers displaying their concepts and new collections. Conceptualised by multi-disciplinary designer Terence Chan of Terre, Framed is a collaborative installation that experiments with blurring of spaces to show the many possibilities with non-conventional spaces in modern luxury living. The installation featured house-shaped frames furnished with fine European brands from Dream (Cassina, Knoll, Cappelini), House of Madison (Bulthaup), and lighting brand Louis Poulsen.
André Fu Living
Launched late last year, Hong Kong-based architect and designer André Fu’s lifestyle brand André Fu Living has been building a credible collection in collaboration with some of the world’s most exclusive, cult-favourite artisanal brands. The latest ones include Fargesia, a home fragrance formulated by renowned perfumer Julian Bedel of Agentinian scent laboratory Fueguia 1833 in Buenos Aires, as well as Skyliner, a rustic yet chic bathroom sanitary ware collection manufactured by Cooper & Graham. Fu also showed a preview of Tac/Tile, a hand-blown glass lighting crafted by Lasvit.
A brand that has been gaining a strong following in Singapore after its launch at Marquis QSquare, this M&O Asia stalwart furniture brand presented an expansive collection. The well-thought out selection was laid out in a bigger space than in previous years, with more comprehensive settings. According to its designers, the presentation this year focuses on the use of sleek curves, muted colours, teal velvet, and matte gold metal finish. The geometric-designed coffee tables, accented with an air of masculinity and dandiness, were hot favourites. Available from Marquis QSquare.
Outdoor living was one area many brands offered lifestyle options for. An established brand specialising in refined outdoor living, Tribu presented its 2016 collection of outdoor inspirations from a raised platform strewn with gravel. In line with its contemporary design philosophy, the brand presented a collection that comprised the Contour chair designed by Piergiorgio Cazzaniga, and a multi-functional collection of ottoman called Nomad by Monica Armani. Special mention goes to the ILE, a collection of Javanese teak and aluminium side tables by Marc Merckx. Available from Xtra.
Well-loved Italian lighting atelier Nahoor’s 2016 collection is a tribute to the modern movement that combines new and traditional materials in interesting geometrics created from uniform and extended straight lines, as well circles and half circles. Available from Marquis QSquare.
A proponent of local designs, homegrown furniture brand Industry+ continues to showcase the best creations from Asian designs with its latest collection that includes elegant crystal vase Shallow by Kazunaga Sakashita, and the hi-tech, fully foldable and height-adjustable table Bipod by Dai Sugasawa.
Technogym presents MyRun Technogym, a compact and elegant treadmill designed by runners for runners. The treadmill features technology that trains, improves, and adapts to your runs such that it can even interpret your running rhythm to a music soundtrack that’s unique to you. Available from Dynaforce International.
Woven furniture maker Sika Design’s presentation is all about rattan furniture, from designs by iconic Danish design luminaries such as Arne Jacobsen and Franco Albini to the handmade Sofie chair that is available in black, grey, plum, navy blue and salvie green. Available from Dreamweave & Other Stories.
A loyal brand partner of M&O Asia since its first edition, Luzerne wowed visitors with an installation of giant three-tiered wheels inspired by the lazy susan. The installation was aimed at showcasing Luzerne’s latest collection and showing industry players how to mix and match collections.
Belgian design label Sempre conceived a stunning booth design filled with lush greenery, outdoing itself this year. The jungle-like setting was the perfect canvas for showing the handcrafted pieces made of reclaimed wood. A café provided visitors with an immersive experience.
One of the outstanding exhibits was a Latvian showcase which presented six of the country’s best brands. One of them, lighting brand Mammalampa, produces stunning lighting pieces inspired by Latvian women, like the Bride lamp which is inspired by a traditional Latvian bride’s braided hair; and the Queen, which beautifully juxtaposes rust with gold.
Ginger & Jagger
Portuguese brand Ginger & Jagger presented its 2016 collection to popular reception. The interesting range, called Earth to Earth, eternalises nature’s sculptural shapes in furniture design through artisanal techniques and superb materials, such as brass, copper, marble and exotic woods. The subtle forms and dark, warm tones add to the allure.