Heading once again for Paris and Maison & Objet, one of the most compelling of international shows focused on design and decoration which opens here on Friday, Sept. 3rd. I expect and look forward to the jolt of inspiring ideas and thought provoking presentations that hit you as immediately as you pass through its doors. Excitement has been richly guaranteed to its many thousands of visitors and fans for more than 10 years.
Here is what I know so far: The show's overall theme this time is "Intimacy" - perhaps just a hint that some are questioning the effect of so many intrusions into our private lives like so many Peeping Toms.
What remains intimate in an overexposed age that shifts between exhibitionism and discretion, between transgression and serenity? the designers and exhibitors here ask.
One thing is certain: the lines between public and private life have become increasingly hazy. What started with celebrities and their penchant for spreading what used to be private acts and thoughts like manure has gone mainstream via social networks. For some, the desire to preserve a territory for themselves away from the world's constant stimulation and agitation seems necessary. For others, a rebellious effervescence turns into overexposure, which can turn into embarrassment, damaged reputations, even violence
This show attempts to shed light on what seem two paradoxical movements. Both are intended to be reflected in the home as designers and design analysts contemplate the dichotomy and perceive the future.
Here are a few ideas bearing out designers' concerns:
Elisabeth Lerich looks to Archaic Shelters. "Times of uncertainty", she states, reactivate the desire to find shelter to regain inner peace". Architecture is inspired by original habitat and the nesting instinct to regain new distance. From fragile to raw, from feather to stone, via animal hides, design takes from nature to build neo-primitive retreats."
Francois Bernard sees the emergence of Microcosms. "In an overexposed and noisy world, our age aspires to find inner silence. In search of serenity, comfort of discretion creates our own spaces. Design invents new uses for objects brought to life by artistic, not just functional purpose, where poetry and the invisible are the gatekeepers to our sanity".
Vincent Gregoire for NellyRodi describes Domestic Rebellions. "A rebellious energy exhibits overexposed intimacy. A reaction against surrounding conformism, extravagance and derision blow aesthetic codes to smithereens." Witness the manhandled, burnt, taped, torn or holed clothes that have invaded our wardrobes. Objects and furnishings are following suit. The designer considers such destructive violation "a provocative but necessary fury for individuality of life."
More to come ... stay tuned.