If Milan marks the start of summer, Paris marks the end: the gentle warmth of the Lombarden sun and the fresh alpine breeze blowing over the Saloni ceding as it invariably does, nay must, to the brisk crispness of Maison et Objet.
C’est la vie!
The September 2017 edition of Maison et Objet was a disconcerting mix of baroque revival and picturesque, fantasy, Scandinavian, as if late 1980s Philippe Starck discovered hygge.
And over large stretches Maison et Objet 2017 is/was just as terrifying as that sounds. Our only consolation being the certainty that those responsible are but blindly chasing the shadow of a fashion, ’tis but a trend, and trends always, but always, fade.
Fortunately some objects on show arose from more honest origins. As ever we didn’t see everything, apologies to all we missed, but here our Maison et Objet Autumn 2017 High 4!! And some poppy, late ’90s dance…
Established in Cologne in 1995 Details maintains a carefully curated portfolio of almost idiosyncratic, certainly original, items which present alternative takes on the everyday. And thus a portfolio perfectly suited for the Basic Chair by Sebastian Marbacher.
Winner of a 2017 Swiss Design Award, Basic Chair is (A) half a chair and by (B) anything but basic.
Not that name should be considered misleading, it’s simply playing with you.
And initially you believe it is basic, resembling as it does a piece of five-minute palette furniture; however, closer inspection, and for all use, reveals the intelligent construction and careful consideration that lies behind the very reduced, unassuming, object.
Whereby it does take a bit of getting used to. Approach it in a cavalier manner as we did, and you’re in for a shock: the experience of sitting down onto isn’t like anything you’ve experienced before. There is lot less to aim for, less than you are expecting to land on… Ooohhh! you will exclaim….. Or at least you will if you are anything like us.
However, once safely ensconced the comfort is very high, the stability superb, the backrest supportive and the sitting experience altogether most satisfying. It is a basic chair, as in one needs little more.
Stackable into neatly compact towers, Basic Chair is an object completely with out pretensions, an honest piece of craftsmanship and one with a most charming personality.
Not quite a lounge chair, not quite a side chair, Dost is for all a chair for spending longer periods in. We didn’t, or better put couldn’t, we were at trade fair, but the invitation was definitely there. And one we would gladly have accepted had time allowed.
A deceptively roomy chair, the true volume only becoming apparent with use, for us the key feature of Dost is the unusually fine quality of the back support: you can almost feel Dost taking the weight of your shoulders, removing Philip Larkin’s Toad from your back, and then telling you it’s all going to fine. Dost is a chair you sit in, not on. The well-considered arm rests and nicely judged sitting angle doing the rest.
Developed by Christien Meindertsma and Label/Breed together with the Dutch natural fibre processor Enkev, Flax Chair is….. a chair made of Flax.
Flax mixed with a biodegradable polylactic acid to give it is rigidity.
A double winner at the 2016 Dutch Design Awards we saw a prototype at Dutch Design Week 2016, but not one we were allowed to sit in; that situation has now been resolved and a market ready version was launched at Maison et Objet 2017
A joyously comfortable chair, as in, joyously, the Flax Chair offers the most deliciously natural buoyancy, the backrest allowing for a pleasing freedom of movement combined with natural support to create a sitting experience which is uninhibited yet supremely stable. Initially only available in a Natural flax hue, other colours are promised in the near future
In addition to being produced from renewable materials each chair is cut from a single piece of material thus allowing for a waste free production process: a process which also, in many regards, defines the lightly 1950s early-post-war-moulded-plywood-how-do-we-do-this-? shape of the legs, and thus gives Flax Chair is singularly charming silhouette.
At every trade fair there are new products, and those products which are new to us, such as the chairs Bang & Kaboom by Hermann August Weizenegger. Despite always stopping by the Pulpo stand whenever we come across it….. we’ve somehow managed to miss Bang & Kaboom.
Representing everything you want from Hermann August Weizenegger, Bang & Kaboom are completely overblown, outrageous in the extreme, almost approaching an assault on good taste, yet are low key, cultured and stubbornly focussed on the essentials while maintaining at all times a nonchalant elegance.
High back chairs aren’t new, and to return to our introduction, Bang & Kaboom have unquestionably something of the baroque about them: but not in a revivalist way, much more in the way modernists took the key elements of classicism and utilised them to circumnavigate the excesses of neoclassicism, so to are Bang & Kaboom an evolution of the baroque for the contemporary age.
Throughout the day at Maison et Objet a female voice announces upcoming talks and similar events, every proclamation beginning “Mesdames, Messieurs”, and every single time she did so, we completed her sentance with “le disc-jockey Sash! est de retour”.
Consequently, as we wandered the Paris trade fair halls, Encore une fois was on a continuous loop in our heads……
…….therefore in the absence of a fifth new discovery, we thought we’d share the soundtrack to our Maison et Objet 2017, just to give a brief insight into our world…..
Tagged with: Bang, Basic Chair, Christien Meindertsma, Details, Dost, Enkev, Flax Chair, Hermann August Weizenegger, High Five, Kaboom, Label/Breed, Maison et Objet, Paris, Puik, Pulpo, Rianne Koens, Sebastian Marbacher