In our hectic, fast-paced, consumer-driven society, what is the values of design objects?.
The Paris edition of the international design fair Maison & Objet 2015 tried to answer this hard question by focusing on the contemporary perception of “precious goods”. Featuring over 3000 exhibitors, the showcase approached the concept of modern luxury from a multiple perspective, and brought together different examples of how the value of design object is created and understood in a physical, conceptual and cultural capacity. Among opulent surfaces and furniture decorated with shiny stones, what really stood out was a particular attention to craftsmanship, which suggested the idea that true luxury is made of fine raw materials enhanced by men’s work. Showzi Tsukamoto, master of Japanese traditional art of kintsugi, which consist of mending broken ceramics with precious golden or silver lacquers, proved that beautiful things are often imperfect as they bear the essence of life, as well as its scars and flaws. Atelier Xavier Noel approached the theme with playful attitude, presenting a series of ugly-cute creatures realized through the finest goldsmithing techniques with the most careful attention to details, while Thierry Toutin captured the spirit of Versailles in decadent chandeliers brighter than the sun. Digital technology collective teamLab reminded us how precious nature is. For Maison & Objet 2015, the Japanese engineers created an interactive garden consisting of 2,300 flowers which float in a white bubble that evolves each day as the flowers continue to grow. In fact, whenever a visitor approaches the installation, the plants rise and go back into their original positions once the visitor left. The installation therefore aims to restore our sense of unity with our surroundings.
By creating a dialogue between the formal and material aspects of contemporary design, Maison & Objet 2015 sharply revisited the codes of luxury.