Since 1995 Maison & Objet (M&O) in Paris, France, is one of the premier interior design trade shows in the world. In 2018, the fair was better than ever with many changes to improve the visitors’ experience and to adapt to the ever-changing environment. Two times a year, the organizers bring the most innovative, newest, and most inspiring products and concepts to over 90,000 retailers and specifiers that visit the trade show. Under the theme ‘Virtuous’, the professionals-only fair brought together experts, trendsetters, and decision makers in the industry to share ideas about future trends, consumer insights, valuable research. The market disruption that affects all of us every day influences the design world and demands new rules, a changing virtuous ethics, and innovative solutions. Educated consumers are keen on responsible productions, fair trade, upcycling, repairing. The industry must adapt and change to meet these needs and address sustainable developments, use alternative materials, consider local sourcing, and even think about the ocean’s potential. It is a transparent market situation where the informed customer is interested to learn about all the steps a manufacturer and designers goes through until the product is in their hands. In Paris, the curators of the M&O fair created a human-scale village on the fairgrounds that represented a platform for visitors to meet, discover, express themselves, learn, and marvel at the novelties in the interior industry. The 3,000 brands did their own best to design an atmosphere of adventure that offered project solutions, answered style questions, and increased efficiency. At the Maison Hub, the four sections Unique & Eclectic, Today, Forever, and Craft were newly organized to display furniture, accessories, creative technologies, and invite French and international buyers to explore the concept, novelty, and department store exhibits. The Objet Hub had already seen this transformation at the last show and continued to improve the sections Cook&Share, Smart Gifts, Fashion accessories, and Kids&Family. The brands distinguished themselves with a strong brand identity and surprising displays of new products. These were decided on based on the production, designers, new materials, exceptional craftsmanship, history, and other criteria. The Talks that are an integral part of the Paris Design Week gathered world-renown designers and artists to talk about their work, future trends, ideas, and coming changes. Although already 50% of the visitors to M&O are from outside France, the organizers strive to strike up new partnerships and expand. An agreement with JD.com and Hongkong Land, China’s leaders in retail and commercial real estate respectively, was reached. This offers participants an opportunity to expand into a new, unknown market. It is expected that JD.com with its on- and offline offerings will advance to become the largest furniture retailer in China within the next four years. Currently, there is an exhibition at the WF Central mall in Beijing that was constructed by Hongkong Land underway from 16 September to 18 November 2018. The M&O Design Pavilion on 700 square meters offers the 150,000 mall visitors a glimpse of the best European and international designs and showcases five Designers of the Year: Philippe Nigro, Eugeni Quitllet, Tom Dixon, Nendo, and Andre Fu who was a speaker at our KOHLER Design Forum 2017 in Shanghai. The M&O organizers certainly have future trends in mind and continue to astonish their audience with new and astounding things that are happening in the interior design space. We already look forward to the next M&O trade show in January 2019.
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