From Paris to Singapore

Premiering in Paris in 1995, Maison & Objet is now recognized as a major design event worldwide – a place to discover trends and products, do business, promote creativity and find emerging talents in the many sectors of furniture design. M&O has proved so bankable that the organizers decided to extend the brand to Asia in order to reach lucrative new markets.

The first M&O Asia took place in Singapore this past March. Spread over 6,000 square metres in the deliriously luxurious, futuristic Marina Bay Sands hotel, 272 exhibitors from 24 countries (30 per cent from Asia) showed their products. With a flow of 4,000 local and international visitors – including buyers and specifiers, architects, designers and journalists – the show was a resounding success, boding well for its future as an annual event.

The Southeast Asian market is one of the most interesting on the global scene, with high-end hotels, luxury residences and commercial malls popping up in every major city. The economic downturn of Europe and North America seems not to have touched this part of the world. With construction booming, owners are looking for the best products to accommodate their new modern spaces. Added to that, an increasingly affluent middle class is hungry for European brands and modern, contemporary design.

Rumour has it that the floor plan for next year’s event will double. Maison & Objet Asia takes place Mar. 10-13, 2015.


Italian designer Silvia Marilia, who for the past five years has lived and worked in Hong Kong, excels in furniture for kids. Her inspiration? The Montessori schools she attended in Italy in her childhood. Her Sand label offers beds, chairs and tables in materials and shapes designed for maximum kiddie comfort.


From Melogranoblu’s Hydra collection comes Alpha: blown-glass shapes, transparent or satin, hanging on a special tubular mesh of metallic fabric. Designed by Massimo Crema and Ermanno Rocchi.


Pigalle, from Kenneth Cobonpue, is an indoor/outdoor collection that includes easy armchair (shown), loveseat, dining tables (rectangular or square) and barstool. The indoor versions are constructed of abaca fibre, nylon and steel; the outdoor versions replace abaca with polyethylene. Seating options include upholstered cushions that don’t interfere with the elaborately curved design.


For Paolo C, acclaimed Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon has designed New Roman, a collection inspired by the vessels of the Roman Empire. His handsome Titus  vessels – in pink, green, blue or transparent glass – come in three sizes; they rest on silver-plated, copper or gunmetal stands.


Portugal’s Wewood is known for solid wood furniture that combines craftsmanship with high technology. Its BS01 desk, designed by Bruno Serrão, is built of solid French oak without using any screws or nails. Its top is the centerpiece; the set of drawers occupies all remaining interstices of the structure.


The principality of Monaco was represented at the show with Monte Carlo–based Garbarino Collections. Designer Adriano Barbarino presented the Bob collection, which included a bar – coated in glossy China red lacquer – featuring a lighted gap in which to display an art piece.


Missoni Home’s Papavero Filigrana (Watermark Poppy) range brightened up the place considerably with large and small florals on sofas, armchairs, ottomans and cushions.


Indonesian designer Budiman Ong created his furniture and lighting company, Ong Cen Kuang, in May 2008, to reflect his own design principles, which respect the process and the characters of materials. Thistle, he says rather poetically, “focusses on the combination of tactile materials, infusion of self-develop technique and traditional origami, defusing emptiness and lightness.”


Jaime Hayon created the Gardenias collection of cast-aluminum outdoor furniture for BD Barcelona in 2010. Now he’s adapted it for indoor use, including the iconic armchair available with or without pergola. Stylish colours include Blue Royale, Red Ming, Green Versailles and Black Edo.