To herald the start of the brand new decade, Maison&Objet in Paris decided to dedicate both its 25th anniversary year editions to the same inspiring topic: (RE)GENERATION! Visitors are given the chance to get to grips with the consumer behavior displayed by generations Y and Z, which is both intriguing and unsettling in equal measure.

Rising Talents

Assisted by style consultancy Nelly Rodi, the January edition of the Paris interior event, explored the level of engagement these new meaning-driven consumers exhibit (with a specific itinerary flagging up eco-friendly brands having already been launched last year). An important part of Maison&Objet is always the Rising Talent section, where selected young designers present there latest creation. Particularly striking was the way their different concerns overlap. Ecological issues are very much to the forefront. This year France had the honors with the designers Adrien Garcia, Julie Richoz, Laureline Galliot, Mathieu Peyroulet Ghilini, Natacha & Sacha and Wendy Andreu.

Geography and education

They had a number of common denominators. The first is their geographical proximity. All of them are principally based in Paris. Another is their training. Four of them are graduates of the ENSCI Les Ateliers school in the French capital’s 11 arrondissement and another, Julie Richoz, has taught there.

A panel composed of six of France’s prestigious design experts had come together to designate the January 2020 edition’s Rising Talents: Pierre Charpin, Guillaume Houzé, Didier Krzentowski, René-Jacques Mayer, Françoise Seince and Pierre Yovanovitch.

French design

From Jean-Michel Frank to Joseph Dirand, from Charlotte Perriand to India Mahdavi, the history of design has constantly been marked and shaped by French-bred talent. A pool of young talent is now adding its contribution with new stories to tell and a plethora of impelling objects that may at first appear to be aesthetically distinct, but often share a similar approach and philosophy. “There are currently two main trends in the young French design scene”, asserts the director of the Ecole Camondo, René-Jacques Mayer. “The first is that designers are developing stronger links with craftsmanship. They are distinguishing themselves less with industrial products than with objects produced in limited quantities using traditional savoir-faire. Secondly, they are no longer interested in simply designing a chair, but develop projects that are much more societal. Their overriding aim is to solve problems and come up with new uses.”