Maison et Objet Paris has a reputation to maintain when it comes to program and exhibitions, and this year’s edition couldn’t fall behind. The 3rd day started off incredibly well with the British Rising Talents conference, having as special guest the successful designer, Tom Dixon, together with this year’s 6 nominees for Rising Talents Awards for a 45 minute design talk.
The conference took place at L’Espace D’Conferences at the Hall 7 , and it covered aspects like traditional British Design and the technological issue of today’s living. To start of the interview, Tom Dixon was asked to answer a few questions about his participation on the matter, and what made him select the British designer, Zuza Mengham as his nominee for the 2017’s Rising Talent Awards.
The answer was simple, Tom Dixon was in search for new styles, new shapes that somehow could be the opposite of his work. Susan Mengham seemed to be the perfect answer due to her artistic and sculptural background that have been passed on to her design. Susan Mengham, just like Dixon, plays with materials but they follow very different roads. Mengham transfers the beauty of diversity within the materials. With colors she creates living art in her pieces. The purpose is not about functionality, but mainly about beauty.
The conference allowed us to get to know the stories and the works of these British design rising talents that have been shaping the future of the UK‘s industry. It is important to mention that the conference put an emphasis on the today’s industry’s interest on nature. In the industrialized, digital world, the rising talents are more often, connected to environmental issues and try to deliver new solutions using materials and concepts that we might have never thought of.
Marcin Rusak for example has created a unique design concept that uses the preservation of flowers on the production of luxury furnishings.
Gilles Miller Studio has also its unique style and vision and delivers incredible creations with all kinds of materials, even cardboard.
Sebastian Cox has been building his career towards traditional woodworking techniques adding contemporary elements.
Studio Swine was one of the most impressive. The designers have been traveling the world to find materials that would never be considered in the design industry, such as waste and hair, to create sustainable luxury furnishings. The result is pretty amazing we must say.
Last but not least, John Booth supports the traditional, handmade drawings and designs. He is especially known for its talent on textile design but he also collaborates with several brands in the creation of decorative designs. He is the master of colors and very supportive of the traditional method of creation – scissors and glue.
In the end, the whole purpose of the conference didn’t quite find a straight answer because nowadays the British design can no longer be defined as something in particular, but a combination of cultures and a diversity of styles. The new generation of designers are crucial to the industry’s future and they sure are going through the right path.