In 2024, Maison&Objet celebrates its thirtieth anniversary! It’s time to look forward to the future. The Rising Talent Awards are thus adopting a new format. Instead of distinguishing emerging talents from a single country, the selection honours young designers/researchers for the relevance of their work in the face of digitalisation, which is shaking up our lives and uses. “Two words seemed obvious to us: High technology and Know-how,” comments Dereen O’Sullivan, the Rising Talent Awards Manager for Maison&Objet. The recent emergence of new processes, such as Artificial Intelligence or 3D printing, offers designers an unprecedented field of adventure. This fertile fusion between know-how and digital innovation is at the heart of the general theme of Maison&Objet 2024: “Tech Eden.”
The jury's composition and diversity illustrate a striking design trend: porosity with different universes. An exhibition curator, Jean de Loisy, comes from the art world. He is the Jury’s President of the Liliane Bettencourt Prize (“Prix Liliane Bettencourt pour l’Intelligence de la Main”) in 2021, former Director of the Paris School of Fine Arts and Director of the Palais de Tokyo. Li Edelkoort is a leading figure in fashion and design. Stéphane Galerneau, President of Ateliers d’Art de France, appointed this year’s “Rising Talent Craft” laureates. Because the Rising Talent Awards are also a platform for transmission, interior designer Lionel Jadot, who welcomes young artisans in his Zaventem Ateliers in Belgium, and Design Academy Eindhoven’s Director Joseph Grima are both part of the jury. Two designers intimately linked to Maison&Objet, Athime de Crecy, last year’s Rising Talent Award Winner and Ramy Fischler, “Designer of the Year” 2020, have also nominated their protégés. “Technologies are giving rise to a new generation of artisans who hybridise techniques and materials and thus advance the designers that we are,” concludes the latter. “The future belongs to them.”
A design in fusion
Audrey Large was born in France in 1994. A Master’s graduate in Social Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in 2017, she also studied at the École Supérieure d'Art et de Design (ESAD) in Reims, France. Since 2019, she has exhibited at the prestigious Nilufar Gallery in Milan, Italy. Halfway between art and design, Audrey Large's work experiments with the fusion between the moving image and the static object. “My research tends to demonstrate that the world of images and materials are linked,” she says. “I think it is no longer relevant to distinguish between objects' and images’ design. We tend to think the immaterial would be misleading and to place the real at the top of the hierarchy. This separation no longer represents life; everything is connected in our daily existences.” Her creations, made in her Rotterdam workshop, lie at the crossroads between the material and the immaterial, as if straight out of a digitalised universe. “My aesthetic choices disturb perception. I try to materialise the perceptual properties of the image with blurred, iridescent contours and surfaces that constantly change. My objects are not immediately useful, even tables or chandeliers. The shapes are never quite abstract. They seem unreal.”
Breaking down the boundaries of technology
Felix Rasehorn and Robin Hoske were both born in 1992. They met while studying design at the Weißensee Art Academy in Berlin, Germany. Together, in 2019, they founded WINT Design Lab. In this studio/laboratory, their designer skills are put to the service of researchers from all disciplines to write concrete scenarios, often based on abstract research. “WINT operates an extremely fertile synthesis between the most demanding technology and the most contemporary lifestyles,” says designer Athime de Crécy, who appointed the duo for this year’s Rising Talents Awards. “They explore the essential questions of our time. Whether they deal with biomaterials, dematerialised interfaces or the physicality of algorithmic tools, their proposals are the most relevant I have seen since these questions interested design.” “A designer’s approach opens up possibilities,” explains Felix Rasehorn. “We work with technicians, biochemists, software developers, and materials scientists to find concrete paths for a more desirable and responsible future.” To their credit, a running jacket made from bio-materials. “The textile industry uses too many synthetic materials, particularly plastic. In partnership with Minotype Technologies, we have developed this collagen-based jacket’s structure derived from cows' intestinal tissue. This natural and recyclable material has the advantage of being very thin, waterproof and light.”
Nelson Fossey, born in 1989, graduated in Interior Architecture and Design at the École Camondo in 2014 and holds, since 2017, a Master's degree in Neo-industrial Design from the ENSCI—Les Ateliers de Paris. He then became a resident at Les Ateliers de Paris, the city’s talent incubator that allowed him to create Index Office (IO), his design studio, in 2019. Nelson Fossey's practice aims to build bridges between technology and know-how. His clients are institutions, brands and industrialists. For Lexon, IO has just designed the ‘Orbe’ lamp, the magnetic assembly of a cylindrical base on which a spherical orientable luminous headrest in the style of a cup-and-ball toy. The studio also signed ‘Cell’, a vase made in 3D printing guided by a digital program reproducing the growth of a stem by superposition of cells, allowing infinite variations. “The studio's ambition is to use contemporary tools and integrate them into more artisanal processes," explains Nelson Fossey. “Thanks to technology, we can simplify the artisan's life at each manufacturing stage. In addition, the tools present in all studios allow projects to be tested very quickly and thus increase the creative potential by multiplying the experiments.” The studio has just produced the “Paris Innove” trophies for the City of Paris. They were sculpted and milled from a block of dry earth by a numerically controlled machine, then enamelled and annealed traditionally. Their ‘IO lamp’, made of bio-plastic, is 3D-printed on demand in their workshop, defining a new practice of high-tech craftsmanship.
The choreography of lianas
Born in 1989, Aurélie Hoegy obtained a diploma in Object Design from the École Supérieure d'Art et de Design (ESAD) in Reims, France, and then a Master in Contextual Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. She then established her workshop in Paris, designing furniture flirting with the thin line between art and design. After cotton or latex, Aurélie Hoegy works with rattan, with which she sculpts furniture, true functional works of art, with movement as a common thread, in osmosis between the object, the body and its environment. She learned the technique from contact with Indonesian artisans, with whom she spent an immersion stay. Li Edelkoort, who appointed her Rising Talent, praises her ability to promote a responsible, circular future, ethical practice and organic aesthetics. Already awarded with many prizes, significant museums have already acquired her pieces worldwide. In 2016, she stood out with the project ‘The Dancers’, which combined performance with dancers at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris with chairs where the fibres also danced in symbiosis. She continues with the ‘Wild Fibres’ project, which explores fibre in movement. Each piece is hand-sculpted in her workshop. “Rattan work can be mechanised with difficulty. It is a living design. Handwork and unexpectedness give the creative experience a peculiar vibration.”
The power of spirituality
Born in 1987, French designer Jenna Kaës graduated from the Haute École des Arts du Rhin in Strasbourg, France, and the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) Switzerland. In 2018 and 2019, she was a Les Ateliers de Paris resident before starting self-published works. She exhibits with the Southway Studio Gallery in Marseille, responds to public commissions, and is one of the collectible design talents published by the French Cliché design label. Jenna Kaës wants to be part of the tradition of Decorative Arts, with a preference for Funerary Art, a theme that is still taboo and little explored today. She thus studies the spiritual dimension of objects. She has just completed the ‘Columbarium’ of the historic La Chartreuse cemetery in Bordeaux in collaboration with the architect Martial Marquet and the landscaper Renan Rousselot. “During my studies, I questioned the use of objects,” she explains. “It is always tangible with a table or a chair. Couldn’t objects help us deal with the loss of a loved one? The real question was disengaging these religious objects to concentrate on the universal and spiritual aspects. I believe that symbolism and aesthetics can provide real help when it comes to the grieving process.” At Maison&Objet, she will display, among other pieces, the ‘Night Thoughts’ project, an embroidery work on blankets created in collaboration with the Carmelite sisters of the Verdun convent in France. The project is a subtle nod to spirituality and the transition from reality to the dream realm.
Weaving the scraps of industry
Born in 1993, Emma Cogné holds a Master's degree in Textile Design from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre (ENSAV) in Belgium. Of French origin, she works in a former factory in Zaventem, near Brussels, in one of the workshops made available to a community of artisans by Designer and Interior Architect Lionel Jadot. Emma Cogné weaves plastic tubes, which she initially collected in the street or on construction sites and, more often, in factories. “The polypropylene sheaths that I use are intended to protect electrical wires in our homes,” she explains. “They are part of the invisible elements hidden in walls and floors. I reincorporate them into interiors by giving them an ornamental dimension.” In a very “Low-Tech” economy of means, Emma Cogné reinvented this industrial material to create zones of privacy and protection in the house. The frank and utilitarian colours find rhythm and poetry in her hands. “By weaving recycled pipes that I cut to make beads, I chose an elementary material and a process that requires no machine or loom. It is a reverse technology process because I only work with mass-produced materials, offering them another narrative.”
Raphaël Cuevas, born in 1994, is a craftsman with a degree in carpentry and cabinetmaking. He then launched into the manufacture of tailor-made fittings and unique pieces of furniture or in small series. The studio Line & Raphaël was born from his encounter with Line Pierron. Born in 1978, Line graduated in Product Design from the École Supérieure d’Art et de Design (ESAD) in Reims, France. A designer, Line is also passionate about 3D printing. She already ran her brand of decorative accessories, “Print me a sheep”, a nod to Saint-Exupéry, to highlight the impossible-to-manufacture shapes she managed to get out of her printer. Combining design, artisanal know-how and new technologies, Line and Raphaël design and handcraft 3D marquetry furniture and ornaments with a futuristic and innovative design. “Marquetry is an ancient technique, but our approach is very new,” explains Raphaël. “We moved it from 2D to 3D, in volume, with more complex shapes. Our furniture is like relief paintings. Since then, we have created unique pieces for individual clients or professionals. We hand-manufacture each piece in our workshop. Once the pattern is established, Line codes everything to perform digital cutting, which saves time and allows us to duplicate the patterns.” “3D liberates drawing,” says Line. “It is a field of all possibilities. We still have so much to explore with it!”.