DESIGN

7 innovative highlights from Maison & Objet

We speak to the creators and entrepreneurs who stood out at the leading interior design and lifestyle fair in Paris.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
February 08, 2024

Neuroscientific fragrance

We have nearly 400 different types of olfactory receptors, which activate differently depending on the odour molecules we breathe. Olfaction is closely linked to three key regions of the brain: Orbitofrontal cortex, responsible for consciousness; the hippocampus, seat of memory; and the amygdala, which helps classify odours and is closely linked to our emotions and mood. French brand AMOI creates mood-boosting fragrances designed by neuroscience to improve the emotional state. The brand’s range is the result of what is described as Care Tech, combining data insights, natural ingredients (+85%), and neuroscience at an affordable price.

— We have four perfumes for four emotions — one is relaxation and then focus, joy, and energy, says founder Pascale Fontaine.

How can you prove it?

— The neuroscientific molecule that we use is based on 25 years of neuroscience and data and it’s been tested by an independent neuroscientific lab. 80% of your daily decision actions are based on your emotion — if you manage your emotion, you get a better life.

And wellbeing so huge now. 

— Exactly. And in wellbeing, you may find different things, but very few can help you on your wellbeing on a daily basis. This is why this fragrance is great because in less than three seconds, it goes to your brain.

Care for your garments

Act of Caring is based around the concept of ”skincare for objects” — to take better care of everything you love and the things you have and appreciate. The range includes dedicated care products for everything from leather to fine stones, and marbles, wood, and tech gear. In a few weeks from now, the brand launches a line of fabric care to help take care of a sofa, carpet, or anything made of fabric. 

— When an accident happens, such as drinking a glass of wine and spilling, you need to have a good stain remover. So, that’s the first product; a 24/7 Fabric Stain Remover that comes as a foam and is very easy to use, says Linda Bradley, co-founder and responsible for product development.

— We also launch our Fabric Neroli Refresher to take away the mall odour, and refresh and give a nice scent on carpets or fabrics. It’s also perfect for garments, to refresh your wardrobe, and has cedar wood inside, which has the properties of taking away small bacteria. 

What else can you say about the ingredients?

— We always use natural ingredients in all of our products and it’s the same story here. It’s scented with essential oil, which makes it really nice, but in a small dosage, so that it can be used even if you’re sensitive.

Strong shells

After a crowdfunding, Shellmet launched its line of helmets made of discarded scallop shells in Japan a year ago. Unsurprisingly, it gained quite a lot of traction, both in the home market and overseas — and the brand now enters the European market. 

— In Japan, we eat a lot of scallops and we use the discarded shells to turn into a new product, Hiroaki Wada, Business Producer at the mother company Koushi explains. We turn it into powder and mix it with ABS plastic to create pellets which become the helmet. It’s very strong. The durability increases up to 30% compared to regular plastic helmets due to the ribbed design and the material of the shells. It’s also very light. We have three types — one safety helmet, one for bicycling, and one for construction. They are all produced in Japan.

How much of it is plastic and how much is the shells?

— Up to 30% could be made of shell and 70% is plastic. But the ratio could be pretty flexible — it depends on what you want. If you want to go really ’green’, the ratio could go up. But functionality-wise, 30% is the maximum.

What would happen if you use 100% shells?

— It would be too hard and, in a way, not durable enough. You need the flexibility of the plastic and the right mix.

Transforming a cow stomach to textile

1.5 years ago, German studio WINT Design Lab presented a scientific project together with researchers at a German university and adidas.

— Together, we were looking into a new material that could potentially replace something like Gore-Tex or elastane in the textile industry, says Carl Bahra, junior designer. We presented a jacket, made of the cow’s stomach and its intestines. It has a long history and was used in Zeppelins back in the days, thanks to its material properties. And they still use it in different industries but not really in textiles. The nice thing about the material is that it’s breathable, water repellent, and really elastic. 

— What we’re working on now is to not use the real animal skin but transferring this material properties into a synthetically grown material that is produced in a lab. Almost like in a bioreactor, so that you can recycle the material and use it again. And the idea is to produce a yarn out of that material. So now it’s sheets from the real stomach. But in the future, we are more aiming towards the yarn that can be weaved and used in a more traditional textile.

And is that what the new research project will look into?

— Yes.

When traditions meet innovations

Line Pierron graduated in Product Design from the École Supérieure d’Art et de Design (ESAD) in Reims, France and is passionate about 3D printing. Raphaël Cuevas is a craftsman with a degree in carpentry and cabinetmaking. He then launched a line of pieces of furniture in small series and founded the studio Line & Raphaël together with Line who already ran her brand of decorative accessories. The brand now combines traditional cabinet-making and artisanal know-how and new technologies to design and handcraft 3D marquetry furniture and ornaments with a futuristic and innovative design. At Maison & Objet, the duo was selected for The Rising Talents Awards.

— Marquetry is an ancient technique, but our approach is very new; we moved it from 2D to 3D, in volume, with more complex shapes, Cuevas explains. 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. It is a field of all possibilities. We still have so much to explore with it! Pierron adds.

No more muddy soaps

Soapi launched exactly a year ago after developing the product — a magnetic soap holder — during more than two years. 

— You just take any kind of bottle cap in the world, and you press it in any soap or solid shampoo or solid conditioner, co-founder Karli Baumann explains. As soon as the bottle cap is inside the soap, the magnet in the soapy holds the soap so the soap can dry in the air on the wall and not ’swimming’ in the liquid and getting muddy. It’s especially also made for the shower when more and more people are using solid shampoo and solid body wash. You can put all your shower products on the wall above the shower head, and then they can dry in the air and you don’t need any space on the floor. It’s made in Berlin out of 90% fishing nets and maritime waste and colour pigments.

The product works on all flat surfaces and the plan is to launch more products, including kitchen towels with a magnet.

A 24-hour bird

”Have you ever looked at a clock and felt that the specific time itself was meaningful?” Korean studio zoslee asked at the fair, when introducing A day of a bird. It’s a functioning clock and an art piece which takes on different forms throughout the day, merging elegance and endearing charm. The clock is versatile and suitable for wall mounting or stand, adapting to various settings such as homes, offices, and hotels. It’s inspired by real existing birds and three colour combinations are available: mint and orange, yellow and purple, and gold and black, offering a touch of inspiration to the space.

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