Driven by design

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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 3, 2015.



DESIGN fair Maison&Objet (M&O) has courted a reputation for cutting edge concepts, having showcased exquisite interiors in Paris, Miami Beach and, for the last two years, Asia. The fair is a stage for regional design trends and market developments, sought after by property developers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, interior designers and architects. Each edition provides inspiration and avant-garde ideas on how new and varied techniques, materials, accessories and finished products can converge to create enchanting yet functional interiors for experiential industries such as hospitality, haute cuisine and spas.

M&O Asia 2016 is set to be an exciting edition, with a beautiful collection of veteran and novice labels. Singapore’s flourishing homegrown brand Supermama will present a thematic retail-cum-exhibition project called Blueprint for a Boutique Hotel Shop, drawing on in-house research to create the ideal boutique hotel room. The results of the research will be translated into a publication and an exhibition that includes a practical breakdown of information such as brand, manufacturer and materials of exhibited objects.

Must-visits include two thematic cafés within the salon, Eichholtz from the Netherlands and Sempre from Belgium. “The Sempre Café will act as an experience room, where we offer different ways to ‘breathe’ the Sempre philosophy,” says creative director Gust Sempre. “All your senses will be excited and new emotions awakened. In each corner, you will find something new and unknown in a cosy and comfortable atmosphere. It will be the perfect spot to get inspired for future projects. So come along and visit our café, where you can have a drink in one of our handmade glasses. It doesn’t stop after designing and producing; the most important part is using.”

New players making a debut at M&O Asia include Singaporean labels The Rug Maker, which will launch a new collection, as well as ipse ipsa ipsum, which offers high quality and sophisticated design solutions for hospitality projects. An accompanying retail section will see a display of contemporary gift items and souvenirs set around Singapore, offering hoteliers ideas on creating boutique hotel gift shops.

“Time is precious for designers, project managers and investors,” says M&O Asia Pacific director Regina Chan. “They are not just looking for beautiful products, but, more importantly, original ideas, curated content and an authentic experience. This is why M&O Asia is investing the time and resources to create different kinds of design concepts with our exhibitors.”

The trendsetting salon will also announce the 2016 Designer of the Year and Rising Talent Awards winners, as well as a present a preview of the Interior Design and Lifestyle Summit set for next December.

Based on the information from its first two editions, M&O Asia attracts a distinctive visitor profile that reflects Asia’s growing property development, real estate and hospitality industries with half of its visitors hailing from these sectors. Prominent visitors in the past such as South Beach (Singapore), Sansiri (Thailand), Hong Kong Parkview Group (Hong Kong), COMO Hotels and Resorts (Singapore), The Peninsular Hotels (Hong Kong), Oberoi (India) and Mori Development (Japan) allude to the prestige and esteem of the fair, which is sure to sign off on another successful edition next year.

Maison&Objet Asia 2016 will run from March 8 to 11, 2016 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore. More information can be found at