Though Paris Design Week is confirmed to go on this fall, Maison&Objet announced that it will host a Digital Fair September 4-18 in lieu of an in-person event through its online platform Maison&Objet and More, or MOM. The platform connects brands with some 400,000 international buyers and will feature a new showroom format, mirroring the layout of the live event. WORK! and PROJECTS, sectors initially scheduled to take place at the trade show in September, now will be part of its January 2021 edition.
“Although there are encouraging signs of the pandemic beginning to decrease, we believe there are still far too many uncertainties regarding the travel conditions for international exhibitors and visitors," Philippe Brocart, managing director of Maison&Objet, notes in a statement. "Furthermore, the lack of clarity regarding the ability to hold large gatherings in early September in France has played a major part in influencing our decision to call off the September edition of Maison&Objet, despite the fact that 80 percent of stands had already been reserved by April 2020."
This past January, some 80,000 visitors from 150 countries convened in Paris for Maison&Objet, perusing work by more than 2,700 exhibitors. For the Digital Fair this fall, show organizers aim to offer attendees a similar breadth of experiences and networking opportunities, drawing on expertise honed since launching the MOM digital platform in 2016. “Our teams have spent the past few weeks shaping out plans that will allow brands to present their new collections and continue engaging with buyers and specifiers,” adds Brocart. The Digital Fair will feature Digital Showrooms on MOM as well as Digital Talks, largely focused on the home as a refuge and how the pandemic is reshaping our relationships with our surroundings, on the Maison&Objet website.
For those craving in-person interactions, this year Paris Design Week, organized by Maison&Objet, will still feature live events and pop-up installations in collaboration with France Design Week, a new national initiative spearheaded by the French Agency for the Promotion of Industrial Creation to bring coordinated design events to cities across the country. Then come January, Maison&Objet plans to host an unprecedented edition of its trade fair, once again bringing together design enthusiasts across the globe.
To further investigate ways the pandemic will continue to shape design decisions, Maison&Objet recently teamed up with Fabernovel and Morning Coworking to launch ReSPACE, a think tank to explore post-Covid-19 workspaces, which will be inaugurated this September following a virtual talk series set to run online from June 10 to July 8. “The global lockdown we have experienced is set to accelerate the transformation of workspaces. The WORK! show sector will directly reflect those changes, enriched with designs that were elaborated during the crisis period and becoming a veritable hub for reinventing the modern day workspace," notes Brocart.