After the success of its January edition, a new theme will be explore in the the next Maison&Objet. From 6 to 10 September 2019: The workspace will be highlighted to show our evolving relationship with work, the reinvention of the office, and how its driven by social change, is reinventing the office.
FashionRepublik highlights a new workspace (in pictures) called Attraction, a micro-city for creatives designed Imperatori Design. The new space, in Canada, creates a unified environment, heterogeneous, alive, where one would feel a positive vibe immediately upon entering.
Philippe Brocart, General Manager of Maison&Objet explains the the importance and reasons behind this innovative idea.
What observations or societal trends led Maison&Objet to take an interest in new workspaces?
Workspaces have changed radically in recent years. Information technology has freed us to work in different ways, contributing to and promoting the search for new office design solutions. People don’t simply work at one fixed workstation anymore. Work is becoming nomadic, inside and outside the company, thanks to the growth of teleworking at home, but also in cafés, hotels and transit zones; we’re seeing the emergence of the hybrid space.
In addition, silo work is disappearing in favor of collaborative working methods driven by new participatory tools. Spaces to concentrate, recharge your batteries or chat need to exist side by side, offer a certain level of privacy when necessary, and promote friendly interaction between teams.
Finally, to recruit and retain the best talent, companies need to offer a creative working environment that promotes team well-being, which is often mentioned as one of the most important factors for employees. Digital start-ups, incubators, Fablabs and co-working spaces have pioneered this new approach to the workspace. This sector is booming in the United States, where it’s called “soft contract” or “resimercial” – a conflation of “residential” and “commercial” – because it’s about creating atmospheres that look more like a home than a traditional office space.
What impact has this had on players in this market?
Companies that make or manufacture furniture also need to adapt their designs and styles to meet a demand for mobility, usability, comfort, customization and flexibility. Traditional office furniture manufacturers need to design more “residential” collections while brands previously positioned in the home market should be able to offer products adapted to the specific needs of companies (lifespan, comfort, etc.).
Designers and planners can’t confine themselves to simple individual workspaces and static meeting rooms any more: they need to create real living spaces where employees can work, chat, eat, entertain themselves, play sports or relax.
Real estate developers are seeing the emergence of competitors with services adapted to the emerging needs of companies and their new demands. The success of co-working spaces is changing the landscape and building new possibilities in this sector. Companies that don’t change, that don’t offer creative solutions also risk losing their talented employees.
What sort of standing does Maison&Objet have in this new market?
New workspaces increasingly resemble the sort of creative layouts we tend to see in the home. This is why we felt we could offer a valuable and effective platform for manufacturers, brands and furniture makers, and for the entire value chain: designers, planners, architects, real estate developers and, of course, users. In fact, users – real estate, human resources, marketing and communication directors or even general management – are more aware of the strategic importance of these projects for their company and they are now an integral part of the decision-making process.
Our cross-cutting decoration, design and lifestyle products and services are tailored to meeting these new challenges and we’ve noticed at recent events that designers, real estate developers and companies looking for design solutions for their workspaces come to our fair for new ideas.
Lastly, Maison&Objet is held in Paris, at the heart of Europe’s leading business region. Representing an increasingly important share of the market for our customers, start-ups and co-working spaces are fast gaining momentum in the Ile de France region. It’s the ideal time for Maison&Objet to carve out a significant space for these activities.
What’s going to be on offer in September 2019, in practical terms?
At each fair, we chose themes that, in recent years, have reflected underlying societal trends, and which are insightful and serve to bring everyone together. For September 2019, we naturally chose new workspaces, and our Trend Forum and an industry prospecting magazine, Trend Mook, will be focused on this subject.
The Designer of the Year selected for this session will also be asked to express their vision of the new workspaces. As Maison&Objet also showcases objects and accessories – office accessories, candles, decorative objects, small stationery items, etc. – in addition to layout and furniture, one of our What’s New spaces will present a selection of new products. It’s often the final touch that creates the “wow” effect, helps ensure the success of a new layout and delights employees.
We’re also going to organize a program of talks and workshops to shed light on exemplary office design projects with an international edge. Business meetings focused on this market will allow users with office design projects to meet manufacturers and designers at this September edition.
We also plan to organize entertaining and informative events around a selection of innovative and creative brands that are expanding or planning to enter this market with a strong growth potential.