Paris Design Week 2021 Recap: Here are our top favorite designs from this year’s physical Maison et Objet event!

After having to host a strictly online-only version of their trade fair last year because of the global pandemic, Maison&Objet made a grand comeback to their in-person physical event this year. The event saw an overwhelming response, with as many as 1476 participants and over 80,000 attendees getting together to help propel the design industry forward, and allow design businesses to thrive. The event was spread out among 7 halls, covering multiple different themes, spotlighting thousands of businesses and design studios, and showcasing a dizzying variety of new and classic products. Here in this list, we handpick a few standout designs that we absolutely loved at the Maison&Objet fair held at the 2021 Paris Design Week.

a.bsolument Vintage-inspired Bluetooth Radios


Didn’t you know retro is back? Well, if you’re going to be listening to retro throwback music, what better device to listen to it on than an a.bsolument radio? The France-based company takes antique radios from the 60s and 70s, and upgrades them with more modern innards, like better speakers and even Bluetooth capability. It isn’t easy sourcing these radios from more than 50 years ago, but a.bsolument’s somehow managed to get their hands on a MASSIVE bunch of small transistors, pocket radios, home radios, and many more, and they’re all being refurbished to give them a new lease of life. Most of them still look incredibly classy, if you ask me.

koziol Pascal Lunch Box Cultery Set

The Pascal is a nifty, all-in-one lunchbox with its own snap-on cutlery set that lets you grab a quick bite anywhere. Made from environmentally friendly materials, the lunchbox is food-safe, modular, and can suit a variety of cuisines. It comes with 3 containers and koziol’s KLIKK cutlery set, and can be infinitely reused, so you never have to worry about single-use takeout containers or cutlery ever again!

Horl Rolling Knife Sharpener

The key to grinding your kitchen blades perfectly lies in a number of factors, two of the most important ones being A. angle, and B. directional consistency… both of which the Horl Knife Sharpener take into careful consideration. Designed to be easy enough for amateurs to use, Horl’s foolproof process results in knives so perfectly whetted, they look like they were sharpened by experts. The setup comes with a sharpening stone mounted on a rolling barrel design, and a unique jig that holds your knife at an exact 15° angle as the roller grinds the blade. This way, both the angle and directional consistency are taken care of and all you need to do is mount your knife on the magnetic jig and roll the sharpener up and down a few times.

Wunderkey Key Organizer

A standing example of German efficiency, the Wunderkey is a functional bit of EDC that organizes your keys into a small, Swiss Knife-inspired stick that’s slim enough to fit in your pocket. The Wunderkey makes it easy to organize and access your keys, and if the sound of jangling keychains annoys you, the tightly packed design ensures you don’t sound like a one-man Mariachi band. The Wunderkey comes in a choice of materials, including a modern aluminum body, a classic leather exterior, and if you’re feeling fancy, carbon fiber!

Prêt à Pousser Nano Modular Indoor Planter


If you remember the Nano Garden from back in May, Prêt à Pousser has now expanded their ecosystem to make the Nano even more modular and suitable for households. Instead of opting for individual Nano planters, you can now get stacks of 3 and even modules of 4, allowing you to expand your home garden with a selection of floral plants, purifying plants, and even kitchen greens! The planters still come with the self-watering feature, the soil-free design, and the sun-mimicking lamp that nourishes your plant!

Kreafunk Bluetooth Speakers


With a wonderfully contemporary Danish design, Kreafunk’s speakers look as beautiful as they sound. The way they’re designed makes them blend beautifully into home interiors, with their use of metal, plastic, fabric, and occasionally leather, all combined together to make something that rivals even the best smart speakers. Shown above is the aCOUSTIC, a pretty slick-looking wireless speaker that pumps out a good 30 hours of music on a full charge. It comes with a handle that makes it easy to carry around the house, sports an IP55 dust and water repellent design which means you can carry it outdoors too, and here’s the best part – it supports wireless charging, so you can easily place the speaker on a charging pad when the battery runs low!

Lexon Oblio Wireless Charger + UV Sanitizer


Put your phone right into the Oblio’s slot and it immediately begins sanitizing as well as wirelessly charging your device. A 10W wireless charger at the back juices your phone in just 20 minutes, giving the Oblio enough time to use a front-facing UV-C lamp to sterilize your phone’s screen. The Oblio’s unique form factor not only makes it look like a chic little planter around your house but also cleverly hides your phone from view, so you’re less likely to constantly fiddle with it during the charging/sanitation cycle. It’s a clever bit of design, tech, and a behavioral-change solution all wrapped in one!

Kikkerland Crab Multitool


Most crustaceans belong in the sea, some in the kitchen, but the Crab Multi-Tool by Kikkerland definitely belongs in the latter! The Crab comes with a beechwood body and 6 multitools, comprising a pair of scissors, a bottle opener, a 3/16 flat head screwdriver, a can opener, a mini knife, and a rope saw. Fold them up to make the multi-tool look compact, like a meditating crab. The minute you need a helping hand (or claw), unfold the crab’s many arms and it’ll show you just how useful it is!

A sneak peak at what’s in store at this year’s Maison&Objet event at the Paris Design Week

Following fifteen intense months of nothing but online activities, the real-world version of the trade fair is about to make its much-awaited return… but a lot has changed since March of last year, and even the design industry has seen its fair share of upheavals. In preparing for its grand return, Maison&Objet conducted a survey among 1,152 international industry professionals to keep their finger firmly on the pulse of the design, decoration, and lifestyle community. The results of the survey would help them determine the best way to restructure their grand event, while ultimately crafting a trade fair that helps the creative community flourish.

Click Here to Buy Tickets Now: $70 $95 (26% off). Hurry, Early Bird ends September 8, 2021.

Maison&Objet found that an overwhelming majority (65%) of those surveyed shared a positive outlook on the future of the design/decoration/lifestyle industry, with 20% of brands even expressing an intent to expand their teams. As a recap of the past 15 months, almost every survey participant admitted that the pandemic forced them to pivot to the online space. “It has now become clear that having a social media presence – and notably an Instagram account – and setting up an online store is one of the most crucial growth levers retailers can adopt”, mentions Maison&Objet’s report on the survey. A sudden halt on international trade even prompted brands to ‘go native’ and rely less on imports while focusing on creating more ethical, locally made products… a direction that was welcomed by consumers too. However, a primarily online-driven business had its limitations… as did a virtual trade-fair. An in-person edition of the Maison&Objet provided more than just a showcase of products. It gave people the opportunity to touch, smell, feel, and experience designs (something that a website couldn’t do), while also allowing brands and retailers to celebrate the hard work gone into launching new creations while also getting to network with each other and compete to return with better products the following year.

Determined to bring back that ‘joie de vivre’ of a real-world exhibition, the Maison&Objet event returns for a live in-person event in Paris from the 9th to the 13th of September, flagging off Paris Design Week from the 9th to the 18th of September. Over 1,300 brands have confirmed their attendance at this year’s Maison&Objet, highlighting the grandeur of the trade fair’s comeback while also the responsibilities needed to be taken to conduct the fair safely. The hosts, in consultation with the government health authorities, plan on issuing health passes for all attendees. Masks will be mandatory and hand-sanitizing stations will be set up at regular intervals. Various traffic regulating measures are also in place, ensuring that aisles/stalls are kept at least 3 meters (9.8 feet) apart and that physical distancing regulations are followed along with a strict occupancy-limit per hall. For design enthusiasts who won’t be able to make it to Paris this year, the MOM virtual showcase will help you explore all the works by their categories and brands – Yanko Design will even curate a special MOM newsletter featuring a collection of our hottest designs from the event this year… and you can scroll down for a fleeting taste of what to expect at one of design’s biggest trade shows!

The Hoverpen 2.0 Interstellar Edition by David Liang

A winner of several international design awards, the Hoverpen is a uniquely alluring pen that hovers at a precise 23.5° inside its levitating stand.

Lovebox Color & Photo by Xavier Houy

The Lovebox is a connected, messaging device that pairs with an app to go beyond regular communication and deliver special expressions of affection. Think of it as a physical symbol of your digital memories and intrinsic emotions.

Closca Helmet by Closca Design

Headgear like the Closca Helmet are truly a one-in-a-million sort of thing. It collapses flat when you need to store it, and opens out into an ergonomic head-shell when you need to wear it. Not to mention, it comes with the additional benefit of providing ventilation thanks to the air-vents in its unique design.

Heng Balance Lamp by Allocacoc

The award-winning Heng’s clever design lies in its brilliant element of interaction that controls the lamp’s light. The lamp’s hollow center has two magnetic orbs within it that switch on and off the light within the lamp’s ring. The strings are short enough to allow both the orbs to be attracted to each other, yet still not touch. When the lower orb enters the magnetic field of the upper one, the lamp switches on. Release the lower orb and the lamp goes off.

EcHome Speaker by Sharon Lin

A universal speaker that relies on the power of acoustics instead of the connectivity of Bluetooth, the EcHome speaker simply creates an echo-chamber around your smartphone’s speakers, amplifying them naturally. The wooden speaker doesn’t rely on any electronics or a battery and will work with any phone, every time!

ONE3 Ruler Pencil by TA+d

By fusing two products into a single form, the ONE3 Ruler Pencil isn’t just compact, it’s conveniently classy too! The ruler boasts of a triangular design that’s easy to grip and maneuver, but it comes with a hollow center that’s perfectly designed to store the ONE3’s pencil when not in use. A magnet even holds the pencil in place, preventing it from accidentally falling out.

Architect’s Gambit by Veerada Siripong

Inspired by the Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit”, this unique looking chess-set was created with an architect’s mindset, using geometrically-designed chess pieces that look like an abstract city layout when the pieces are on the board!

Skull DIY Sculpture by Stéphane Villain

If hunting game and taxidermy animal-heads aren’t quite your thing, Stéphane Villain’s DIY animal heads are a cruelty-free quirky-looking alternative! The heads come flat-packed and assemble like origami, adding a low-poly touch to your room’s decor!

Paper Shoot Camera by George Lin

Taking the term ‘Raw photography’ to the next level, the Paper Shoot camera is an unusual camera that’s made from eco-friendly materials. The camera’s designs are based on the philosophy of ‘less is more’ and come as an unassembled set of components that you put together, building the camera from scratch that you can then customize with your own prints and patterns!

Original Storm Umbrella by Senz°

The Original Storm Umbrella is absolutely gust-resistant! No matter how strong the wind, the umbrella’s unique design won’t ever flip over. Moreover, its aerodynamic shape was calibrated to easily cut through the air with minimal drag too, which means you can hold the umbrella comfortably with one hand in a storm! Oh, and when you’re indoors, the umbrella folds into a compact portable avatar, just like your regular umbrella.

Click Here to Buy Tickets Now: $70 $95 (26% off). Hurry, Early Bird ends September 8, 2021.

Furniture design label Domkapa showcases its chic upholstered collection at the virtual Maison et Objet

Furniture is, more often than not, a multisensorial experience. Sure, having furniture that looks beautiful is definitely a big plus, but having furniture that invites you to touch it, run your fingers across its upholstered fabric, and occasionally have your body sink into it is a much more rewarding experience. Portugal-based design brand Domkapa has that aspect pretty much figured out when it comes to designing furniture solutions for homes. Domkapa’s furniture, which is characterized by a soft design, is all about inviting you to interact with it through touch. Combined with well-selected color palettes, high-quality materials, and contemporary forms, Domkapa’s furniture boasts of a bold identity, while looking distinctly comfortable and welcoming.

At this year’s virtual Maison et Objet festival, Domkapa is leveraging this unique opportunity to allow people from all around the world to participate in its exhibition. The Domkapa Virtual Tour offers visitors to engage with a complete virtual-reality exhibition curated to showcase Domkapa’s 2021 collections among other classics. While you won’t really be able to touch and sit on the armchairs, sofas, stools, and beds the way is intended, the virtual tour beautifully sets the scene with furniture aesthetically arranged to complement the spaces they’re in. You can virtually tour the space, entering different rooms set in a beautiful brutalist interior, with the ability to view products and even save them in your personal collection for later.

All of Domkapa’s furniture is created in-house in its Northern Portugal factory, where the design team works side to side with the production with the goal of creating high-quality expressive furniture that highlights and champions its upholstery and the work of the skilled craftspeople working in-house. Domkapa’s pieces reinterpret classics in a modern light, always respecting the design principles of proportion, balance, color, shape, and texture.

Click Here to view Domkapa’s Virtual Tour and its Maison et Objet 2021 Collection

Click Here to view Domkapa’s Virtual Tour and its Maison et Objet 2021 Collection

BenQ: We’re not going back to cellphones and laptops, but check out our luxury lamps!

BenQ we're not going back to cellphones and laptops, but check out our luxury lamps!

There was a time when the BenQ brand could be seen on laptops and mobile phones, but nowadays you'd have to turn your eyes to projectors, LCD monitors and cameras (in select markets) in order to spot it. If you're in China, you might have even come across the gigantic BenQ Medical Center in Nanjing. That's right, a hospital; and later this year BenQ will be opening another one in Suzhou, which is where the company's Chinese operation is based. Interesting times, right? But as to whether BenQ has any intention to re-enter the two mobile markets in the near future, the answer is a firm "no."

Continue reading BenQ: We're not going back to cellphones and laptops, but check out our luxury lamps!

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BenQ: We're not going back to cellphones and laptops, but check out our luxury lamps! originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 25 Sep 2012 06:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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