maison&objet americas 2016 brings home decor and design to miami
(above) wall coverings and fabrics by orlean




maison&objet is a leading exhibition platform for interior design and home decoration hosted in three cities: paris, singapore and miami. originating in the french capital more than 20 years ago, the show continues to expand on an increasingly international scale, extending its reach into dynamic regions for design innovation across the world. 


from may 10 to may 13, 2016, maison&objet americas brings a global class of creatives to the vibrant city of miami for the second consecutive year. this edition takes over two halls at the miami beach convention center, with an outreach of exhibitions and activities planned across the city throughout the week — from the lively design district to the artsy wynwood walls. at the crossroads of two continents and their 954 million inhabitants, M&O americas is quickly becoming the newly-confirmed meeting point for designers, architects, developers, retailers, and media — all with a dedicated focus on north and south american markets. last year’s edition garnered 300 brands and received more than 10,000 visitors from 82 countries — the upcoming 2016 fair will double in size, bringing a new lineup of creatives, speakers and international talent to the stage, and situating miami as one of the americas’ design capitals.

gastón isoldi: director of maison&objet americas 2016 | photo by julieta casanas




taking the helm as the americas director of maison&objet 2016 is gastón isoldi. based in miami, isoldi is an experienced luxury trade show organizer who has held a number of high-profile positions at reed exhibitions (joint owner of SAFI — the company that organizes maison&objet), advertising and marketing agencies ogilvy & mather and mccann-erickson, sony latin america, and visa international.


we spoke with isoldi about the fair’s expansion, its role in transforming miami into a destination for art and design, and some of the must-see highlights at this upcoming edition. we also take a look at the work and vision of the recipient of the 2016 designer of the year award, and the six selected rising talents from north and south america. 

impressions from last year’s edition of M&O americas 2015  | photo by greg savez




designboom: what’s new this year for M&O americas?


gastón isoldi: well one thing is that it’s bigger — it covers two halls. last year we had only hall C, while this year we will have both halls C and D. we also went deeper in the north american and latin american markets, so in that way, we’ll see a different audience of visitors and many more people from all parts of the US, and across latin america. there are 60% of new exhibitors coming to the show, which is really good! from that there are new brands from europe, latin america and the united states, some which are exclusive to this event, which makes it really unique. 

cocktail networking M&O americas event in 2015 | photo by marie ame lie tondu




(continued) we also expanded the miami experience program with events and activities throughout the city during the entire week. of course there is the the designer of the year and rising talents awards, but we also have partnerships with eight local museums, a young designers exhibition that will take place in the design district for the whole week, guided tours across the city for architecture and design, and 25 showrooms that will have installations and activities in their spaces.

new exhibitor orlean is one of the leading importers and curators of wall coverings and fabrics in latin america




DB: how has the development of miami supported the M&O americas expansion, and in turn, what do you hope the fair brings to the city?


GI: I believe there is a win-win situation — we help miami by giving people another reason to visit, and also by confirming that miami really is an art and design destination. at the same time, miami helps us a lot with support for the show. personally, I am extremely happy with the city’s recent transformation. I’ve lived in miami for the last 15 years. I’ve seen the fluctuation, saw the cranes coming up, going down after the crisis, and now back up again. I believe right now the growth is very solid, and international brands and experiences continue to come to the city. just as an example, a couple of years ago, some restaurants moved down to miami, but had to close just because they didn’t have the critical mass of visitors. now, they absolutely stay, because there are just so many people coming to visit miami.

french brand BLACKBODY is one of the new exhibitors at M&O americas 2016
above, the ‘oloop!’ lighting experience implements the latest advances in OLED technology




DB: what some of the major differences between the americas show, and the others in paris and singapore. alternatively, how are they similar?


GI: the big differences are the size of the event and the products put forward. when you visit the miami beach or singapore or paris event, you are immersed in the M&O universe. visitors recognize global exhibitors who come from every part of the world, the quality of the products offered, the creative concepts and the innovative trends presented. also, the exhibitors are reassured because it’s the same team taking care of them all across the world.

new exhibitor and miami-based designer victoria lekach will present tabletop accessories and decor made of acrylic




DB: can you talk about the M&O americas rising talents this year?


GI: part of the DNA of M&O is to recognize design, in many ways and levels, and across many categories. every year, alongside the award of the designer of the year, we award a group of rising talents — designers that have already established that they are ready to go to the next level. for M&O americas we select six rising talents — it’s a very difficult choice. this year, two of them are coming from the US (samuel amoia and ben medansky) — from the east and west coast respectively — from brazil (guilherme wentz), mexico (ad hoc), chile (great things to people) and from panama (javier gomez). also, on the same thinking, I mentioned our important exhibition of young designers. as we have in paris in september, this year in miami we are doing the same thing in the design district throughout the week. the exhibition will bring together a big selection of young designers from latin america to the context of miami. 

brazilian designer paulo alves presents furniture and storage at M&O americas 2016




DB: can you tell us about the maison&objet americas 2016 designer of the year — rafael de cárdenas — and how he was chosen?


GI: we worked together with the team in paris to choose rafael de cárdenas as M&O americas designer of the year. the really interesting thing about rafael is that he comes from a fashion design background — he has a very unique career path. he’s completed different projects, experiences, and products all over the world in many fields, so he has a really diverse character. his projects become even more interesting when you really have chance the talk to him and have him explain his thinking.

bosa will exhibit decorative design pieces at M&O americas 2016
above, ‘hopebird’ by designer jaime hayon




each year, maison&objet acknowledges the most outstanding names in the design and decor industries, showcasing these creatives during the fair’s annual editions. maison&objet americas has named new york-based architect and designer rafael de cárdenas as designer of the year 2016.

rafael de cárdenas: maison & objet americas designer of the year 2016
photo by andrew boyle




de cárdenas is the founder of architecture at large — a multi-disciplinary practice with offices in new york and london. prior to founding the firm in 2006, de cárdenas worked for calvin klein as a men’s collection designer and creative director for special effects production house imaginary forces. today, his work spans a wide-scope of projects in architecture, residential and commercial interiors, temporary spaces, furniture, and objects and accessories. ‘we favor the strategic over the thematic, the cosmopolitan over the typological, and the atmospheric over the static,’ de cárdenas describes. ‘ever-focused on the contemporary, we take diligent note of the past while day-dreaming the future.’

de cárdenas’ scheme for the new asia de cuba restaurant in new york blends 90’s postmodernism and cuban art deco
image by floto+warner




de cárdenas’ pop-culture influences, imaginative and integrated use of color and patterns, and ability to create interior and architectural environments that provoke emotion, is evident in a variety of his signature works. de cárdenas has gone on to design the reincarnated asia de cuba restaurant in new york with 90’s postmodernism and cuban art deco influences; jewelry designer delfina delettrez’s second london boutique that romantically explores materials and shapes; the baccarat madison avenue flagship with attention to the fragile yet rigid details of finely cut crystal; and NIKE’s 45 grand fitness studio and showroom in soho.


read more about rafael de cárdenas and his work in our previous feature on designboom, here

the cartier ‘shape your time’ exhibit was developed as an immersive environment for hosting events and dinners




additionally, every maison&objet fair provides a dedicated platform for up-and-coming creatives, offering them a place to present their work to professionals from around the world. for maison&objet americas 2016, the works of six hand-picked ascending designers from north and south america will be showcased in a space created exclusively for them inside the convention center. this year’s ‘rising talents’ are: samuel amoia, from new york; guilherme wentz, from brazil; great things to people, from chile; ad hoc, from mexico; ben medansky, from los angeles; and javier gomez, from panama.

designer samuel amoia, from new york | photo by luciano freitas




based in new york, samuel amoia is known for his use of natural materials and their innovative application throughout his furniture and interior design work.

details of samuel amoia’s work that use natural materials with an innovative application

guilherme wentz, from brazil




são paulo-based designer guilherme wentz is known for his contemporary creations that celebrate the simplicity of life with pieces that cater to the user’s lifestyle.

details of guilherme wentz’s work that celebrate the simplicity of life

great things to people, from chile




great things to people (or gt2p) is an architecture, art and design studio founded in santiago, chile in 2009. partners tamara pérez, sebastián rozas, guillermo parada, victor imperiale and eduardo arancibia continuously investigate the mix of digital fabrication with traditional, lo-tech knowledge.

details of the ‘gudpaka lamp’ by great things to people — a mix of digital fabrication and lo-tech knowledge

juan josé nemer and mauricio álvarez of ad hoc | image © caliman films




industrial designer juan josé nemer and architect mauricio álvarez established ad hoc in 2014. as an object, furniture, and space workshop, the studio creates environments and pieces that dialogue with mexico’s artisan legacy by highlighting the use of natural materials and manual processes.

details of work by ad hoc, which highlight the use of natural materials and manual processes

ben medansky, from los angeles




influenced by landscapes from arizona to los angeles, ceramicist ben medansky explores variations on radial symmetry and grids while utilizing a limited color palette.

‘persephone’ by ben medansky explores variations on radial symmetry and grids

javier gomez, from panama 




javier gomez is an artist and photographer from panama, based in new york known for photographing urban architecture and organic objects in a surreal and abstract way. 

work by javier gomez sees architecture and organic objects photographed in a surreal and abstract way





maison et objet americas 2016 runs from may 10 to may 13, 2016. the event brings the interior design and home decoration communities from north and south america to the vibrant city of miami. this second edition takes over two halls at the miami beach convention center, with an outreach of events, exhibitions and activities planned for across the city throughout the week.