is a design expert, curator and special correspondent for CNN Style.
Paris Design Week
is one of the more significant design weeks to take place in Europe each year. It's a citywide celebration of furniture and interior products that has grown out of the city's biannual industry trade fair, Maison & Objet
, located in the Parc des Expositions on the outskirts of the capital. Here, enormous halls are filled with aisle after aisle of new product launches to adorn every imaginable interior.
While an important commercial platform, these vast hangars of stuff have the ability to sap the energy from or overwhelm visitors.
The events and exhibitions dotted across this romantic city act as a sort of antidote and are encouraged (and promoted) by the trade fair organizers. Occupying shops and showrooms, empty warehouses and small ateliers, the 'fringe' events often have less emphasis on trade and more on culture.
As someone who travels the world visiting design weeks throughout the year, strangely I haven't been to Paris Design Week for over a decade. With the CNN Style film crew in tow, I spent a day moving across a handful of events in the city. Starting with a whistle-stop tour of the cavernous Maison & Objet, we headed to the center and took in a few more exhibitions and venues before zipping back to my hometown London.