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Maison&Objet interviews

Jonathan Adler: the all-American happy way of life

'Be happy!,' that's been Jonathan Adler's mantra for the past three decades. To mark Maison&Objet's 30th birthday, the American designer made a beeline for Paris to man his stand himself.

You have always championed "anti-depressive" living. Is that still the case today?
'I like my designs to convey a sense of optimism. I'm an American designer, and I see America as a country that's full of optimism, joy, creativity and possibilities, which is precisely what I demonstrate through my work. I started out as a ceramic artist, and then drew on the magic of America and the magic of creativity to build a business that allows me to produce a wide range of items.'

You've even dreamed up little brass boxes that resemble Xanax pills. Isn't that pushing things a bit far?
'I absolutely love being creative and using humour to offer my own design-led take on pharmaceutical products.'

Would you say that European design is less optimistic?
'European design is more middle-of-the-road. I also create lots of less daring pieces, but they all have a super-cool American touch.'

You regularly attend the Maison&Objet trade fair. What draws you here?
'I come to see my clients and to keep my finger on the pulse of European design in a way that can only be done in Paris. When I head home from the Maison&Objet trade fair, I always feel hugely inspired. It's the chicest and most incredible trade fair in the world.'

You've already designed the interiors of several private homes in Europe. Have you got any hospitality projects in the pipeline?
'I've never worked on a European hotel, but it's something I'd love to do. The absolute dream would be to make that happen in Paris. I've always loved Paris, and I always will.'

Which of your latest creations would you say best captures your design philosophy?
'I'd say the "Les amis" vase collection, because each one is handcrafted and starts its journey in my pottery studio. Vallauris meets California is how I would describe these pieces. I think they are future classics, and you can never have enough friends. Those are the pieces that best capture the essence of our new collection.'


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