It was a design event of the quieter, more subtle kind. There was no proclamation of a new design philosophy to the accompaniment of spectacular gestures. Nor was a new collection presented in a typical trade fair scenography designed to show the product off to full advantage in a perfectly styled setting, as is the custom in the Pure segments of the international furniture and interior design show imm cologne. Instead “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” was a half realistic, half visionary depiction of a dream of what living space could be like – in this particular case, of Luca Nichetto’s dream. The imm cologne’s new design format, which was introduced just last year, is not so much about individual products as about the interplay between all the various factors that constitute interior design. The individual pieces of furniture are important soloists within this ensemble but not, in this case, the superstars.
With the concept for “Das Haus” and its choice of designers so far – Doshi Levien in 2012, Luca Nichetto in 2013 – the imm cologne has underscored just how seriously it takes its goal of an “interior design” fair that depicts a wide range of different product lines. And Luca Nichetto’s interpretation of “Das Haus” was impressive proof that this is a format for the interior design discipline to take seriously – perhaps the first of its kind at such a major furnishing fair.
The innovations at the coming imm cologne (14th to 20th January 2013) include the new trade fair theme “European Lifestyles” in Hall 1, where manufacturers from Rumania, Estonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia will be presenting themselves in attractive national pavilions.
There will also be a joint presentation by young, innovative companies from Germany, who will be presenting themselves to a broad audience here for the first time as part of a sponsorship project initiated by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. They will be joined by a number of strong individual exhibitors from various countries, including Germany, Portugal and Italy.
With the new “European Lifestyles” concept, the trade fair has created a new attraction in Hall 1 for all buyers who are just as interested in compelling quality and sales-boosting design as they are in a convincing price-performance ratio.
Studio Makkink & Bey, Birdwatch cabinet (for girl), 2006. (photo: © Studio Makkink & Bey)
In literature, music and art, the term ‘romanticism’ refers to an artistic era that reached from the late 18th far into the 19th century. Today we associate this term with attributes such as ‘rapturous’, ‘dreamy’, ‘imaginative’ and ‘poetic’ but also with ‘kitsch’ and with being out of touch with reality. But what, then, does romanticism have to do with contemporary design?
The exhibition ‘Isn’t it romantic? Contemporary Design between Poetry and Provocation’ attempts to address our current understanding of romanticism and to explore the new desire for romanticism. The longing for beauty and harmony and for a place of fulfilment can be understood as an alternative concept to modernism, which has predominantly shaped our current society. New values such as individuality, sensuousness, uniqueness and affinity with nature stand in opposition to increasing globalisation and mobility, against ubiquitous information overload, against alienation and against the absolute transparency of our private lives.
Against this backdrop, we can observe a shift in contemporary design that, in terms of motivation and goals, can be compared to the historic Romantic Movement. In contrast to the positions represented in the design of the 1960s and 1980s, this current movement is both less radical and less political. The focus is not so much on a radical rejection of the generally accepted understanding of design as related to the notions of perfection, functionality and a reduction of forms, rather it is about a synthesis of the romantic and the modern and about an amalgamation of rationality and irrationality, something which can be observed in current design.
imm cologne 2013 will host with WE ARE SOCIAL an international bloggers meetup, organised by the blogging bestseller-author Holly Becker and social media expert Frank Huber. The keynote of the social media event will be held by Holly Becker (founder/editor of decor8 and author of international best seller).
As guests for the panel discussion imm cologne has invited Frederik Frede (CEO/Founder, Freunde von Freunden, Berlin), Costas Voyatzis (CEO, Yatzer, Athens), Micle Mihai-Cristian (CEO, Freshome, Timişoara), Ferdinando Napoli ( CEO/Co-Founder of Edilportale.com, Archiportale.com, Archiproducts.com and Archilovers.com), Will Taylor (Bright Bazaar, London) and Stefanie Luxat (Ohhh… Mhhh…, Hamburg).
WE ARE SOCIAL is a free and open event that brings international bloggers together at imm cologne, one of the largest interior design fairs of the world. imm cologne as a media platform presents with WE ARE SOCIAL some of the leading social media channels, movers and shakers.
Luca Nichetto. (photo: Koelnmesse, Andreas Körner)
Following London design team Doshi Levien’s successful launch of the new design event at the imm cologne 2012, the trade fair has nominated designer Luca Nichetto as its Guest of Honour for “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage 2013″. In his design, the Venetian focuses on solutions that are intended to enable occupants to live in direct contact with the plant world.
In Nichetto’s “Haus”, plants appear as an integral element of the architecture and interior design: in specially created pots, they adorn not just the walls of the façades, the louver-like structure of which is dotted with transparent gaps and spaces for plants; inside too, they take on specific functions that improve the indoor climate. In the form of big plant pools, planted courtyards and integrated terraces, they fill the interior with greenery, allowing its architecture to stage the interplay between indoors and outside.
The Profilsystem today: in the living room. It can be reconfigured, added to and varied again and again. (photo: Flötotto)
“If you go to your nearest newspaper kiosk right now, you can get a great furniture catalogue for just 50 pfennig” – that was an advertising slogan the company used back in the 1970s. And it worked: 300,000 copies of the catalogue for the modular beech system of Flötotto were sold at newsstands as if they were magazines. The robust Profilsystem was thoroughly in tune with the times and quickly took up residence in German households.
Regardless of whether it was used in the living room or bedroom, home office or children’s room, thanks to its modular principle the wooden system could soon be found virtually anywhere in the house. Besides the typical shelves and chests of drawers – which are called containers – the Profilsystem also includes tables and desks, chairs and armchairs, beds and children’s furniture, as well as decorative elements ranging from interchangeable recessed handles in a choice of colours all the way to mirrors.
The contract segment also soon learned to appreciate the system’s merits, using it to furnish playschools, nursing homes and youth hostels, as well as conference rooms, open-plan offices and waiting rooms. Over the last 40 years, more than 5 million metres of wood have been processed to make the furniture.
For the furniture sector but also for the German and European mattress industry, the imm cologne is the most important trade fair of all: besides being a meeting point where trade visitors from the sector can inform themselves about what’s new on the market, it also reaches interested consumers during the Public Days. As a result Hall 9, which is home to the Sleep segment, is already booked out long before the trade fair gets underway. As in previous years, the German Mattress Industry Association (Fachverband Matratzen-Industrie) will be presenting itself in the centre of the hall, where it will be providing visitors with manufacturer-neutral advice on the topic of sleep and hosting the sector’s meet@sleep event.
The average German sleeps a good seven hours per night – and thus spends more time in bed than on his sofa or cooking. Consumers therefore have good reason to invest in the purchase of mattress and bed systems that are suited to their individual requirements. This trend is very clearly reflected in the number of mattress and bed manufacturers who have registered for the imm cologne, where they can reach trade visitors and consumers at one and the same event. An increase in first-time enquiries from interested manufacturers and increased demand for more space from long-standing exhibitors – the Sleep segment is more successful than ever before.
A full half-year before the trade fair gets underway, Koelnmesse and Vice President Trade Fair Management Frank Haubold are having to tell would-be exhibitors: “Sorry, we’re booked out”. The Hilding Anders Group will be returning to the trade fair with a joint booth. It will be joined by well-known German manufacturers such as ADA Möbelfabrik, Badenia Bettcomfort, Diamona, Fey, Otten, Rummel-Matratzen and Schlaraffia. And many foreign companies, including Auping, AKVA Waterbeds and Joka, are banking on the imm cologne as well. Frank Haubold: “In order to be able to accept all the enquiries we’ve had from exhibitors, we would have needed one third more space. We would love to be able to satisfy everyone’s requests, but unfortunately we’re having to put any new enquiries on the waiting list for the time being. For us as trade fair organisers, the strong demand is a huge success, and that is due in no small part to the great support and commitment of the German Mattress Industry Association.”
British Design 1948 – 2012. (photo: Victoria and Albert Museum London)
In 1948 London hosted the first Olympic Games after the Second World War. The ‘austerity games’ (as they became known) took place at a time of economic crisis in a city devastated by bombing, but they provided a platform for reconciliation and reconstruction. In 2012 Britain welcomes the Olympics once more, and while the spirit remains, the context in which they are taking place has entirely changed.
British Design 1948–2012 traces those changes by exploring buildings, objects, images and ideas produced by designers and artists born, trained or based in Britain.
The imm cologne, the major worldwide event for the interior design sector, will open its gates in fewer than 200 days. Following the two successful events in 2011 and 2012, the 2013 trade fair is also right on track. With roughly 10 percent more exhibitors and 12 percent more exhibition space occupied, augmented by an increase in foreign participation and new product segments, there’s nothing standing in the way of a successful event.
“2013 is a very important year for us. With a strong German economy to bolster us while foreign markets are faltering, the imm cologne will assume a very special function as the central global business platform. The significant interest from strong Italian brands is a good example of this. For the first time in years we’ll be occupying the entire exhibition centre again, enabling our visitors to experience everything the international interior design sector has to offer in one location. In view of the huge interest from professional circles and the media, plus the fact that the number of exhibitors who have registered to take part exceeds all our expectations, we can already say that, more than ever before, Cologne is very much a talking point in the international interior design sector,” says Frank Haubold, Vice President Trade Fair Management.
Nipa Doshi und Jonathan Levien gestalten eine große Wohn-Installation auf der imm cologne 2012.
Who says modern everyday life and sensuousness have to be at odds with one another? The “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” installation by Doshi Levien at the imm cologne 2012 aims to furnish evidence to the contrary. In an installation that is visionary not just at architectural level but in creative terms as well, the design experiment is developing into a fascinating study on modern ways of living.
“‘Das Haus’ combines the best of some very different worlds. It could be located anywhere on the planet.” Designer Nipa Doshi is alluding to an encounter between modern architecture and a world of contemporary forms on the one hand and the traditionally colourful aesthetics of Asia, the chaotic-seeming building tradition of Indian or Far Eastern megacities and the open, inward-facing interior culture of Morocco on the other. According to the plans of London design team Doshi Levien, many of these elements will be brought together in their installation in such a way that something totally new emerges: “It combines unconditional modernity with a sensuous lifestyle,” says Jonathan Levien of the blueprint for the imm cologne’s new design format: “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”. His wife Nipa Doshi adds: “That’s precisely why we designed ‘Das Haus’ this way – because it doesn’t exist in this form. Only parts of it do.” weiterlesen…