The 2010 year in furniture begins on January19 at imm cologne with an explosion of trends, new products and inspirational exhibition design all centred around the theme of living and interior design.
Here, you are directly in the centre of a thriving market, here, business is made. There are many good reasons why you should be there, when Cologne is again home to all things design, trends and business.
Dirk-Uwe Klaas, CEO of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM)
For Dirk-Uwe Klaas, CEO of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM) in Bad Honnef, it’s obvious why home styling has finally been discovered as the latest hot topic: “People spend approx. 340 days a year in their own home. That’s why an increasing number of people are coming to see home as a place for self-fulfilment. Nowhere else can you indulge your own tastes as freely as in your own four walls.”
Cars instead of sofas – a lean period for German furniture manufacturers
But even if home styling has become a cult – is it actually still possible to make money with furniture in the face of shrinking private budgets and the massively subsidised bargains available on the automotive market right now? At first glance, the German furniture industry’s half-yearly figures indicate a resounding “no”. With sales of 7.6 billion euros, German furniture manufacturers were an alarming 13.8 percent or 1.2 billion euros down on the previous year’s figure.
However, in view of the unique economic situation right now, any serious answer to the profitability question must take account of figures from earlier years as well. Back in 2008, for instance, the results painted a very different picture: furniture producers ended the year with growth of 1.6 percent. Although there was a slight decline in domestic sales, this was more than offset by export growth of 4.3 percent as compared to the previous year.
Cecilie Manz, Marcus Fairs, Johanna Grawunder, Giulio Ridolfo and Bertjan Pot (f.l.t.r.) Photo: Koelnmesse; Lutz Sternstein
Every summer, five or six renowned designers get together in the tower block of Cologne exhibition centre for an unusual workshop that culminates in a prognosis of the most important developments in interior design: the Trend Book with the interior trends of the coming year. Every year, the Trendboard convened by the imm cologne brings together product designers, architects, material specialists and journalists who are regarded as internationally acknowledged authorities on design and are successful at international level. The Trendboard line-up changes every year and represents several nationalities and disciplines.
This year, materials specialist Giulio Ridolfo and journalist Marcus Fairs ensure the desired continuity. Giulio Ridolfo, a designer and textile consultant from Italy’s creative stronghold Udine, made a name for himself with his unusual works for the likes of Patricia Urquiola.
London author Marcus Fairs’ reputation is founded on his online magazine dezeen. New impulses came from American architect and interior designer Johanna Grawunder, whose work in the field of product design includes exclusive and colourful limited editions, and Cecilie Manz, a young and successful designer from Denmark with an excellent instinct for materials and colours. Dutch designer Bertjan Pot, the third new face on this year’s Trendboard, is also part of the young, successful generation of designers that is currently accelerating the pace of change in the design scene.
As in previous years, the Trendboard was accompanied by Andrej Kupetz, managing director of the Frankfurt-based German Design Council since 1999.
Every autumn, the imm cologne furniture fair publishes a trend forecast on the most important developments in interior design. In the so-called Trend Book, the themes shaping the design scene right now are extrapolated in four directions representing various tastes and lifestyles.
The trend analysis is the work of the Trendboard inaugurated by the imm cologne six years ago – a group of five or six influential designers, architects, material specialists and journalists. Every year, several new members join the line-up to ensure a constant stream of new input for the Trendboard’s work. In a two-day workshop, these creative designers and experts discuss the most promising developments in the design scene, the needs people have and the answers design could potentially come up with. Once the workshop is over, the members of the Trendboard check how the trends they have formulated have been translated into the imm cologne’s publication, the Trend Book.
Using vivid photos of lavishly staged interiors and outdoor spaces, representative products and forms, material collages and detailed colour specifications, the Trend Book shows how people would like to furnish their homes in the coming season. The renderings and information are just as helpful for the general public as they are for professional interior designers or retailers. The pictures are supplemented by texts that describe the corresponding outlook on life and explain the aesthetic attitude of creators and users alike. The trends are also given catchy, evocative names.
The current “Interior Trends 2010” are called “Discipline”, “Trickery”, “Comfort Zone” and “Rehab”. Learn more about these four trends.