Walter Knoll (exhibitor at imm cologne 2010, 19.-24.01.2010), one of Germany’s oldest manufacturers of upholstered furniture, cultivates a close partnership with designers and architects – an approach that is key to the company’s success. “New products evolve out of thorough communication, immersing yourself in processes and clarifying ideas. We seek out gaps together, looking for the right opening for something that has never been done before,” says CEO Markus Benz.
Benz, head of the Herrenberg-based company since 1993, sets great store by communication. It is a recurring theme that is also reflected in the company’s products. Take the Ameo lounge chairs by Austrian design team EOOS, for instance: they are ideal for relaxing with friends and putting the world to rights. The island-like swivel chairs can be turned to face one another for a conversation or away from the crowd for a moment of reflection, open to new perspectives. Or Living Landscape – another EOOS design. The sides and back turn with the seat and change their position.
29. October 2009
Categories: Business, Exhibitors, top designers
Tags: Ameo, architects, Ben van Berkel, brand strategy, branding, channelling, Commercial Bank, communication, designers, Dornier DO X, Dubai, durability, ecology, EOOS, fine piping, furniture, Germany’s oldest upholstered furniture brand, hand-sewn seams, Hearst Tower, innovation leader, intelligent design, intense colours, international designers, international top design, Kengo Kuma, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Living Landscape, long-term collaboration, long-term success, Markus Benz, MYchair, natural resources, new solutions, Norman Foster, parallel stitching, prestigious, quality, Red Dot Design Award, Reichstag, Rolf Benz, Saudi Arabia, sculpture in space, secret of success, solidity, stability, Tate Gallery, top designers, top-quality workmanship, UNStudio, upholstered furniture, upholstery, Vostra, Walter Knoll, Weissenhof Estate
The average German only replaces his sofa with a new one every 8-12 years. Don’t you sometimes wish there was a scrapping incentive for furniture too?
We in the furniture industry aren’t calling for subsidies – we just want equal treatment for all sectors. Instead of getting people to scrap their cars, the politicians ought to be scrapping taxes for normal citizens and SMEs so they’ve got more money left in their pockets and budgets at the end of the month – money they can use however they see fit.
The imm cologne’s Trendboard is anticipating a return to more quality consciousness as a response to the economic crisis. Is “real” quality actually still affordable these days?
We’re living in a time when people are refraining from quick consumption again so yes, you could say people have started to change their mentality. They’re becoming more sensitive to how we use the world’s resources and looking for things that promise value and durability again. That’s why there’s an increasing demand for sustainability and value in our industry too. For earlier generations it was normal not to follow every furniture or clothing fashion or go along with every new style that came out. Then there was a period of rapid and changing consumption. The pleasure was often short-lived and the products interchangeable.
20. October 2009
Tags: Association of the German Furniture Industry, Business, Cologne, consumers’ changing mentality, design, designers, Dirk-Uwe Klaas, eco-compatibility, ecology, electrotechnology, export, Frank A. Reinhardt, furniture, furniture industry, Gemütlichkeit, green design, higher education, imm cologne, innovation, interview, LED light, lighting, LOHAS, market data, mass-market products, polarisation, premium design, purchase criterion, quality, renewable resource, revenue, sales, surface optimisation, sustainability, VDM, wood
Konstantin Grcic (*1965) trained as a cabinetmaker at the John Makepeace School for Craftsmen in Dorset (1985 to 1987) before studying furniture design at the Royal College of Art in London.
After a year as an assistant to Jasper Morrison, he founded his own firm in Munich in 1991: “Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design”. The 90s saw the start of his success with laundry baskets and other plastic items for Authentics; then came style icons such as the Mayday lamp for Flos (1999), the swaying shelving unit Es for Nils Holger Moormann (1999), the Chaos armchair for ClassiCon (2001) and the Osorom seating element for Moroso (2002). The chair_ONE die-cast aluminium chair with a conical concrete foot (Magis, 2004) was actually intended for public spaces but went on to sell in its thousands as a sculptural lattice structure with seating function for the private loft. It was followed by the Miura bar stool (Plank, 2005).
03. September 2009
Categories: Designers in Dialogue, green design, top designers
Tags: Agape, Authentics, BASF, Cappellini, Cassina, chair_ONE, Chaos, ClassiCon, Compasso d’Oro, design, designer, Designers in Dialogue, Driade, ecology, Es, Flos, green design, Iittala, imm cologne 2010, interview, Jasper Morrison, John Makepeace School for Craftsmen, Konstantin Grcic, Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design, Krups, Lamy, Magis, Mayday, Merten, Miura, Montina, Moroso, Muji, Munich, Museum of Modern Art, Myto, Nils Holger Moormann, Osorom, Plank, Porzellan-Manufaktur Nymphenburg, Royal College of Art, SCP, sustainability, top designers, Ultradur® High Speed, Whirlpool
What are the key trends influencing furniture design this year? We asked designers, manufacturers, retailers and journalists for their assessments and observations.
Oliver Holy, CEO ClassiCon, München:
At the fair I regularly came across the new term “Homing”. Even if I’m reluctant to label any change in public desires right away I do understand what this one tries to register. I, too, believe that the uncertainty caused by the current economic and ecologic developments evokes a desire for concentrating on basics. With regard to interiors and materials this means to me that furniture which is natural, “grounded” and can even develop patina is favored and that loud and flashy styles become replaced by haptically pleasant forms and materials. I see this confirmed by the enthusiasm with which Sergio Rodrigues collection has been received.
10. August 2009
Categories: Business, Trends
Tags: Barber Osgerby, CEO, ClassiCon, designers, ecology, furniture trends, homing, imm cologne 2010, key trends, Konstantin Grcic, manufacturers, modern classics, Oliver Holy, quality, Sergio Rodrigues, sustainability
ID_OS is a development company for industrial and public design based in Frankfurt am Main. Since 1996, proprietor Olaf Schroeder (*1966) has been developing design concepts and solutions in the fields of product, furniture, system and exhibition design, as well as design projects for public spaces.
Besides the household products he has worked on for manufacturers Hailo, Leifheit and Rowenta, Olaf Schroeder has also developed and designed exhibitions and pavilion architectures. In 2003, Olaf Schroeder was awarded the state of Hesse’s special environmental award for his development work in connection with a solar-powered boat project. From 1998 until 2002, he was a lecturer at Offenbach University of Art and Design.
20. July 2009
Categories: Designers in Dialogue, green design, top designers
Tags: Baden-Württemberg International Design Award, e15, ecology, environmental design, Focus Green, furniture design, green design, growing table, Hailo, ID_OS, industrial design, Leifheit, Offenbach University of Art and Design, Olaf Schroeder, Rowenta, sustainability, top designers, Tunghai University of Taichung
EOOS: Gernot Bohmann, Harald Gründl (Mitte) and Martin Bergman. Photo: Udo Titz
EOOS consists of Martin Bergmann (*1963 in Lienz/East Tyrol), Gernot Bohmann (*1968, Krieglach/Steiermark) and Harald Gründl (*1967, Vienna). After graduating from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, they founded their joint firm EOOS in 1995. Besides furniture and product design, EOOS also does shop design for clients like Giorgio Armani, Adidas, Alessi, Bulthaup, Bene, Duravit, Walter Knoll, Keilhauer, Matteograssi and Zumtobel.
For EOOS, design is a poetic discipline and a cultural service to society. EOOS Basic Research investigates rituals, myths and intuitive images as part of its “poetic analysis”. The company’s first books, “The Death of Fashion” and ”The Cooked Kitchen”, are available from publishers SpringerWienNewYork. EOOS has won more than 40 international awards to date, including the 2004 Italian design prize Compasso d’Oro for Kube, produced by Matteograssi. In 2007, Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF and daily newspaper Die Presse voted EOOS ”Austrians of the Year“ in the Creative Industries category.
11. May 2009
Categories: Designers in Dialogue, green design, Trends
Tags: Adidas, Alessi, Austrians of the Year, Bene, biofuel, bioreactor, Bulthaup, climate protection target, Club of Rome, Compasso d’Oro, Designers in Dialogue, Die Presse, Duravit, ecological footprint, ecology, EOOS, Gernot Bohmann, Giorgio Armani, green design, Harald Gründl, innovations, Keilhauer, Martin Bergmann, Matteograssi, ORF, organic, Plant 1, solid wood furniture, Springer Verlag, sustainability, The Cooked Kitchen, The Death of Fashion, Trends, Wien, Zumtobel
The print our feet leave on our planet should be as light as possible – that is the aim of Green Design. Product designers are no longer content with making a purely aesthetic mark. Instead, with unconventional ideas and sustainable product concepts, they are committed to making our lifestyle more compatible with the environment.
Green Design is the dream of “good” design, of things that don’t hurt anybody – not nature, who the material is taken from and is left to deal with the remains, not the planet, who the energy is extracted from and whose atmosphere it is emitted into, nor the people who make or use the object.
27. April 2009
Categories: green design, Trends
Tags: Alexander Curtius, ecological footprint, ecology, green design, imm cologne 2010, innovation, sustainability, top brands, top designers, top-quality design
Ever since the awkward eco-fashion designer Miguel Adrover became the latest worldwide craze and insider tip and designed the autumn collection 2008 for the conventional German natural fashion mail-order company Hessnatur, it has been clear: Sustainability has developed into a boundless mega trend.
This is a fact that Vereinigte Möbeleinkaufs-GmbH & Co. KG is well aware of. With its new line “Woods & Trends” based on solid wood furniture, the industry player from Bielefeld is reacting to the fact that more and more consumers want ecologically manufactured lifestyle products. And these are already plentiful in the furnishings world – unlike in other industries. They can be seen at imm cologne from 19 to 25 January 2009.
29. December 2008
Categories: imm solid
Tags: Dr. Lucas Heumann, eco design, ecology, export, fruit tree, green design, growth, hall 4.2, heartwoods, Miguel Adrover, oak, olive, Pro Massivholz, producers, solid wood, sustainability, trend, trendy woods, turnover, Vereinigte Möbeleinkaufs-GmbH & Co. KG, walnut, willow, Woods & Trends
One of the highlights of the imm cologne 2009 is Stephen Burks’ Composite Lounge in hall 11. The ecological and artisanal aspects of his work are especially important for the famous designer from New York.
Burks’ latest project, the Composite Lounge, raises the question if the enormous abundance of industrially produced mass furniture is compatible with the demands of sustainable economic activities. The lounge, being almost a huge installation, reminds of a street scene.
Burks combines urban elements such as street lamps and huge dumpsters with a motley collection of piled up new sofas and seats held together by gaudy straps.
25. November 2008
Tags: Composite Lounge, ecology, green design, hall 11, Stephen Burks
If people want to see what living spaces look like beyond stylish home stories, they can take a look at www.theselby.com or www.stylespion.de. They can even browse online photos of staged real estate objects on the market. The furniture shown by Jean, Mariko and Ms Mueller all have one thing in common: The couch is the weak point. This year’s imm cologne international furnishing show has the perfect remedy. From 19-25 January 2009, manufacturers of upholstered furniture from every continent will show their latest sofas, functional couches, divans, chairs, armchairs, three-piece suites, living landscapes and sleeper sofas in Cologne. read more…
13. November 2008
Categories: Exhibitors, imm comfort
Tags: Dirk-Walter Frommholz, ecology, green design, hall 10, hall 5, hall 6, imm comfort, Jeroen Sanders, Leolux, off program, silver generation