Review of International furniture and interiors fair of cologne 2012

The imm cologne 2012 design event, the annual furniture fair held at Koelnmesse in January, seven intense days in which 1157 companies from 54 countries showed their new products and trends for the coming year, in an area of 240,000 m2. The city of Cologne welcomed 115,000 visitors.

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, proveds modern everyday life and sensuousness do not have to be at odds with one another.

IMM Cologne 2012 proved a magnet to a younger generation of talent. Another new direction for the fair was a special exhibition dedicated to decorative interior furnishings, titled LivingInteriors. A show within a show, the superbly-curated [D³] Design talents has been taking place during Germany’s imm cologne fair since 2006. An unparalleled springboard for young creatives, the forum is dedicated to promoting and launching the up-and-coming talents who present their innovations and inspiring products and materials within the Pure Village hall.

Imm cologne is the world’s leading platform for new ideas, for innovations and trends and for young, creative, new design. This is where business momentum for the entire industry is generated and trending topics for the coming months take shape.

Innovation and trends will be presented not just at the exhibitors’ stands but also showcased at a series of exciting and inspiring events. One of the most spectacular is sure to be “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”, in which life in the house of the future is imagined, designed and realised by a renowned international designer.

Imm provides comprehensive, concise and clearly structured overview of the international world of interior design. From living rooms to bathrooms, from entry-level to high-end. With these changes, exhibitors will be able to generate high-quality contacts among their target groups and inform visitors efficiently.

Cologne is also an opportunity to present new tools dedicated to retail entrepreneurs, including the new retail gallery concept, an innovative in-store communicationand the 3D configurator. The new retail concept is one of the cornerstones of the Partnership Program Editions and focuses on the modularity of the exhibition, which allows you to adapt the format to the real needs of space and business.

The emerging trends and conceptual developments showcased here have a palpable influence on the design market across the world. imm cologne is increasingly establishing itself as an international platform for both business and cutting-edge design – a rare and highly attractive combination that is set to be highly influential in the long run.

Exhibitors will be offered the opportunity for product and market tests on the final consumer. The imm cologne is considered as an indispensable communication forum, an important impetus driver and creative center of ideas. Anyone who exhibits here reaches the decision-makers of the global furniture scene.

“Das Haus” combines the best of some very different worlds. 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. Many of these elements will be brought together in their installation in such a way that something totally new emerges, combines unconditional modernity with a sensuous lifestyle.

In fact, a great many more worlds will be coming together in the installation: “Das Haus” experiments with colours and materials, integrates water and nature into the living area and puts technologies old and new to the test as a model for a sustainable household. In Doshi Levien’s “Haus”, furniture and multimedia, bathroom fixtures and kitchen design, solid, open-work and transparent walls, living space and garden, work and life complement one another to form a harmonious whole.

Known for their unconventional choice of forms and colours, the designers also see the project as a collection of ideas for various ways of using materials to design a space, especially when it comes to wall surfaces. Even artistic elements seem like an integral part of the architecture; a multilayered glass wall by London graphic design studio Pony, for instance, doubles as privacy screening for the kitchen and a projection surface for overlapping pictures of the house, symbols and reminiscences of domestic life.

IMM Cologne 2012 proved a magnet to a younger generation of talent. Another new direction for the fair was a special exhibition dedicated to decorative interior furnishings, titled LivingInteriors. Weaving our way though the packed halls, German design company Loehr – which was showing a selection of geometric tables, stools and chairs, somewhat surprisingly found some rather lovely bins from Böwer on tracks.

The D3 stand – exhibiting the winning products of IMM’s annual young design competition. South Korea’s Lee Sanghyeok proved himself worthy of praise, with his beautiful wooden desk design, while Germany’s Adreas Mikutta shows his enticing daybed. Out of the confines of the fairground, we sped over to the Design Quartier Ehrenfeld, which played host to events including the exhibition for young talent, ’Designers Fair 2012’, where Cologne duo ’Kaschkasch’ – one of this year’s entries for the Wallaper* Graduate Directory.

Companies using Cologne as a platform to showcase their new products can really score big-time, as does manufacturer Ligne Roset. The expansion of its fresh product line is moving ineluctably forward, with the sure hand of Michel Roset at the helm. The firm now has 40 designers under contract, and 60 new products make a visit to its booth an enjoyable affair. The idea of immediately taking young and highly promising designers under contract who have just bagged their first awards or won competitions (such as the imm’s very own “D3 Contest”) is certainly smart.

Thus, the “Bidum” designs by Laetitia Florin, an elastic container made of steel strips covered with fabric, and the “Olive” and “Peye” luminaires by designer trio Numéro 111 are already in the new range. For their “Picnic” side-table, Italo-Danish duo Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi have given that old picnic basket a few forked legs. And Pierre Paulin’s “Élysee” line, a re-interpretation of the seating designed in 1971 for the paintings salon in the private rooms of Georges and Claude Pompidou in Élysée Palace in Paris now boasts not only a sofa but also an armchair and a pouf.

Product development at Walter Knoll focuses on the search for “archetypes”. “Tobu”, a round oak table, reveals Asian influences with its heavy-weight central column, that in visual terms seems so light. And with a revolving Lazy Susan on top, hospitality emulates Far Eastern practices. The “Bao” armchair, designed by Vienna’s Eoos, is visually reminiscent of a symbiosis of a larger seat shell from von Arne Jacobsen “3107” with a round pouf, and its combination of leather on the backrest and upholstery on the seat is certainly persuasive. It’s a combination that other manufacturers go for, too. For example, Swiss leather specialist de Sede, who displayed Hugo de Ruiter’s “DS 167” sofa in a fresh mix of leather and fabric.

The “Pro” chair series presented in Cologne and which Konstantin Grcic has developed over the last two years for Flötotto, who have traditionally been associated with the topic of “school chairs”, cuts a good figure not only in class rooms. The chair is light and comfortable, with the seating shell’s explicit S shape it supports “active sitting” and permits various sitting positions – you can even straddle it, as the upper edge curves backwards. It looks sharp, is anything but banal, and comes in six fresh colors and not only with a so-called “C Frame” for school use but for other versions to. Available are also school desks to fit.

Exhibition Hall
Koelnmesse – Global Competence in Furniture, Interiors and Design: Koelnmesse is the world’s top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, the leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry.

Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fastexpanding markets to its portfolio. These include idd Shanghai, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the online portal for the interiors business, Koelnmesse offers direct access to products, contacts, expertise and events relevant to the industry all year round.