Review of International furniture and interiors fair of cologne 2013

IMM Cologne 2013, the annual furniture fair held at Koelnmesse in January, the fair attracted 142,000 visitors from 137 countries through the halls of Koelnmesse. The exhibition was made even more attractive to exhibitors and visitors alike with the biennial kitchen exhibition, LivingKitchens, making its second appearance at IMM.

IMM Cologne consists of the International Furnishing Show across some 11 halls, plus three parts to the co-located International Kitchen Show or ‘Living Kitchen.’ The renewed success of IMM can be partly attributed to the organisers’ understanding of the trade fair as evolving. With information so readily available now, trade fairs need to engage people with more than new products.

At LivingKitchen 2013, the trends were clear and not overly surprising – open-plan kitchens; greater comfort for users through intelligent and flexible kitchen furniture; new materials – including a decisive move toward timbers; and, of course, resource efficiency. The stand-out stands here were Gaggenau and Häcker. Miele showcased Generation 6000 – the brand’s biggest product launch to date, with over 200 new products and two design lines – PureLine and ContourLine.

This year, Das Haus – a conceptual visualisation of a home – was designed by guest of honour, Italian designer Luca Nichetto. Located in the middle of the Pure Village hall, the 180m2 platform is an open stage for the guest of honour. Nichetto used the opportunity to explore the notion of nature in the modern home.

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.

Koelnmesse is looking forward to a very successful imm cologne 2013: a total of 1,050 exhibitors from more than 50 countries have confirmed their attendance, 625 of them from abroad. Together with the international kitchen event LivingKitchen, the trade fair will be filling the 280,000 square metres of gross floor space in halls 1 to 11 to capacity.

The “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” installation at the current imm cologne, this year designed for the international furniture fair by Luca Nichetto. In his design, the Venetian focuses on solutions intended to enable occupants to live in direct co-existence with nature.

The architecture of “Das Haus” – a structure with permeable walls, big windows and a planted interior – stages an elaborate interplay between indoors and outside. For Luca Nichetto’s “Haus”, nature is an integral element of both the architecture and the interior design. Around 350 plants were placed in the louver-like exterior walls. Inside, potted plants perform specific functions that enhance the indoor climate and are used as green walls that delineate different living zones without obstructing the view. They stand for nature as an element that vigorously strives to enter people’s living quarters from the outside.

This is not just where the two cuboid volumes of the architectural solid intersect in the shape of a cross, it is where all the various living areas interconnect as well. Nichetto compares “Das Haus” with a microcosm that stands for the entire planet, a global system in which the living room fulfils the same function for the house as the Amazon rainforest does for the earth’s climate.

Luca Nichetto collaborated with Italian ceramics manufacturer Bosa on the development of a series of ceramic containers created especially for the potted plants used to equip “Das Haus”: the DHP, or Das Haus Pot. The DHP pots of the first, limited edition have also been customised with the “Das Haus” logo and Luca Nichetto’s signature and will be available for purchase once the exhibition is over.

The simple architecture of the “Haus”, which has been designed using natural materials and colours and creates a rather reserved impression, provides the setting for the furnishings, most of which are Luca Nichetto’s own designs.

From the pure design segment to the staging of unusual interiors in pure village or the lavish booths in sleep, smart, comfort or prime. In addition, the developments from the exhibiting companies underscore many important trends such as sustainability, distinctive design and functionality. Upholstered furniture, for instance, is becoming a little less colourful but all the more comfortable. Otherwise, furniture is becoming more curvaceous, and the picture is often dominated by new interpretations of established classics.

Titled ‘Pure’, Hall 11 was once again the highlight of the exhibition as the home to high-end international brands. Pure Village, in Hall 3, provided a space for emerging avant-garde brands to showcase their offerings. The organisers extended the concept this year with the addition of Pure Editions, a platform for creative brands – including Vitra, Flötotto, and Böwer – to showcase their products in conceptual installations.

Brothers Pure Textiles was another new addition to IMM. A quarter of hall 3.2 was given over to top textile brands, including Kinnasand, Nya Nordiska, and Zimmer + Rohde. More innovation in textile was seen over at Design Post, where Kvadrat launchded the ‘Ready Made Curtain’ by the Bouroullec brothers – the result of extensive research into domestic curtains.

FK12 collection from German brand e15, which showcased new editions of classic designs from Modernist icon Ferdinand Kramer (including some chairs upholstered in colourful plaid – apparently a favourite of Kramer’s); the gorgeously detailed ceramic ‘Container’ lamp by Benjamin Hubert for Ligne Roset; the intelligent new ‘ADD’ system furniture by Werner Aisslinger for Flötotto; the evocative ‘Splinter’ collection by prolific Japanese designers, Nendo, for Conde House; Konstantin Grcic’s ‘Bench B’ for BD Barcelona; and the ‘Oki’ side tables by EOOS for Walter Knoll.

There was also a plethora of familiar products in new finishes and colourways. Highlights included the new outdoor version of Naoto Fukasawa’s ‘Papilio’ chair for B&B Italia in a woven polyethylene that imbues the chair with a new lightness; and the stunning colours of Zeitraum‘s ‘3.1’ chairs – the first time the German brand has presented its timber furniture in colour.

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.