Last month I attended Imm Cologne 2019, the international furniture and interiors fair that takes place in Germany every January. I was invited by the NKBA to attend Living Kitchen, but I also had a little free time to explore the rest of the fair. So in today’s post I’d like to share some of the highlights that I came across.
First up, and probably my favourite part of the show, was Trend Atmospheres. This was a brand new exhibit that took place in Hall 11 for the first time this year. It was an immersive presentation of the key trends that we can expect to see in interiors throughout 2019. It was curated by Dick Spierenburg, Imm Cologne’s Creative Director, and stylist Floor Knaapen. Together the pair designed seven platforms that featured furniture, lighting, textiles and accessories, that reflect and concentrate the key trends of the trade fair.
For me this was such a winner. Obviously, when I visit these shows, I always try to spot the key trends that I think will be emerging, but having the shows Creative Director distill them in one small corner of the show was such a bonus. Trend Atmospheres was a really small exhibit, but what it lacked in size it absolutely made up for in impact.
Each stand was completely different and every one of them was eye-catching for a different reason. At first I was completely drawn in by the colours and textures of this visual feast for the eyes, but after I took the time to really discover what this exhibit was about I was able to fully appreciate the concept.
Basically each trend was presented in terms of the character of the person who might represent this trend. The trends were therefore personified, and this made them a lot easier to identify with. As I went round from one trend to the next was able to discern whether or not I could see myself in that particular trend. And as a matter of fact I could. But there were definitely one or two trends that were much more prominent for me and that I felt really embodied my tastes and my character.
Visiting Trend Atmospheres at Imm Cologne 2019 was a bit like chatting with friends about which character from Sex & The City we’re all most like. You must have had that discussion with your friends too back in the late nineties, early 2000’s, right? (Just for the record, I’m 60% Charlotte, 20% Miranda and 20% Carrie – in case you were interested).
I found that the trend that most resonated with me was The Materialist, but this was closely followed by The Traveller. You can read more about all seven trends and decide which one most represents you by reading the full report I wrote for Mary over at Hello Pea Green here.
The next highlight I want to share with you from Imm Cologne 2019 was the hotly anticipated Das Haus exhibition. This is an annual fixture on the show’s agenda and this year was it’s eighth edition. Das Haus is basically a simulated residential home measuring less than 200 m² which is designed by a different designer, design studio or architect each year. In this way the designer can create their own personal vision of an ideal residential situation.
For 2019, the concept for Das Haus was entrusted to the Australian design duo Kate and Joel Booy of Rotterdam-based Studio Truly Truly They presented ‘Das Haus – Living by Moods’ which explored a new approach to open domestic living culture.
Basically, in this concept, it was not the functions that characterized the rooms of the house, but rather their atmosphere. So instead of having distinct rooms which each had a different function, there were rather four distinct zones: Reclusive, Serene, Active and Reclining. Theses zones all merged into one another and their function was hinted at rather than dictated by the furniture.
I’ve written more about Das Haus at Imm Cologne 2019 for a full report over on Design Milk so head on over there for a more in depth explanation about the concept. Read it here.
The final highlight I’d like to share with you from Imm Cologne 2019 was called Pure Talents. Now in its 16th year, the Pure Talents Contest is one of the most internationally renowned design competitions for young designers. It is aimed exclusively at designers who are still pursuing their studies or have just left university. This year, for the first time, the Living Kitchen Selection presented an exhibition and an additional prize especially for kitchen products.
Whenever I visit design shows I always like to hunt out the new designers. I love to explore the issues that they are trying to tackle through their designs and see the innovative solutions that they come up with. New designers always seem to be so full of passion and energy, they have such an enthusiasm and a thirst and this really comes through in their output.
For this year’s contest, 756 young designers from 69 different countries applied with 926 different products. The judging panel selected the best 26 pieces of 28 designers to be displayed at the show. Here you can see some of my favourite designs that I spotted at Pure Talents.
Designed and presented by Ilja Huber from Germany, Baschnja is a series of three stackable light units that provide by direct and indirect light which can be regulated by rotating the units. They can be used individually or as a tower. Ilja won over the jury with his beautiful, understated and functional design and walked away with first prize.
Maxine Augay from France designed this portable kitchen hood. It has a handle and can be moved around and stored by hanging it up in a suitable place. It is ideal for use with portable induction hobs as seen in the image above. The international panel of jury members voted The Portable Kitchen Hood by Maxime Augay the best product from the LivingKitchen Selection.
Pop, designed by Rongjie Yang from China, is a suspended acoustic sphere that allows people to find a bit of private space in public areas. The material minimises sound and the transparent strip alleviates any feelings of claustrophobia as the user is able to observe their surroundings. I can see this as being a perfect solution for large open plan office spaces where someone needs to make a private call.
This mesmerising display cabinet is the design of Aylene Ruschke from Germany. It allows the user to display their favourite objects in a unique way. It features two inset floating display cubes that are the main presentation space. I particularly like the fact that the glass is coloured as it adds a new dimension to the viewing experience.
Mor Dagan from Isreal presented a modular seating unit that is intended for use in the waiting room of children’s clinics. Designed to address the challenges of waiting with a small child, Piggo can be used in a number of ways to alleviate the stress, noise and uncertainty associated with waiting rooms.
The Ikat Credenza storage cabinet is designed by Indo-Manan Narang and Urvi Sharma from India an it is inspired by Ikat fabric. Each slat on the cabinet represents the warp of fabric and is hand dyed prior to assembly. The uneven quality of the lines introduces a sense of movement as the tambour turns the corner and is reminiscent of the unrolling of fabric.
Felicia Schneeweis of Germany created an interesting concept for a side table. The underside of the table surface features a colourful pattern which is reflected in the mirror shelf below. Depending on the position from which you view the table you will see a different image reflected. I particularly like this playful idea and the way that it brings an extra level of interest to a piece of furniture that is not traditionally considered to be very exciting.
So there you go. Those were my highlights from Imm Cologne 2019. I hope you enjoyed this insight into the show. If you also attended the show last month I’d love to know what your favourite exhibits were. And keep checking back as I’ll also be sharing some of the latest kitchen design trends that I spotted at Living Kitchen. If you don’t want to miss this, make sure you sign up to receive my weekly newsletter below.