Situated in the Messe Koeln along the bank of the Rhine, the IMM Cologne is the business hub for everything furniture and interior related. More than 1,100 companies show their work, from small brands to large scale international manufacturers. To bring you the highlights, we have strolled the southern parts of the vast venue, where the focus is set on design and innovation. Our favorites include Scandinavian interior design, unique materials, and exciting applications for new manufacturing processes.
IMM Cologne nominates a different designer each year to envision their ideal future home, Das Haus. This year, the guest of honor is danish-english furniture and interior designer Louise Campbell. She turned the 240 square meter stage into an open-plan house made out of two timber-framed halves that are visually separated by different color schemes. Amongst the highlights inside were a massive wall in the kitchen featuring 573 tools (at top) and a 16 meter long bed/lounger that was well enjoyed by tired fairgoers.
The Stage hosted lectures and panel discussions with a broad variety of topics ranging from the psychology of color and Bauhaus furniture to leather production and organic hotel interiors.
The German Design Council organized the 11th edition of the annual D3 Contest at IMM, and showed the works of design students and young designers. We liked Jin Il Park's Drawing Chair, which made us feel like we had stepped into a sketch on a napkin. He achieved the scribble effect by hammering, irregularly bending and then welding thin wires.
Another of the exhibited D3 contestants was Samuel Treindl. His project "Combination Parasite Production" explores the art of scrap. Piggybacking running processes, he lets the size, material and color be determined by the leftovers of other products. He has used the loaded powder coating gun from volleyball net manufacturing, and talked a fellow designer into leaving more scrap metal when making parts for a table. This makes his objects unpredictable in their final appearance, but gracefully aligned in spirit.
Potsdam University of Applied Sciences, together with Fraunhofer IWU, presented Metal Scapes at D3 schools, experimenting with the rather new production technique of incremental sheet metal forming. Jana Marlene Lippert showed her project "Closer," suggesting to turn annoying medical prostheses into elegant pieces of jewelry.
A selection of prototypes was exhibited by HFG Offenbach under the title "In Process." Amongst them were 3D-printed mockups of pasta, designed to collect large amounts of sauce.
Seattle's Graypants make stunning lampshades by laser-cutting sheet material (with as little waste as possible) and assembling it into 3D structures. As an addition to the well-known cardboard versions, they have launched a new range of aluminum lamps.
Freund GmbH's stand at Living Interiors had an air of Lord of the Rings about it, showing their wall and floor coverings made of mosses, bark, leather and foamed aluminum amongst others. Some of the unusual materials don't only have a visual impact, but can also be used to improve a room's climate, acoustics or fire-resistance.
The only production process to be given a UNESCO World Heritage status, the German-African family business Bark Cloth had their own special show at IMM Living Interiors. On display were live presentations of their production processes, as well as finished products like carpets, wall coverings, compostable furniture and lamps.