The enormous fair at the imm has thousands of exhibitors arranged in elevn halls -- there's a lot to take in. Some people spend FIVE days just going around the stands. Most of it is geared to the contract furnishings world with a strong focus on large-scale commercial products, but the upper section, Hall 3's Pure Village, is dedicated to new and young design along with a look to the future trends in interiors. That's were I spent most of the day.
Particularly interesting were exhibitors who took a step away from the usual trade fair formula of ultra-branded stands and approached the fair as a forum to discuss the future directions of design, an opportunity to exhibit with friends (Mathias Hahn, Uli Budde and Mark Braun), or even a platform to discuss the journey from concept to viable commercial product (Furnism).
Shai Akram met Andrew Haythornthwaite while studying at the Royal College of Art, the two now run their own design practice and are also members of the Okay Studio collective. Her projects cover creative direction and design for interiors, events, and furniture/product ranges. Shaiâ€™s work is a combination of practice and theory, translating research and ideology into objects and visual language. Her work has been exhibited internationally and projects have taken her to China, New Zealand and Italy- although Shai loves to travel, she secretly wishes she would stay in one place long enough to have a cat.