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“The Stage” 2018: International platform for issues affecting the industry today and trends of tomorrow

For many visitors, the prestigious programme of talks offered by The Stage at imm cologne is the starting point for their visit to the international interiors show in Cologne.
Photo: Koelnmesse

The imm cologne trends forum “The Stage” will again be the home for discussions and responses to current issues in the world of interior design this coming January. Here, experts talk about trends in home living, designers shed light on their concepts and industry insiders discuss future developments. In 2018, the established lecture forum in Hall 3.1 of Koelnmesse will once more be offering an overview of current trends in interior design.

This year, The Stage will have a particularly international flavour. In addition to the designer of “Das Haus”, Lucie Koldova (Czech Republic), Cristian Zuzunaga (Spain), Monica Förster, Karl Johan Bertilsson (both from Sweden), Jason Danziger (USA), Daniel Rybakken (Norway), Sigurd Larsen (Denmark) as well as Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead (Great Britain) have also announced that they will appear.

Alongside talks on trending topics about light, colours and materials, presentations on The Stage will also shine a light on the latest developments in interior design. The programme is especially tailored to architects, interior design professionals, designers and journalists. But with The Stage, the Cologne international interiors show is doing more at its forthcoming edition than providing a central rendezvous for professionals and creative partners in the industry; the forum also has an exciting programme lined up for the public days of the fair. At the weekend, interior designers and design professionals will give end consumers useful tips on interior decor.

Designers, creative talent and interiors professionals have a platform on The Stage, which they use to inform the audience about current developments in interior design.
Photo: Koelnmesse

Trends, trends, trends – the most important developments in the industry put on stage
The kick-off to each day, presented by journalist and trends researcher Frank A. Reinhardt, is a fixed item on the programme. Each morning, he will offer the audience a professional overview of the trends and buzzwords at imm cologne 2018. Nicole Schostak from German interiors magazine “Schöner Wohnen” will give an overview of furniture buying in Germany along the customer journey, Katrin de Louw (Trendfilter) will present design inspiration for 2018–2020 and Gudy Herder (Eclectic Trends) will outline what three lifestyle trends we can expect in 2018. Barbara Busse (Future+You) will also be offering a look ahead at what Generation Z and young millennials expect from future interiors. Forum visitors will also get an insight into the opportunities for manufacturers and retailers in the online furnishings market and glean interesting details about the creation and marketing of own brands.

Lighting is a very important topic at this year’s imm cologne and also at the lecture forum The Stage 2018.
Photo: Koelnmesse

Lighting as a design element and medium for expressing emotion, a health factor and smart tool
Particular importance will be given to the theme of light at imm cologne 2018. In the new exhibition format Pure Architects, the emphasis will be on technical lighting, while everything in the special exhibition format Featured Editions in the Pure Editions segment will revolve around decorative lighting. The “Das Haus” installation, developed for the coming imm cologne by Czech designer Lucie Koldova, will also focus on illumination and its various functions in interior design. Naturally, light will likewise play a role on The Stage. For instance, Lucie Koldova will explain her lighting concept for “Das Haus” in two talks and invite the audience to visit the design event.

Topics such as light as a material, light as a design element and interaction with light in interior design are also planned. For example, Thorsten Moortz will be demonstrating the effect lighting can have in interior design and how it can be used in a smart home. In addition, Norwegian designer Daniel Rybakken will talk about working with natural light. Architect Jason Danziger will devote his presentation to the connection between health and light and link to the popular interiors topic of colour.

The issue of colour trends is very popular with visitors and will be represented at imm cologne 2018 with multiple presentations in the programme.
Photo: Koelnmesse

Colours as sources of identity and sonorous materials
Of course, the colour trends for the new interiors season are of particular interest, and will again be presented by Karl Johann Bertilsson (NCS Colour Academy) in 2018. As the flipside to trends in interior colour design, Dr. Hildegard Kalthegener will also have the appropriate anti-trends to hand. The designer Cristian Zuzunaga will explain how colours and patterns can create a sense of identity, and Julia Hausmann will describe how moods can be created through the use of colour.

But materials will also get their fair share of attention in the lecture forum of The Stage. Hannes Bäuerle (raumPROBE) will highlight the importance of the combination of materials and sound; Dr. Sascha Peters (Haute Innovation) will be giving a presentation about materials for a decarbonised society. From Martina Brüßel (Aqua Cultura), we will discover what materials in the bathroom are up to date right now, and Susanne Brandherm and Sabine Krumrey will be reporting on the right approach to using natural materials in sustainable construction.

The lecture forum The Stage in Hall 3.1 offers with 55 lectures on 7 days a very strong programme.
Photo: Koelnmesse

From the digital world to the world of scent: the importance of furniture hacking, fragrances, Instagram, virtual reality and the customer journey
Naturally, a trends forum at the largest interiors show of the year cannot fail to shine a light on the fringe areas of interior design. Robert Müller-Grünow (Scentcommunication) will be explaining the important role fragrances can play in interior design. The Danish designer Sigurd Larsen has been following the current hacking trend and will be showing how you can customise furniture to suit your own needs.

Virtual worlds are also playing an increasingly important role in the furnishings sector. Picking up on this field in the lecture programme, Mara Michel (.futurize dietrendagentur) will be offering an insight into “analogue virtuality”, while Michael Gairing (Blanx) will address the issue of augmented reality. He will also inform the audience about the extent to which virtual reality can assist designers in the creation of their designs. Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead (2LG Studio) have successfully used Instagram as a marketing tool and will relate their own success story.

The special Book Lounge series will again be devoted to the presentation of current interiors books, concentrating on issues such as the office as an environment to unlock human potential, ornament and colour in cement mosaic and terrazzo tiles, Common Things and Trademark Publishing, as well as the hygge trend.

You can find the complete programme here.
(Subject to change)