Interview with Dick Spierenburg: “All-round architects are coming back on the scene.”

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Part of the principle behind the imm cologne design event “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” is that a new designer is invited to make his or her mark on the interior design platform every year. For the 2015 edition of the project, the Cologne trade fair has brought the Shanghai-based Neri&Hu Design and Research Office on board. The two architects are one of the hottest creative teams in the world right now – and the imm cologne is bringing them to Germany. In our interview, the imm cologne’s Creative Director Dick Spierenburg explains the background to this development.

All lights are green for imm cologne 2015

Stylish, modern and inspiring: in January 2015, imm Cologne will once again be the trendsetter for the interior design industry and the place to be for visitors from around the world. As the year’s first trade show for interior design, imm cologne showcases contemporary and future trends for the next season and inspires with high-class exhibitors and events.

A highlight of the fair is the project “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”. By means of a simulation of a house with a living space of 240 square meters (2,500 square feet) which is furnished and decorated by a renowned interior designer each year, imm cologne provides new stimuli for the world of lifestyle. For 2015, the influential designer duo Lyndon Neri und Rossana Hu, who have been sparking excitement all over the world with their mixture of western design and Chinese varieties of forms and shapes, could be won over to take on the project.

Renowned brands such as Vitra, Thonet, Walter Knoll, B&B Italia, Ligne Roset and De Sede as well as prominent new exhibitors Fendi/Trussardi, Hülsta and outdoor furniture manufacturer Dedon will provide for high-class design and abundant inspiration for the visitors. Already this year, imm cologne could look back on a gratifyingly high number of international exhibitors; for 2015, the trade show expects it to increase even more. “More than ever, this makes imm cologne the epitome of worldwide furniture trends, and it enables purchasers to select from a broad range of products from different countries and of different styles”, says Gerald Böse, chairman of management of Koelnmesse GmbH.

vitra at imm cologne 2014
vitra at imm cologne 2014

For more information, see www.imm-cologne.de.

Art and design metropolis Cologne: très chic meets trash chic

New trends and innovative interior concepts: Every January, Cologne becomes the glamorous design metropolis and hotspot of the interior design scene. Kick-off is on January 12. The evening before the international furnishing show, imm cologne and the magazine “Architektur & Wohnen” announce the winners of the established Interior Innovation Award; followed by the great Opening Party. The exhibition of the works of the award winners is one of the highlights of the upcoming imm cologne. Another highlight: “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” – the inspiring living installation, which will stage the idea of a perfect home of the Dansk designer Louise Campbell.

Further highlights are going to be the new segment Pure Elegance – a glamorous stage for luxurious high-end design – as well as the LivingInteriors, the show for accessories, home textiles and everything that makes an apartment a home. With Pure One and the young talents competition [D³] Contest imm cologne also offers a great stage for young designers and future stars of the interior scene. Amongst the more than 1,100 exhibitors are many promising newcomers which deserve a closer look.

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2000 years of architecture history

Visitors will not only find high-end design in the exhibition halls but also exciting architecture and top-notch events all over the city. Whoever leaves the imm cologne coming from the south entrance will pass by the great, transparent “gate to the world” of  koelnmesse. Driving downtown on the Hohenzollern Bridge the Cologne Cathedral is not the only outstanding attraction.

To cut long story short: Cologne is not a pretty city in the traditional sense. Many dirty places, empty sites and ugly concrete buildings shape the townscape, but make it interesting at the same time. What makes this metropolis at the Rhine so exciting is its casual mixture of opposites. Trés chic meets trash chic, sacred meets profane, art meets kitsch. Even though one cannot see it at first sight, this city is home of a rich heritage of architecture from its more than 2000 years of history: from Roman relicts and Romanesque churches, the Cologne Cathedral with its abstract window by Gerhard Richter, representative Gruenderzeit buildings from the years of rapid industrial growth at the end of the 19th century in Germany to modern urban architecture – such as the Kolumba museum by Peter Zumthor, which integrates the remains of a Gothic church in a simple modern building, or the new accommodations in the Rheinauhafen that adds some modern shapes to the skyline.

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Vivid art and design scene

The Cologne art and design scene is just as multifaceted. Not one but two outstanding attractions are right at the Cologne Cathedral: Next to it the Museum Ludwig presents the most important facets of modern art. And not much further away the museum of applied art (Museum fuer Angewandte Kunst, MAK) shows European arts and crafts from the Middle Ages to today and thereby combines art and design in a unique way. Right downtown the new Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum presents non-European art and cultural pieces.

Cologne is a city of over a million but its urban structure is still pretty rural. Each district, called “Veedel” by Cologne citizens, is a kind of a village in itself – with its own center that hosts the main social activities. So it is logic that art and design not only takes place on shows like the imm cologne or art cologne, in the museums and well-known showrooms like the Design Post, but also at a great scale in each part of the town. One example is the former working-class district Ehrenfeld with its continuously growing scene of creative people, especially attracting young designers. The Design Quartier Ehrenfeld, which has the development of creative spaces in the city on its agenda, resides in old factory buildings and warehouses. During the imm cologne small ateliers, galleries and boutiques become the venues for the Design Parcour Ehrenfeld and the Designers Fair, an exhibition of young creative minds. Both events take place as part of the Passagen, a design show with exhibitions, events and parties in over 200 locations all over the city.

Other design districts are the new area at the Rheinauhafen right at the Rhine with the Kunsthaus Rhenania, galleries and showrooms as well as the popular district Belgisches Viertel that mainly young fashion designers call home. Right around the corner is the historic Spichern Hoefe, an event location worth seeing and one of the most important design spots of Cologne at the same time.

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Design in Cologne: inspiration and economic factor

The inspiring environments as well as renowned educational institutions such as the Koeln International School of Design (KISD), the Cologne Design Academy (Koelner Design Akademie) or the art college for media (Kunsthochschule für Medien) make Cologne the number one choice for young artists and designers. They add value to the Cologne scene with their unique profiles and thereby secure the future of the design metropolis. An example for those young talents is Jens Standke, award winner of the Cologne Design prize 2013. Already today the vivid design scene represents a relevant economic factor. Roundabout 2,700 companies and creative lone wolves cover all design facets: interior, industrial and product design, corporate, tradeshow and communications design, media and fashion design, movie and event design as well as architecture and photography. The industry has been constantly growing since the nineties and has generated a revenue of over 1.1 billion Euro in total – and counting.

imm cologne 2014: new formats, new concepts

imm cologne 2014 is getting closer. Time for a preview: Who is coming? Who will be new? What are going to be the highlights?

Registration numbers of more than 1,100 companies from 50 countries get the world’s leading furnishing show close to a record. Already in the beginning of November over 80 percent of all stand spaces were booked. Especially the great demand from foreign enterprises is a proof of the international mass appeal of the imm cologne.

 

„Pure“: new formats for innovative design

Pure 2014
Pure 2014

Good news for trendsetter: The design area will be enlarged on a great scale with the new formats “Pure Elegance” and “Pure One-Design Injection”. The traditional core of “Pure” and starting point of the Design Course is as usual hall 11. From there visitors are guided to hall 3.2, the home of the successful format “Pure Editions” with visionary furniture and interior design concepts. Next stop is “Pure Village” in hall 2.2 with unconventional brand and product stagings of design oriented premium exhibitors.

The new format “Pure Elegance” – an exclusive range of luxury and high quality products – will be presented in hall 2.2 as well. And as if that weren’t enough, it is also the location of the spectacular top design event “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”. Danish designer Louise Campbell, a leading personality in the new Scandinavian avant-garde, will present her dream of a perfect home.

Louise Campbell: Das Haus 2014 Photo: Koelnmesse; Andreas Körner
Louise Campbell: Das Haus 2014
Photo: Koelnmesse; Andreas Körner

Another new format with young design can be found in hall 1, „PureOne-Design Injection“: Young talents and selected participants of the international design competition [D3] Contest present innovative ideas and interior design concepts – and transform the hall into a creative idea laboratory.

 

LivingInteriors: „Living Details“ in the spotlight

Holistic living concepts become a more and more attractive sales catalyst. At “LivingInteriors”, the event for bathrooms, flooring, wall coverings and lighting in hall 4.2, the focus is on the details, which really turn an apartment into a vivid home. Smart stagings show how light, effective wall and floor coverings, selected textiles and decorations bring furniture together to a harmonious interior design concept – and offer various impulses.

 

More room for sleeping

Due to the high demand of innovative sleeping concepts, the segment “Sleep” hosting modern sleeping comfort in hall 9 will be extended to hall 5.2. This allows the presentation of furniture and accessories, which transform bedrooms into recreation areas. From the bed to a multifunctional sofa: “Comfort”, the world of upholstered furniture, invites to halls 6 and 10.2 to relax and test. Classic setups with modern stylish aesthetics and high quality are located in hall 5.1 and 10.1. “Smart”, the segment for young lifestyle, is in halls 7 and 8. “Global Lifestyles” – another new segment – will be launched at halls 2.1, 3.1 and 4.1: A wide range from furniture that the owner builds himself, accessories, lamps to eccentric sculptures let these halls become a place full of discoveries – just as the whole imm cologne.

“Das Haus” 2013 by Luca Nichetto: a stage for visionary living concepts

Stand: Das Haus, Halle 3.1It was a design event of the quieter, more subtle kind. There was no proclamation of a new design philosophy to the accompaniment of spectacular gestures. Nor was a new collection presented in a typical trade fair scenography designed to show the product off to full advantage in a perfectly styled setting, as is the custom in the Pure segments of the international furniture and interior design show imm cologne. Instead “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” was a half realistic, half visionary depiction of a dream of what living space could be like – in this particular case, of Luca Nichetto’s dream. The imm cologne’s new design format, which was introduced just last year, is not so much about individual products as about the interplay between all the various factors that constitute interior design. The individual pieces of furniture are important soloists within this ensemble but not, in this case, the superstars.

With the concept for “Das Haus” and its choice of designers so far – Doshi Levien in 2012, Luca Nichetto in 2013 – the imm cologne has underscored just how seriously it takes its goal of an “interior design” fair that depicts a wide range of different product lines. And Luca Nichetto’s interpretation of “Das Haus” was impressive proof that this is a format for the interior design discipline to take seriously – perhaps the first of its kind at such a major furnishing fair.

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