In January, Cologne will once again become the temporary design capital of Europe. But the design highlights arenâ€™t restricted to the booked-out exhibition grounds â€“ throughout the city, the trade visitors and design aficionadas who flock to Cologne from all over the world can look forward to a host of fascinating product presentations and exhibitions from the international design scene.
One of the biggest solo exhibitors is lifestyle label Esprit, which will be presenting its latest Home Collection at Cologneâ€™s new event location “The New Yorker Dock.One” to coincide with the imm cologne. As in previous years, the MAKK (Museum of Applied Art), one of the cityâ€™s biggest design institutions, will also be showing an exhibition during the imm cologne, this time about exclusive furniture designed by architects over the last 100 years: â€śFrom Aalto to Zumthorâ€ť. And at another event that traditionally takes place in the cathedral city at the start of the imm cologne and can almost be considered an institution in its own right, renowned interior design and architecture magazine â€śArchitektur & Wohnenâ€ť will be honouring an influential designer personality with its â€śDesigner of the Yearâ€ť award.
‘Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design’ – Dieter Rams. Dieter Rams’ life and work are indelibly linked to his thoughts about how people live, and how they can live better. Products he designed in the 1960s are still being produced and sold today – only one demonstration of the strength of his work.
The new book ‘As Little Design as Possible. The Work of Dieter Rams’ is a comprehensive monograph covering Ramsâ€™ life and his work, as well as his ideas on good design which continue to inspire designers and consumers today. The book includes sketches, prototypes, finished products and the marketing for those products, giving a complete picture of Rams’ work and its context. It shows photographs of his life as well as archive material from Braun and the works he did for the furniture company Vitsoe.
A recently opened solo exhibition at the new branch of Parisâ€™s Centre Pompidou shows a selection of the French brothersâ€™ works from the last fifteen years. The more than 1,000 mÂ˛ of space in Gallery 3 of the Centre Pompidou Metz, which was designed by architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastine, serves the brothers an enormous playground. The two designers have juxtaposed products from Vitra, Magis, Alessi, Established & Sons, Axor Hansgrohe, Kartell, Kvadrat, Cappellini and Ligne Roset without establishing any immediately obvious scenographic link between them. The only thing that seems to connect the works, installations and experiments is an element of playfulness. Perhaps it takes a hall of this size to reveal the extent to which the designers play not just with the scale of the objects and the viewersâ€™ expectations, but with the space itself as well.
Contemporary Relaxation: the 405 PF and 406 PF Padded Armchairs by Stefan Diez Complement the Designer’s Successful Chair and Table Series for Thonet.
The use of bentwood for excellent seating comfort has always been a hallmark of Thonet’s seating furniture. Introduced three years ago, Stefan Diez’s 404 chair series has further developed this theme, using new wood processing techniques and building a bridge between tradition and contemporary interior design. Thonet has extended the successful 404 collection with two new and distinctive designs: the 405 PF and the 406 PF padded armchairs, furniture that provides relaxing seating comfort for the home as well as for hotels, restaurants and bars.
â€śLet me introduce myself. My name is Jan MĂĽller, Iâ€™m 18 years old and live in Germanyâ€™s commonest teen bedroom.â€ť That, at least, is how Janâ€™s spiritual mother Karen Heumann sees it. Heumann, who is Chief Strategy Officer at Hamburg advertising agency Jung von Matt, created the fictitious MĂĽller family seven years ago: father Thomas (43), mother Claudia (40) and son Alexander (13 at the time), who is now called Jan and is 18 years old. The teen bedroom is the fourth room Jung von Matt has created as a location for lively target group research. It all started with Germanyâ€™s commonest living room, which is still on display at Jung von Mattâ€™s premises as a socio-demographic study. It was followed by living rooms at the agencyâ€™s branches in Vienna and Zurich. Each of the interior designs reflected the typical German furnishing style at the time.
During the Popeâ€™s visit to Germany, Vitraâ€™selegant highback office chair by the name of Skape more than earned its credentials as an â€śexecutive chairâ€ť. The Archbishopâ€™s Palace of Freiburg chose none other than this Vitra chair to put at its distinguished visitorâ€™s disposal during Pope Benedict XVIâ€™s closing speech in Freiburg. Within just three weeks, the Weil-based company had delivered a custom-made model in white leather with hand-embroidered papal arms to the nearby city of Freiburg.
The Skape model combines the comfort of an armchair with the functions of an office chair without focusing attention on the technology. The chair was launched in 2008 and created by Italian architect and designer Antonio Citterio. The result was a win-win situation: Vitra was given an opportunity to demonstrate its exquisite craftsmanship, and the Pope got to enjoy exquisite comfort.
Escaping from the hectic pace of everyday life, shifting down a gear and enjoying the evenings and weekends in your very own green oasis: for a growing number of people, the garden, patio or balcony is their favourite place for getting away from it all for a while. And that means having a comfy place to sit too.
The Nordic maritime look with its clear but cosy shapes is particularly popular for outdoor furniture right now. And in view of Scandinaviaâ€™s coastal climate, itâ€™s perfectly acceptable for the tables and chairs to look a little rough. When it comes to patterns, stripes and various shades of blue are popular. At the same time, romanticism is experiencing a renaissance: a growing number of manufacturers are going for a dreamy look. The trend is dominated by playful creations and gently flowing forms, along with combinations of charming details, floral designs and old-style patterns. The City Style is also featuring on the outdoor stage as a countertrend to the romantic look and favours flamboyant, design-oriented shapes. Loungers and couches are characterised by a puristic straightforwardness and elegance and many of the material combinations include stainless steel. When it comes to colours, white, sand and brown shades will continue to dominate in 2011/12. And green is a must. The trend colour of the last fashion season is now conquering balconies and patios too, with manufacturers banking on bright shades like lime and apple green.
As a result, the foils can be removed without leaving any residue and reused. The various designs are supplied in a gift box as a set of ready-cut components. A choice of different colours and shapes are available, from graphic figures all the way to silhouette-like flowers and leaves and colourful kidsâ€™ themes. An accompanying booklet provides suggestions for various creative possibilities.
People spend a considerable amount of time in their lives waiting. And especially waiting in traffic â€“ for the train to pass, the traffic jam to break up or the red light to change.
Back in 2007, this waiting at traffic lights inspired office furniture specialists Vitra to launch a series of exhibitions. For a period of three weeks, six renowned architectural firms are invited to use the Frankfurt showroom to stage experimental installations in a space-consuming scenography inspired by the following question: How can dynamism, standstill and motion be translated into striking form? And while the traffic lights on the busy Gutleutstrasse thoroughfare are red, passing motorists are meant to become participants in the exhibition, at least for a brief moment.
With its latest ad campaign, German furniture and furnishing concept manufacturer burgbad is breaking new ground when it comes to marketing sanitaryware. The drawings of French illustrator Jean-Philippe Delhomme are intended to appeal to a sophisticated target group for whom good style and humour are by no means mutually exclusive.
We generally encounter fittings, bathtubs, rainfall showers, washbasins and even toilets as highly polished stars set against a perfectly styled backdrop. Or as elemental water dispensers that bring us closer to nature. And indeed, the product collections from burgbad come across as sometimes architecturally reticent, sometimes sculptural-looking objects for the design-oriented bathroom. But in the new ad campaign, they are not the stars but merely the backdrop â€“ for the people who live with them. â€śThe product is an element around which the characters can play,â€ť says illustrator Jean-Philippe Delhomme of the ad visuals he has created. â€śIâ€™m not trying to isolate the product, but rather integrate it into the scene, as part of the characterâ€™s life.â€ť