Studio Vertijet, Kirsten Antje Hoppert and Steffen Kroll: “‘Cosiness’ is a paraphrase for the human aspects of interior design.”

1studio_vertijetInterior designer Kirsten Antje Hoppert and product designer Steffen Kroll have been in business as Studio Vertijet since 1998. Both studied at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle. They define the spectrum of their work as ranging from dessert spoons all the way to architecture.

It was their shared ideals and their enthusiasm for “beautiful things with an equally high functional value” that brought them together in the present constellation. “If our products manage to sensitise people, we would have achieved one of our ideals …” they say. This conviction and passion serve as the starting point for their ideas. “Dreaming” and “fanciful ideas of life” are an important part of the product development process – a method they like to describe as “planned intuition”.

According to the duo‘s philosophy, mankind is heading for the ground again – but this time with a few layers of padding between us and the carpet. Those in search of relaxation, say Kirsten Antje Hoppert and Steffen Kroll, cannot expect a solution to their problems either from comfortable office chairs or classic sofas – the fundamental ergonomics of the sitting positions are the same.

We stand up from sitting down, only to go and sit down again. In an attempt to get us moving, Cor‘s “Lava” model therefore introduces new ergonomics for recumbent positions – the first sofa on the planet not primarily intended for sitting on. Kirsten Antje Hoppert and Steffen Kroll live and work together in Halle/Saale, Germany.

The interior trend experts: the Trendboard panel at a glance

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Cecilie Manz, Marcus Fairs, Johanna Grawunder, Giulio Ridolfo and Bertjan Pot (f.l.t.r.) Photo: Koelnmesse; Lutz Sternstein

Every summer, five or six renowned designers get together in the tower block of Cologne exhibition centre for an unusual workshop that culminates in a prognosis of the most important developments in interior design: the Trend Book with the interior trends of the coming year. Every year, the Trendboard convened by the imm cologne brings together product designers, architects, material specialists and journalists who are regarded as internationally acknowledged authorities on design and are successful at international level. The Trendboard line-up changes every year and represents several nationalities and disciplines.

This year, materials specialist Giulio Ridolfo and journalist Marcus Fairs ensure the desired continuity. Giulio Ridolfo, a designer and textile consultant from Italy’s creative stronghold Udine, made a name for himself with his unusual works for the likes of Patricia Urquiola.

London author Marcus Fairs’ reputation is founded on his online magazine dezeen. New impulses came from American architect and interior designer Johanna Grawunder, whose work in the field of product design includes exclusive and colourful limited editions, and Cecilie Manz, a young and successful designer from Denmark with an excellent instinct for materials and colours. Dutch designer Bertjan Pot, the third new face on this year’s Trendboard, is also part of the young, successful generation of designers that is currently accelerating the pace of change in the design scene.

As in previous years, the Trendboard was accompanied by Andrej Kupetz, managing director of the Frankfurt-based German Design Council since 1999.

Interior Trends 2010: all four trends at a glance

1trendbookEvery autumn, the imm cologne furniture fair publishes a trend forecast on the most important developments in interior design. In the so-called Trend Book, the themes shaping the design scene right now are extrapolated in four directions representing various tastes and lifestyles.

The trend analysis is the work of the Trendboard inaugurated by the imm cologne six years ago – a group of five or six influential designers, architects, material specialists and journalists. Every year, several new members join the line-up to ensure a constant stream of new input for the Trendboard’s work. In a two-day workshop, these creative designers and experts discuss the most promising developments in the design scene, the needs people have and the answers design could potentially come up with. Once the workshop is over, the members of the Trendboard check how the trends they have formulated have been translated into the imm cologne’s publication, the Trend Book.

Using vivid photos of lavishly staged interiors and outdoor spaces, representative products and forms, material collages and detailed colour specifications, the Trend Book shows how people would like to furnish their homes in the coming season. The renderings and information are just as helpful for the general public as they are for professional interior designers or retailers. The pictures are supplemented by texts that describe the corresponding outlook on life and explain the aesthetic attitude of creators and users alike. The trends are also given catchy, evocative names.

The current “Interior Trends 2010” are called “Discipline”, “Trickery”, “Comfort Zone” and “Rehab”. Learn more about these four trends.

imm cologne 2010 is Germany’s top international furniture platform

businessLooking good for imm cologne: according to the European Consumption Barometer 2009, a study by Dresdner-Cetelem Kreditbank, Germany remains Europe’s largest sub-market for the furniture industry with an estimated market volume of 27 billion euros. Whilst sales have decreased slightly in Europe as a whole, in Germany they have stayed at the same level as in the previous financial year.

Purchasing intentions in Germany remain fairly stable, far above the European average, and are also a positive signal for the current year. Overall, Germany is Europe’s largest sub-market for items of furniture. The British and Italian markets lag some distance behind in terms of market volume. Similarly, the Germans were also able to claim the largest furnishing budget per household for the year 2008. German citizens invested 680 euros on average in sofas and kitchen tables. British households came in second with an average of 663 euros. The Italians were soundly beaten, investing far less money in furnishings with an average of 559 euros.

“Anyone wanting to earn money through furniture turns to Germany, and imm cologne is the biggest event in this market. Trade fairs like imm cologne set the signals for our future economic success”, says Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse. “With the changes in the German trade fair calendar, imm cologne is the only option for companies wishing to present themselves and theirproducts in Germany at a trade fair before spring 2010”, adds Udo Traeger, director of the division Furniture, Interior Design and Textiles at Koelnmesse.

Arik Lévy and this year’s furniture trends: “Trends can become a tool – a tool to use and to understand what we see”

arik_levyWhat are the key trends influencing furniture design this year? We asked designers, manufacturers, retailers and journalists for their assessments and observations.

Arik Lévy, Designer, Paris:

This last one was an interesting period for us all. Many things have changed in people’s eyes, minds and in their way of thinking. For me personally – and confirmed by the fair and some of the products shown – trends are or can become a tool – a tool to use and to understand what we see. Trends change so fast that maybe it is not the trend itself that is important but the way and reasons it changes.

I think the current trend is and will be to get ones identity back, to be honest and to be devoted to ones original ideas. Believe in what you do and concentrate your vision towards the future, towards quality and efficiency, outstanding solutions to real every day problems from the end user to the supply chain, delivery and storage.

imm cologne becomes Europe’s most cutting-edge furnishings and interior design trade fair – Good registration levels for imm cologne

imm_cologne_2010_ci1Five months before the next event all indications are pointing to a successful imm cologne 2010. The current registration status looks good despite the difficult situation in the industry. “We are currently assuming that we will again have around 1,000 exhibitors from over 45 countries. It’s time to think ahead, and for me that means stating my commitment to the leading trade fair. Germany needs a strong leading trade fair and that is imm cologne,” says Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse.

In the coming years imm cologne is set to be Europe’s most cutting-edge furnishings and interior design trade fair. By fulfilling all market-oriented criteria, it is offering optimum prerequisites for business and networking on the international scale. In the modern design area – halls 10, 11 and 3 – visitors will be presented with a show of ideas for global design developments in a compact form. Over 300 companies will have stands there, including such brands as COR, interlübke, Ligne Roset, Walter Knoll, Domaniecki, de Sede, Kettnaker, Fraubrunnen, girsberger, Team 7, Riva, and Gervasoni, all with strong emotional appeal. “We are firmly convinced that in the coming weeks additional registrations will come from renowned companies, particularly from Italy,” says Udo Traeger, Head of the Furniture, Interior Design and Textiles division at Koelnmesse.

Konstantin Grcic: ”I even think certain rules have to be laid down. That’s the only way things are going to change.”

konstantin_grcicKonstantin Grcic (*1965) trained as a cabinetmaker at the John Makepeace School for Craftsmen in Dorset (1985 to 1987) before studying furniture design at the Royal College of Art in London.

After a year as an assistant to Jasper Morrison, he founded his own firm in Munich in 1991: “Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design”. The 90s saw the start of his success with laundry baskets and other plastic items for Authentics; then came style icons such as the Mayday lamp for Flos (1999), the swaying shelving unit Es for Nils Holger Moormann (1999), the Chaos armchair for ClassiCon (2001) and the Osorom seating element for Moroso (2002). The chair_ONE die-cast aluminium chair with a conical concrete foot (Magis, 2004) was actually intended for public spaces but went on to sell in its thousands as a sculptural lattice structure with seating function for the private loft. It was followed by the Miura bar stool (Plank, 2005).

Pure Village: new exhibition format for premium design showcases

pure_villageThere’s more to a living room than a sofa by Marcel Wanders, a chair by Konstantin Grcic or a shelf by Arik Lévy. It is the nuances, the scenography of the room and the context of the lighting, furniture and fabrics that provide the backdrop for showing the leading actors off at their best – one reason, perhaps, why design items are increasingly providing the face for complete creative concepts.

The new presentation format Pure Village caters to this market development by creating a stage on which stand-alone presentations of exclusive design items are showcased just as effectively as creative interior concepts. From 19 to 24 January 2010, Hall 3.2 will cluster the highlights from the various specialist ranges in the immediate vicinity of the furniture in the Pure segment (Hall 11) and the ideas of the d3 Design Talents forum (Hall 3.1).

„Fair Design“: international fair architecture by Karim Rashid, Luigi Colani and Francesc Rifé

fair-designDespite the huge rivalry through the Internet trade fair appearances are still highly important. The direct contact to the manufacturer continues to be a main issue for customers. Thus, trade fair stands still form an important part of brand management.

In “Fair Design” Sybille Kramer shows how much the appearances of different companies can vary. The book presents a total of 60 projects in international fair architecture from the Orgatec in Cologne up to the Expo in Aichi, Japan, among them works by Karim Rashid, Luigi Colani and Francesc Rifé.

Oliver Holy on this year’s furniture trends: “Quiet quality instead of loud luxury.”

oliver_holy1What are the key trends influencing furniture design this year? We asked designers, manufacturers, retailers and journalists for their assessments and observations.

Oliver Holy, CEO ClassiCon, München:
At the fair I regularly came across the new term “Homing”. Even if I’m reluctant to label any change in public desires right away I do understand what this one tries to register. I, too, believe that the uncertainty caused by the current economic and ecologic developments evokes a desire for concentrating on basics. With regard to interiors and materials this means to me that furniture which is natural, “grounded” and can even develop patina is favored and that loud and flashy styles become replaced by haptically pleasant forms and materials. I see this confirmed by the enthusiasm with which Sergio Rodrigues collection has been received.