It 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 â€“ Interiors on Stage was a half realistic, half visionary depiction of a dream of what living space could be like â€“ 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.
Following London design team Doshi Levien’s successful launch of the new design event at the imm cologne 2012, the trade fair has nominated designer Luca Nichetto as its Guest of Honour for “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage 2013”. In his design, the Venetian focuses on solutions that are intended to enable occupants to live in direct contact with the plant world.
After its successful premiere in 2012, “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” is set to continue at the imm cologne 2013. In Luca Nichetto‘s “Haus”, everything revolves around a centrally located living room that is intended to become the centre of a sustainable way of living that integrates nature.
The premiere of the new design installation format at the imm cologne was a huge success for both the trade fair and the designers. As guests of honour, designer couple Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien had the unique opportunity to blaze a trail for the future development of the series with their interpretation of this innovative new assignment. And that is precisely what they did: in their hands, “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” became a crowd-puller that fully justified its location in the midst of Pure Village, the trade fair’s lively forum for interior design.
In particular, the new conceptual approach of adopting a less abstract stance than previous formats and instead aiming to furnish the artificial architectural framework in lifelike fashion was welcomed across the board.
The imm cologne, the major worldwide event for the interior design sector, will open its gates in fewer than 200 days. Following the two successful events in 2011 and 2012, the 2013 trade fair is also right on track. With roughly 10 percent more exhibitors and 12 percent more exhibition space occupied, augmented by an increase in foreign participation and new product segments, there’s nothing standing in the way of a successful event.
“2013 is a very important year for us. With a strong German economy to bolster us while foreign markets are faltering, the imm cologne will assume a very special function as the central global business platform. The significant interest from strong Italian brands is a good example of this. For the first time in years we’ll be occupying the entire exhibition centre again, enabling our visitors to experience everything the international interior design sector has to offer in one location. In view of the huge interest from professional circles and the media, plus the fact that the number of exhibitors who have registered to take part exceeds all our expectations, we can already say that, more than ever before, Cologne is very much a talking point in the international interior design sector,” says Frank Haubold, Vice President Trade Fair Management.
On 22nd January 2012, the imm cologne and LivingInteriors drew to a close in Cologne with a very good result. For seven days, 1,157 companies from 54 countries showed the interior design trends of the coming year. Including estimates for the last day of the show, the trade fair duo lured 115,000 visitors to Cologne. “Cologne is the key business platform for the global furniture economy – as this trade fair has once again impressively demonstrated,” sums up Gerald BĂ¶se, CEO of Koelnmesse. “This year we were bang on course. We had more exhibitors, were more international – the Italian contingent was stronger than it had been for a long time – and visitors got to see lots of genuinely new products. All in all, a result like this means we are again playing at the very top of the furniture sector’s premier league,” continues BĂ¶se.
With his statement “This year’s furniture fair exceeded our expectations yet again,” Dirk Uwe Klaas, Chief Executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (Verband der Deutschen MĂ¶belindustrie), came to a similar conclusion. “With this kind of momentum, 2012 may well be a very good year for furniture- and as far as Germany is concerned, our furniture industry may well become the engine that drives consumption,” adds the Chief Executive.
A total of 115,000 visitors came to the metropolis on the Rhine – 14 percent more than at the last comparable event in 2010, even without LivingKitchen. With foreign visitors accounting for 42 percent (based on the trade visitor days), the imm cologne was once again a very international trade fair. Firstly, there were far more buyers from Europe, especially from the Russian Federation and Italy, and secondly, there was a slight increase in the number of visitors from North America and Asia. The Public Days were also very well attended. Around 40,000 consumers came to seek inspiration from the interior worlds on show. “We see this result as proof that our many and varied activities, aimed not only at national and international trade visitors but at consumers as well, have been successful,” says Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse. “The imm cologne 2012 has thus established itself as an order-writing and information platform,” continues the COO.
Who says modern everyday life and sensuousness have to be at odds with one another? The “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” installation by Doshi Levien at the imm cologne 2012 aims to furnish evidence to the contrary. In an installation that is visionary not just at architectural level but in creative terms as well, the design experiment is developing into a fascinating study on modern ways of living.
“‘Das Haus’ combines the best of some very different worlds. It could be located anywhere on the planet.” Designer Nipa Doshi is alluding to an encounter between modern architecture and a world of contemporary forms on the one hand and the traditionally colourful aesthetics of Asia, the chaotic-seeming building tradition of Indian or Far Eastern megacities and the open, inward-facing interior culture of Morocco on the other. According to the plans of London design team Doshi Levien, many of these elements will be brought together in their installation in such a way that something totally new emerges: “It combines unconditional modernity with a sensuous lifestyle,” says Jonathan Levien of the blueprint for the imm cologne’s new design format: “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”. His wife Nipa Doshi adds: “That’s precisely why we designed ‘Das Haus’ this way – because it doesn’t exist in this form. Only parts of it do.”
Most of the cubes are already standing, the structure that will be shaping Pure Village 2012 is already discernible. A big open space in the middle of Hall 3.2 is the only indication that thereâ€™s still something special in the offing. And this is exactly where the foundation stone for koelnmesseâ€™s new design event â€śDas Haus â€“ Interiors on Stageâ€ť is to be laid. A few days before Christmas Eve, the imm cologneâ€™s Creative Director Dick Spierenburg came by to see how things were progressing for himself and clarify the final details with the construction manager.
How will we be furnishing our homes tomorrow? Will the bedroom still consist of a bed, bedside table and wardrobe, the office of a desk and filing shelves? And what will our furniture be like? Will we still have individual rooms at all, and always four walls? When it comes to furniture and interior design, being visionary is anything but easy.
And yet it is precisely these ideas about the future that ultimately spur the entire industry on to excel itself. When it comes to interior design, Koelnmesse has come up with a real sensation for the next imm cologne in January: its new “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” format.
First-class design and a successfully interwoven mix of innovative brand and product presentations in an interdisciplinary arrangement – that’s what the imm cologne‘s Pure Village exhibition stands for. Next year it will be the meeting point for more than 50 interior design brands.
Firms like Thonet, Gandia Blasco, Mocoba or E15 will rub shoulders with bathroom furnishers like Kaldewei, Burgbad and Grohe, textile brands like Creation Baumann, floor specialists like Parador and Carpet Concept and home entertainment pioneers like Loewe. Inspiration is guaranteed – en masse!
With Pure Village, imm cologne art director Dick Spierenburg has created a place for design and interior visions. Pure Village is different because, instead of unfurling a multitude of huge brand worlds hidden behind high walls, it presents the best ideas and visions from both big names and smaller labels in the intimacy of a village-like setting. “Our aim is to convey lots of impressions, lots of different approaches, lots of discussions and lots of juxtapositions between various areas of the home as well as between different products and thus generate a suspenseful atmosphere for visitors,” says the art director of his concept.
Dick Spierenburg is Creative Director of the imm cologneâ€™s new design highlight: â€śDas Haus â€“ Interiors on Stageâ€ť. For the first installation, he has invited London design studio Doshi Levien to build a sort of turnkey vision of what living in oneâ€™s own four walls can be like in the midst of the Pure Village hall.
Which interior design trends do you think will dominate the next few years?
A lot of developments are apparent right now, but I think trying to infer trends from them is going a bit too far. The complexity of the developments made it difficult to focus on the four trends we depicted in the annual Trend Book. There are always several directions that remain constant as well: quieter ones that aim for simplicity and livelier ones that use lots of colour and materials. That wonâ€™t ever change, because there are so many different people out there, so many different clients and interior designers. But it isnâ€™t possible to name totally new and completely different trends every year.