“What Water needs”: The 5th Hansgrohe Water Symposium investigates methods of housekeeping appropriate for water

In the search for “methods of housekeeping appropriate for water”, Hansgrohe SE issued
invitations to its Water Symposium in Schiltach, which was marking its fifth edition this year. International water experts discussed the topic: “What water needs”.

“What does water need?” – this question might seem unusual. People need water, yet what does the element of water need from us? In the search for “methods of housekeeping appropriate for water”, Hansgrohe SE issued invitations to its Water Symposium in Schiltach, which was marking its fifth edition this year. Richard Grohe, deputy CEO of the globally active bathroom and sanitation specialist, and chairman of the Supervisory Board Klaus Grohe welcomed the numerous guests in the Hansgrohe Aquademie to an event focusing on innovative and promising concepts that could help to reduce pollution and the over-use of our water resources. 

interzum 2011 (25.-28.5.2011): innovations for architects, craftsmen, designers and product developers

Just a few weeks to go now until interzum 2011 opens its doors at Cologne Exhibition Centre from 25th to 28th May. Around 1,400 exhibitors will be presenting their latest innovations to visitors from all over the world. But interzum has far more to offer than the pure product exhibitions – a whole series of special presentations, piazzas and thematic focal points spread throughout the fair are guaranteed to make the trade show even more attractive and encourage a lively exchange of ideas.

Light and materials at the innovation of interior forum
For the second time, Hall 4.2 will be hosting the innovation of interior forum, the new attraction for architects, designers and product developers with a special focus on light and materials. In addition there is an information area, a lounge, speech and meeting zone and compact, pre-specified presentation spaces for prestigious companies that form a perfect unit both visually and thematically. The declared aim of innovation of interior is to encourage eye-level communication at state-of-the-art level with partners who share the same aims and values.

Designer’s Voice: Patricia Urquiola about innovation, sustainability and interior design trends

Patricia Urquiola, member of the imm cologne Trendboard. (photo: Koelnmesse)
Patricia Urquiola, member of the imm cologne Trend Board. (photo: Koelnmesse)

Patricia Urquiola is a member of the imm cologne Trend Board and was born in Oviedo, Spain and now lives and works in Milan. She attended the faculty of architecture at Madrid Polytechnic and Milan Polytechnic, from which she graduated in 1989 having completed her thesis with Achille Castiglioni.

In 2001 she opened her own studio, working on product design, architecture, installations and concept creation. In 2006 Koelnmesse invited Patricia Urquiola to build one of the ideal houses for imm cologne. Urquiola‘s clients include, among others, Agape, Alessi, Artelano, Axor, B&B Italia, Bisazza, BMW, Bosa, De Padova, Driade, Salvatore Ferragamo, Flos, Foscarini, Kartell, Kvadrat, MDF Italia, Molteni, Moroso and Panasonic.

During the imm cologne’s Trendboard workshop, you didn’t just name four of the most influential tendencies in interior design right now, you discussed other trends in the design scene as well. How much of it do you think is really important?
I think there is a new trend regarding the idea of what is innovative. Innovation was always primarily connected with the idea of industrial progress, i.e. with a more traditional idea. More and more, however, the term innovation is coming to be associated with values like sustainability and with what people really see as innovative – for instance if something is surprisingly intelligent or opens up new usage possibilities. People are paying more attention to how something is done and why it is done. More importance is being attached to the concept.

imm cologne launches iPhone app: a world of interior design in your pocket

More than anything else, a trade fair is a communication platform. The international furniture and interior design show imm cologne is now expanding this platform with an application for the Apple iPhone that provides the user with news about developments in the furniture industry and interior design business even when he can’t get to his home computer or is stuck at the office. At the same time, the new app gives imm cologne fans a convenient way to keep up to date on activities in the imm cologne community.

The multifunctional application is designed not only for the Apple iPhone but for the iPad and iPod Touch as well and is available to users free of charge. With the new app, the imm cologne is adding an important component to its family of Web 2.0 tools. For Koelnmesse, mobile communication is just the next logical step for the imm cologne on its way to becoming the most modern furnishing fair in Europe. Once the imm cologne app is established, the possibilities for adding other service components are almost endless.

Simmering furniture towers: Innovative kitchen concept by Philippe Starck

Foto: Warendorf
Photo: Warendorf

Ashlar-like towers in dark wood, rather like a living-room unit that can be accessed from all sides. A footprint of one square-metre stretches towards the ceiling, accompanied by an elongated matt-silver table with wooden drawers – apart from the telltale tap peeking over the surface, it’s actually more reminiscent of a dining table or worktop.

The “Warendorf Towers” kitchen is the French designer’s latest line for the Starck by Warendorf Collection. The modular system consists of three main elements – two towers and a long multifunctional table – and integrates the kitchen with the living area so harmoniously that you have to look twice to make out the cooker and refrigerator. The spectrum of functions is roughly divided into a “cold tower” with a dishwasher and fridge-freezer and a “hot tower” with the oven or steam oven. Three sides are closed by drawers, the fourth can be designed individually – with a slate panel or mirror, for instance.

Design Characters: Experiments in Interior Design

Die grazile Dusch-Wannen-Kombination »Swan«.
»Swan« is a combination of shower and bathtub. (Photo: Hasenkopf)

With its Design Characters series, the Hasenkopf company – a manufacturing specialist that produces both on industrial-scale and a one-off basis – is deliberately pushing the envelope of what is feasible when it comes to the processing and deformation of such vastly different materials as Corian, Parapan or acrylic. Hasenkopf’s aim in producing the series is not to develop prototypes for future lines but to experiment with forms, materials and processing techniques that point to unusual individual solutions and are intended to encourage architects and designers to rethink the limits.

Well-known designers and architects are asked to develop their own interpretation of new living environments for the kitchen, bathroom and workstation. The first sequence has already been produced and includes objects by Stuart A. Veech, Paul Flowers, Titus Bernhard and Peter Martin.

Patricia Urquiola and Harald Gründl talking about the Interior Trends 2011

Patricia Urquiola
Patricia Urquiola, member of the imm cologne 2011 trend board. (photo: E15)

“Our task was to take a look at the various forms in which the trends are expressed,” says the Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola concerning the work of the imm cologne 2011 Trend Board. She considers this a pioneering development. “We have to realize that today there are completely different perspectives on what people consider innovative,” she says. “Sometimes a new interpretation of something old or a particularly simple and intelligent production method is much more innovative than a new material or an innovative technology. The concept of innovation is changing. In my opinion, it’s closely connected with people’s needs and with the way we use objects.”

imm cologne is celebrating prize winning interior innovation

Best System, Foto: e15
interior innovation award, 2009: Best System, SH05 ARIE by Arik Levy, photo: e15

A joint project between imm cologne and the German Design Council, the eighth interior innovation award will be presented in 2010. This much sought-after award underlines the importance of innovation for imm cologne.

A jury of leading international design experts will award the prize for the most outstanding innovations in five categories: Best Item, Best System, Best Detail, Materials Innovation and Classic Innovation.

All businesses exhibiting at the fair are eligible to take part, either with products already on the market or those that are being exhibited for the first time.

The interior innovation award will be presented during the opening party on the night before the fair starts.

Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Association of the German Furniture Industry, on consumers’ changing mentality

1furniture_exportThe average German only replaces his sofa with a new one every 8-12 years. Don’t you sometimes wish there was a scrapping incentive for furniture too?
We in the furniture industry aren’t calling for subsidies – we just want equal treatment for all sectors. Instead of getting people to scrap their cars, the politicians ought to be scrapping taxes for normal citizens and SMEs so they’ve got more money left in their pockets and budgets at the end of the month – money they can use however they see fit.

The imm cologne’s Trendboard is anticipating a return to more quality consciousness as a response to the economic crisis. Is “real” quality actually still affordable these days?
We’re living in a time when people are refraining from quick consumption again so yes, you could say people have started to change their mentality. They’re becoming more sensitive to how we use the world’s resources and looking for things that promise value and durability again. That’s why there’s an increasing demand for sustainability and value in our industry too. For earlier generations it was normal not to follow every furniture or clothing fashion or go along with every new style that came out. Then there was a period of rapid and changing consumption. The pleasure was often short-lived and the products interchangeable.

Statement by Hans Strothoff (BVDM) about the planned international kitchen trade fair in 2011

Hans Strothoff, Foto: privat
Hans Strothoff, President of the Federal Association of Kitchen, Furniture & Furnishing Retailers (BVDM)

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me begin with a few remarks about the concept presented by Mr. Böse. I am delighted that we now have a blueprint that will ensure the continuing presence of a major international furniture trade fair in Germany. The establishment of one’s own kitchen trade fair, which is held every two years, in parallel to the imm cologne – that is really the only way to go. Here, it is important that fitted units, sinks and fittings are also represented, because these items are inextricably linked to the kitchen and constitute an essential part of the added value of a kitchen. From the perspective of both the dealer and the customer, it is absolutely essential that they should be presented alongside kitchen furniture.

It is my firm belief that the kitchen sector will be strongly represented in Cologne in 2011, more strongly than has been the case for many years. Following my discussions with manufacturers, I am confident that around 90 per cent of German production volume will be represented in Cologne. All of these discussions were very rewarding, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the companies involved for the open and constructive atmosphere in which these talks took place. They were also marked by a pronounced sense of responsibility for the sector as a whole.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is especially the dealers – and, by that, I mean German trade dealers of kitchen and interior fittings – who need a strong trade fair. And they need one here in Germany. A trade fair at home provides important signals and new stimulus for domestic consumption. A good example of this is Frankfurt’s International Motor Show, the IAA. Despite its very poor sales figures, the automobile industry is enjoying a huge media presence right now. By increasing access to our trade fair for the end consumer – through three open days for the public – we will guarantee a much greater media interest. And this interest will also be boosted by the various supporting programmes.