Vitra caleidoscope

Vitra caleidoscope

Monday, 25 January 2016


 Picture above: An inner view from this years edition “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” ,conceived  and designed by  German  famous designer , Sebastian Herkner.

Cologne: the bride of the Rhine welcomes again this year– despite the many challenges of our turbulent  times- the International  Interiors  Show, in the city’s gigantic premises of the Köln Messe exhibition complex. A “Prova Generale", a general rehearsal –introduction-crash test for the trade, (before the second major international event of the industry this spring in Europe: the Salone Del Mobile in Milan), indicating the signs, settings the trends and  building up the alliance and those first contracts.

The Highlights

Living in the round? The “enfant terrible” of contemporary  German interior design, Sebastian Herkner presents a house , where nobody  “is locked out”, based on the principal on concentric (radio) waves or circles. The different spaces in this years version of “Das Haus” remind of circular waves propagating outward from the central disturbance, like  a pebble tossed in the water. A transparent transition from one space-room , to another with no natural limits (walls, drapes, or doors), open to navigate effortlessly. Innovative concept? No. Elaborated proposal? Yes. Herkner designs a module for the contemporary housing of the future with all his objects, soft furnishings, furniture, commodities– reinvented by himself and manufactured by important local companies and  European studios. Family, children, economy, subtleness, security , protection– by the absence of acute angles  and corneous edges and the imposition of curves  to his final prototypes like ex . the Pole Table introduced by Morgen ( It’s the Sebastian Herkner new house Condition for human beings who are happened to be also (tormented) civilians. Warm and embracing. (check views of "Das Haus" bellow)

On The Stage, the small amphitheater created to host lectures and corporate presentations of all kinds- Art director and design consultant Poonam Choudhry,  Karl Johan Bertilsson /Vice President of NCS Colour AB , Thorsten Muck/ Appointed Managing director for THONET GmbH and Sensorial Trend Analyst Zuzanna Skalska - delivered four lectures that remain of extreme importance for the scientific, academic and  strategic outcome of the IMM exhibition this year.  Smart sustainability/Sustainable inspiration (P.Choudhry), NCS Interior Colour Trends 2016 (K.J Bertilsson), Classic VS Trend; Evolution or Stagnation ( a pragmatic approach on the production evolution of the legendary house and design locomotive THONET by T. Muck) and last but not least, The Awareness of Change (Z. Skalska)- were  electrifying  and focused on capital issues and  their effect on current design production and creative business in general , as: the environmental impact, new “green” industries”, products and  resources, intense colour scheme analysis  towards the following years of economic uncertainty, the re-birth of modernist classics to contemporary furniture craftsmanship throughout an auxiliary educational presentation as well, the politics of trends, the definition of new residencies, strategies of new emerging design businesses, the social transformations revolving and evolving around the birth of new (design) problems. It is imperative to check:

It is absolutely fundamental to explore the possibilities involving the promotion and support of “young” design- a distinctive characteristic of the IMM fair. The 13th edition of Pure Talents exhibition and contest- together with the impressive stands of universities such as the local Köln International School of design (KISD), the Universität der Künste in Berlin, the Hochschule für Technik in Stuttgart , the Fakultät Angewandte Kunst in Schneeberg among others – underline a focal german principal : the export of the industrial and interior design of the next generation. Many great ideas were noted from the students/future professionals- such as the Chain Chair by Lara Liese and Hendrik Beyer from KISD and the ever-so-promising  project “SETZ DICH MAL ANDERS” ( have a sit  differently) by the Fakultät Angewandte Kunst in Schneeberg students. Have a look on the links for more info on the individual projects:

Pure Talents Exhibition and Contest: (Nathalia Mussi Weidlich) (Oliver Selim Boualam) ( Lukas Marstaller, Oliver-Selim Boualam) (Stanislaw Czarnocki) (Philipp Grundhoefer)

The schools and their projects for the IMM- the links available:

Bellow,  an A4D-D4A  favourite, from the “SETZ DICH MAL ANDERS” project, by the students of  the Fakultät Angewandte Kunst in Schneeberg : a yoga floor stool- super comfortable!!!!!:Bellow: “SETZ DICH MAL ANDERS” imaginative stand and AVITAR yoga stool by Rebecca Schönherr, (!bodensitze/bqy33

The Press Corridor with the International publications regarding the field of living interiors, house and garden decoration, industrial design , architecture and urbanism- did not hide any unfamiliar names. A pleasant surprise : the German magazine CUBE, specializes in residential / public architecture, urbanism and the building/ construction sector- on German ground, showcasing the current architectural blueprint of every major German city. Useful, knowledgeable and sleek.

The Exhibitors Selection (by A4D-D4A)

The IMM represents the  initial heart beat of the market, about to define the stigma of the whole year and the big houses are not compromising for less than their usual immaculate perfectionism- from the stand design to the new products, to the press and reception service. This January Vitra’s  last spring’s  World Party in Milan was transferred to Thonet. Great vibes, lots of dedicated fans, customers, merchants and students were cruising the area between Tom Dixon, Cappellini, Karimoku, Villeroy & Boch- on one side of the Köln Messe. The other strategic point of luxury and relaxed elegance, the crossroads of the grandiose: Cassina, Walter Knoll, Trussardi Casa and Showroom Finland- polarized the visitors who required to see innovation, impeccable finishing and upper-middle class eclecticism. Lots of flair, humor, rich colour  and the maximum level of imaginative craftsmanship. Those 10 companies- stands- dominant features  this year at IMM, correspond very well to the clause pronounced by Russian composer’s and conductor Alexander Glazunov , as a comment to Mozart’s Symphony no 41, (also known as “Jupiter): “The  grand finale  of Jupiter reminds me of the Cologne Cathedral”.  Enjoy the pictures bellow and follow the links for further details:
From top to bottom: “Warum So Ernst?” living concept by Vitra - Thonet All Seasons Chairs revisited –Tom Dixon pending lamps,( but check the INK stationary and BREW coffee/tea collection) - Cappellini Living Interior - Karimoku New Standard - Villeroy & Boch magnificent ARTIS washbasins - AUTHENTIC ICONS re-produced by Cassina - His excellence, Walter Knoll with living a room concept and THE floor lamp - Interior luxury by definition , in Trussardi Casa – Lighting design and more by Showroom Finland  

 (Trussardi Casa)

The Surprises: Romania and…

The IMM fair 2016 edition unveiled to the public some extremely interesting ventures. One of the most attractive developments in the industry is the Romanian presence in the furniture sector. The Romanian National Pavilion,  supported by the Romanian  Furniture Manufacturers Association (APMR)-one of the pillars of Romanian economy and export- exhibited the works of 24 furniture companies, studios and associations, demonstrating a broad range of products- various in style and of high quality in design and manufacturing.  Very exciting and skillful home furniture, from the classic designs of the end of 19th century to the most avant-garde pieces destined  to entirely urban surroundings. Romanian furniture evolution proves many things about the country’s intention to over-achieve (compared to the rest of the Balkan countries, which presence was rather dim). A prediction: if Romania continues like that, in 15 years max, its furniture industry will surpass the Scandinavian cluster, in style, durability and sales. Please check and be impressed by a thorough selection of companies and their sites -that really stood out: (picture bellow)

China attacked literally, with a massive portfolio of companies , occupying practically most of the surface in Hall 2.1. The complexity of EU finances at the time give opportunities for business, and the related to IMM industries in China are boosting with merchandise in low(er )prices. The many stands  with  chairs look like Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Army- have a look at the pictures bellow:  

There is nothing more rewarding than the discovery of  excellent furniture and home interiors in places…where you most expect to: the Danish companies Innovation Randers and Scandinavian Design International  (pictures bellow respectively) confirm the previous rule and offer elegant and practical furniture for cozy homes:

The “Gems”…

Companies and brand names that contribute something  really unique to the living interiors sector and its many subsidiary fields - are a joy to observe. In the Sleep designated area at IMM this year, Candia Strom  creates bedding and mattresses with eco-materials, using olive oil, guaranteed for 25 years…In an area where the competition is fierce with eco-friendly manufacturers like Dormiente or pioneers in sleep DNA pattern, like Ergosleep- patented products like the BODYFIX-Cretan spirit mattresses by Candia Strom, have an extremely complex procedure in their making and their placement in the market. For more info- and a feel of the product after a visit- please check:

Metallic  furniture is hard to find- at least with the high aesthetics, the smart design and the flawless finishing of wooden prototypes or plastic moulds. The industry is encrusted mostly with warehouse-type, bland containers. Germania-Werk Krome GmbH & Co.KG is a German house, that impressively proves the contrary: very elegant metal pieces among the company’s range, highly styled, available for a house interior or an office, in perfectly executed  manufacture - their site is:

Lavatories of the future ? The AquaClean MERA toilet by Geberit, is a “masterpiece of function and design” as it is described by the press. Apart from the fact that it is designed by mega-designer Christoph Behling and won design awards- it applies a multi-mechanism of odour extraction , an economical water clean, a super comfort with a heated seat and an orientation light - and other facilities. Check the full description on:

The springy toys “Baby Bumble” Hoptimist come from Denmark and they will put a smile on your face as soon as you see them. A happy phenomenon:

The most popular stand due to the success of its promotional polka dot design-canvas bag at the fair? The stand the young people visited the most to check out the latest furniture pieces- but also to get the bag!? Visit Brühl on:

Turkish ads at the exit drop a reminder for the second round of International fairs on European ground. (In Italy this spring A4D-D4A will try and present the full potential of the Turkish Pavillion- hopefully in Milan, following the thread from Cologne to the Big Brother of the Design Industry: the Salone del Mobile).  The information above regarding the IMM , are carefully selected in order to give you not only a general idea, but the methodology and the politics behind IMM ‘s mission to host the home interiors design industry of the planet. The experience was immense. A4D-D4A is looking forward to next year…. 16.1.2017- 22.1.2017. Until then enjoy and process all the news and info…Danke IMM! Auf Wiedersehen!)))



NOTE: The whole text above consists of a summary so if you wish to obtain additional information regarding press kits, events- even advice - or if you have specific other questions concerning IMM, do not hesitate to contact the blog by sending a message...

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