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On The Search For New Forms Of Open Living

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IMM Cologne recently announced that as guest of honor at IMM Cologne 2017, Todd Bracher, the New York-based product designer, has produced a distinctively spacious and architectural design for the design event “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”. Under a floating roof stand two interwoven, starkly different frames – one a large space surrounded by bookshelves as walls and a semi-transparent shell, the other a black cube over which a ball seems to hover as it emits a moonlight glow. In one corner is a showering and washing area. Bracher turns the traditional notion of 3-rooms plus kitchen,hallway and bathroom, indeed the very concept of a traditional sequence of rooms, on its head and into a vision of intertwining zones: one for dining, one for rest and one for hygiene. Contemporary forms for modern life.

Building bridges between American and European styles of home living, “Das Haus – is the superlative design event at the international interiors show imm cologne. Each year a young, influential designer is given the opportunity to make a personal statement on contemporary living in a simulation of a residential house combining architecture, interior design and furnishings. US designer Todd Bracher has been nominated as the guest of honour for the sixth edition of “Das Haus” at imm cologne 2017.

It is very rare to find projects where designers are able to try out something genuinely new in practice — something far removed from the typical conceptual installations, which are often works of art rather than ideas for living. Whilst trade fair organisers and exhibition curators may expect the unexpected from them, in day-to-day business, clients, aesthetic conventions and very real requirements in terms of standards, profitability and weather conditions set narrow parameters. “Das Haus” is a platform for experiments in living located right in the very centre of this divide: between installation and “real” life.

For Todd Bracher, “Das Haus” represents an opportunity to question the traditional perception of contemporary living. Because these are precisely the questions that occupy him when he is working on his enormously multifaceted range of projects, from product design, through brand refresh to strategic design. The design event at imm cologne now offers him the ideal platform for experimentation without commercial constraints. “Das Haus 2017” will offer visitors to the international interiors show exciting insights into a close convergence of living and life.

“The home is an elementary synthesis of needs and functions that is very precisely directed toward supporting the people who live inside it in their daily lives and their growth,” is how Bracher understands the concept of “Das Haus”. The holistic project combines architecture, interiors and product design. For his “Haus”, he will follow his classical approach to design rigorously: reducing complexity to its simplest
elements and functions. “Why do we choose a particular lifestyle?” asks the 41-year- old and sets out his intentions: “We want to question our conception of what makes contemporary living by rethinking the principles that define the home and asking ourselves if they meet the requirements of the world today.”


More about Todd Bracher: Todd Bracher is considered one of the leading names in the American design scene. Born in New York in 1974 and the son of a carpenter, he graduated in Industrial Design from the city’s prestigious Pratt Institute. Between graduating and founding his own studio, he took what is perhaps a unique journey through the different cultures and design traditions of the “Old World”: he completed a Masters in design at the Danish School of Design in Copenhagen; working in Milan, Paris and at Tom Dixon in London; serving as Professor of Design at l'ESAD in Reims, France, and Creative Director of the Danish luxury brand Georg Jensen before returning home to New York in 2007 and setting up his own studio. From his Brooklyn base, he collaborates with leading design brands from around the world, including Cappellini, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller, Humanscale, Issey Miyake, Swarovski, Zanotta and 3M.

His work speaks a clear, unambiguous language that is guided first and foremost by function. This places Bracher firmly in the classic design tradition, and it is this tradition which constantly leads him to unexpectedly elegant solutions, whether he is designing a table, an office chair, a perfume bottle or an innovative reflective element for striking, energy-saving LED building illumination. At the same time, his work offers solutions to contemporary problems and dresses the sometimes disturbing proximity of life and work in new and pleasing forms. The recipient of many design awards, Bracher takes inspiration from both nature and technology.

Everything that he creates should be self-explanatory — this is the standard he sets himself, and it is the ideal point of departure for “Das Haus” to stand as a design event that can be experienced intuitively.

More about Koelnmesse: Koelnmesse is the world’s top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry. Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fast-expanding markets to its portfolio. These include Rooms Moscow/Moscow International Furniture Show, the China International Kitchen and Bathroom Expo (CIKB) in Shanghai, furniPRO Asia in Singapore and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. For more information, visit www.imm-cologne.com.

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