Over 148 Years of Service to the Furniture Industry

 Furniture World Logo

Trends and Innovations At imm cologne 2010

Furniture World Magazine


Report On Upcoming 2010 Cologne Show, January 19-24:

When it comes to change, people often have mixed feelings. They are reluctant to give up their habits, be it their field of work, their favourite place on the couch or their annual holiday in Italy. The loss seems to weigh more heavily than the prospect of the potential gain. Take the introduction of longer opening times for German shops: despite all the prophecies of doom at the time, nobody would willingly surrender the new-found convenience any more.

But when it comes to technical innovations, interior trends and fashion, things can’t change fast enough for most people. We have come to regard the newest products as the most desirable – a perception of value that is rooted in our belief in progress. Innovations in these areas enrich our lives; they provide scope for acting out our individuality and setting ourselves apart from others. From fashion to furnishings, the consumer follows the latest trend developments – sometimes enthusiastically, sometimes contemplating them with a critical eye.

There is plenty of scope for innovation in interior design: from the colours and fabrics all the way to the materials, forms and functions. At trade fairs, new products are the icing on the cake – and at the imm cologne 2010, that icing has again been applied with a generous hand. The big show that heralds the start of the new furniture season has several innovative mixtures to offer its visitors. New product ideas are presented in a particularly fresh and unconventional way at the newcomer forum D 3 Design talents. The interior world showcased in the Smart segment sets its sights on young consumers, whilst the imm cologne Trendboard has its eye on the entire spectrum of interior trends.

The imm cologne itself has also undergone several changes. There’s more to see than ever before, but less time to see it in because this year’s fair is one day shorter than usual – which makes it all the more exciting. In Hall 10 there will be an Innovation Catwalk that clusters the most important innovations from the fair in a clearly structured presentation. But more than anything else, the imm cologne is doing away with boundaries – boundaries between product categories like lighting, carpets, textiles, accessories and bathrooms, but also between various areas of the home. Living and cooking, indoor and outdoor, bedroom and bathroom – the transitions are becoming increasingly fluid. Pure Village, the imm cologne’s new exhibition format, aims to reflect this development with new structures and presentation approaches.

D³ – the presentation forum for bright young things

It’s often the young and particularly creative designers who haven’t been influenced by the market yet who provide the scene with innovations. In order to encourage this creative potential, the imm cologne 2010 will be presenting the fifth D³ Design talents show – the Cologne furnishing fair’s event for up-and-coming designers. Divided into the three categories D³ Professionals, D³ Contest and D³ Schools, the D³ shows will again be providing new impetus for the future of interior design. The presentation of these inspiring and visionary designs will be accompanied by various supporting events and installations.

In the D³ Professionals category, independent designers and design studios can present their ideas to a broad audience and make contact with manufacturers and dealers. D³ Schools provides colleges from the fields of product design, interior architecture and architecture with a dedicated forum for presenting their course content and outstanding student projects. An independent jury awards prizes for thebest exhibition concepts. The D3 Contest gives students and graduates from the above disciplines another opportunity to win awards: there are prizes for the three best interior products from categories such as furniture, lighting, textiles, carpets or wallpapers. The D³ Contest in particular has developed into an effective contact forum for young designers in recent years, establishing itself as a popular sourcing destination for the industry.

Interior Innovation Award – the furniture fair prize

Another permanent feature on the imm cologne’s agenda is the presentation of the interior innovation award, which is one of the most highly regarded design awards in the furnishing sector and is presented by a jury of internationally acclaimed designers. And the award is not restricted to the trade fair’s exhibitors: those of its partners like Design Post, Spichern Höfe and KAP Forum can enter their product highlights as well. The award is presented for outstanding innovative accomplishments in the furnishing sector. As well as design and technology, that also includes new materials and details as well as outstanding product concepts and market triumphs. For the first time, the imm cologne 2010 will be presenting all the products nominated for an award in a special show. The prizes will be presented during the Cologne Design Night in the Alter Wartesaal, the former waiting room of the main station, starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, 18 th January 2010.

Smart – interior worlds for youngsters

Seeing as young designers have been given a special place at the fair, it would be a shame to neglect the field of young interiors. It is an area where new trends are often born and gives new room concepts the chance to prove their viability for day-to-day life. Young people are particularly likely to live alone and only have a limited amount of space available to them. Flexible and space-saving solutions should convey a roomy atmosphere even when space is in short supply, clever furnishings shouldoffer maximum storage space and multiple functions. At the same time, a trendy design is indispensable, especially for this target group. When it comes to lifestyle furniture, the popularity of purist design is still growing strongly. But that’s not to say there aren’t occasional retro echoes that luxuriate in lavish colours and forms. Even if, these days, integrated entertainment electronics like iPod docking stations are a must.

The Trendboard – the imm cologne’s trend analysts

What have Discipline and Comfort Zone got in common? Both are amongst the Interior Trends being presented by the imm cologne 2010. It is thanks to the continuous efforts of Koelnmesse that a professional discourse about design as a market factor is possible in such a fast-moving arena as a trade fair. The Cologne Trendboard – an international panel of architects, design and interior design experts that analyses the interior trends of the coming season – is a good example of the competence clustered in the cathedral city. The Trend Book it compiles translates the most important trends for the furnishing sector into words and images. Materials, surfaces and structures – integral aspects of furniture and interior design – are given the same weight as the concrete forms developed by the designers. The book – which is rapidly becoming compulsory reading for the entire sector – is a vivid depiction of the alliance between new forms, the latest materials and the ambience of the moment.

Pure Village – the innovation of the fair

But even though its ultimate goal is to present new products, the imm cologne itself comes up with its fair share of innovations too. For at the end of the day, the exhibition itself has to adapt to trends and tendencies as well. Even the way we live ichanging. The transitions between the kitchen and living room or bathroom and bedroom are becoming more fluid. Factors such as lighting, textiles and accessories are becoming increasingly important in today’s new interior worlds.

The imm cologne is responding to these changes with its new “Pure Village” presentation format. The innovative use of space in Pure Village, characterised by open structures and interesting juxtapositions, allows interior worlds to merge with one another and opens up new perspectives. The exhibition architecture is an expression of the same principles: rather than running parallel to one another, the pathways lead to a central point which – like a market square – tempts visitors to linger and enjoy a communicative exchange in the lounge and bar. A new concept that is ideally suited to clustering forward-looking ideas and product solutions from all furnishing-related areas. Gerhard Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse, has very clear expectations: “What we are launching under the name ‘Pure Village’ is a totally new trade fair format. The atmosphere created in Hall 3.2 is intended to hold particular appeal for the design-oriented brands.”

For more information visit http://www.imm-cologne.com

Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada.  In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact editor@furninfo.com.