IMM (held in Cologne from 13 to 19 January) is an important interior design trade fair which has become an unmissable event in the sector at the beginning of every year for anyone interested in the market in Germany and the surrounding countries. The event is mainly commercial, and participating companies present both their latest innovations, most of which we will also be seeing soon at the Milan Salon and fringe events in April, and improvements to products already in their catalogues.
The fair is more about “confirmation” and Nordic solidity rather than performance and installations as we might be used to seeing elsewhere, but is still a good opportunity for firms who have reduced their trade fair investments to a minimum, becoming extremely selective. Once again this year, the event will also continue in an after-fair fringe program, in what has now become a global trend of animating showrooms, reinventing old buildings for new uses and encouraging relations between the city and the fair: an excellent example of this would be the famous DESIGNPOST, based in an old railway station. This year, one new entry will be the ULTRAMARIN debut, with an excellent project for restructuring spaces completely dedicated to the top bathroom designers and animated by entertainment initiatives that go beyond the merely cultural. Italians in Cologne, confirmations and innovation. There is a long list of Italian brands – maybe slightly shorter than last year, but nonetheless in line with the continuing importance of design that is “designed, planned and manufactured in Italy” by both Italians and international designers working for our firms. Carefully studied combinations of materials, ever more distinguished protagonists and a greater emphasis on outdoor living, seeing exterior spaces as part of the home, are all current trends that aim more to satisfy than amaze…and rightly so, at last! Let’s take a look at just a few.
Poliform with Marcel Wanders, born in the Netherlands and Italian by adoption thanks to his preference for Made in Italy, has created Mad Chair, with its solid wood legs and asymmetrical and yet comfortable-looking moulded polyurethane.
B&B Italia presented Mirto, by Antonio Citterio, in metal and fabric worked together with style, lightness and rigour for range of outdoor furniture, including a folding chair, sunbed, table and coffee table. DeCastelli was showing the Nippon bookshelf and the new outdoor series inspired by the 1930s, confirming their vitality and intelligence by valorising a traditional metal-working skill: a virtuous case-history of design as a factor of constant evolution and brand internationalisation.
MDF presented their bookshelf, Minima 3.0, in aluminium and brightly lacquered medium density volumes, which received one of the 2014 Interior Innovation Awards which also gratified a new-entry from Treviso, Capo d’Opera with the Tron table by Marc Sadler, an excellent example of innovation in form and substance with its use of metal and the latest technology available. Materials, including coloured porcelain stoneware, available in six colours with fifteen shades each, were once again the protagonists for Tagina ceramics, inspired by British history and tradition and in particular the facades of London homes. Premium silk, wool and natural fibres in Kilim weaves by Dutch artist Bertian Poyt were presented by Golran rugs, another debut in Cologne this year with a wide ranging collection in terms of colours and sizes. During the fringe program, Cassina presented their recently acquired SimonCollezione of furnishings and interior design cult objects, hosted in their Spichernstrasse showroom. Following on from Cologne, we’re all fully immersed in the preparation for Design Week in Milan this April, which will be offering us the best panorama of international design, not only product design, and its most advanced frontiers.