Sunday, 24 January 2010

KÖLN - Zeitraum 2010 Collection at IMM KÖLN 2010

Relay took a short trip to Cologne this week to support our good friends at Zeitraum as they launched their 2010 Collection at IMM KÖLN – inventive, beautiful and practical, yes we are biased but it was the Best Show in town!

As ever continuing their quest to create timeless, honest and tactile furniture from sustainable materials, Zeitraum released a number of new products including ‘Plank’ by Nana Bambuch and Merit Frank, shown below with the ‘Morph’ chair by Formstelle. Taking the makeshift trestle leg and transforming it into an elegant silhouette, Plank is available in a number of versions including the side tables shown on the Köln stand in bright lime green lacquer, contrasting perfectly with the deep warm tones of the Walnut wood and the cool blonde highlights of the Oak.

Riding on the huge success of Morph, Zeitraum released the ‘Morph Bar’, available in two heights; 80cm and 65cm. Perfect for home and contract projects.

Brand new chairs came in the surprising form of ‘Gap’ by Hertel&Klarhoefer who continue to develop their love of angular lines coupled with simple design.

Saving the best till last is ‘Secret’, a stunning writing desk with concealed storage. Taking inspiration from the traditional school desk the Secret is an elegant, beautiful and quality crafted piece of furniture. The lift-up doors conceal storage compartments for stationary, laptop and cables. A truly desirable piece of great design!

KÖLN - Top Picks at IMM KÖLN 2010

You could not help to be struck by how grey was everywhere in IMM Köln. Manufacturers showcased every imaginable tone and hue on their stands with few accent colours. Due to this texture played an incredibly important role with a particular emphasis on luxury. Natural finishes including woven textiles mixed with raw woods were placed alongside other natural surfaces like leather and ceramics.
Gervasoni mixed wicker with their oversized and cosy cushion seating. Accenting their warm greys with bright orange they headed the trend for exposed seams. Contrasts were added with glazed ceramic stools.

Jasper Morrison continued the theme of natural and luxurious textures with his ‘Cork Table’ for Cappellini. Also on Cappellini was the ‘Antler’ armchair designed by Japanese star Nendo. Constructed with an Ash olive-tree-stained backrest and feet with a low soft seat in felt, the Antler is also available in leather with an optional Tibetan lamb’s fur cushion…now that is luxury!

ClassiCon showcased their 2008 Saturn Stool/Side Table by Barber Osgerby alongside the new Munich Lounge Chair by Sauerbruch Hutton (below). These carved sculptural forms in leather and walnut combined to create a heavy ethnic atmosphere, which was enhanced by the 1973 ‘Kilin’ collection by Sergio Rodrigues with its solid eucalyptus wood and animal hide.

For those who did not appreciate the choice of natural finishes contemporary metal designs could be seen with Serafini Shelving and ‘Bucky’ tables by Seefelder (below). Other highlights for those with industrial tastes would have to be the Extension Floor Lights by Ligne Roset.

KÖLN – D3 Design

Located in the basement of the Koelnmesse Exhibition centre was the annual student showcase, attracting an international group of young graduates all wanting to attract the eye of the big manufacturers upstairs. Considering the international range of these young designers it is fitting that those who caught our eye were in fact German.
We particularly liked ‘Friday’ by Reinhard Dienes (below). Available as both a table and pendant lamp, Friday mixes hand-blown smoked glass with pressed aluminium to create an incredibly subtle and soft lighting effect, making it a clean, contemporary yet moody piece.

‘Allotment Stories’ by Killian Schindler, exhibited as part of the D3 Contest stand, also made an impressive impact. Inspired by garden trelliswork, the powder-coated assembly of steel frames transformed into wall-mounted shelving, freestanding wardrobes and chairs.

KÖLN - Design Post 2010

A hop, skip and jump from the Koelnmesse Exhibition centre was permanent design centre - Design Post. This year playing host to some of the most interesting and contemporary design houses. Our favourites included lighting and shelving by Nanoo, who combined contemporary form with practical design solutions to create extraordinary and unique pieces, including their ceiling lamp ‘nan17’ and bookshelves ‘nan15’.

Accademia put their best foot forward with their new ‘Patio’ seating by Studio Hannes Wettstein (below).

Softer shapes came courtesy of ‘Lazy Bastard’ by Bertjan Pot for Montis. Bertjan Pot also took the opportunity to showcase his recent creation - ‘Revolving Chandelier’.

Moroso, as ever, injected colour with their embroidered upholstery, which after the acres of grey seen in the main centre was a more than welcome relief.

KÖLN - Front

Swedish design team Front were named ‘A&W Designers of the Year’ and were honoured with a solo exhibition in the foyer of the beautiful Gerling-Quartier building in central Cologne.Showcasing nearly all of their designs, it highlighted how prolific these designers have been in such a short period of time.
Our favourite had to be the new ‘Shadow Light’ for Porro, part of the Black&White collection.Several pendants were hung at the exhibition entrance with floor light versions dotted throughout the show.

KÖLN - Magazin Canteen

As part of the many satellite shows occurring in the city during Design Week, ‘Magazin’ provided some much needed rest time with their canteen. Designed to bring people together at a communal tables decked out with food and drink, we at Relay took advantage of the opportunity to sit down with a beer and bowl of potatoes with cheese to look through their design directory.
Representing contemporary designers they also manufacture design too. Our favourite Magazin product has to be ‘Container’, with its glossy finish, garage doors and stackable units
Magazin also showcased their favourite design group Muuto with a basement showroom which was a treasure trove of Nordic design, including Relay favourites Matti Klennel, TAF Architects (who designed ‘Wood Light’ below) and Jen Fager, designer of the ‘Raw’ collection (below)

KÖLN - New Designers 2010

We won’t lie to you - there was a lot of bad design here, including a disturbing trend for furniture constructed from garden tools. However, there were a number of notable mentions including ‘Katharina Langer and Christoph van Bommel’ who supplied the foyer lighting constructed from folded crystalline paper to create their imposing chandelier (below).

Other works that caught our eye were the ‘Nido’ chairs by Eva Marguerre (below). Made from 100% fibreglass and reinforced plastic. The Nido is practically a feather-weight at just 900grams, and with such a striking red design this weatherproof and UV resistant chair is the perfect outdoor seat.

Uli Budde brought the outdoors in, with his ‘Plant Pots’ with in-built trays; also shown with his ‘Shelf’ a wall-mounted side-board proved yet again that less-is-more!


David Robert Foundation team up with Moroso for Damien Roach’s first solo exhibition in London since 2007 - ‘Shiiin, Jet Stream, White earphones’. Beginning by looking at the object of an exhibition in its most simple terms Roach employs an ambitious and constantly shifting exhibition design, transforming the gallery space into a dynamic site for events and talks.Arranging the gallery into public and private spaces Roach fills them with his own work, others from the Foundation’s collection and items of Moroso furniture, including Osorom by Konstantin Grcic (above) and Tropicalia by Patricia Urquiola (below).
We at Relay were lucky to catch a talk by independent curator and critic Burkhard Meltzer who presented his research project ‘Prototype – furniture in art and design’, exploring function and presentation in art and design. For a list of upcoming events from Roach’s program visit the David Roberts Foundation website.

Konstantin Grcic can also be seen at Serpentine, London as the curator of Design Real ‘a groundbreaking presentation of contemporary design’. Only open for another two weeks, check out this overview of design innovation, especially the Amazon Kindle which is at the centre of Grcic’s curation of the design objects and their history.