Sunday, 22 January 2012

IMM Cologne Highlights

The prevailing trends at this years IMM were natural materials like wood, leather and marble and pale grey/brown background colours accented by a pop of fluorescent yellow or pastel and jewel tones.

Left: Müller Mӧbel, Centre and Right: Schonbuch
Mellow Daybed by Formstelle for Zeitraum
Das Haus by Doshi Levien was an update on the Ideal House concept and showcased their taste for the eclectic and colourful. A house crammed with design and arranged around a courtyard, classics by Alvar Aalto and Nelson sat alongside their own designs for Moroso, Authentics and Cappellini as well as pieces from e15 and Flos. You could also find some religious icons and family photos pinned to the walls. 

It was certainly more engaging than the surprisingly lacklustre Patricia Urquiola A&W Designer of the Year show in the city centre. Of more interest was Patricia's decision to pass the baton, via the Mentor Award to young British designer du jour Benjamin Hubert. He is certainly making a name for himself in the international design world.
The Ineke Hans Collection was shown in the Pure Village area. Simple rough wooden planks, almost as if they had been recycled from pallets were fixed to precision metal joints and painted in candy colours to provide a cheerful and almost childlike alternative to the slick designs elsewhere.

Studio Kepenic attracted some blog attention even before the fair, with a post appearing on the influential Dailytonic for their new Plug&Play series. A simple idea of how to make flat-pack furniture less of a chore, Plug&Play comes with 2 sets of beautifully turned wooden legs - a main set and a second extension set which enables you to turn your coffee table into a dining table with ease.

Finally, a mention to Richard Lampert who revitalised their classic Hirche lounge chair from 1953 (shown below in the outdoor version) and showed it alongside Dish's Island by Alexander Seifried.

So, as the door closes on IMM Cologne for another year, we're keeping our luggage close to hand. Next stop Stockholm!

IMM Cologne - D3 Design Talents

D3 Design Talents returned to IMM Cologne to give young designers, mostly recent graduates, a chance to be seen alongside (and potentially be seen by) the established brands. This years talent came from across Europe and even Canada. The UK was represented by both Magnus Pettersen and International, a design studio formed by Northumbria University graduates Marc Bell and Robin Grasby. International presented Apollo, a modular lighting system designed to be modified by the user. The 4 profiles (available in solid and perforated anodised aluminium) can be arranged around a standard screw cap lamp holder. Apollo was awarded 3rd place in the Interior Innovation/D3 contest. 

Staying with all things light, Canadian Lukas Peet showed Spotlight in 3 different sizes. Suspended by their electrical cord which wrapped around and squeezed the lights, forming a waist, Spotlight illuminates both the floor and the ceiling. 

Miya Kondo presented Composition Light, a series of leaning light objects, which create and frame a space. Placing them at different angles casts different forms of light and shade.

Second Prize in the Interior Innovation Award went to Listen to Your Hands by Lee Sanghyeok, a puzzle for grown-ups. A desk in walnut, the top is stacked with cubes of different volumes. Each one is a drawer and as you close one drawer, another opens. Which one it will be is anyone's guess! Using the lightest of touch will close all of the drawers, as if to say sometimes delicacy is needed and sometimes if you want to achieve something a little effort is required.

Listen to your hands from Sanghyeok Lee on Vimeo.

Studio Formafantasma, based in The Netherlands are arguably the rising stars of the design world. Indeed, they have been anointed by Paola Antonelli and Alice Rawsthorn as one of the 20 designers who "will influence design in the next decade". They presented Domestica, a low chair cum survival pack. Inspired by Gerla baskets, traditionally used by farmers to carry harvested crops, Domestica could potentially be a portable home but its new function is left undefined for the user to decide.

Martin Solem showed Daddy Longlegs, winner as the Blueprint Best New Product award at 100% Design London in September. Simple, elegant, entirely functional and a pop of colour, it won't be long before you see these in a restaurant or bar near you.  

Also notable was Lamp by Sebastian Goldschmidtbӧing, a bowl and rod in copper. The light sources is enclosed by a transparent diffuser while the rod invites attention. It almost begs to be touched. 

In fact, too many of the entries were worthy of a mention to describe them all here, so we have compiled them into an album over on our Facebook page.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Zeitraum News 2012

Barely 2 weeks into the new year and IMM Cologne opened its doors to the international design trade. The first major fair on the design calendar, IMM Cologne is the launchpad for Zeitraum's new products.

The 2012 Zeitraum collection encapsulates many of the trends visible at the show - quality, traditional materials left unadorned to allow their beauty to shine through and simple grey backgrounds offset with a flash of bright jewel colours.

The successful relationship with designers Formstelle continues apace with Turntable - a traditionally turned wooden table hiding a steel base which allows large diameter tops. Reminiscent of salon tea tables, Turntable is both elegant and statuesque, instantly adding a sense of gravitas to any room. Smaller scale Turntables are also available as side and coffee tables.

Organic has always been a word associated with Zeitraum and never has it been more appropriate than when describing the new Kontur family of tables. A central pillar is supported by a twin-layered amorphous base, reminiscent of a map's contour lines. The pillar supports a solid wooden top, which again can be organic, square or round and will be available as coffee, cafe and high bar tables. 

The amoprhous detail continues through to Twist Stone. Designed by Formstelle as an extension to the popular the Twist family, Twist Stone juxtaposes the sharp angles of the base with a curvaceous top.

A graduate project by Stephan Schmid, Strip combines beautiful materials in a charmingly lo-fi extending table. When packed away, twin tops lie above above each other on brass runners, with the lower one easily pulled out to give a little extra space when required. When extended, both tops sit in the top rails making Strip the perfect option for the occasional entertainer.

Plaisir seeks to make life a little easier, acting both as a side table and a tray. Carry your guests drinks and remove the empties with ease, simply by lifting the tray off the wooden frame. Formstelle have designed two versions of Plaisir - Plaisir 1 is tall and slim, topped with a shallow wooden bowl while the lower, wider Plaisir 2 has an aluminium tray with soft-touch powder coating and polished aluminium edge. Apart from being a pleasant sensation, the soft touch coating is also non-slip.  

A new version of the Noon lighting family made a welcome appearance. In keeping with the family's strong graphic lines, Noon 3 is available in 2 sizes, making it ideal for smaller cafe tables as well as larger dining tables.

The Morph family has been extended and tweaked, with the addition of Morph Pouf to make your experience of Morph Lounge even more relaxing. Morph and Morph Bar also featured on the stand in their new fully upholstered formats. The emphasis was on flexibility, with two complimentary fabrics (or fabric and leather) on the same chair and contrast stitching now a standard option.

We've been promised another couple of new products in Milan, but they are still top secret, so you'll just have to wait for April. Our lips are sealed.