Wednesday, 23 January 2013

IMM Cologne - [D³] Contest

A highlight of any IMM is the [D³] Contest for young designers. A chance to get exposure and perhaps even get picked up by a manufacturer, it is always a well curated, simple white zone that allows the design to speak for itself. The surprising thing this year was just how many of the pieces we had seen before (not that we weren't pleased to see them again) - has the cult of "star designers" filtered down to recent graduates? David Derksen and Lex Pott's Transience Mirrors popped up at Mint during London Design Festival. Kim Thome's Reflection Range was at the RCA Show in the Summer, followed closely by the the new Platform gallery in the Habitat store on King's Road and PAD London in October. A sure sign the boy will do well.

The same could be said for Dennis Parren's CYMK light (a special version was shown at IMM), which is racking up a huge following after exhibiting at Rossana Orlandi in Milan and Interieur Kortrijk. By the way, you can now order your own CYMK light directly on from Dennis' website.  

Of the pieces we hadn't seen before, we lingered over the Dear Disaster cabinet by Jenny Ekdahl. With doors composed of 2000 veneered and painted discs, the concept is to allow the owner to create and re-shape an image, "creating a tactile and rhythmic interaction with ever-changing images and underlying meanings".

London-based Florian Schmid presented C58 Dressing Table and Stool. A simple geometry, the dressing table intersects the mirror giving you a table top mirror and full-length mirror in one.

Camilla Richter's And A And Be And Not room divider almost stole the show. Graphic and colourful, it created a wonderful light play and appeared different each time we passed. Rumour has it the screen has already been picked up by a very famous Italian design brand. Watch this space.  

The eventual winner of the [D³] prize was Swiss designer and ECAL graduate Lucien Gumy for his L'étagère-en-bois. Flat pack wooden shelves - sounds simple, right? It was and that was the beauty of it. Notches in the edge of the shelves grip tapers in the uprights, so no screws, glue or tools are required. Sometimes the simple ideas are the best and it would appear that everyone agrees, as it was impossible to take a photo, so these photos come courtesy of Dezeen

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

IMM Cologne - Das Haus

IMM Cologne has had mixed fortunes these last few years. From being THE big trade show to being eclipsed by Milan, a lot of work has gone into rejuvenating the show. That has been obvious over the last few years and certainly this year. The halls have been shuffled around, work has gone into curating the show (not just the stands - a tactic that works well for Interieur Kortrijk) and the concept house "Das Haus" which launched in 2012 returned under the guidance of Luca Nichetto.

It's probably safe to say, that "cosy" was probably the guiding principle behind Das Haus. Stuffed with books, plants, comfortable seating, textures and soft lighting, it was the type of Haus you would happily move into. Of course many of Nichetto's own designs featured, several of which were launched at IMM Cologne, but they were interspersed among works by Hans Wegner, the Bouroullecs, George Nelson and Dieter Rams. As an aside - it must be a confidence boost to any designer to see their work sitting happily alongside the great and the good of the design world. 

The Scandinavian influence on Nichetto was obvious (he opened a second studio in Stockholm in 2011) through his choice of pieces from Skultuna, Iittala, Gallery Pascale, Artek. His new lounge chair Hai for One Nordic also previewed at the show. 

The concept behind the project didn't feel as strong as last years proposal by Doshi Levien, but we were willing to move straight in and think about that later.


Thursday, 17 January 2013

Zeitraum NEWS 2013

Zeitraum made a bold and colourful statement at IMM Cologne this week with the launch of a major new colour stain programme. For the first time, the majority of the solid wood collection is available in 10 standard colours, in addition to the standard wood finishes, substantially expanding the possibilities.

The top image shows Kihyun Kim's 1.3 Chair in the new colours (which will be stained on oak) - chalk white, 5 grey tones and 4 trend colours. The idea is to bring colour into play, without hiding what Zeitraum is all about - WOOD! So a sophisticated staining technique was chosen to ensure the natural structure and grain of the wood is still visible. 

The stain colours were developed with Formstelle, Zeitraum's long-standing design partner. Their inspiration came from the stages of exposed wood weathering naturally. Combined, they allow for an interesting depth effect or a bright spot of intense colour to create focus in a space.

The colours were shown on several new items, including E8 by London-based German designer Mathias Hahn. E8 is based on a post-war kitchen table that sat in Mathias' flat in Hackney, east London (hence the name - Hackney's postcode is E8). Long and narrow with extreme projections, it allowed the table to serve as a dining table and work surface at the same time. Perfect for city living. All surfaces apart from the top, are available in colour - a detail which underlines it's functional character. This is a table to be used and enjoyed - not covered with a tablecloth!
PELLE by Lorenz*Kaz was previewed at Interieur Kortrijk in October. The final production version is now ready. An homage to Scandinavian classics, Pelle sees a return to beech, a wood associated with the early days of Zeitraum, but not seen much in recent years. The combination of beech and saddle leather is particularly appealing. The leather seat hangs freely and is shaped by an aluminium inlay. This adds stability without losing any flexibility (or visual lightness). 
The LOW, SIDE, PODEST and PODEST TV sideboards are now available with a new Atelier frame. This 25cms wooden trestle gives the units a contemporary, crafty look as well as a higher alternative to the original pieces. The unit and/or the Atelier frame can be finished in the colour stains allowing a wealth of options and contrasts. 
The original sideboard frames are now also available in a matt black powder-coat finish.
Kihyun Kim's 1.3 COLLECTION launched last year, was a runaway success. For 2013, slimline fabric and leather upholstery options are now available. Their space saving design makes 1.3 perfect for smaller cafes, bars and bistros.
The MORPH Edition chairs also shown at Kortrijk are all signed, numbered and ready to go. Based on Chinese posters from the 1920s, there are 3 motifs and only 100 of each available. When they're gone, they're gone!

IMM Cologne runs until Sunday 20th January.