imm cologne - The Trend Platform

Cologne will break new ground in 2003: imm cologne - the International Furniture Fair is transforming itself from a pure furniture fair into a fair for furnishings and interior design. The main focus of the event will be on design. One of the highlights will be the "ideal house cologne" presentation by the internationally renowned designers Karim Rashid and Konstantin Grcic, who will display their visions of future living. The design activities will be accompanied by other events: the "informed by cologne" trend platform and the young designers' platform "inspired by cologne." In this way, imm cologne is backing up its claim to be the trade fair for leading international designs.

"informed by cologne," the trend platform for home living, will be located in the passage between Halls 4 and 11. The exhibition will be arranged according to topic areas, and interactive trend panels will highlight the latest developments in styles, colors, patterns and materials. A trend bar and a trend lounge will also invite visitors to take a relaxed look into the future.

Up-and-coming designers in the sector will meet at the "inspired by cologne" platform. Here, the "Spin Off.." exhibition will create an interface between design and production: Newcomers to the international design scene will present prototypes of furniture and other items for the home. Future Point is designed as a meeting place where renowned technical schools and colleges of furniture, design and architecture can communicate and exchange ideas. The motto of this year's "Nachlux", the competition for up-and-coming designers and innovative lighting design, is "Atmosphere."

The "ideal house cologne" project will involve the creation of two stylized homes to be flooded with light in the atria of Halls 1 and 3, respectively. Karim Rashid from New York and Konstantin Grcic from Munich will each design a house. Both designers will formulate their personal concepts of living in the future and answer questions such as: What new demands will we make of our homes? What will the places we live in look like in the future? What trends will determine the interior styles of tomorrow? For their furnishings, Rashid and Grcic will be using products presented by the exhibitors at imm cologne.

Organizational futurism versus the poetry of simplicity? The styles of the two designers could hardly be more different. Karim Rashid is the latest sensation from New York, and his aim is to revolutionize the world we live in with the help of organic forms and high-tech materials. Konstantin Grcic from Munich, on the other hand, is regarded as one of the most high-profile advocates of a new rationalism, and his work, with its fragile structures and modest use of materials, appeals to more practical concerns.

By setting the works of the two designers against each other, the organizers of imm cologne are intentionally placing an emphasis on polarization. The concept, which was drawn up by Koelnmesse in conjunction with the German Design Council, is meant to represent our pluralistic, post-modern society, in which seemingly contradictory trends can develop simultaneously.

Trends in home living at imm cologne 2003

In 2003, imm cologne will once again provide a complete overview of "home living." Preparations for the trade fair are well under way in the German and international furniture industries.

The economic downturn, the unease in the business community, the concerns about job security - all of these unpleasant realities have motivated design departments to come up with new ideas. What is needed today is innovation for furniture and creativity for the corresponding marketing strategies. This has resulted in designs for a new generation of furniture that embody added value and really make the customer want to own the product.

Today's designs are characterized by their variety. The perceived aesthetics are, however, subjective. This is a good thing because it frees aesthetics from evaluation and judgment and creates a variety that permits products of the same value to exist alongside one another. Individuality counteracts uniformity; "one size fits all" trends are out. Good design requires inspiration and inspiration can have several focuses. This is why the broad range of designs includes innovative new products, multifunctional products and items with a retro look.

Many designs for a new generation of furniture are the embodiment of a new added value that really makes the customer want to own the product. What has been known for several years as multifunctionality will be the key to the market in the coming season. This involves more than just the actual function, like extending, reducing, or rotating - a product must be linked to a definite service. Here, clever retailers can benefit by offering special services such as taking away old furniture when the customer buys a new piece or advising customers on furniture and design directly in their homes.

We expect the design trend to move toward straightforward furniture. There is at present no demand for optical experiments. The use of unusual materials is, however, becoming popular, and furniture made of recycled material is causing a stir. The used look is also increasing in popularity.