According to the posters to be found liberally distributed throughout the city, IMM Cologne 2019 promised to present “1000 furnishings ideas for your home”
And it may very well have done. We didn’t count. Not least because….
What interest the number, if the ideas themselves ain’t meaningful?
What interest the number, if the ideas themselves ain’t logical?
What interest the number, if the ideas themselves ain’t justifiable?
Or reducing the thought to its essence, what interest the idea if it ain’t meaningful, logical and justifiable?
1 meaningless, illogical and unjustifiable idea being every bit as undesirable and harmful as 1000.
As Brexit so poetically underscores.
And so while we can’t confirm there were a 1000 ideas, we can confirm that the principle idea at IMM Cologne 2019 was “consolidation”, the presentation of familiar lines in different colours, materials, heights, widths, etc….
Which, yes, is a comment we make a lot about furniture trade fairs, one we get the impression we’re making ever more often, one we feel will ultimately see us stop attending such; but a comment that, as ever, isn’t a complaint, far from it. It needn’t, shouldn’t, always be new, new, new. If it is it becomes fashion, not furniture. And thoroughly awful.
Whereby one must add IMM Cologne featured some very intelligent, meaningful, logical, justifiable, consolidations. Consolidation ≢ bad.
But there does also need to be new. Because on the one hand technology and materials are ever new, and furniture designers and the, and for want of a better phrase, designer furniture industry, have a duty to respond to those changes; on the other society is ever new, and by extrapolation so are the demands we place on our furniture, be that functionally, aesthetically or environmentally, and furniture designers and the designer furniture industry have a duty to respond to those changes; and on the rare, and especially valuable third hand, in order to advance we need that which we didn’ know we needed, that which we could never have imagined being without, even though we could never imagine being with, that which questions the accepted. Responding to such new realities, challenging conventions, presenting solutions based on a singular understanding of the reality, is the basis of what ultimately became the designer furniture industry and the furniture designer, and the future of both can only be found in the same.
Or put another way, the balance between the established and the new needs to remain healthy if the, for want of a better phrase, designer furniture industry, is to remain relevant.
And so, and as ever with the assumption we have missed one or the other delight, and/or not fully understood something we did see, a smow Blog IMM Cologne 2019 High Five!!
“Have you ever laid out all your plates like a carpet, or piled furniture into a tower?”, asks the introduction to the Technical University Dortmund’s project, Alles, was ich habe [Everything that I possess]
Our answer to the last question is a categorical, yes.
It was one afternoon during our final year at secondary school, and together with a few chums we stacked all the common room furniture up against one wall. Just to see if we could. We could.
Alles, was ich habe is a little more fundamental, exploring as it does possessions and consumerism, and by extrapolation the global production, distribution and marketing industries that are sustained by both.
As regular readers will appreciate, we’re no great approvers of lumping individual creatives together under one umbrella term; always strikes us as being an unnecessary distraction, and (more than) a little counterproductive.
We are however most appreciative that following an inaugural presentation at Kazerne Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week 2017, the showcase Generation Köln is now being presented, as it were, on home turf.
As in art, music or literature, the path in design from an idea to its realisation is rarely straight. And not always achieved. Or at least not immediately. Consequently every designer, as with every artist, every musician or every author, has projects which began their journey’s full of hope,but, then, for whatever reason…….
With the showcase “in Arbeit” Cologne based designers Thomas Schnur and Klemens Grund present some of their projects which are, still, “in Arbeit”
One of Germany’s leading post-war architects and architectural theoreticians, Egon Eiermann was also one of post-war Europe’s most important chair designers, not just in context of what he realised, but also in context of what he worked towards realising and the reasons why. With the exhibition Cologne celebrate that legacy.
The 1973 film Ceremony by Italian architecture group Superstudio features individuals who inhabit the “Invisible House”, a house devoid of not only a physical structure but, we are told by the narrator, all forms of furniture.
The inhabitants of the invisible house are happy.
Despite this and their other regular very public pronunciations against architecture and design, from their earliest days Italian architecture group Superstudio also designed furniture and lighting: a selection of which can be enjoyed in the exhibition Superstudio Mobilia 1966-2016 at Ungers Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft, UAA, in Cologne.
Passagen Design Week Cologne 2017 is playing host to Naked Objects, the fifth edition of the exhibition series “Nieuwe German Gestaltung” – and an exhibition which as with the previous four is an unashamed celebration of the diversity and vitality of contemporary German product design.
With the exhibition 21 Common Things designer Thomas Schnur explores his personal relationship with everyday objects. And in doing so the concept of functionality.
With the exhibition Full House: Design by Stefan Diez the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne, MAKK, present the first museal overview of the canon of the German designer Stefan Diez.
And an exhibition which in many respects also helps explain industrial design. Or at least the contemporary industrial design process.
As we noted in our post from the 2015 Garden Unique Youngstars competition, the contemporary outdoor furniture market is a
While the old adage “you are what you eat” can’t be true, if it were we’d be a slovenly pile
Parallel to the exhibition MAD ABOUT LIVING – 24 Designers from Brussels, Cologne is hosting an exhibition which nicely highlights
If we’re correctly informed, and let’s be honest we’re not always, 2014 saw the Belgian General Consulate in Cologne host
Much as we tend to shy away from “Designer of the Year” awards, the presentation of German architecture and design
Following on from system design at the MAKK and the more autonomous product design featured at Objects in Between, we
The nature of product design, and for all furniture design, being what it is, we all have a predisposition to
What would IMM Cologne week be without the official enthronement of the A&W Designer of the Year? One day shorter
Following on from last year’s highly enjoyable Objects for the Neighbour exhibition Karoline Fesser, Kai Linke and Thomas Schnur are
On Monday January 13th the European design circus rolls into the new year with the opening of IMM Cologne 2014
“Do the books that writers don’t write matter?”, asks Julian Barnes in his 1984 novel Flaubert’s Parrot. In a similar