For popularly understood reasons not only did the 2021 edition of the IMM Cologne furniture trade fair not take place as planned in mid-January, neither did the 2021 edition of Cologne’s Passagen Interior Design Week…..
….which doesn’t mean that fresh contemporary design wasn’t to be found in Cologne in mid-January.
In an offline realised and online presented exhibition the assemblage Generation Köln introduced the results of their collaborations with the CIAV Meisenthal glassworks; a virtual exhibition, and very much hands-on project, that can now be explored via a short film……
In our post from the exhibition
Design Gruppe Pentagon at the Museum Angewandte Kunst Cologne we noted that Gallery Pentagon was laterally based in Cologne’s Bismarckstrasse. Bismarckstrasse 50 to be precise, a former cardboard packaging factory which in the 1980s was developed into spaces for creatives of various ilks…..
…..Bismarckstrasse 50 is still home to creatives of various ilks, and is still home to a gallery, Galerie Martina Kaiser, where in context of the 2020 Passagen Interior Design Week a new generation of Cologne designers are presenting new projects, projects raised not in the agitations, turmoils and transformations of 1980s West Germany that informed the Pentagonia’s works, but rather in the calm, alpine forests of Austria’s Bregenzerwald.
Yet objects no less expressive for the change of air…….
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!!
Fortune, we are told, favours the brave. Misfortune the reckless, but fortune the brave.
Thus, summing all the bravery we could muster, we descended into the unknown of the Bunker am Bahngleis and the exhibition Generation Köln…..*
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”
With the exhibition 21 Common Things designer Thomas Schnur explores his personal relationship with everyday objects. And in doing so the concept of functionality.
Although one primarily goes to Kazerne Eindhoven to experience experimental, challenging, yet invariably accessible and pertinent design, during Dutch Design
There can be little argument that nature is, was and always will be the best designer, the most efficient designer:
Cologne isn’t a city which creativity only visits every January in the form of the IMM Cologne furniture trade fair
As regular readers will be aware, unlike The Kinks we are no dedicated followers of fashion. Millinery is another matter
The biggest April fool is…. us, for always going to Milan! That said, as ever, we did find a few
More intuitive readers will have enjoyed our post on the exhibition “Objects for Neighbours” from IMM Cologne 2013 and for