Above, exibits will be staged in as an experiment with form, sometimes as a study of the design process – and sometimes even as a record of cultural history.
- New Featured Editions exhibition format at imm cologne provides creative scope for designers and furniture curators
- Top-class contributions from international Pure Editions exhibitors in collaboration with renowned designers and artists
The special Featured Editions exhibition, which makes its debut at the imm cologne 2013 from 14th – 20th January, will be staging design objects in ten highly unusual scenographies. Furniture is shown from a totally different perspective: detached from its conventional presentation context, it is staged sometimes as an experiment with form, sometimes as a study of the design process – and sometimes even as a record of cultural history. Featured Editions is one of the highlights of the new Pure Editions format. With its expansion of the Pure design segment, the imm cologne is aiming to establish a gallery-like platform for visionary furnishing and furniture concepts by sophisticated design providers. The manufacturers represented in Hall 3.2 were invited to submit a presentation concept for Featured Editions to complement their product and brand presentation.
Internet platform Stylepark is in charge of supervising the exhibition. In Stylepark, Koelnmesse has found a collaboration partner that guarantees the necessary expertise for the selection of the ten best concepts, each of which will be staged on its own platform and form an integral part of the open-plan Pure Editions architecture. Thanks to the collaboration between the respective brand-name company and a designer, architect, artist or graphic designer, Featured Editions will bear its own special signature. This first Featured Editions exhibition shows that the imm cologne has come up with the right recipe for genuinely unusual results that are far more than just an extension of the trade show display. What's more, with their contributions, the creatives and curators involved in Featured Editions are playing their own unique role in the ongoing development of the Pure segment. For, almost incidentally, the Featured Editions projects also represent contributions to the discussion of how "pure" design can be interpreted. Is it the idea behind a utility object? A form that can be considered "pure" because it serves no concrete purpose? The interplay between material, form and light? The structural element, the skeleton as it were, without its enveloping outer surface? Or the design process itself?
Ten pieces of furniture from ten different perspectives
Konstantin Grcic has come up with a decidedly playful answer. The installation he designed for Flötotto liberates the form of the "Pro" chair from its function and places it in a new context unfettered by any specific purpose: strung together on the floor without their bases, the seat shells look like the scaly segments of a snake. The curvaceous S of the animal doesn't just pick up on the arched shape of the "Pro" seat and backrest, which were developed to encourage dynamic sitting; its flexibility is also evocative of the human spine. Thanks to this dual analogy, design suddenly – and with an ironic touch – seems like a system of form-governing DNA in which parallel evolution is feasible too. Böwer, a supplier and furniture curator that specialises in wood, chose a totally different approach. In order to communicate its brand philosophy of artisanal tradition in a contemporary design language, the company invited a series of designers to come up with furniture and products for Featured Editions that reinterpret the subject of woodturning in a way that has nothing to do with arts and crafts. The exhibition concept "Turned by Böwer" developed by designer Eric Degenhardt translates the theme of "woodturning" into an architectural vernacular: big vertical and horizontal discs are meant to draw visitors and prompt interaction.
But the suspense built up by Featured Editions also includes approaches totally unrelated to the genre. Schellmann Furniture, for instance, a furniture curator very much influenced by minimal and concept art, will be presenting an as yet unpublished furniture and colour system by Liam Gillick in its Featured Editions contribution. The British artist is famous for his experiments with architecturally construed furniture that he interprets as usable sculptures. Back in the early 1950s, on the other hand, a doyen of modern architecture turned to fashion design for ideas for his furniture: Ferdinand Kramer had his coffee tables FK04 Calvert and FK05 Charlotte cut out of plywood and produced as an assembly kit along the same lines as a contemporary sewing pattern. E15 will be staging designs, originals, fashion journals, archive pictures, work processes and the re-editions of the FerdinandKramer® collection launched by E15 in the form of a linear time horizon.
In a scenography featuring the high-tech carbon chair S 774 and entitled "Showcase" (created by Sabine Hutter and Randolf Schott of the Thonet Design Team), Thonet is showing how the use of black carbon fibre changes the aesthetics of the S 664 design classic by Eddi Harlis. Munich design firm Formstelle is staging the contribution by German furniture curator Zeitraum.
Exclusive Italian curator Capo d’Opera is presenting "A Beautiful Day" – a chest of drawers designed by Alessio Bassan – in the form of a sensuous skyline that illustrates how the piece of furniture oscillates between its graphically broken surface and monolithic volume. Scandinavian design is represented by the Swedish classic String and the up-and-coming Muuto company. For its contribution to Featured Editions, the latter collaborated with young German industrial designer David Geckeler, whose "Nerd" chair is produced by the Danish label. Finally, Vitra's installation presents the complexity of a product like "Workbay" by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec by juxtaposing fully assembled furniture with the jumbled sum of its individual parts. Here – in analogy to architecture – design is presented as a principle for organising space, put together out of a multitude of components. It is the diversity of the creative approaches and the aspects the companies have chosen to focus on that account for the attractiveness of the Featured Editions. They are intended to convey a complementary and absorbing experience that enables visitors to perceive both the product and brand in an unaccustomed dimension free of commercial associations. "We're delighted that the companies we have been able to sign up for Pure Editions more than satisfy the high expectations we have in terms of the visionary and ambitious design we envisage for this new format – not just with their trade show presentations, but with their concepts for Featured Editions as well," says Creative Director Dick Spierenburg in appreciation of the exhibitors. The new format seems to have met with a very warm reception from the design providers it was aimed at: Pure Editions was already fully booked by early autumn.
Stylepark – Koelnmesse's collaboration partner for Featured Editions – stands for comprehensive editorial and informative competence in design and architecture. With more than 6 million users per year and a weekly newsletter that reaches more than 100,000 recipients, the Stylepark platform numbers amongst the international leaders in its field.
The next trade fair duo imm cologne // LivingKitchen will be held from 14th to 20th January 2013
Many more details are available at: www.imm-cologne.com www.livingkitchen-cologne.com
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