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imm cologne's Trend Board Discusses Critical Interior Design Issues

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What's really new about the interior trends for 2011? What are the hidden similarities between the increasing number of diverging trends and new products? And what are the differences? What motivates designers? What do consumers find appealing about the designs? The Trend Board of imm cologne, which this year is full of new faces, has the job of analysing current trends in the world of interior design and projecting them into the future. This year its discussion topics included phenomena such as individualization, sustainability, developments in style, materials, colours and shapes.

At the beginning of June, the designers Patricia Urquiola (Milan) and Defne Koz (Chicago/Milan/Ankara) met up with the designer Harald Gründl (EOOS, Vienna), the textile designer Martin Leuthold (Jakob Schlaepfer, St. Gallen) and the editor Marco Velardi (apartamento, Milan/Barcelona) for a two-day Trend Board workshop in Cologne. Here they filtered out four of the most important trends in furniture and interior design — trends that represent the different levels of style and lifestyle. Once again this year, these four interior trends will be summed up in a trend book called Interior Trends 2011, complete with informative names, exemplary products and lavishly photographed settings.

"Our task was to take a look at the various forms in which the trends are expressed," says the Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola concerning the work of the Trend Board. She considers this a pioneering development. "We have to realize that today there are completely different perspectives on what people consider innovative," she says. "Sometimes a new interpretation of something old or a particularly simple and intelligent production method is much more innovative than a new material or an innovative technology. The concept of innovation is changing. In my opinion, it's closely connected with people's needs and with the way we use objects."

The workshop also revealed the ubiquitous influence of sustainability concepts, which are closely connected with a sense of progress and innovation. Harald Gründl from EOOS is one of the drivers and critical observers of this development. "We have found that all four trends share a focus on a sustainable approach to design, but in some cases the approach comes from very different directions," he says. "However, sustainable design doesn't mean simply giving things a ‘green’ surface coating without restructuring them sustainably or thinking in revolutionary new terms." Another topic considered at the Trend Board workshop was the challenges faced by designers in this area. In this regard, Harald Gründl emphasized that "in the future it will be increasingly necessary to think in terms of systems. And designers are certainly a very important interface in this process of creating systems."

The four interior trends will take on shape for the public at imm cologne in January in the form of installations. These will be presented by the members of the Trend Board in four exhibition cubes that will be part of the still relatively new trade fair format Pure Village.

The Trend Board — a group of five or six influential designers, architects, materials specialists and trade journalists — was established by imm cologne seven years ago. The trend book, which is published every autumn, sums up the results of that year's Trend Board workshop. It presents an interim report on the spring presentations and examines the developments that will make it to the first major interior design and ordering trade fair of the year, imm cologne, evaluating them in terms of their potential to become the interior design of the future. This standard reference work for the interior design sector, which is available for a nominal charge, provides a compact overview of current developments in the design sector and offers orientation for exhibitors, trade visitors and journalists.

imm cologne + LivingKitchen
18th to 23th January 2011
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Preview Day: 17th January 2011  Public Days: 21st to 23rd January 2011

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