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Pure Talents Contest 2019: 27 Finalists to Exhibit at imm cologne & LivingKitchen

Furniture World News


Koelnmesse recently announced that the high-profile panel members for the Pure Talents Contest 2019 jury came together in Cologne this past October to view the 926 products submitted from 69 nations. Of those submissions, only 27 made it as finalists for the 16th Pure Talents exhibition, which will take place during the Interior Business Event, imm cologne 2019.

This year’s jury panel consists of designer Rianne Makkink (Studio Makkink & Bey) from Rotterdam, Suvi Saloniemi, Chief Curator of Helsinki Design Museum, designers Sebastian Herkner from Offenbach and Cristian Zuzunaga from Barcelona as well as design journalist Johannes Hünig (editor of IDEAT magazine) from Hamburg and Wilfried Lembert, Managing Director of Minimum Einrichten GmbH, Berlin.

The 27 nominated designs represent areas of furniture, flooring, wallpapering and textiles, lighting, smart home, household accessories and kitchens. The jury was struck by the many international entries. “I think that the result is a good combination of very beautiful, sellable objects and designs that make you think,” says Suvi Saloniemi, commenting on the jury’s selection.

The broad spectrum of functions, materials and different approaches seen in the finalist’s designs is astonishing. This diversity ranges from a series of 21 prototypes designed as a study on sitting; a tambour credenza, the design of which is inspired by textile dyeing techniques; a piece of bubble-like architectural furniture that creates a private area within a public space; a traditional-style chair that reinterprets the flowing forms of the 1960s; to a lounge chair that looks almost clunky and radiates a bold industrial look thanks to its undisguised combination of steel tubing and heavily screwed wooden planks. Jury member Johannes Hünig sees this as a positive: “I like it when designs are initially visually challenging, and you have to spend a little time with them first. You have to work for some designs. In return, they are much more sustainable in the way you live with them.”

In the flooring, wallpapering and textiles product segment, the jury’s nominations include a materials study that combines used paper with porcelain to create sound-insulating tiles as well as a new, non-woven material made of sheep’s wool and intended to be processed in layers like jute. The latter product is not only suitable for applications in the clothing industry but also lends itself to use in the interiors sector thanks to its sound-absorbent properties.

Twenty-one of the chosen designs will be on show at imm cologne in the renowned Pure Talents Contest exhibition in Hall 3.1. For the nominated designers, the presentation of their creations is a springboard from which they can launch a successful career. Jury member Cristian Zuzunaga is convinced: “The contest is an excellent platform. And it will help a lot of people. I’m very happy to be a part of it.”

This year’s Pure Talents Contest reflects the fact that the new generation of designers is deeply engaged with issues relating to the use of resources and material recycling, as Wilfried Lembert points out: “Even young design today has a value that makes you realize that it’s not about designing something that’s cutting edge and special, but rather something that’s simply well-made and useful. That way, it lasts. The trend is moving away from consumption and towards usefulness. And those products that are consumed should be manufactured from environmentally friendly or recyclable materials.”

LivingKitchen Selection: lots of new kitchen functions rather than large dream kitchens

For the LivingKitchen Selection of the Pure Talents Contest, which takes place alongside imm cologne, six products have been nominated from amongst kitchen accessories, kitchen appliances and kitchen concepts. A separate prize will be awarded for the LivingKitchen Selection, meaning that the Pure Talents Contest will offer a total of four prizes this year. The self-contained presentation “FutureDesign” is another new addition to the LivingKitchen event. Here, the designs will be on show in Hall 4.2 right alongside the FutureKitchen installation by star designer Alfredo Häberli.

The selected entries for LivingKitchen will feature a mobile outdoor kitchen, a modular kitchen intended to be built in the center of the room to allow for greater communication and flexibility; a laboratory-like compact kitchen accommodating all work processes in a seamless design; a range of dishwashing brushes made of an alternative material; a portable cooker hood intended for use as an extractor for small kitchens; and an ergonomic kitchen knife in a universal design for cutting while seated.

“When it comes to kitchens, it’s important to consider the fact that they are getting smaller and less formal,” says jury member Rianne Makkink. She believes that the younger generation is generally taking their living situation much more seriously. “They don’t just want to create large things or address the subject of what design could be. They concentrate on what is really important to them. The focus here is more on who we are and what we want to be,” Makkink is in agreement with the upcoming generation of designers.

Awards presentation: four prizes for the best products from the Pure Talents Contest 2019

With the addition of the prize for the LivingKitchen Selection, the jury for this year’s Pure Talents Contest will be presenting a total of four awards to the best competition entries. The winners will be chosen by the jury on the first day of the trade fair. The names of those taking home prizes will be announced in an awards ceremony at the event forum “The Stage” (Hall 3.1) at 2 p.m. on Monday, 14 January 2019.

You can find out more about the nominated designers and their submissions alongside comments on how the designs were created at:


More about Koelnmesse: Koelnmesse is the world’s top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, the leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry. Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fast-expanding markets to its portfolio. These include the LivingKitchen/CIKB in Shanghai, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the network of the interior decorating industry, Koelnmesse offers direct access to relevant products, contacts, competence and events. For more information, visit http://www.global-competence.net/interiors/

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