Guests of honour for “Das Haus” at imm cologne 2019 will be the Rotterdam-based Studio Truly Truly. This will be the third time that a married couple will be the architects of “Das Haus”.
“Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” is set to enter round eight
January 2019, the Australian designer couple Truly Truly will present an elegant, airy design, which seeks new approaches to an open domestic culture. With their sensual use of details – the textures, textiles, colours – and the ambiguity of the assignment of room functions and the design of furniture (somewhere between function and art, between private and public), Kate and Joel Booy are sure to give trade fair visitors a thrilling experience. “Living by Moods” will showcase emotive spaces that challenge the conventions of home living in the most beautiful and sensual way.
In the following distinct sections, we summarise all you need to know about “Das Haus” in general and especially about its eighth edition, “Das Haus – Living by Moods”, by Truly Truly.
1 What is “Das Haus“?
The “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” installation is a simulated residential house at the international interiors show imm cologne. The trade fair erects a house measuring approximately 180 m² in the middle of the Pure Editions area (Hall 3.1) for this. Each year, the architecture, room structures, furnishings, materials, colours and light installations are all taken from the imagination of a newly nominated designer/design team/architect. It is a complete artistic concept, available for a limited time, which allows a creative’s personal vision of an ideal residential situation to become reality. It is open to every visitor to imm cologne and can be entered, tested out, photographed, experienced and discussed.
2 Why is a new “guest of honour” chosen every year?
In order to reflect the diversity in the design world and focus on new aspects of the field time after time, because each creative talent has different priorities and their own approach.
3 What do the organisers of the imm cologne trade fair aim to achieve with “Das Haus”?
“Das Haus” is an experimental area and platform for contemporary interior design from around the world. It not only gives visitors the opportunity to see and experience current, up-to-the-minute home furnishings trends, it is also a discussion of people’s desires and a reflection of social change. In producing their version of “Das Haus”, each designer finds their personal response to the question of how people might already be able to live today. They also imagine solutions for our private living environments that create a feeling of home, a sense of community or a cosmopolitan atmosphere, or make a contribution to sustainability. “Das Haus” should be an experience for trade fair visitors, showcase top-class examples of innovative interior design and provide inspiration for the creative scene.
Truly Truly is a design studio that is still relatively new on the scene and whose origins cannot be clearly defined, either in terms of nationality or discipline. Kate and Joel Booy – both born in 1981 – are a couple from Brisbane, Australia, who met when studying graphic design at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. In 2010, after a few years working and teaching, they moved to Europe, where in 2014, following Joel’s degree in product design at the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands, they founded the Truly Truly studio, located in the heart of an industrial area around the port of Rotterdam. The name says it all. It is supposed to serve as a reminder to do things properly, honestly and skilfully, and not to lose your own way. Since then, they have distinguished themselves not only in their work for institutions such as the Nationaal Glasmuseum in Leerdam and the TextielMuseum in Tilburg, but also through a series of exceptional products for brands like Tacchini Italia, Dexter, IKEA and Rakumba. Working at the interface between the worlds of industry and art, they design products and objects for interiors, lighting, textiles and spaces.
imm cologne aims to use “Das Haus” to give young creative talent a platform on which to explore, present and try out their contemporary ideas about the home and home life. The project confronts them with a new challenge at an important point in their careers: to style an entire house. The creative talent should not only come from different countries, but also represent different design philosophies and domestic cultures. The balance of the selection takes account of origin, style, gender, working method and product range. Designers of “Das Haus” are talented creatives who imm cologne expects to have a lasting influence on the international interior design scene in the future. They must already have some experience in the interiors sector and have completed successful projects with various manufacturers so that it is possible for the house to be fitted out with their own products, among others. Only then can “Das Haus” generate an authentic mood in keeping with the designer’s aesthetic preferences.
“Das Haus” was staged for the first time in 2012 and the Indian-British design team of Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien was nominated to introduce the new format. They installed a seemingly organically grown space, which allowed inhabitants and cultures to interact in a spirit of communication. In 2013, the Italian product designer Luca Nichetto carried the design event forward with an elegant ensemble whose construction was open on all sides, welcoming in the natural world. In 2014, the Danish designer Louise Campbell turned “Das Haus” into a low-tech place of calm within the bustle of the fair as well as a model for the reconciliation of conflicting human temperaments and style preferences. In 2015, the Chinese architect couple Rossana Hu and Lyndon Neri challenged traditional home life rituals by taking “cages for living” packed full with classical and modern furniture and setting them in a spatial construction that recalled the narrow alleyways of Shanghai, turning visitors into voyeurs and calling for reflection. German designer Sebastian Herkner was on home turf in 2016. With his circular “Haus”, he created a house that was airy and fully accessible – with no barriers to people or cultures – and limited only by adjustable curtains in order to permit changing perspectives. The transatlantic “Haus” by Todd Bracher, which trade fair visitors could experience in Cologne in 2017, drew its inspiration from paring down to the essentials. While the Czech designer Lucie Koldova transformed “Das Haus” 2018 into a very specific experiment into the emotional dimension of various lighting compositions, a powerfully conceptual creation at the interface between art and design, abstraction and sensuality is again anticipated from Studio Truly Truly.
Composed of just a few elements and colours, like a Rietveld chair, the design by the Rotterdam design studio Truly Truly for “Das Haus” at imm cologne 2019 promises to be an elegant jewel. With its intricate outer shell, its carefully chosen colours and structures, it’s possible to discern the minds of graphic artists at work in this version of “Das Haus”. It’s modern, delicate, stylish – shrouded in mystery from the outside behind curtains of fabric in camouflage-like patterns and from the inside, a lavish yet enigmatic jewel. What, for example, lies hidden behind this wall of plants? Where is the seating area (there are several)? Is this the kitchen? And why do the kitchen units look so solidly built (they have been built in stone)? Is that a dining table or a desk (it’s both)? Private areas alternate with public ones, with exciting viewing angles opening up everywhere. The rooms merge into one another, their function is hinted at rather than dictated by the furniture. The tactile properties of all the materials and textiles radiate warmth. The colours, all of which are from a warm palette, are also emotionally motivated. Only the bathroom and bedroom appear slightly set apart. There is no courtyard and no garden, only rooms whose atmospheres carry away the visitor and invite him or her to contemplate the functions of our living environments. For Truly Truly, the centre of the home is the kitchen, fashioned in polished stainless steel and gleaming tiles, whose unfamiliar forms invite you to reorganise your workflows: washing, preparing, cooking, serving – everything is separate. The refrigerator and cupboards disappear into a wall unit. A bench forming several seating levels leads across into a quiet corner, and the sink unit also protrudes far into the room. The Australian couple do not seem to have imagined a fitted kitchen and have rather thrown out the kitchen design rulebook, yet they have built it from materials that make rearrangement impossible. Quiet zones, private areas and seating options – some solitary, some grouped together – alternate with plenty of open space and room dividers, which only appear randomly distributed at first glance. Objets d’art and fabrics, rugs and lamps complete the appearance of “Das Haus” as a well-thought-out, complete artistic concept.
Illustration: Truly Truly- Das Haus 2019
Truly Truly’s “Das Haus” looks for forms offering a new way of living in which rooms signify freedom rather than fixed delineation. Spaces and furnishings are multifunctional – the large dining table with its few chairs is available for various activities; at the sink counter, it’s also possible to have a coffee and the sofa doesn’t dictate any explicit seating direction either. Only those areas intended for relaxation and privacy have a more distinct appearance: the low-backed armchair, the table half obscured behind a wall of plants, the sleeping area. There are four zones: Reclusive, Serene, Active and Reclining, but they are not separated by walls, instead merging into one another. The contemporary home imagined by Kate and Joel Booy can thus be said to have a natural, organic flow. Living, working, sleeping or relaxing – the camouflage pattern on the curtains is a metaphor for an organic living concept in which anything is possible, in any space. Nothing is explicitly coded, there are double meanings, cross references, sensory associations. Text becomes an objet d’art, domestic items transform into abstract symbols in a cloze text in which the gaps have been left for the visitor to fill in. It’s not its functions that characterise a room, but rather its atmosphere. The rooms create a certain mood so that the residents of the house are always able to find the right place to suit what they want to do at that moment – in accordance with their mood and the rhythm of their lives. Even though the rhythms of people’s lives are taking ever more individual forms, the kitchen remains the centre of the home – the place where people come together. And since the home is becoming the antithesis of an ever faster paced life, “Das Haus” by Truly Truly aims to be a space in which you can remove the rapid tempo from your life – a place where you can shift into a lower gear.
No. Each guest of honour is invited to use many of their favourite pieces by other designers when choosing their furnishings, for example. Works of art have previously been loaned to put on display. “Das Haus” is a reflection of contemporary interior design and sophisticated domestic culture – not representative but personal, original and unique.
Here, creative minds think ahead to how we could style our (home) lives. Nevertheless, “Das Haus” is firmly rooted in the here and now – it is visionary, but not futuristic. Designers of “Das Haus” have often seen their work as a particularly intensive study of contemporary domestic culture, as a bridge between tradition, the present day and a possible future. But what makes “Das Haus” so special is not the aesthetic diversity and the ideas that are realised by the designers, but its personal expressiveness. After all, “Das Haus” is a 50/50 split between a study of the home and a portrait of the designer since, like every real home, it gives away a lot about the person or people who furnished it. To a degree, visitors may therefore feel like voyeurs entering the private domain of the respective designer.
Yes and no. Yes, because it reproduces the various functions present in our homes and is laid out according to a realistic plan – that is to say, one that can be realised in real life. Cooking and eating have taken place in previous versions of the installation, and some have been so inviting that visitors have taken a half-hour nap. No, because “Das Haus” is ultimately only intended to present a simulated residential situation, a fair construction, which – for safety reasons – has neither a proper roof nor the appropriate infrastructure (water, electricity, etc.). Nevertheless, the layout could be implemented with the necessary alterations. Maybe someone will want to try it sometime.
“Das Haus” is the top design event at imm cologne and is taking place for the eighth time in 2019. It gives visitors the chance to immerse themselves in an internationally influential designer’s deeply personal world of interior design, meeting the very highest standards. “Das Haus” is a catwalk for on-trend interior and product design, for classic pieces and innovations from the worlds of furniture, textiles and lighting. “Das Haus” has also become established as a stage for unveiling never-before-seen product innovations, some of which are showcased by their designers while still in the prototype stage. But the installation is an opportunity not simply to pick up on current interiors trends, but also to see the designer’s approach, because the manufacturer-independent design concept allows for the creation of something original. This makes “Das Haus” an ideal complement to the stylish collections presented by the international exhibitors in Pure Editions.
The products are chosen entirely by the respective guest of honour. This means that it will not only be products by the guest(s) of honour – Truly Truly – on show in 2019, but also those created by other designers. Many elements of the decor are on loan from brand-name companies. A significant part of “Das Haus” is also supported by sponsors who make objects, fabrics and other materials available and in some cases even produce items to order and as one-offs especially for “Das Haus”.
Yes. Designs making their debut at imm cologne 2019.
Speaking about “Das Haus” by Truly Truly at imm cologne 2019, Joel Booy says that “It will be abstract. It will be ambiguous.” His wife Kate explains: “There will be room for interpretation. When entering the space, visitors will consider how it could be used in very different ways – depending on the mood they’re in and what they want to do.” “Our way of living and our home lives are going through a period of change. People aren’t just sitting in front of the TV; a lot of things are in flux. We want the living space in our ‘Das Haus’ project to reflect these changes.” Kate Booy, Studio Truly Truly “It was incredibly exciting for us as product designers to be invited to participate in such a project. After all, we’re not architects. At most, we’ve pulled down the occasional wall, but we’ve never had to create walls out of nothing. We asked ourselves: if it were a product, how would we handle it? In the end, we took the same approach to the project as we take to everything: take a step back – and everything is possible.” Joel Booy, Studio Truly Truly
“The format of ‘Das Haus’ is multilayered, and every edition offers the visitors added value. I enjoy the many discussions, the many photographs that are taken, the many media reports and the many new interior design ideas. ‘Das Haus’ is a must-see event at imm cologne.” Dick Spierenburg, Creative Director imm cologne “We reach out to the designers of ‘Das Haus’ at a very particular point in their careers. By issuing the invitation, we hope to boost certain trend developments in interior design.” Dick Spierenburg, Creative Director imm cologne “‘Das Haus’ is an incredibly successful event at imm cologne. imm cologne 2019 brings us the eighth ‘Haus’, and every time we’re enthusiastic about the different visions of home living that the creative minds design for us.” Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management “Every year, we work with the nominated creative talents to construct an entire house on an area of just under 200 square metres. We take pride in the fact that we see the idea through to realisation entirely by ourselves.” Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management
In Pure Editions, the successful platform for the presentation of ranges by international design houses. For the next imm cologne, “Das Haus” will move into Hall 3.1, all of which will be set aside for Pure Editions exhibitors for the first time in 2019 in order to complement the event hub formed by “The Stage” (the lecture forum for the Pure segments) and the Pure Talents Contest exhibition (imm cologne’s competition for young designers).
It’s the convention for the designers to be available in person to answer questions from visitors during the first three days of imm cologne and to guide groups of interested visitors through their version of “Das Haus”. On the first day of the imm cologne 2019 trade fair (14 January 2019, 10:45 a.m.) there will also be an introductory talk about Truly Truly on “The Stage”, where they will explain their ideas about home living and the concept of “Das Haus”.