12.–16.01.2025 #immcologne

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Raw-Edges Design Studio creates the Installation Circles on the theme "Sense Of Surface"

Interview mit Yael Mer Installation Circles imm cologne 2024

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The installation is a fascinating exploration of the interplay between light and textured surfaces created especially for imm cologne 2024. They form a unit with the 3D-printed curtain - a semi-transparent, printed surface that invites visitors to enter the installation and immerse themselves in an immersive and interactive experience.

Yael Mer, Raw-Edges

Yael, you and your partner Shay are designing an installation on the subject of surfaces for the Circles event platform at the upcoming imm cologne 2024. What is the idea behind your installation?

The installation has several levels. First, we wanted to create an island of calm within the hustle and bustle of the trade fair. Visitors are invited to enjoy a few moments of silence, of visual tranquillity. You enter a round room with a pleasant atmosphere, separated from the surroundings by curtains, where you can concentrate on one thing without distraction: the illuminated objects floating freely in the room.

Are you also showing work from recent years that has brought you international recognition - such as the A&W Designer of the Year award in 2020, shortly before the pandemic?

No, we preferred to try something completely new. We were naturally interested in the second aspect of the imm cologne's theme: the sensuality of surfaces. How can a surface be transformed into a complex, three-dimensional body? This resulted in a small series of almost disembodied luminaires made of translucent mesh, this surface loses its transparency when the light is switched on and forms an opaque body. We want visitors to be able to perceive these transformations with the ever-so-slightly changing lighting conditions. The third level of our experiment is the technical aspect. We have developed a sophisticated surface: The mesh is 3D-printed according to the principle of customisation - but flat. It can be bent and joined seamlessly and is unfolded into three-dimensional, volumetric shapes on site.

In other words, you work with the surface as a structure and turn it into volumes or three-dimensional illuminated objects?

Exactly. And although the light source remains hidden, the complex play of light projects radiant brightness onto the structured surfaces and transforms them into fascinating visual experiences. And we also save on materials and costs. Above all, the production of the flat mesh generates virtually no waste.

Which is linked to an aspect of sustainability ...

That is the basic requirement. We pay a lot of attention to the materials we use; we don't want anything to be thrown away. This installation is one of the first after a long period of corona-related restraint, during which we have focussed on product development. We are therefore full of energy and anticipation for the event and really want to enjoy it. An installation that leaves nothing but rubbish behind after just a few days because the materials have to be disposed of would spoil our enjoyment of it. For this reason, we only use materials and elements for the entire set-up that can be recycled or reused by the trade fair.

The curtain is also custom-made, right?

The curtain is an integral part of the installation designed as a whole. It also deals with the surface theme in an innovative way. The curtain utilises the revolutionary 3D pigment ink layering technology developed by Kornit and has a three-dimensional surface reminiscent of embroidery. The digital prints give the Apollo curtain, a semi-transparent textile from RÖKONA, a certain strength and volume of its own. The result is a transparent printed surface that works together with the 3D-printed, luminous surfaces presented on the inside. This acts as an invitation to enter and immerse yourself in an interactive experience.

Are other interior design trends reflected in your installation?

We try to distance ourselves from general trends, but of course that's not really possible - after all, we don't live in a bubble. However, I think that what is currently occupying us is also driving many other designers. And that is the sustainability and longevity of products. We're not so much interested in what colour, fabric or pattern we use - there are so many wonderful options to choose from and celebrate. What really interests us is how things are made and how they fit into our environment.

Which approaches to sustainable products in the home are the most successful to pursue in design?

Our aim should be to utilise living objects that either have a second life ahead of them or already have one or more behind them. We are convinced that materials and products gain value when they have a past. Everything we do at Raw Edges is based on this idea. Like our modular sofa for Cozmo Home. The concept is simple, but it works: The Cozmo sofa is modular, changeable and easy to transport. In addition, the fabric cover is easily removable, washable and replaceable, and the configuration of the upholstered furniture can be easily changed and adapted to other contexts. These aspects are important to many designers today.