13.–19.01.2020 for all: 17.–19.01.2020


Alfredo Häberli – a designer with a thirst for research

If he hadn’t become a designer, Alfredo Häberli would have surely become an architect or an engineer, or joined a similar profession, and explored the limits of the physically feasible by architectural means. But perhaps he would have become a chef – after all, the senses are a source of delight for the Swiss designer who grew up in his parents’ restaurant.

As a designer, he has been able to preserve his childlike view of the world in his thirst for research. Joy and energy are reflected in his work, which is characterised by a strong expression and emotionality. Time and again, his designs surprise the beholder, intelligently and subtly. In Häberli’s world, a sofa is never just seating furniture, but also a place to work, and a bar stool is never just somewhere you might sit down, but also a place where you might set something down. His preferred materials for his projects are glass, wire and wood. He particularly enjoys designing for children: his 2003 tableware and cutlery series Kids’ Stuff for Iittala has long achieved classic status. The playful and constantly researching force that drives Häberli is expressed in Village, the curtain collection that he designed for Kvadrat in 2008. It involved printing fluorescent colours on textiles – an innovation.

Häberli made a name for himself through his collaborations with prestigious companies such as Alias, Camper, Iittala, Luceplan, Vitra and Moroso. For these projects, he primarily designed everyday objects, including the Origo table service and the Essence drinking glass series for Finnish brand Iittala. But furniture such as the lounge chair Take a Line for a Walk (Moroso) and the Segesta chair (Alias) also features in the much-publicised portfolio of the celebrated designer, who was born in Argentina in 1964 and later immigrated with his family to Switzerland. There he studied Industrial Design, graduating from the Höhere Schule für Gestaltung in Zurich in 1991. The same year, he founded his own design studio, Alfredo Häberli Design Development.

But Häberli doesn’t stop at product design. In 2016, he developed a building ensemble situated somewhere between object and architecture for Baufritz, the German supplier of prefabricated homes, and in 2015, he explored mobility in the near future for BMW. Häberli’s work constantly revolves around the development of human homes and lives, as he demonstrated with the futuristic concept kitchen that he designed for Italian manufacturer Schiffini in 2008. A kitchen with the feel of a workshop, the surfaces were inspired by copper pots, while the cooking island had surprises in store with its special extraction lamps.

For LivingKitchen, the co-located event hosted in parallel to imm cologne in January 2019, Alfredo Häberli is returning to the kitchen 10 years on: he has been invited to design his vision of tomorrow’s kitchen for the new special exhibition FutureDesign. For Häberli, it has always been clear that the kitchen is the soul of the home – it is the room for “Sense & Sensuality”, as he has titled his future kitchen. The title clearly expresses the importance of the senses in the designer’s concept for the exhibition, one that challenges conventional visual and mental habits. But he also addresses the growing shortage of resources in sculptural and architectural form. The designs are an expression of Häberli’s search for intelligent reduction and hence entirely in the spirit of his role model, the illustrator Saul Steinberg, who is able to say so much with little material and a few strokes of the pen. Visitors will be able to virtually experience the kitchen furnishings and a series of kitchen appliances designed by Häberli as a future scenario – in augmented reality.

Real and virtual – experience the future kitchen

With the help of industry partners Arwa, Samsung, Schott Ceran and Petersen Tegl, visitors will be able to experience the kitchen and a variety of kitchen appliances that Alfredo Häberli has designed as part of his future scenario – not just in the real world but in a virtual, augmented-reality setting too. Manufacturers such as Alias, Astep, Atelier Pfister, Baltensweiler, Flos and New Tendency are also providing a selection of additional products for the installation.

Koelnmesse – Global Competence in Furniture, Interiors and Design: 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 CIKB in Shanghai, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the online portal for the interiors business, Koelnmesse offers direct access to products, contacts, expertise and events relevant to the industry all year round.

Further information is available at: www.global-competence.net/interiors/
Further information about ambista: www.ambista.com/

The next events:
imm cologne - - (open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday), Cologne 14.01. - 20.01.2019
interzum guangzhou - Asia's leading trade fair for woodworking machinery, furniture production and interior design, Guangzhou 28.03. - 31.03.2019
interzum - Furniture Production Interiors Cologne, Cologne 21.05. - 24.05.2019

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