In January, Cologne is the centre of the design scene. From 13 to 19 January, 2020, interior professionals and design-savvy consumers come to the Interior Business Event imm cologne in search of inspiration on the theme of home living and design – and to visit around 200 exhibitions in different locations around the city.
“Cologne Design Week is a team event. We, as the organisers of the imm cologne trade fair, are among the large number of people in the city who contribute towards the success of what is probably one of the most interesting design events in Europe. Cologne is the centre of the international design scene right at the start of the year. You can sense it in the fairgrounds and feel it in every pore of the city. In combination with the hospitality of its people and its many places of interest, Cologne is worth the journey for many business people from the interiors sector,” says Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. “Cologne is creative – this is also demonstrated by the people of Cologne, who not only take up our traditional offer of a weekend visit to the trade fair on the so-called public days, but also go to see the many exhibitions and installations on the themes of design and home living that are held in the city centre.”
From the PASSAGEN and the Design Post to the MAKK and on to a prospering design scene
In January 2020, as Germany’s largest design event, the PASSAGEN will once again open the international design season with exhibitions and installations from the crème de la crème of the international design scene and, as usual, reveal its entire breadth in the design location that is Cologne. Key players include classic solo figures and young networks, universities, newcomers, institutions, architects and platforms. For one week, they’ll all take up residence just doors away from one another, all pearls strung closely together along a trail through Cologne’s city centre, along its ring road as well as in the Rheinauhafen, Südstadt and Deutz districts, not to mention the creative Belgian quarter and Ehrenfeld. They’re here once again to offer 360 degrees of design, with the whole city becoming a stage for design, atmosphere and inspiration. “In January, Cologne really is like the mecca of the international design scene,” says Sabine Voggenreiter, founder of the PASSAGEN programme, now in its 31st edition, which is organised from her office. “The interplay of imm cologne and the decentralised exhibition programme works so well, because the trade fair is close to the city and the over 190 PASSAGEN exhibitions from Südstadt to the Belgian quarter and the furniture mile on the ring road through to the creative quarter of Ehrenfeld give the Interior Design Week a completely unique character.”
To coincide with imm cologne 2020, the Museum of Applied Arts Cologne (MAKK) has worked with the Pentagon Design Group – 35 years after it was founded – to show its first museum installation featuring solely the work of Cologne’s Pentagon group (1985–1991), which was one of the key players in the “Neues deutsches Design” (new German design) movement. “The MAKK isn’t just the only art and design museum in Cologne, it also opens a large design exhibition with spectacular installations every year during imm cologne. This makes it the first port of call for all design professionals and enthusiasts once they’ve been around the trade fair, and it serves as a link to the PASSAGEN design trail. The design-based season-opener in the museum’s exhibition series has been effective in strengthening Cologne as a design location and making a visit to the Cologne furniture fair a special experience,” explains Museum Director, Petra Hesse.
At the Design Post, right next door to the fairgrounds, they’re also ready for Cologne Design Week. With over 30 interiors brands – some of which can also be found at imm cologne – the Design Post is an inspiring “must-visit” event in Cologne’s most attractive living room on the “Schäl Sick” (as Cologne natives call the right bank of the Rhine). “Cologne has always been an exciting city when it comes to interior design. There is an extraordinary density and wealth of institutions, showrooms, designers, retailers and service providers in Cologne and the local area. Of course, the uniquely close physical link between the fairgrounds and the inner city – which are separated by just one bridge – provides a very special appeal in this interrelationship. This becomes especially evident during Cologne Design Week – when imm cologne, PASSAGEN and year-round players like us come together to form one big, coherent happening. This all-in-one package has made the week of the trade fair a brilliant start to the interiors year for us for almost 15 years!” enthuses host Volker Streckel from the Design Post, adding: “And where else can you cross paths with the Carnival Prince in the midst of top-class interior design?”
The city of Cologne: a location for culture and the creative industry at the same time
“Koelnmesse plays an important economic role for Cologne as a business location,” says Annett Polster, Director of Stadtmarketing Köln, which promotes the interests of the city’s businesses. “With its ‘Messe goes City’ initiative, the trade fair is a recurring theme in the city, making it something that local people, guests and tourists can experience throughout Cologne. imm cologne in particular attracts an international audience, which, in addition to what’s on show in the exhibition halls, appreciates the city and its extensive design scene. For Cologne, the week of the trade fair is a fantastic opportunity to present the city’s great diversity as a location for art, design and culture.”
Design stars have their studios in Cologne
imm cologne’s Pure Talents Contest isn’t the only promoter of young design in Cologne. When it comes to the next generation of designers, the city is in a strong position. The opportunities to train in creative professions in Cologne are widely recognised and extremely diverse. For example, students who train at the Köln International School of Design (KISD) or the ecosign/Academy of Design often establish themselves as independent designers near their alma mater. Meike Harde, with her studio in Cologne’s Mülheim district, and the design duo kaschkasch are known far beyond Cologne’s city limits, making them successful ambassadors of a creative city. “From an objective perspective, Cologne is an ugly city,” says Florian Kallus of kaschkasch dispassionately, but he quickly adds: “Emotionally, on the other hand, I consider Cologne to be the most open and friendly city in Germany – and so, it’s a great place to settle as a creative artist. I really value the professional atmosphere at imm cologne – there’s no excess stress. We’re on home turf here, so we really spend a lot of time at and around the event. For me, imm cologne marks the beginning of the year.”
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 idd Shanghai, interzum bogotá in Bogotá, 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:
ZOW - SUPPLIER FAIR FOR THE FURNITURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN INDUSTRY, Bad Salzuflen 04.02. - 06.02.2020
interzum guangzhou - Asia's leading trade fair for woodworking machinery, furniture production and interior design, Guangzhou 28.03. - 31.03.2020
Pueri Expo - International Trade Fair for Baby & Childcare Products, Sao Paulo 23.04. - 26.04.2020
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