The jury at work: Rianne Makkink, Suvi Saloniemi, Cristian Zuzunaga, Wilfried Lembert and Johannes Hünig. (Photo: Koelnmesse)
The Pure Talents Contest, which is held at imm cologne and is now in its sixteenth year, has once again made big waves. With 926 products from all over the world, the number of this year’s submissions is – once again – higher than the previous year’s.
Organised by Koelnmesse and every year an important part of imm cologne, the Pure Talents Contest is exclusively aimed at designers who are still pursuing or have just completed their studies. For many of the designers who are shortlisted by the jury, presenting their designs at imm cologne is the launchpad for a successful career as a designer. Furthermore, the three best products in the competition exhibition receive an additional prize. For the first time this year, the competition also includes the special ‘LivingKitchen Selection’, a category that offers a prize just for kitchen products.
Design Museum Helsinki
As in previous years, the jury for this year’s contest consists of internationally acclaimed designers and industry experts. This year, the jury includes Sebastian Herkner, a designer from Offenbach, Johannes Hünig, editor at IDEAT Magazine, Hamburg, Wilfried Lembert, Managing Director of Minimum Einrichten GmbH, Berlin, Rianne Makkink, Designer at Studio Makkink & Bey, Rotterdam, Suvi Saloniemi, Chief Curator at the Design Museum in Helsinki and designer Cristian Zuzunaga from Barcelona. The impressions of the submissions of the 27 nominated designers were consistently positive:
“The designs made a very strong first impression. I particularly liked that you could really pick up on the constantly changing nature of the way we are living – the way we behave in our homes and what we do there. And this constant change was clearly evident in the objects being submitted by these designers.”
Johannes Hünig, editor at IDEAT Magazine
“A tendency that can be identified [in the designs] is the approach taken to resource utilisation and the issue of recycling materials – without making it sound too eco-warrior-esque... It is clear that these young designers are thinking about social issues. I think it’s great that young people are thinking about how we use resources and it is an aspect that we tried to appreciate and honour.”
Wilfried Lembert, Managing Director of Minimum Einrichten GmbH
“I think we saw a good mix of serious designs and experimental ones. One thing I really liked was the fact that more of this year’s designs featured colour. Less Danish wood and fewer black, minimalistic designs – although these kinds of submissions are still represented. But I focused more on the colourful designs.”
Rianne Makkink, Designer at Studio Makkink & Bey
“I had expected to see more trends, more stuff that had the cool factor. But not very many of the submissions were gimmicky or trendy – not the kinds of designs you’d normally see in magazines or at trade fairs. On the whole, the designs were rational, well-designed and surprisingly functional. I was pretty impressed by the high quality of the entries.”
Suvi Saloniemi, Chief Curator at the Design Museum in Helsinki
“I was amazed that in many of the designs, there is a kind of common understanding in terms of materials and colours. And I liked that this shared understanding could be found in a design from Singapore, for example, and a design from Germany – submissions that had nothing to link them. And then I was asking myself what made it possible for the two designers to come up with a similar design or a similar look. In some cases, one designer had created a chair, for instance, and the other one had designed a light – but there was a collective connection between the designs.”
Cristian Zuzunaga, Designer
The 27 nominated products in the Pure Talents Contest will be exhibited from 14–20 January 2019 at imm cologne (Hall 3.1) and at LivingKitchen 2019 (Hall 4.2).