Photo: Koelnmesse, Lutz Sternstein
There was great happiness, when the winners of the Pure Talents Contest were announced at the awards ceremony held in the event forum The Stage during imm cologne 2019. First prize was presented to Ilja Huber, whose luminaire Baschnja won over the jury with its beautiful, understated design and its functionality. The seating trio Bench Gang by Christian Cowper took second place, and Julian Marticke’s series of accessories A Day at Zoo came third. The jury members voted The Portable Kitchen Hood by Maxime Augay the best product from the LivingKitchen Selection, which has introduced the kitchens product category to the Pure Talents Contest for the first time in 2019 and was considered for a dedicated prize.
The shortlist featured a total of 26 entries by young design students and graduates from Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, China, India, Taiwan and the USA. In this year’s competition, many of the submissions focused on sustainability and a responsible attitude to resources, while also addressing the subject of changing living concepts.
Pure Talents Contest showed intelligent solutions for the home
The luminaire Baschnja made the greatest impression on the jury. “Here, we have a striking prototype, the presentation of which won us all over,” says Sebastian Herkner. “It’s a portable lamp consisting of three parts, it’s very light and features LED technology. It can be split into three separate luminaires, each of which can be positioned in a different location or fitted together to form a single light source in the form of a column, in which each individual lamp can, however, be turned to face a different direction.” The three parts are charged via the base lamp. “Functional and simple, yet integral. Perfect for today’s living requirements,” adds Cristian Zuzunaga.
Second place was awarded to Bench Gang by Christian Cowper. “The designer has used very simple resources to achieve maximum effect – simply by means of the oblique angle of the legs and the curved shape,” in Johannes Hünig’s view. “Positioning the legs to appear as if they’re walking gives the benches personality and establishes a personal relationship,” according to Wilfried Lembert’s interpretation of the design. “There’s a lot of humour here. It’s fun to have the benches in the room – a bit like having pets that come to meet you when you enter. Together they also create a good setting. It’s only wood and paint, but the design is pure and really good.”
The jury liked the playful character of Julian Marticke’s design, A Day at Zoo, as well as the material and the excellent workmanship shown in the figures. Suvi Saloniemi describes the ease with which the elements can be combined in different ways using magnets as having “a poetic quality – both on an abstract level as well as the ability of young and old to build the figures together.” “The animal figures are very well characterised, with a beautiful, colourful finish, and they can be assembled to create fantasy creatures. Their appeal isn’t restricted to children – they’re accessories for everyone,” stresses Sebastian Herkner, and Wilfried Lembert welcomes A Day at Zoo as a sign of a “revival of wooden tools and analogue objects.”
The Portable Kitchen Hood by Maxime Augay impressed the jury with its well-thought-out functionality, small size and many self-explanatory details, which, as Suvi Saloniemi stresses, “all work”. “The design also looks to the future, when homes in megacities will be smaller.”
In her vodcast "100 Seconds with Claire" the director of imm cologne, Claire Steinbrück, talks with Benjamin Huber, the winner of the Pure Talents Contest 2019 about the function of his winning design and about how we will live in the future.