The fall trade fair season beigins!, photo © Thomas Wagner, Stylepark
All eyes on autumn!
by Daniel von Bernstorff
The next few weeks are going to be trade-fair crazy! With “Interieur” in Kortrijk, Orgatec in Cologne, Designers’ Saturday in Swiss Langenthal and Architect@Work in Stuttgart, we have four high-caliber events on the agenda and in quick succession at that. They offer four very different formats – each with its own, distinctive profile. Be inspired, and informed too.
October 20 is the day it all kicks off in the Belgian town of Kortrijk, which has been hosting one of the most successful design trade fairs of all time every two years since 1968. Around 300 leading interior design brands gather at “Interieur Kortrijk” biannually; there is barely a single, major design brand that doesn’t attend. They have now been compelled to create a waiting list; while a lack of place means that some exhibitors will have to display their presentations in a purpose-built tent.
This year for the first time, the town of Kortrijk will become actively involved in the event. The so-called “Buda Island” at the heart of the town next to the trade fair grounds will provide an additional location, which alongside companies such as Alessi, Hay and Piet Hein Eik will also accommodate a number of the “Future Primitives”. This new concept will offer some of the leading designers and architects, such as Nendo, Ross Lovegrove and Greg Lynn, to name but a few, a concept space for forward-looking interior and furniture design concepts. The new format replaces the traditional “Guest of Honor” and promises some exciting, new ideas.
This year, a wide range of fringe exhibitions, presentations and events across the entire town will once again make Interieur an event of the highest caliber.
Since they’re not all that far apart, from Kortrijk you can head directly to Cologne, where Orgatec, the leading international trade fair for “modern office & facility”, will be taking place from October 23 through 27. With a focus on the working and living space, Orgatec offers the most important products and developments in furnishing, lighting, room acoustics and communication and media technology. And Orgatec has now pushed out into the city itself, as part of “Insight Cologne” on October 26 seventeen companies will open their doors from 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. and afford visitors a glimpse into new office interior concepts and architecture trends.
The trade fair itself is divided up into several specialist hubs – lighting, room acoustics and communication and media technology – not forgetting the trade fair tours, trend forums and a plethora of fringe events.
Parallel to the fair, the neighboring “Design Post” showroom will be holding a program of events based on the core theme “your office – your life”.
Here, a special reference to “The 90° Absolution – The Cult of the Right Angle” a discussion series conceived in collaboration with Stylepark between Peter Cachola Schmal (Director of Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt), Sophia Ungers (Director of the Ungers Archiv in Cologne) and Eric Degenhardt, a Cologne-based designer. The panel discussion will be moderated by Cologne design critic and publicist René Spitz.
There’ll hardly be time to catch your breath for as early as November 2 is the opening of Designers’ Saturday in the Swiss municipality of Langenthal. While Kortrijk and Cologne still offer rather classical trade-fair formats, Designers’ Saturday has developed its very own, distinctive profile. The production centers belonging to Langenthal-based companies Création Baumann, Ruckstuhl, Girsberger, Glas Trösch and Hector Egger Holzbau form the unique framework for presentations by numerous high-end manufacturers including Axor, Arper, Belux, Corian, Duravit and many more. In order to participate, all exhibitors are required to apply with a specific concept, a selection committee then decides, in accordance with strict quality criteria, who will be allowed to attend.
The trade fair’s visitors, mostly architects, stroll between the various locations, greeted by surprising and exciting presentations at almost every turn. Anyone who has the opportunity to experience the enthusiasm and loving devotion shown by the host companies and their employees, and the unexpected contexts in which you suddenly perceive well-known objects in an entirely new way, will certainly come back again and again! The highlight of the event is Designers’ Night on November 3 when the market hall will host the D’S Award ceremony complete with after-party.
Designers’ Saturday Langenthal
Entirely different but of an equally high quality, the architecture event “Architect@Work” will take place on November 7 and 8 in Stuttgart. Here everything is centers around creating a clear, manageable presentation for the architects. 160 carefully-selected manufacturers from the architecture world, including some of the scene’s big players such as Schüco and Velux as well as smaller and as a number of not so well-known companies, present nothing but new products to the attending architects in an exhibition format that ensures an equal footing for all.
This way, trade visitors have a chance to become familiar with the most important innovations in the construction industry in the shortest of time and to seek out direct contact with the manufacturers themselves. After two editions held in Düsseldorf and many other successful rounds in Belgium, Holland and France, Architect@Work will be making stop in Stuttgart for the very first time.
Stylepark is the trade fair’s exclusive online partner and has developed an online showroom for Architect@Work, which will be launched on the opening day of the trade fair and will present all of the innovations from the attending exhibitions in the familiar Stylepark database format.