The Innovations@DOMOTEX jury had to work its way through an extensive program.

Natural, flexible, and modular

Chaired by the designer Stefan Diez, in early November the Innovations@DOMOTEX jury selected the best new products.
by Heike Edelmann | 11/23/2016

The furniture manufacturer e15’s showroom is in a predominantly industrial area with old brick halls on the outskirts of Frankfurt/Main. The Innovations@DOMOTEX jury convened in the spacious premises of the company known for its advanced designs, high-end materials and imaginative handcrafted production. Their selection of the most interesting new products will be presented at DOMOTEX, the world’s largest trade fair for carpets and floor coverings from January 14 to 17, 2017 in Hanover.

Assisted by Susanne Klaproth, DOMOTEX project leader, and Robert Volhard, member of the Management Board of Stylepark AG, this was the fourth time the designer Stefan Diez chaired the jury session. Almost the same members as last year convened on November 8. The host Farah Ebrahimi, Art Director at e15, Manfred Birkenstock, a member of the Advisory Council of wholesalers Ruhe & Co and new jury member Simone Knauss, a member of the editorial staff of the magazine “Schöner Wohnen” assessed the elastic floor coverings, carpets, fibers, and yarns. 

The entries in the laminate and parquet flooring section were examined for their degree of innovation by Karl A. Wildermuth, a member of the editorial staff of the publication “Holz-Zentralblatt”, Manfred Haverkamp, Managing Director of Haverkamp Interior Design, and Karsten Krause, owner of K+R Raumausstattung. New products in the application and laying techniques section were evaluated by Norbert Berndt, Managing Director of Raumgestaltung Vespermann, Richard A. Kille, Managing Director of IFR Institut für Fußboden- und Raumausstattung, and the jury Chairman Stefan Diez.

The Innovations@DOMOTEX jury: Stefan Diez, Manfred Haverkamp, Karl A. Wildermuth, Farah Ebrahimi, Karsten Krause, Richard A. Kille, Manfred Birkenstock, Simone Knauss, Norbert Berndt (f.l.t.r).

Smart advances

Of the 81 products submitted by exhibitors at DOMOTEX the most innovative were selected by criteria such as “Relevance for different Target Groups “, “Technological Innovations”, “Design Concept” and “Quality”. In some cases samples of the new products on display at the fair were available, which made it easier for members of the jury to get an exact impression of their look and feel. With the three groups of experts having critically appraised all the proposals, the session of all the jury members considered 38 products sufficiently fresh, imaginative, contemporary to be presented as Innovations@DOMOTEX. “We saw and assessed exciting products that stand out for their creativity and smart solutions,” Stefan Diez said. “Products of this nature that already exist, but which are innovative on account of their advances, are also interesting.” Furthermore, he added, the trend to naturalness was asserting itself this year as well.

Decisions were anything but easy for the Innovations@DOMOTEX jury.

“I’m noticing a near-natural touch with designer flooring,” the journalist Simone Knauss said. “In some cases it really is astonishing, what is now technically possible.” The natural theme was also playing a role with carpets, she continued. “Many designs are reminiscent of organic structures such as weather-beaten tree bark,” the jury member said.

The laminate and parquet flooring experts noticed a trend to innovative rough-look wooden flooring and re-used products. “Wood surfaces which are processed in their natural state, have a very pleasant, 3D and organic feel to them – you get the sense you are walking on something natural,” the interior designer Manfred Haverkamp explained.

Juror Richard A. Kille emphasized the importance of flexibility, mobility, and modularity in present-day floor coverings.” With regard to applications they were also “faster, simpler, more sustainable, more environmentally friendly and had fewer solvents,” he added.

The jury members scrutinized all entries.

At the fair, all the Innovations@DOMOTEX selected by the jury will be presented in special shows in Halls 6, 9 and 17. A flyer provides visitors with a compact overview of this year’s highlights. In Hall 6 outstanding innovations in the product group textile and resilient floor coverings, carpets, as well as fibers and yarns will be on display. Hall 9 will be devoted to special laminate and parquet flooring, and application and laying techniques. In Hall 17 the fair will be showcasing stunning art works from the world of modern handmade carpets.

Furthermore, the Innovations@DOMOTEX area in Hall 6 will be the venue for the Dialogues: International designers, architects, and interior designers will speak about key floor design topics and discuss them with the audience. The topics addressed this year will be Future Living, Trend Spotting, Space & Acoustics, and Consulting & Sustainibility. Following the Dialogues there will be themed guided tours of the fair.

The large number of innovations was impressive and as such decisions were not always easy.

Special Guest Alfredo Häberli

The opening speech by Alfredo Häberli, the special guest of DOMOTEX 2017 will be the highlight of the Dialogues: Asking the question “Living – now what? For humane architecture”, Häberli will explain his personal view of floor design, after which he will take part in what is certain to be an interesting discussion. The Dialogues and the themed guided tours will take place on all trade fair days.

The Innovations@DOMOTEX area in Hall 6 is also the starting point for the guided tours, on which architects and designers take in what in their opinion are the most exemplary products and exhibitors. The tours will be given twice a day from Saturday until Monday, and once on Tuesday.

The Carpet Design Awards are regarded as the highest international accolade for handmade carpets, and the prize-giving ceremony will be on Sunday January 15, 2017. An international jury made of completely new members nominated 24 outstanding carpets in eight categories. Three were nominated in each of the categories “Best Studio Artist Design”, “Modern Design Superior”, “Best Modern Design Deluxe”, “Classic Design”, “Best Traditional Design”, “Best Transitional Design”, “Best Modern Collection”, “Best Traditional Collection” and the new category “Best Flatweave Design”. The announcement of the winners is already eagerly awaited.

Innovations@DOMOTEX special display areas:

Hall 6 – Textile and resilient floor coverings, carpets, fibers and yarns

Hall 9 – Laminate and parquet flooring, application and laying techniques

Hall 17 – “Carpet Design Awards” – modern handmade carpets and rugs


Alfredo Häberli, Alfredo Häberli Design Development, Zurich

Keynote und lecture with subsequent discussion

Saturday January 14, 2017:

Keynote 11.45 a.m. – 12.15 p.m., lecture 12.15 p.m.  – 1.00 p.m.,

Innovations@DOMOTEX area, Hall 6,

Innovations@DOMOTEX Dialogues,
in collaboration with Interior | Design | Architecture

On all trade fair days from 12.15 p.m. – 1.00 p.m., followed by themed guided tours, daily 1.00 p.m. – 2.30 p.m.

Innovations@DOMOTEX area, Hall 6

Innovations@DOMOTEX guided tours,
in collaboration with World-Architects

Saturday January 14, 2017 – Monday January 16, 2017,

10.00 a.m. – 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.,

Tuesday January 17, 2017 only from 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 noon,

Meeting point: Innovations@DOMOTEX area, Hall 6

“Carpet Design Awards” presented by Hali Publications

Prize-giving ceremony: Sunday January 15, 2017

Innovations@DOMOTEX area, Hall 17