At this year’s Interzum in Cologne, the Becker Brakel booth in Hall 5 is a real crowd-puller. The company is one of Germany’s most important manufacturers of molded plywood parts, essential ingredients in the finished items on display at Salone del Mobile or imm cologne. A typical “hidden champion” from Germany’s backwaters, happy to remain in the background but virtually indispensable. At the “Design Forum” at this year’s Interzum Becker Brakel has products on display that are already in production, such as Formstelle’s “808” lounge chair for Thonet and Werner Aisslinger’s “Chairman” for Conmoto, and it is also showcasing ten prototypes in search of producers. Formstelle’s Jörg Kürschner and Claudia Kleine are making an appearance to talk about their prototypes and to plan further projects.
This tells us that Interzum is definitely much more than a platform for suppliers to the furniture industry, indeed it is a pivotal hub where subcontractors, producers, designers and interior designers can get together, find out about the latest trends in the industry and bounce ideas off one another. It is here that trailblazing materials and surfaces are being premiered, that companies such as Egger and Rehau, Häfele, Hettich, Resopal (makers of Formica), Schattdecor and Sensosan demonstrate cutting-edge innovations in the field of surfaces and surface coatings. Moreover, various special shows reveal a glimpse of what the future of furniture making holds in store. Be it the bathtub made of veneer wood at the booth of the “Association of the German Furniture Industry” (VDM) or the bathroom that has been completely coated in a special material including the shower tray by Resopal – the same maxim holds true wherever you look: Those who look shall find – and there’s plenty to find.