Looking forward to more
Questioning old concepts in order to be well positioned for future challenges: an important task, also for the design industry. Communication and networking have taken on a new significance in recent months, and so new formats are now needed to facilitate joint brainstorming away from the computer screen. The Design Post in Cologne-Deutz is leading the way with a platform for discussion and presentation, enriching the showroom in the Dreigelenkbogenhalle with numerous lectures, workshops and talks from 30 September to 2 October 2021. "It's a big change for Design Post, because in addition to our backbone, the showroom, we are now shifting more towards being a centre for networking, education, transformation and inspiration for the design industry. This also requires new formats. After this dry period, visitors are once again enjoying meeting and exchanging ideas, and I would like to provide an impetus for this," says Floor van Ast.
So there was a well-filled programme to choose from, be it the lecture "Renote/Reconnect" by Helge Barthelmes from Plan-Up and Markus Schiffer from MBSY, the lecture "Designing living spaces fit for the future - sustainability as a founding philosophy" by Zeitraum or the "Furniture Ecologies Session 01" with the participation of numerous manufacturers. The latter was themed "Transitions" and will be the start of a series. "Design Post offers insights into various topics and a network where the threads come together. We are currently observing a shift in demand towards deeper discussions for more innovation and these require targeted communication," says Floor van Ast. The multifunctional areas "Patio Space", "Work Space" and "Studio Space", colourfully designed by Studio Besau Marguerre and MBSY, offered many parallel opportunities for discussions in large or small circles and gave a spatial feeling of how the need for a "new way of working" can be spatially implemented. In parallel, 36 brands, including Ro, Agape, Carl Hansen & Søn, Kristalia or Marset, exhibited a selection of new and classic products.
Many of the presentations were broadcast live in parallel via social channels; Arper also offered a video talk with Q&A. Hybrid offerings thus linked naturally with the physical exhibition. "We are currently developing different mediation tools, and in parallel we are also working on a material library that will also be available online," says Floor van Ast. She would like to offer visitors to the Design Post a centre for networking in the future. The Design Post Days were a good start and offered a relaxed atmosphere for professional discussions. Food trucks and the opening of the large inner courtyard also left room for relaxed rounds and joint reflection during a break. Three days full of impressions, information and encounters – an appetiser that revived the post-pandemic discussion and at the same time made us look forward to future events that show how the interior design industry can find itself again and reposition itself.