Cologne celebrates design

Design fever takes over the whole city during imm cologne. Dick Spierenburg, Creative Director of the trade fair, explains why that is the case – and why it is only set to increase in the future.

Fabian Peters: What characterizes Cologne in your eyes as the venue for imm cologne?

Dick Spierenburg: I always particularly look forward to the Cologne museums. My two favorites are Museum Ludwig with its superb collection of contemporary art and the MAKK, the Museum of Applied Arts. The MAKK is particularly close to imm cologne and we have already realized various exhibition projects together. One highlight was the excellent Stefan Diez show two years ago. That said, just as interesting as the range of museums is the young designers’ scene in Ehrenfeld, for example, where truly exciting things happen year in, year out.

What would you recommend fair visitors not to miss in the city when they come to imm cologne?

Dick Spierenburg: For those in the trade who only stay in Cologne for one or two nights, the museums are an ideal complement to the trade fair. On the weekend, when the fair is open to the public, the city center becomes an extension of the trade fair. The successful “Passagen” program offers all kinds of different events in the showrooms and studios. Galleries show works by young designers. And of course, the diverse offerings in terms of fashion and hospitality considerably add to the city’s appeal.

Are there any partnerships between imm cologne and events in Cologne city center?

Dick Spierenburg: This year imm cologne and the Designers Market by blickfang are cooperating with a number of stores and restaurants in the Belgian Quarter. In our opinion the Belgian Quarter, with its numerous trendy stores committed to design and refinement in combination with the bars and restaurants there, is a great destination for visitors to the trade fair.

Do you think imm cologne should have a stronger presence in the city in future?

Dick Spierenburg: My vision is of home living and life increasing blending at imm cologne. Many sectors have large interfaces in this regard – fashion and home textiles for instance, to name just one example. Accessories are another. And numerous fashion manufacturers also now operate in the home segment. The transitions are becoming fluid. Mobility is an area that is directly linked to our new focus “Pure Architects.” Last year Tesla presented its fully electric SUV in this context. Why not pursue this path further in future? That is why we would also welcome considerably more diverse offerings and events throughout the city during imm cologne in future.