Dick Spierenburg, Creative Director of the imm cologne.


Dick Spierenburg, Creative Director of imm cologne, explains in interview with Fabian Peters how in the trade fair halls he offers perspectives on the future of home living – tomorrow as well as for the year 2030.

Fabian Peters: What can visitors expect to see at imm cologne 2019, which opens its doors on January 14?

Dick Spierenburg: For us it is important that visitors can experience something unexpected, something refreshing and inspiring. That’s why we always try to make developments in design visible – trends and perspectives that are already perceptible but in many cases still “below the radar.” Our life-sized residential vision “Das Haus,” designed by a different studio each year, is an important element in this. This year we even have two of these future labs on a scale of 1:1: “Das Haus” by the young Dutch design studio Truly Truly, and the “Future Kitchen” by seasoned designer Alfredo Häberli at “Living Kitchen,” which this year is being held together with imm. Alfredo has developed a kitchen that visitors can experience in part for real and in part virtually and which opens up to the living environment in an entirely novel way.

Are there any innovations with regard to the exhibition concept?

Dick Spierenburg: For imm 2019 we and selected exhibitors have completely redesigned the hospitality aspect, and in so doing have realized numerous innovative ideas. For me, hospitality was a key part of the overall concept from the word go. We don’t want to hide these areas or push them to the fringes; rather, we want them to act as central meeting points for exhibitors and visitors that are open on all sides.

Numerous catering areas in the exhibition halls will be completely redesigned for imm cologne 2019.

What do these new hospitality areas look like?

Dick Spierenburg: Hall 2.2 contains the redesigned “Pure Edition Club,” which we are realizing together with Vitra. The “Editions Lounge” is in Hall 3.2. Here we are for the first time reusing a structure that featured at Orgatec. I think that, given the need for sustainable approaches, we should also try to reuse temporary structures such as these several times in combination with intelligent remodeling concepts. The result is an entirely new outfit for the lounge, which we designed together with Danish furniture manufacturer Menu.

Hall 3.1 boasts a completely new concept. Lots of young brands exhibit here and it also hosts our young designer contest “Pure Talents.” As such, in this particular hall we wanted to create a young, open and not overly expensive hospitality area. So we realized a kind of indoor park – with a central kiosk selling food and drinks.

Were any changes made to the halls housing the “big” brands?

Dick Spierenburg: Yes, this year we focused on Hall 11, the “heart” of imm cologne. In recent years many of the major manufacturers have constructed relatively self-contained booths in order to create entirely independent interiors. Yet this pretty much led to dead corridors and open spaces. Consequently we asked exhibitors to leave at least one quarter of the exterior walls open to enable communication between the inside and outside. We also intend to widen the walkways in future. Finally, there will be a central hospitality area in Hall 11.3 for the first time – a cocktail bar designed to invite visitors to end the day with a drink in the company of others.

"Pure Atmospheres" is the name of the imm cologne's new trend shop window that Dick Spierenburg developed with stylist and designer Floor Knaapen - here a moodboard for one of seven productions.

Hall 11.3 has even more new features to offer this year, isn’t that right?

Dick Spierenburg: Correct! Our new trend show “Pure Atmospheres” will premiere there in 2019. Together with stylist Floor Knaapen we are designing seven platforms, seven presentations featuring furniture, light, textiles and accessories, which reflect and concentrate the key trends of the trade fair. Anyone wanting to know what form home living will take in 2019 will find out here. We believe this show is the ideal complement to the visionary installations “Das Haus” and “Future Kitchen.” Whereas Truly Truly and Alfredo Häberli look forward to the year 2030, “Pure Atmospheres” looks to design year 2019.

Over the last decade imm cologne has evolved from a somewhat staid furniture fair into one of the world’s top design shows for the interior sector that barely any leading manufacturer misses. How do you want to heighten this success in future?

Dick Spierenburg: Our goals always grow with us and we keep a very close eye on the interior scene. There are ever more young design brands, for instance, that only sell their products online. My idea is to give these brands the opportunity once a year to appear in physical form. The designers can present themselves to consumers at the fair and at the same time network with others in the business.

imm cologne 2019

Cologne Fair Ground

January 14 - 20, 2019

Opening hours:

Monday, Jan. 14 to Saturday, Jan. 19
9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 20
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Public days Friday to Sunday

This year Studio Truly Truly is designing "Das Haus", with which every year a visionary living concept is presented.