Anyone wandering round the “Pure Editions” in Hall 3.3. at imm cologne or now also through Hall 2.2, will come across any number of surprises: Designers and manufacturers at the “Featured Editions” certainly go beyond the normal limits of conventional trade-fair displays. They stage their items in a context that is a far cry from everyday life. The 14 installations in the “Featured Editions” format, organized and curated for the third time by the team of Koelnmesse creatives led by Dick Spierenburg in collaboration with Stylepark, all attest to how intensely and creatively designers and manufacturers are working together in fields beyond unit sales and profit margins.
For example, Swiss chair specialists Horgenglarus have once again taken to the “Featured Editions” together with Studio Hannes Wettstein, who have chosen to clad a Horgenglarus chair in broad woodchips that seem to have been frozen in mid-air, highlighting the craftsmanship that is innate in the chair-maker’s products. Which is also the case with the “Klio”, a novelty by Studio Hannes Wettstein that Horgenglarus presents at its booth right next door to the “Featured Editions”. Other manufacturers also showed how marvellously the cameoed “Featured Editions” support the explicit display of goods at the booths. There’s Werner Aisslinger’s “Minimum” chair for Conmoto, which he took to pieces specially for the installation (likewise adjacent to the manufacturer’s booth at the fair) and where the seat shell made of molded felt morphs into the backbone of a Chinese dragon. It is one of the most inspired and ironic pieces conceivable if one bears in mind what relationship obtains between the European furniture trade and China. And Formstelle’s “On air” for Thonet is equally cheeky – they’re placed their new “808” lounge chair on a post and you can only reach it by climbing up a rope ladder.
In fact, as a whole the installations this year are very playful, such as the rocking chairs by Paul and Yannic Renner, made from a Corian mineral material produced by DuPont. Then there’s the stack of sweet “Pet Stools” by Hanna Emelie Ernsting, who sends her little seating animals spiralling upward. Or the huge rocking chair by Lionel Doyen for Extremis. They all seem so at ease and vivacious. The initial urge is to jump on them, rock a bit, and be whisked upwards.