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There are many new trends that turn the floor into an exciting design factor: You’ll find plenty of food for thought at the Innovations@DOMOTEX at the DOMOTEX 2015. Photo © Studio Oink
Innovative from the ground up
by Martina Metzner
11/11/2014

“There was a time,” explains Italian designer Roberto Palomba “when the carpets Persians laid out in layers in their tents were as precious as artworks. Meaning, if you walk across a well-designed floor you are essentially stepping over art.” Needless to say, a man like Roberto Palomba, who together with his wife Ludovica designs high-grade villas, luxury hotels and objects, is quite used to viewing a floor covering form a loftier height and discerning its cultural significance.

Customarily, things are different: We stand with both feet firmly on the ground and take no particular heed of the soft ground beneath them. Meaning we don’t really appreciate the floor covering we move across, be it art or not. And possibly the floor can do much more than we imagine.

There are many new trends that turn the floor into an exciting design factor; one needs think only of the design floors that come complete with sensors, new click methods, or pioneering materials that are easier to clean. To discover the new and the unusual, and be inspired by them, you need architects and designers like Roberto Palomba, to stimulate our minds and prompt us to see the things around us in a new light. You’ll find plenty of food for thought at the Innovations@DOMOTEX at the DOMOTEX, which runs from January 17-20, 2015 at the Hanover trade-fair complex. Deutsche Messe AG and Stylepark joined forces a year ago to launch Innovations@DOMOTEX, a compact and exciting presentation of the real essence of the most relevant product innovations. “Our concept of placing selected exhibitor innovations and design highlights on center stage in an easy-to-grasp display really worked; the visitors were really taken by the idea and awarded us top marks,” comments Jochen Köckler, Member of the Board of Deutsche Messe AG.

A new idea at this year’s Innovations@DOMOTEX: alongside textile and elastic floor coverings, parquet and laminates, and high-grade handmade carpets, novel laying, cleaning and application techniques will be on show. Once again, Munich-based designer Stefan Diez agreed to chair the jury, and together with nine other industry pundits will select the outstanding products for the Innovations@DOMOTEX ahead of time. “We asked ourselves,” Diez says, “what the concept of innovation actually means today. It’s all about new things, and also clear and detailed improvements, graphic solutions, and ideas.” Jury chair is the only role Stefan Diez has ever played at a trade fair, and he’s renowned, and not just as a designer, for encouraging greater dialog between architecture, design, and the crafts trades: “I noticed that craftsmen strongly concern themselves with the issue of how to get the covering on the floor, and less with the covering’s qualities.”

What the Innovations@DOMOTEX jury chose is outlined in the accompanying brochure, in the DOMOTEX Space on the Internet and directly at the fair, where some 60 selected products will be impressively staged in the Innovations@DOMOTEX Areas by André Schmidt from Berlin’s Matter Büro für Architektur & Städtebau Berlin: In Hall 6 textile and elastic floor coverings will catch the eye in the form of massive loops; parquet and laminate will be presented in Hall 9 in coarse folded mounds; and in Hall 17 handmade carpets will snuggle up to one another in a rhythmic series of waves.

The Innovations@DOMOTEX Areas are predestined not only to familiarize you with what’s new. They’re also intended as communicative spaces for talks with the experts, and the Guided Tours to the fair start here – each led by an expert architect or designer. Moreover, here you can experience renowned designers up close, along with such special guests as Stefan Diez, Roberto Palomba, Ross Lovegrove and Micheal Sodeau – for example sipping a cappuccino or an almond tart. We’ve already tested the Areas’ food&beverage range and are happy to report that it is great!

We’re really looking forward to the exciting Carpet Design Award, the highest international prize for handmade carpets, to be bestowed this year for the first time as part of the Innovations@DOMOTEX. Led by British designer Michael Sodeau, an international jury of experts has selected three carpets each in eight different categories – they’ll each receive the award on January 18 at the trade fair in the Innovations@DOMOTEX Area in Hall 17.

And, eyes already open wide in amazement? But there’s even more to discover in Hanover, too. More than 1,300 corporations from some 60 different countries will display their innovative prowess and creativity in the 12 halls. Make sure you don’t miss the gems of the world of carpets, on show in Hall 17, bringing a cosmopolitan flair to the trade fair booths. Best of all, simply drop by Floor to Heaven, Jan Kath, Makalu, Obetee, Reuber Henning, Hossein Rezvani, Rug Star, Wool & Silk Rugs, Zollanvari or first-time exhibitors Ayka, Chevalier and New Moon.

So it bears keeping your eyes skinned and casting a second or third glance over each covering. And we would recommend lastly that when stepping across a floor covered with parquet, laminate, PVC, linoleum, cork, concrete, carpet, a high-grade hand-made carpet or some other, possibly new and innovative material, you do something else. Even if you’re wearing shoes. Touch the floor and with it a piece of the world.

So take a careful look and see how it feels. So that you don’t miss any of the diversity and the design and functional potential of current, innovative floor coverings. It’s well worth while.

Innovations@DOMOTEX
DOMOTEX 2015 - the leading Trade Fair for Floor Coverings
17 - 20 January
Deutsche Messe fairgrounds in Hannover
www.domotex.de/home

Special guest at Innovations@DOMOTEX Talks on 18 January: designer Roberto Palomba.
Photo © Max Zambelli
Ross Lovegrove is likewise special guest and arrives on 17 January at Innovations@DOMOTEX Talks. Photo © John Ross
New at this year’s Innovations@DOMOTEX: laying, cleaning and application techniques.
Photo © Deutsche Messe AG
The crew behind Innovations@DOMOTEX: Jochen Köckler, Member of the Board of Deutsche Messe AG, with Robert Volhard, CEO Stylepark and designer Stefan Diez, once again chairman of the jury. Photo © Deutsche Messe AG
Innovations@DOMOTEX 2015: Floover World presents “Puzzle” made of woven PVC yarn. Photo © Floover World
Innovations@DOMOTEX 2015: Design floor covering “Neo by Classen” von Classen made of a bio-composite-material. Photo © Classen
Designers and architects present the Innovations@DOMOTEX at the Guided Tours.
Photo © Martina Metzner, Stylepark
Innovations@DOMOTEX 2015: “Elementary Shapes” by Werner Aisslinger for Vorwerk.
Photo © Vorwerk
Innovations@DOMOTEX Areas are created by André Schmidt from Berlin’s MATTER - Büro für Architektur & Städtebau Berlin: In Hall 6 textile floor coverings and elastic floor coverings will catch the eye in the form of massive loops. Foto © Deutsche Messe AG
Parquet and laminates will be presented in Hall 9 in coarse folded mounds. Photo © Deutsche Messe AG
And in Hall 17 handmade carpets will snuggle up to one another in a rhythmic series of waves. Foto © Deutsche Messe AG