One trade fair rarely comes alone
Daniel von Bernstorff
Jan 4, 2013

The New Year is barely underway and our calendars are already filling up with major trade fairs and events. Whether Heimtextil in Frankfurt, Domotex in Hanover, imm in Cologne, BAU in Munich, Maison & Objet in Paris, Architect@Work in London, the Stockholm Furniture Fair, the Ambiente and ISH in Frankfurt or the Giardina in Zurich. In fact, between mid-January and mid-March there will be any number of good excuses to visit every corner of Europe. Reason enough for Stylepark to put you one step ahead with a guide to exactly what’s-on in the European design world. And for those who want to see more than the trade fair halls during their travels we have also included a few tips on all the exciting things to see, hear and taste beyond the hustle and bustle of the fairs.

Heimtextil, Frankfurt/Main: January 9-12, Messe Frankfurt
Things will be kicking off next week with “Heimtextil” in Frankfurt – the “international trade fair for home and contract textiles”. Here you will find everything and anything needed to set a textile enthusiast’s heart aflutter. Hall 3 should be the first port of call for architects with a focus design, conceived by Nicholas Grimshaw and worth a visit for the hall architecture alone, it promises big international brands like Marburg Wallcoverings, JAB Anstoetz, Arte, Backhausen, Dedar, Rasch and Sahco Hesslein, among others. Additionally, the large-scale Trend Show offers an overview of key developments in the area of home textiles. In a nutshell: If it’s a round-up of all major innovations and trends in the area of home and contract textiles you are after, this is an event you can’t afford to miss.

Tip: Allow a little extra time to visit two wonderful exhibitions showing in the city at the time: “Gustave Caillebotte” in the Schirn Kunsthalle and “Dark Romanticism” in the Städel Museum (both are only open through January 20, 2013).

Domotex, Hanover: January 12-15, Messe Hannover
The series continues in Lower Saxony, Hannover to be precise, host of this year’s Domotex, the most important event for the entire flooring trade. The special “Flooring Deluxe” section designed by renowned designer Stefan Diez promises to be one of the biggest highlights of the fair, whereby Diez’s presentation is shaped by intensive research on materials and cutting-edge technology from the sector: A clear indication that this year the Domotex has given closer consideration to architects and designers as a target group.

Taking place at the same time in Hall 6, “Contractworld” will be in its 13th year, offering a high-caliber congress on key themes in architecture.

You will be receiving a special Stylepark newsletter dedicated exclusively to the Domotex soon.

Tip: See Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” on January 12 at Oper Hannover or “Kris Martin – every day of the weak” in the Kestnergesellschaft art gallery (showing until February 3).

BAU 2013, Munich: January 14-19, Messe München
“BAU” is undisputedly the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems. This is the stomping ground for everyone who’s anybody in these particular fields. The trade fair has reached the point where it is bursting at the seams, such that it is almost impossible to gain a sufficient overview in such a short time. So it is certainly a worth doing your homework before you go and using the “BAU” homepage to research relevant exhibitors, topics and talks. Two suggestions for those with an interest in architecture and design would be:

- The Long Night of Architecture on January 18 (from 7 p.m. to midnight) with tours to see architectural highlights in Munich and the surrounding area.

- Hall A6 with leading manufacturers from the area of interior design such as Vorwerk, Vola, Tece, Dallmer, Durlum, Carpet Concept etc.

If you want to get the most from “BAU”, you should definitely pencil in two whole days for your visit.

Tip: Enjoy the version of “Macbeth” put on by the Munich Kammerspiele on January 16 at 7.30 p.m. or the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding with “Scenes from Goethe’s Faust” by Schumann on January 18 at 8 p.m. in the Hercules Hall at the Munich Residenz.

imm cologne 2013, Cologne: January 14-20, Messehallen Köln-Deutz
Cologne is back! The experts are already in agreement: This imm is going to be the best in years. The International Furniture Fair’s return from the flames over the past years is both impressive and heartening at the same time. Sol-out halls, coherent and convincing exhibition concepts, special “Pure Textiles” and “Living Kitchen” sections with top international brands, fruitful collaborations with Design Post and the off-site “Passages” program – this trade fair is definitely something to look forward to.

In addition to the traditional design hall 11, Pure Village located just opposite with “Das Haus” by Italian designer Luca Nichetto is a must-see as is the new “Pure Editions” hall concept, which drew exhibitors such as Thonet, Vitra, E15, Flötotto, Zeitraum, among others, from the get-go. Stylepark will also be on board here as we are curating the special show on “Featured Editions”. The A&W exhibition “Designer des Jahres Ronan und Erwan Bourollec” (“Designers of the year Ronan and Erwan Bourollec”), to be held in the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Hahnenstrasse 6, promises to be another highlight of the fair.

Tip: “Isn’t it romantic? – Contemporary design balancing between poetry and provocation” in the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, from January 14 through 20 and “David Hockney – A bigger Picture” in Museum Ludwig, showing until February 3, are both well worth a visit.

Maison & Objet, Paris: January 18-22, Paris Nord-Villepinte
Cologne isn’t very far from Paris. So the best idea is to take the Thalys train from Cologne directly to the French capital, as many opt to do. Over the past years Maison & Objet has battled its way onto the international trade-fair calendar, though its success does not rest on the attractive location alone. Paris is inspiring in every sense of the word, such that the trade fair is less a focused industry event but rather a big fair of inspiration and new ideas.

Tip: Take the opportunity to see Maurizio Pollini in concert with the JACK quartet on January 18 at 8 p.m. in Salle Pleyel or the “Dalí” exhibition in the Centre Pompidou (showing until March 25).

Architect@Work, London: January 30-31, Earls Court Exhibition Centre
A success story without precedent: Over the past years, the Architect@Work trade-fair format, developed by the Kortrijk trade fair association, has proved a hit throughout Europe. After successful editions in Belgium, Holland, France, Germany and China, the end of January will see the trade fair’s first visit to the UK. This is an event aimed exclusively at architects, with a clear stand concept, exhibitors working with curators presenting nothing but new products and an appealing fringe program. No other event offers architects the opportunity to gain such an overview of the most important innovations and developments in all areas of the building industry in such a short space of time.

Stylepark is the online partner of Architect@Work and will be launching an online database for the London edition with all the products and systems exhibited.

Tip: The ballet “Onegin” by John Cranko will be showing at the Royal Opera House on January 30 and 31 at 7.30 p.m, while “A bigger Splash – Painting after Performance” will be on at the Tate Modern until April 1.

Stockholm Furniture Fair: February 5-9, Stockholm Fair
The Swedish capital is usually still very cold and snowy in early February. But that shouldn’t deter design fans from visiting the most important trade fair for furniture and lighting in Scandinavia. Clearly laid out trade fair grounds, events taking place across the city throughout Stockholm Design Week, an interesting fringe program and all of this with a wonderful city as a backdrop. Those with a penchant for Scandinavian design and way of living should not let this event pass them by. In addition to local champions such as Offecct, Swedese, Lammhults, Bla, to name but a few, Stockholm has also managed to attract a plethora of international exhibitors over the years – and they most certainly do not regret the decision to come here!

Tip: We would recommend a visit to the Vasa Museum followed by a trip to the “Backfickan” restaurant in the Opera House.

Ambiente, Frankfurt/Main: February 15-19, Messe Frankfurt
With 4,543 exhibitors from 87 countries, “Ambiente” in Frankfurt/Main is the world’s most important event for the consumer-goods sector. Divided into segments, Dining, Giving and Living, the trade fair brings together everything and anything that belongs on the table, in the kitchen or in the home. This year’s highlights include the special show “Solutions” by British designer Bergne, the exhibition accompanying the “Design Plus Award”, the Talent and Ambient Trends sections.

Pertaining to tradition, the German Design Council will announce the winners of the German Design Award during the fair.

Tip: After a tiring day touring the trade fair halls head out to eat at “Blumen” (reservation is essential You can also see “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat) by Johann Strauss at Oper Frankfurt on February 16 at 7 p.m.

ISH, Frankfurt/Main: March 12-16, Messe Frankfurt
After “Heimtextil” and “Ambiente”, here is the third good reason to take a trip to Frankfurt this year. ISH is the world’s biggest showcase for bathroom design, energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning technology and renewable energies. The list of segments provides an indication of the enormous spectrum of themes and exhibitions to be seen here at the ISH. A wealth of shows, talks and symposiums are dedicated to this year’s leading themes – “water” and “energy”.

Stylepark will be bringing you detailed information on the most important themes and events at the ISH in a special newsletter.

Tip: Why not visit a museum or two? “Rineke Dijkstra – The Krazy House”, exhibition in MMK Frankfurt (March 23 through May 26) or “Beauty and revolution – Neoclassicism 1770 – 1820” in the Städel Museum (February 20 – May 26).

Giardina Zürich: March 13-17, Messe Zürich
Those with an affinity for “gardens” and “lifestyle” will certainly get their money’s worth at this trade fair in Zurich. Referencing the many exhibitors taking part this year, the 2013 edition will focus on “activity in the garden” and ground coverings”. These focus topics are joined by the trend topic “live your garden”, a response to our ever-present desire for retreat and relaxation.

Tip: Check out a concert with the Munich Philharmonics and the Labeque sisters (piano) in the Tonhalle Zürich concert hall on March 14, at 7.30 p.m., then sample “Zürcher Geschnetzeltes” a traditional Zurich meat dish in the famous Kronenhalle restaurant.

Collage © Sabrina Spee, Stylepark