Fresh, innovative and contemporary: Out of 123 applied novelties the jury has chosen 60 Innovations@DOMOTEX. Photo © Philipp Bernhardt
Quality is constantly improving
by Martina Metzner
Nov 24, 2015

The world’s leading trade fair for carpets and floorings takes place from January 16-19, 2016 in Hanover: the DOMOTEX. Once again, the most novel and visionary flooring products will be presented specially in the setting of the Innovations@DOMOTEX. For the first time, the jury that decides the selection for the Innovations@DOMOTEX convened not in Hanover, but in Frankfurt/Main. Or to be precise in the showrooms of furniture makers e15. On November 11, the participants sat down in the old brick industrial building not only at the solid wooden tables created by David Chipperfield, but also on chairs by designer Stefan Diez. Which was highly apt, since Stefan Diez was for the third consecutive time acting as jury chairman. He led proceedings, ably assisted by Susanne Klaproth, the DOMOTEX project manager responsible, and Robert Volhard, managing partner of Stylepark.

“It is not just that we received far more entries this year, but the quality of the innovations submitted is quite a lot higher this year, too,” Diez said. The object was to select those products from among the 123 entries by companies exhibiting at DOMOTEX in line with criteria such as “relevance for the different target groups”, “technological innovations”, “design concept” and “quality” that are then presented in January 2016 in the context of Innovations@DOMOTEX. Manfred Birkenstock, member of the Board of Copa e.G., Farah Ebrahimi, Art Director at e15, and Kirstin Ollech, editor of “Schöner Wohnen”, together assessed the elastic floorings, carpets, fibers and yarns. The entries in the parquet and laminates section were judged by jury members Karl A. Wildermuth, editor at “Holz-Zentralblatt”, Manfred Haverkamp, owner of Haverkamp Interior Design, and Karsten Krause, MD at K+R Bodenbeläge und Dekorationen GmbH. Since the Innovations@DOMOTEX also consider all the different things that have to be done beneath the flooring before it is there, Norbert Berndt, owner of Raumgestaltung Vespermann, Richard A. Kille, MD of IFR Köln Instituts für Fußboden- und Raumausstattung, and Stefan Diez took a closer look at the submissions relating to applications and laying techniques.

Entries with product samples a new feature

When all the proposals had been examined and discussed, the jury deemed 60 products sufficiently fresh, imaginative, and contemporary to be presented at Innovations@DOMOTEX. Jury chairman Stefan Diez came to a very upbeat conclusion: “We had exciting products to appraise. We had not seen some of them in this form before. Although other product types do perhaps already exist, the way they have been advanced makes them innovative.” A novelty this year was that the manufacturers were able to enter samples, which 23 companies did – in fact 92 were submitted in all. The advantage of the manufacturers entering their innovations in the form of samples for the first time, which meant we were actually able to touch the products and try them out, made the jury’s work far more interesting,” Diez added.

All the Innovations@DOMOTEX selected by the jury will be presented in the trade fair’s special zones in Halls 6, 9 and 17. There will also be a printed guide featuring all the innovations and their characteristics. As such, the Innovations@DOMOTEX will once again be a vibrant meeting point, where visitors to the trade fair can acquire a quick, concise overview of the exhibitors’ new products. New elastic floorings, carpets, fibers, and yarns will be displayed in Hall 6. In Hall 9, parquet and laminates, as well as applications and laying techniques will be presented at a re-designed stand, together with the Wood Flooring Summit. And the very latest creations that are the crème de la crème of modern handmade carpets can be admired in Hall 17.

Special Guests: Piero Lissoni and Wolf D. Prix

Furthermore, the Innovations@DOMOTEX Area in Hall 6 is the venue for the Dialogues: During these moderated panel discussions, design, architecture, and interior design experts explore the topics “Retail”, “Office”, “Hotel+Restaurants”, “Living”, and “Healthcare”. Tours of the trade fair relating to the themes are then conducted.

The special guests will be a particular highlight of the Dialogues: Milan-based designer and architect Piero Lissoni, who has gained international acclaim with his designs for furniture, kitchens, and bathrooms, not to mention hotels and sailing yachts, and Wolf D. Prix, founder and owner of the Austrian firm of architects Coop Himmelb(l)au, which most recently caught the public eye bigtime with its design for the European Central Bank in Frankfurt/Main. In keynotes, both special guests will explain their views on the design of floors and their experiences with regard to flooring, before taking part in a panel discussion.
The Dialogues and theme-related tours take place on all trade-fair days from 11.00 a.m. until 1.30 p.m. and from 3.00 until 5.30 p.m.

The special zone in Hall 6 is also the starting point of the Guided Tours, on which architects and designers visit the exhibitors of the Innovations@DOMOTEX. The Guided Tours are conducted twice a day from 10.00 a.m. until 12 noon, and from 2.00 until 4.00 p.m.

Sunday January 17, 2016 is the day on which the keenly awaited prize-giving ceremony will be held for the Carpet Design Awards, which are regarded as the highest international honor for handmade carpets. The Carpet Design Awards are selected in a separate jury procedure curated by the media group Hali Publications, but are part of the Innovations@DOMOTEX. The jury bestowed awards on a total of 24 carpets, three in each of the categories “Studio Artist Carpets”, “Modern Design Superior”, “Modern Design Deluxe”, “Modern Collection”, “Classic Design”, “Classic Modern Design”, “Innovation” and “Traditional Collection”. Three carpets were also nominated in the “Studio Design” category, which is also open to non-exhibitors at DOMOTEX. The winners in each of the categories are only announced at the trade fair.

Key facts and events at a glance:

Innovations@DOMOTEX special areas:

Hall 6 – elastic floorings, carpets, fibers and yarns

Hall 9 – parquet and laminates as well as applications and laying techniques

Hall 17 – “Carpet Design Awards”/ modern handmade carpets


Wolf D. Prix, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Vienna
Keynote with a subsequent discussion
Saturday, January 16, 2016, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Innovations@DOMOTEX Area, Hall 6,

Piero Lissoni, Lissoni Associati, Milan
Keynote with a subsequent discussion
Sunday, January 17, 2016, 10.30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Innovations@DOMOTEX Area, Hall 6

Innovations@DOMOTEX Dialogues,
in collaboration with md Interior | Design | Architecture

On all trade-fair days, from 11.00 a.m. – 1.30 p.m. and from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Innovations@DOMOTEX Area, Hall 6

Innovations@DOMOTEX Guided Tours, in collaboration with World-Architects

Twice daily, 10.00 a.m. – 12 noon and 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Meeting point: Innovations@DOMOTEX Area, Hall 6

“Carpet Design Awards” presented by Hali Publications

Awards ceremony: January 17, 2016, 4.30 p.m.
Innovations@DOMOTEX Area, Hall 17

One day the jury discussed at the showroom of designcompany e15. Photo © Philipp Bernhardt
The jury (from left to right): Karsten Krause, Karl A. Wildermuth, Manfred Birkenstock, Manfred Haverkamp, Richard A. Kille, Norbert Berndt, Farah Ebrahimi, Stefan Diez and Kirstin Ollech. Foto © Philipp Bernhardt
„We have to set a new focus on the surface preparation“, says Richard A. Kille (right) in discussion with Karsten Krause (middle) and Stefan Diez (left). Photo © Philipp Bernhardt
Fresh look: Innovations@DOMOTEX Area in hall 9, where the „Wood Flooring Summit“ is integrated. Photo © Domotex, Matter Office for Architecture
Two times a day experts guide at the „Guided Tours“ through the fair. Photo © Domotex
Innovations@DOMOTEX: Needle fleece flooring “Finett Feinwerk“ by Findeisen.
Photo © Findeisen
“Natural Stone Finish“ can be applied on the floor like plastering. Photo © NSF
With “Formpark Mini“ by Studio Hannes Wettstein for Bauwerk Parkett there are different pattern possobilities. Photo © Bauwerk Parkett