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Group portrait with mentor: Participants in the first “Young Design Trendtable” with Stefan Diez.
© Verena Kathrein
Group portrait with mentor: Participants in the first “Young Design Trendtable” with Stefan Diez.

Futuristic Trend Show

With the new concept “Young Designer Trendtable,” the DOMOTEX trade fair is giving five experimental design studios from five different countries an opportunity to develop their very own visions for tomorrow’s flooring.
by Heike Edelmann | 11/14/2016

Which floor does tomorrow’s world need? At the invitation of DOMOTEX, five creative studios from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Great Britain are addressing this very question. With the new concept “Young Designer Trendtable” the world’s largest trade fair for carpets and floor coverings is expanding the Innovations@DOMOTEX format to include a pioneering section. The young designers Hanne Willmann, Victoria Wilmotte, Klaas Kuiken, Bilge Nur Saltik, not to mention the duo Jane Briggs and Christy Cole were invited to develop their personal trends for tomorrow’s floor coverings. They focus on issues such as design, materiality, texture, technology, and digitization. With great enthusiasm the internationally renowned industrial designer Stefan Diez is acting as their mentor. At a workshop in his Munich design studio the design talents first familiarized themselves with the main focuses of the DOMOTEX exhibition, after which they were to start their research work. Diez emphasized that this was not about coming up with future big-sellers, rather the young experts’ research should culminate in ideas and designs that differ from what we are familiar with, go beyond what is feasible today, and provide food for thought.

They still have a few weeks in which to experiment, conduct research, draw and design. Sketches of concepts provide an initial insight into the on-going work processes and reveal how the projects are taking shape.

Hanne Willmann
© Verena Kathrein
Hanne Willmann

Craftsmanship and new authenticity

“Exciting manufacturing techniques and new combinations of materials inspire me. For this reason I collect material samples and mood boards by the crate in my studio,” the German participant Hanne Willmann says. She studied Industrial Design at the University of the Arts in Berlin and at the ELISAVA Escola Superior de Disseny in Barcelona. On graduation in 2014 she set up her own studio and worked with well-known designers such as Werner Aisslinger and Studio Autoban in Istanbul. Hanne Willmann is a lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences in Dessau. From the German magazine “Architektur & Wohnen” she received the “A&W Design Talents Award 2015.” In her work Willmann focuses on furniture, luminaires, and crockery. A love of experimenting and a pronounced understanding of materials form the basis of her work. A love of detail and aesthetic precision are characteristic of her designs. In her project she would like to draw attention to an appreciation of craftsmanship in the processing of flooring and discover new authenticity by experimenting with materials such as linoleum and wood.

Victoria Wilmotte
© Verena Kathrein
Victoria Wilmotte

Stone and marble reinterpreted

Victoria Wilmotte hails from Paris and studied Interior Design there before completing a Master’s degree course in Product Design at the Royal College of Art in London. On her return to her home city she opened her own design studio in 2008. Here she produced designs for the Tools Gallery in Paris and works for her first solo exhibition in Brussels. Among other things Wilmotte designed collections for the online shop Made in Design, for Philips de Pury, Poliform, Classicon, as well as individual objects for private clients. Her design process is comparable with that of a sculptor: She assesses volumes and voids in order to find a perfect angle or an ideal direction. She polishes finishes until she gets the desired texture, feel or refraction of light just right. “I love processes and the production process,” Victoria Wilmotte explains. “I love workshops, organization and atmosphere. And I love playing with the limits of techniques.” For the Young Designer Trendtable she will be using the materials stone and marble in an unusual way in the design of her flooring.

Klaas Kuiken
© Verena Kathrein
Klaas Kuiken

The user makes the floor

“Frame” magazine voted the Dutchman Klaas Kuiken one of the best final year students of 2010. He is a graduate of the ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem and his works have already been displayed in numerous exhibitions, including at Beijing Design Week, London Fashion Week, the Salone del Mobile in Milan and Maison & Objet in Paris. “Fascination with a specific technique or material and the urge to fully understand them, to appropriate them, is the starting point of every one of my designs,” he says, by way of explanation of his way of working. Kuiken’s design is the result of his fascination with creative processes. Although he is a product designer, he works like a skilled craftsman and curious inventor. He passionately explores how to make the worlds of craftsmanship and mass production compatible with each other. His design is a mix of standard and unique. At one and the same time his way of looking at materials, techniques and production processes has something refreshing, surprising and charming about it. With his project Kuiken aims to demonstrate that a floor is fundamentally defined through space and interaction: Every space tells a story through the way it is used.

Bilge Nur Saltik
© Verena Kathrein
Bilge Nur Saltik

Contrasts and temporary use

Bilge Nur Saltik lives and works in Turkey and England. “I’m inspired by cities and certain cultural life patterns, in other words people’s habits, and how they behave,” says the product designer, who studied under Tord Boontje at the Royal College of Art in London. After graduating with a Master’s degree she founded her own studio in 2013. Her concept of design allows different cultural influences to meld. Working with traditional craftspeople, Bilge Nur Saltik brings unusual materials into play, resulting in products that combine new and old. She is interested in the stories behind the objects, in the responses her design triggers. For her “Share.Food” ceramics collection she won, among other things, the 2014 “New Design Britain Accessories Award.” She is a co-founder of the group Form&Seek, which is interested in both the functional and poetic appeal of design and which exhibits its designs internationally – individually or as a collective. For the Trendtable she would like to design flooring solutions for temporary use that are easy to install. She joins hard and soft finishes using industrial and arts-and-crafts techniques.

Jane Briggs
© Verena Kathrein
Jane Briggs
Christy Cole
© Verena Kathrein
Christy Cole

Graphic collages and site-specific spaces

Briggs & Cole is a creative studio in Glasgow that was founded in 2012 by the partners Jane Briggs and Christy Cole, both of whom studied at Glasgow School of Art. Briggs graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Product Design, Cole with a Master’s in Visual and Multidisciplinary Art.

“We’re primarily inspired by the challenge of experimenting with new material – always with regard to the specific surroundings,” Cole emphasizes.

The duo specializes in interior design and designing furniture, lighting, objets d’art, fabrics, and wallpaper patterns (for the most part using arts-and-crafts techniques), which are at the interface between art and design. Their works tell personal and collective stories. By way of experimentation they explore the rawness of and irregularities in materials and use 2D and 3D collages as stylistic elements. Among other venues Briggs & Cole exhibit their work at international fairs such as the Milan Furniture Fair and Design Miami. Kurt Schwitters’ “Merzbau,” which the artist installed in his home and studio in Hanover, serves as inspiration for their project. At DOMOTEX they intend laying on the floor a graphic collage which makes clear how home living and art can develop in a house. Full of enthusiasm, the aspiring designers from Scotland are still working on it. Together with the other participants from Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Turkey, they will showcase the final result of their project on the future of flooring at Innovations@DOMOTEX in Hall 9 and present it at a round table discussion.