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Views of a casual visitor
von Claudia Beckmann | 2/3/2009

It is anything but a small fair – sixteen halls in total, which every two years open their doors for BAU in Munich. Visitors encounter a sort of labyrinth-like microcosm of anything related to building. “Same groove as for HP5” the poster reads. I see! A fair for the experts.We walk through the innumerable halls and gangways with the look of someone not from the trade, of a clueless casual visitor. It is clear that this particular fair is driven primarily by a striving for new forms of technology and innovation. As yet there is no evidence of the forecast collapse of the building industry. Insulating foams, roof tiles, all manner of windows and fittings – anything a builder could ask for. For a design journalist the fair at first sight seems like a strange parallel universe. Then, however, we come across something familiar, at least its gentle buds. Initially in isolated cases, then ever more frequently an interesting facet surfaces through the technology jungle. It is the design application of the products, the wish for creative forms of expression. One term is continually murmured through the halls and can be heard again and again in discussions with the manufacturers: emotion. That is the key word. But what is actually behind this term in building industry language? We would describe it as design, the sensual and aesthetic use of materials. Architects are regarded as the most likely to provide an answer. Because what is cited as an example of this particular emotional use of products is projects for the most part initiated by architects, who together with companies come up with innovative solutions and who by means of this cutting-edge use give the products previously hidden qualities. And there’s more: From this interplay between manufacturers and architects a new field of design is currently emerging that brings material, architecture and design together anew and offers considerable potential. Our gaze sweeps further across numerous stands and halls, which are formally divided into various fields, but there is a definite sense of a cross-sector linking element: The ambition on the part of several companies to use products focusing on totally different specific themes design-wise and in doing so put them on a new emotional level. What initially seemed strange and astonishing makes way for enthusiasm that has discovered much that is familiar in all the strangeness. Because this much is for sure: the building sector has opened up to design. We are looking forward to seeing where the journey takes us.

Trespa
Dyckerhoff
Villa Rocca at Dyckerhoff
Villa Rocca
Rathscheck
Porcelaingres
Dallmer
Testi Fratelli
Egger
Hewi
Hewi
FSB
Rheinzink
Carl Stahl
Haver + Boecker
Sky-Frame
Trespa - All photos © Dimitrios Tsatsas, Stylepark
Trespa
Trespa
Villa Rocca at Dyckerhoff
Villa Rocca at Dyckerhoff
Rathscheck
Rathscheck
Bolon
Testi Fratelli
Simonswerk
Hewi
Kleine Türen Manufaktur
Rheinzink
Moradelli
Schüco
Lamberts