More innovations: an interview with Arne Petersen (Koelnmesse)


Arne Petersen, © Koelnmesse

Arne Petersen, © Koelnmesse

As the leading international trade fair, interzum has established a prime position for itself in interior construction and furniture production. Its exhibitors and events enable visitors to discover all the innovations and trends that will define tomorrow's interior design. An interview with Arne Petersen, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse, about his expectations for this year's interzum and the next generation of young talent.

Mr. Petersen, what are you expecting from interzum 2017?

I think this year we’re going to experience one of the most exciting interzum events in terms of its themes and ideas. The number of exhibitors and the exhibition floor space have increased considerably. There will be even more innovations in furniture production and interior construction. We’ve also strengthened our focus on groundbreaking materials, trends and visions. This can be seen in the different special event areas and the trade fair’s diverse supporting programme, to give just a few examples.

Koelnmesse Halle 8

© Koelnmesse

Where do you still see potential for development?

On the one hand, digitalisation will play an even bigger role at interzum in the future. We already have special areas on themes like mobility and individuality at this year’s interzum, and their importance will increase in future years. But at the same time, we’re taking care to ensure that we don’t lose sight of the trade fair’s core focus. interzum will remain a trade fair for international suppliers to the furniture industry. There are themes around this core focus that we will develop with a sense of proportion.

Koelnmesse interzum

© Koelnmesse

This is the second time that you’ve been a member of the jury for the VDID Newcomers’ Award. The award ceremony will be the final highlight of the conference VDID Industrial Design Day at interzum. How has the competition evolved since the last edition in 2015?

Compared to the last competition two years ago, what struck me is that the number of conceptual works amongst the submissions has increased significantly. That’s something I find very exciting. Overall, digitalisation, something we’ve been talking about, plays a big role in the designs that were entered this year.

How do the VDID Newcomers’ Award and the Industrial Design Day fit in with the overall concept for interzum?

They fit in brilliantly. After all, everything starts with the next generation of young talent. interzum sets the trends that will be put into action the following year at imm cologne and ORGATEC. The VDID Newcomers’ Award starts even earlier and presents design approaches for the more distant future.

Arne Petersen is Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse.