Cologne: 09.–12.05.2023 #interzum

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Looking forward to interzum 2023

6 Apr 2022

interzum 2023

interzum shows the future for furniture production and interior design

With interzum the future is starting again for furniture production and interior design on 9 May 2023 in Cologne. No other industry event in the world provides impulses for the global furniture supplier industry in such a needs and future-oriented fashion. Decision makers, opinion leaders, multipliers and trendsetters from all over the world keep up with the innovations in the sector, seek out and find new and inspiring ideas and meet valuable established and new contacts.

Innovative power of the supplier industry

interzum is an opportunity for the global supplier industry to reveal all its innovative power every two years. After interzum 2019 inspired more than 70,000 trade visitors and 1,800 exhibitors from around the world, the companies are again looking forward to the next live experience in May 2023 . "There is an almost longing anticipation for a personal reunion in Cologne", says Maik Fischer, Director of interzum. "We can sense in the many discussions we are currently having that visitors and exhibitors are already longing for the upcoming event as their leading international trade fair for allowing them to present their innovations live on location, to exchange ideas about these, to be able to take the products in their hands and especially to finally meet once again in person."

We can sense in the many discussions we are currently having that visitors and exhibitors are already longing for interzum 2023 as their leading international trade fair.

Maik Fischer
Director of interzum

Trend forums present new inspirations

Considered from a global perspective, the requirements of living and work worlds are changing. interzum consciously responds to these themes and incorporates them into an inspiring event programme. In three theme-related trend forums, interzum presents inspirations in the context of central trends of the furniture and interior design industries. Thus, for example, the forum on Materials & Nature is dedicated to innovative and pioneering materials and production technologies, while the forum on the theme of Textile & Machinery presents the most important trends and innovations in mattress production and the related circular economy.

interzum @home 2021

interzum @home 2021

Visionary lectures: interzum Academy

The knowledge transfer for visitors and exhibitors will be supplemented with a new format, the interzum Academy: here, interzum will present a high quality and visionary lecture programme that is supplemented by exhibitor lectures with a pronounced ready-to-market focus – and the whole thing will take place in a hybrid form, thus both in Cologne at the physical trade fair and in the digital realm.

Continuing development

interzum @home 2021 laid the foundation not least for the interzum Academy and demonstrated impressively how creatively and flexibly the furniture supplier industry is dealing with the challenges of our time, and how they are enthusiastically grasping opportunities and using them to their advantage. With the experiences of interzum @home 2021, the continuing development of interzum into a full-fledged, hybrid event approach is being pursued hand-in-hand with the exhibiting and visiting industry. The familiar exceptional standard of the physical presentation in Cologne will be complemented by attractive digital offerings – to create a trade fair experience that is unique in every respect.


20 May 2021

Martin Beeh

Martin Beeh (second from left above) and speakers at

Mr Beeh, interzum @home has just celebrated its premiere. How did you like the new digital format?

I was impressed by the digital format, the relevance and diversity of the exhibitors, and the desire for digital communication, which went very well in terms of direct contacts. Everyone participated, from the home office.

You organized the digital conference for design and innovation . What were your personal highlights here?

At the expert presentations at , we provided a "master plan" and a "tool box" of strategies, examples and implementations for sustainable materials and product development. According to feedback from visitors, the visionary presentations by the thought leaders Dr. Anne Stenros (Think like an Urbanist), Dr. Marina-Elena Wachs (Green Materials), Karl Johan Bertilsson (Colour, Trends and Sustainability), as well as those by industry champions such as Albin Kälin (EPEA Switzerland, on Cradle to Cradle) and Dr. Peter Orth (OPC plastics consulting) on circular economy for the plastics processing industry) were particularly impressive.

We provided a "master plan" and a "tool box" of strategies, examples and implementations for sustainable materials and product development. 2021 2021

What other exciting topics were there?

Floor van Ast , Managing Director of Design Post Cologne explained how sustainable design and material selection can be implemented in furniture and interior design projects and what Design Post does for this. Likewise, design practitioners such as byform design (Kristina Meyer, Thorsten Rosenstengel with "Modal Concept"), Laura Kunze (imat-uve GmbH, research project on recycling textile fibers) and the start-up project were convincing in showing how sustainable materials and design processes work in concrete terms. The regional project of ZebiO e.V. from the German town of Gummersbach also showed how regional economy achieves local added value in the connection of handicraft, design and trade. Last but not least, Sarah Janböcke (Essen) and Gilman Hanson (USA) broadened the horizon to sustainable management, because sustainability is not "the same in green".

Sustainability is not "the same in green".

What impressed you in general at the digital trade fair?

In general, the appearance of the big names in the industry at interzum@home was impressive. Some new players rightly drew attention to themselves, and I had the feeling that all exhibitors, no matter from which corner of the globe, were taken equally seriously.

The digitalization of trade fairs during the pandemic will increasingly lead to hybrid events in the future. What advantages do you see in the combination of face-to-face trade shows with digital formats?

The challenge will be to combine the quality and commitment of a face-to-face meeting with effective global communication tools. This is ideal if you have already met in person at a trade fair like interzum. The only thing that hybrid formats won't be able to do is harmonize time zones.

Interview with Maik Fischer

12 May 2021

Maik Fischer

Maik Fischer, Director interzum, © Koelnmesse

The digital platform interzum @home made its successful debut from 4 to 7 May. We spoke to the Director of interzum about the new trade fair experience and the added value that the digital platform offers the industry.

Mr Fischer, what conclusions have you drawn in the wake of the four-day event interzum @home?

interzum proved that its digital edition, interzum @home, can also present relevant issues emotionally and provide the industry with fresh, creative inspiration. In total, more than 10,000 participants from 132 countries were active on the platform. It was a very impressive demonstration of the relevance and attractiveness of the interzum brand on the global stage. This means that interzum, as the leading international trade fair for the sector, remains the go-to address for inspiring exchanges and new business opportunities even in these challenging times.

It was a very impressive demonstration of the relevance and attractiveness of the interzum brand on the global stage.

interzum ©home 2021

Impression interzum ©home 2021

Completely new trade fair experience

What added value did interzum’s digital event deliver to visitors?

interzum @home offered visitors a completely new trade fair experience. It focused on two key aspects: content and networking. The three Trend Stages and the Product Stage for exhibitors hosted around 230 specialist talks and workshops designed to promote knowledge transfer. And, in addition to watching digital presentations by the key speakers from their industry, visitors also had the opportunity to engage in active dialogue with the experts.

No fewer than 230 digital events with a total of 4,240 minutes of content were hosted, attracting around 100,000 visits from 132 countries.

How was the networking opportunity received?

The participants used its diverse features to enjoy a lively exchange on all four days of the trade fair. There were over 80,000 chat conversations and audio/video calls in total. More than 10,000 leads were generated during the event, which amounts to more than one lead per minute. The international offering put forward by the exhibitors thus converged with the international demand from the visitors again this year.

interzum @home 2021

interzum Daily with Maik Fischer at interzum @home 2021, © Koelnmesse

World premieres from global key players

Which exhibitors took part in the online event?

interzum is a trade fair known for its world premieres – it is where a large number of exhibitors present their innovations to an international specialist audience for the first time. This year, they moved their product presentations into the digital space as effectively as possible and made the most of the reach offered by this format. 142 companies from 24 countries presented their latest solutions and product innovations at interzum @home. With this line-up of exhibitors, this year’s digital edition of the trade fair was very international. We are particularly pleased that so many of the industry’s global key players were involved. However, the success of interzum also depends on the participation of smaller companies, which often have exciting products to showcase. And it is precisely this mix of exhibitors that once again defined the spirit of the leading international trade fair in 2021.

The international exhibitor mix of industry’s global key players and smaller companies, defined once again the spirit of interzum in 2021.

How did you attract the exhibitors’ relevant target groups?

The unique breadth and depth of the diverse programme offered by the various stages at interzum @home was very well received. No fewer than 230 digital events with a total of 4,240 minutes of content were hosted, attracting around 100,000 visits from 132 countries. Of course, the exhibitors’ showrooms, where all the important product innovations were presented, were also a highlight. To reach out to the target group, we also made use of our Koelnmesse network of interior design-themed trade fairs – imm cologne , ORGATEC and LivingKitchen – as well as spoga+gafa and Kind + Jugend . The exhibitors at these trade fairs are traditionally also the visitors to interzum. Such a strong selection of trade fairs aligned all along the value chain is unique in the global trade fair landscape.

interzum @home 2021

Impression interzum @home 2021, © Koelnmesse

What impact do you think the virtual event will have on interzum?

Digital reach will be used as a new, additional success criterion for all our trade fairs going forward. However, a digital trade fair cannot replace an in-person interzum event in Cologne. In our view, the trade fair concept of the future will be a hybrid format. At interzum 2023, digital components will represent a logical extension to physical presence in the trade fair halls. In the future, the focus will be on knowledge and content in the online space, and on experiences and socialising at the venue, but always with fluid crossovers between the two – with networking remaining a vital connecting element, which is possible both online and offline, and which will always be important.

Successful premiere

11 May 2021

© Koelnmesse

interzum @home 2021, © Koelnmesse

interzum @home 2021 drew to a close on 7 May with excellent overall results. For four days, the online platform gave new impulses to the industry. Global megatrends such as digitalisation, individualisation, mobility and urbanisation were reflected, not only in the presentations by the exhibiting companies but also in the supporting program. The focus this year was on sustainability.

Networking and knowledge exchange

At the heart of the event from the outset were networking, knowledge exchanges, high-quality content and product innovations. With 142 participating companies from 24 countries this year’s digital edition of interzum was very international. One of the new platform’s key elements was networking opportunities, and the participants used its diverse features for a lively exchange on all four days of the trade fair. There were over 80,000 chat conversations and audio/video calls in total. During the 5,760 minutes more than 10,000 leads were generated, which amounts to more than one lead per minute.

During the 5,760 minutes of interzum @home, more than 10,000 leads were generated, which amounts to more than one lead per minute.

© Koelnmesse

Impressions interzum @home 2021, © Koelnmesse

Premiere with radiance

"The last few days have shown how creatively the industry approaches new challenges", says Oliver Frese, COO of Koelnmesse. "It has been a tremendous experience. But for me, it was also an impressive demonstration of the relevance and attractiveness of the interzum brand on the international stage." No less than 230 digital events with a total of 4,240 minutes of content were hosted at interzum @home , attracting about 100,000 visits from 132 countries.

The last few days have shown how creatively the industry approaches new challenges – it has been a tremendous experience.

Oliver Frese
COO of Koelnmesse

"It was an exciting event for everyone and a huge learning curve," says Katrin de Louw, who organized the Trend Stage with her agency Trendfilter. "Judging by the current situation, where we sit at home in our home offices, I was happy to meet business friends anyway." Both the Trend Stage and other digital stages offered numerous lectures, presentations and workshops to encourage knowledge transfer.

© Koelnmesse

Winner of interzum award 2021, © Koelnmesse

In interzum @home , Koelnmesse has created an innovative format through which the exhibiting companies were able to demonstrate the state of the art in the industry. On the whole, exhibitors agreed that a digital trade fair cannot replace an in-person interzum event in Cologne. "Like many other trade fairs, we have however seen that face-to-face contact is immensely important, which is why I view interzum @home 2021 as a successful case study for interzum’s future hybrid orientation", says Oliver Frese, COO of Koelnmesse. "I am firmly convinced that interzum 2023 will naturally have a strong physical presence here in Cologne, but its attractive digital offerings will make it even more valuable for all participants."

How do we want to live tomorrow?

7 May 2021

© Continental AG

“skai VyP Lana“ upholstery material, © Continental AG

interzum @home continues to pursue the traditional task of the renowned live event interzum as a trendsetter for living and interior design. The focus of the product premieres and trend lectures was especially on the megatrends of health, neo-ecology, connectivity, urbanization or "New Work“. They are reflected in developments that will enrich the furniture industry and interiors in subsequent years.

© Julíus Blum GmbH

Merivobox box system, © Julíus Blum GmbH

Megatrend sustainability

Among other things, the current debates about more climate protection were echoed in many of the exhibitors' presentations. For example, it was about wood as a renewable furniture material, such as a digital round table from the wood-based materials manufacturer Sonae Arauco or the innovations from Fritz Becker. The molded wood specialist showed ten prototypes by internationally renowned designers - all from sustainable forestry in Germany. A “Plant-for-the-Planet” campaign was presented on the Vauth Sagel platform and the points earned by the visitors were rewarded with tree planting for the project. Recycling also played an important role. Salgareda from Italy presented an environmentally friendly laminate for furniture and interiors that is made from 100 percent recycled polypropylene. The new "Raukantex eco" edgebands from Rehau also consist of 50 percent recycled material. For their production, non-fossil raw materials from waste and residual materials are used.

© Hettich GmbH

AvanTech YOU Illumination, © Hettich GmbH

Design after Corona

Another topic at interzum @home was, of course, the consequences of the Corona pandemic. Many exhibitors dealt with the new challenges to the design of our living and working environment and presented corresponding solutions. The main focus here is on better hygiene and infection protection. "Safety first" was the motto of Austrian foil supplier Senosan, for example, which presented an antibacterial coating for furniture foils. The presentation by Hueck Folienrevolved around antiviral furniture surfaces. The Italian lighting brand Artemide showed how light can effectively combat bacteria, fungi and mold.

© Nimbus Group GmbH

Lighting Pad Lounge, © Nimbus Group GmbH

Hybrid solutions

One consequence of the pandemic is also the increasing fusion of living and working. Among the material premieres at the fair, there were therefore many solutions for hybrid living and flexible furnishing. Hardware specialist Hettich, for example, presented a drawer platform that is creatively combined with other furniture systems. The platform idea is also at the forefront of Julius Blum's innovative box system, which was developed for greater design freedom. This is also represented by the height-adjustable JobTisch workstation from Häfele, which is offered in various model sizes, with 78 colour combinations and different surfaces. The Nimbus Group presented a comprehensive light-acoustic solution with a pendant luminaire whose underside consists of acoustically effective molded fleece. Italian hardware manufacturer Formenti & Giovenzana (FGV) presented a concealed guide rail and an integrated Soft-Close hinge to make furniture functionality more versatile.

© Impress Surfaces GmbH

New communication concept "Uchronia” by Impress

Closeness to nature and deceleration

A trend towards a more sustainable and decelerated way of life has been emerging for some time. "How do we want to live tomorrow?" was the question asked by decor specialist Schattdecor at its presentation at interzum @home. Among other things, the company presented a new Caravan Selection for the US and European markets, because the motor home has become a symbol of closeness to nature and deceleration. The Impress Group asked its visitors to pause and imagine that everyone follows their natural rhythm. All about the sensual experience was the presentation of new surface materials with soft haptics or a natural look, such as "skai VyP Lana" by Continental or "VIS" by the Italian exhibitor Arpa Industriale.

© Peri GmbH

3D printed residential house, © Peri GmbH

Focus on future technologies

To create new elements of furnishings and even entire houses, 3D printing is playing an increasingly important role. This became clear, among other things, in the presentation by exhibitor Unilin, which has a comprehensive patent portfolio for digitally printed structures on decorative panels. With the digital presentation of the first printed residential house in Germany, the company Peri demonstrated the market maturity of the technology at interzum @home . The advantages of 3D concrete printing for the building industry were also pointed out in the presentation by Prof. Dr. Harald Kloft, who heads the Institute for Structural Design (ITE) at the Technical University of Braunschweig. In his view, we are at the beginning of a new era here.

Once again, interzum demonstrated the transformation of global trends to the innovations of the supplier industry. Industry actors from the furniture industry and interior design took new ideas, important inspirations and exciting product solutions "home" with them.

Impulses for interior design

5 May 2021

© Häfele SE & Co KG

JobTisch, adjustable workstation with a large degree of flexibility, © Häfele SE & Co KG

Traditionally, a powerful innovation dynamic is linked with interzum . At the trade fair, both market leader companies and small idea factories show new technologies, materials and surfaces for interior design. In addition to the newest technologies of the industry, future trends also become visible here. This is because the product innovations directly influence developments in furniture design and interior architecture.

Inspirations for architects and designers

This year, many things are different, but no less exciting. For architects, interior designers, and other creatives, the digital platform interzum @home offers a wide range of inspirations. In addition to all kinds of exciting themes and supporting programme points, everything revolves around the product innovations of more than 140 participating companies from 24 countries. On the digital Product Stages , each visitor receives insights into the latest trends, developments and offers of the exhibitors. This stage lives from the 130 compact, short presentations provided directly by the manufacturers themselves. In this way, visitors enter into an exchange with exhibitors and can have their questions answered directly by the pros in the simultaneous chat – or visit the Showrooms of exhibitors afterwards.

© Continental

skai PureLux, decorative surface with soft-touch effect, © Continental

Trend presentations and interactive exchange

The three interzum stages, Green Smart Materials , interzum Trend Stage and Mattress Recycling invite an exchange of knowledge in specialist lectures and workshops. Here, the topics include innovative materials and new color trends for interior design or 3D-printed architecture. The effects of the Corona pandemic on furnishings play a role in the program, as do smart furniture or new solutions for green building and living. However, visitors can not only experience the key speakers from their industry digitally, but also enter into an active dialogue with the speakers with the possibility for interaction in the chat.

© Grupo Alvic

Zenit Metal Plus, decorative panel with high colour saturation and a transparent effect, © Grupo Alvic

Broad spectrum of new products

The exhibitors' product innovations are particularly stimulating for professionals from the interior sector. A selection of the best innovations for furniture design and interior design is offered by the interzum award: intelligent material & design , which was presented for the eleventh time this year. The products honored as Best of the Best , such as an energy-saving lighting system or natural material alternatives, revolve primarily around the theme of sustainability. Overall, the new products presented at interzum @home show a broad spectrum of technical innovations, advanced materials and product innovations.

© Hettich GmbH

AvanTech YOU Illumination, Drawer with optional lighting, © Hettich GmbH

Design and innovation conference

In cooperation with interzum @home , the platform and conference for design and innovation focuses on materials and sustainability. Specialist lectures by international experts on materials-related topics and several so-called master classes reach out to an audience consisting primarily of designers, architects, interior designers and decision makers from innovative companies. The focus topic for 2021 is materials and sustainability. The masterclasses allow participants to make direct contact with the speakers on Zoom, to discuss working examples, solve problems together and expand their networks. The masterclasses are deep dives on the conference’s short talk formats with an emphasis on continuing professional development.

You are not yet registered for interzum @home? Click here to go to the Ticket Shop .

© Arpa Industriale SpA

VIS, Surface technology with increased wear resistance, © Arpa Industriale SpA

Trend Stage: Interview with Joon-Mo Lee

4 May 2021

Joon-Mo Lee

Joon-Mo Lee, Managing director of Phoenix Design

As managing director of Phoenix Design, Joon-Mo Lee heads one of the most renowned design studios in Germany. At interzum @home on May 5, he will give a lecture on the changing concept of home. Under the title Wellbeing: Home beyond comfort, he will show on the digital Trend Stage how we can overcome our own comfort zone and open ourselves to sustainable innovations. We spoke to him about the content of his lecture and the impact of the Corona pandemic on the home.

In your lecture you will talk about wellbeing – what can design contribute to this?

How our futures will be lived amidst physical, digital and experiential products all depends on designers. Their intention decides whether realities will be populated with far-sighted products that actually lead to richer lives, or whether resources are spent to create just ‘more stuff’ exclusively designed to generate revenue, and possibly unknown risks down the road. Design for wellbeing means committing industrial efforts to putting people first. The critical contribution that designers make for wellbeing are therefore their candour, courage and tenacity in convincing decision makers to pursue innovations that will literally earn consumer love, not by force of marketing fantasies but sustainable value for people’s realities.

Design for wellbeing means committing industrial efforts to putting people first.

How can wellbeing be measured?

It can’t, the same way you can’t precisely measure concepts such as beauty, dignity or happiness. All these notions are highly subjective, internalised sentiments depending on differing personal perceptions and cultural contexts. However, while not accurate in measuring wellbeing, I do believe data and insights produced through scientific enquiry and design research will indicate conditions and mechanisms that can inspire new products to make people’s existence richer, more dignified and more fulfilling. Ultimately, the effectiveness of such products can be measured, of course: in the number of people attesting reduced suffering and improved lives.

© Phoenix Design

© Phoenix Design

What do you mean by "Home beyond comfort“?

The title ‘home beyond comfort’ plays with two key ideas. On the one hand, I wanted to make clear that we must start understanding the idea of ‘home’ as being more than just a place of comfort. From managing digital lifestyles to supporting their desire for self-realisation, today’s consumers have many other expectations towards what a modern home should do to help them feel well, hence ‘beyond comfort’. On the other hand, the title refers to the idiom ‘outside your comfort zone’. Innovation occurs when we allow ourselves to move beyond the comfort zone of our industrial expertise. For if we don’t, we can’t generate new perspectives, and will simply end up creating more of the same. It’s not expertise that inspires innovation, but courage to leave the confines of what we already know.

The key thought that the pandemic brought to the fore is definitely the notion of transition.

What are new requirements for the home especially against the background of the Corona pandemic?

The key thought that the pandemic brought to the fore is definitely the notion of transition. In one sense, transition is about entering and exiting multiple activities in one space. With so many being confined to home, spaces that were intended by planners to fulfil specific functions are now being repurposed. People work at dining tables, craft in their kitchens and exercise in their bedrooms. These situations are often sorry compromises that scream for clever innovations that help transform spaces. And in another sense, transition is about designing experiences that manage the transit between the contaminated outside world and the virus-free-zone of our home. Spaces like entrance halls will become ‘airlocks’ that help us to either prepare for or keep out invisible threats. I can easily imagine a proliferation of domestic innovations ranging from disinfection solutions for hands, clothes and accessories to new ways of meeting delivery services at your door. Homes have always been about protection from evil, and the Corona Pandemic, so it seems, has reinvigorated this narrative.

The digital talk by Joon-Mo Lee will take place on May 5, at 10 a.m., on the Trend Stage .

Results of the interzum award 2021

4 May 2021

© Arpa Industriale SpA

interzum award 2021, Best of the Best: Bloom Technology FENIX NTM and Arpa HPL by Arpa Industriale SpA

Directly after the official opening of the new online platform interzum @home , this year's interzum award was presented today. Already for the eleventh time, the award ceremony of the competition organized by Koelnmesse together with Red Dot took place - this year, however, purely digitally due to Corona. The best products of the international supplier industry for furniture and interior design show the way to a more sustainable future.

New criteria: sustainability

In total, interzum exhibitors and designers from eleven nations took part in this year's competition. For the first time, sustainability was explicitly included in the assessment criteria according to which awards were given. “By including it in the official criteria catalogue, however, we wanted to send a clear signal that we would like to see more products and materials in the future of the industry that take this aspect into account”, says Professor Dr. Peter Zec, organiser of the interzum award and CEO of Red Dot.

© Häfele SE & Co KG

interzum award 2021, Best of the Best: Linear lens by Häfele SE & Co KG

Innovations for saving resources

And indeed, many winning products are reflecting this. "Sustainability and the circular economy are the really big themes", says Martin Beeh, designer and member of the jury. Among the “Best of the Best” winners, for example, is the Häfele Linear lens, a lighting system that intelligently bundles the light of an LED strip, enabling it to double its illuminance while maintaining the same dimensions, thus making additional, more energy-intensive light sources superfluous.

© The Vita Group

interzum award 2021, Best of the Best: „Orbis“ foam by The Vita Group

Alternative materials

There are interesting approaches to a more sustainable product culture, especially in the materials used to make furniture. “Orbis” by The Vita Group is a sustainable polyurethane foam made partly from raw materials derived from recycled foam mattresses. Using “Bloom Technology FENIX NTM and Arpa HPL”, Arpa Industriale reduces the amount of phenol contained in the resin and replaces it with lignin, a natural wood polymer.

© Lamello AG

interzum award 2021, Best of the Best: “Clamex P-14 Flexus” furniture connector by Lamello AG

New opportunities

At last, Lamello’s “Clamex P-14 Flexus” furniture connector does not only save material as well as offer maximum flexibility in assembly sequences, but also increases design possibilities thanks to its innovative construction. “With the interzum award, we want to set impulses and put innovations in the spotlight,” states Maik Fischer, director of interzum. “The winners of this year’s competition impressively show that the furniture and supplier industry is working towards new and improved solutions saving resources. The idea of a circular economy is becoming increasingly visible, too, showing that our industry is well-positioned to face the future.”

New industry standards

The jury consisting of six experts from the fields of design, material science and architecture honoured a total of 20 submissions with awards: the four mentioned entries received a “Best of the Best” award for outstanding design achievements that set new industry standards in terms of form and function, while sixteen other products and materials received awards for high product quality, honouring special design achievements in form and function.

All award-winning materials and products will be permanently presented on the interzum website. Interview with Martin Beeh

3 May 2021

Martin Beeh

Martin Beeh

Designer and materials expert Martin Beeh initiated and acts as its project manager. The conference is a forum for a creative exchange between architects, designers and other pioneering creators. It is a partner of interzum @home and, like the trade fair, will be hosted as a digital-only event this year. We spoke with Martin Beeh about the interactive platform’s formats and its focus topics.

Martin Beeh, what is the idea behind the conference?

It’s already four years since the launch of I started it with two cooperation partners, the business development agency for the City of Cologne, KölnBusiness Wirtschaftsförderungs-GmbH, and the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry. interzum has been the conference’s partner right from the start. It is a cross-industry platform for designers, architects, interior architects, company decision makers, researchers, scientists and everyone else who is involved in shaping the future. It is always about design, materials and innovation. is a cross-industry platform for designers, architects, interior architects and everyone else who is involved in shaping the future.

What will be the focus topics for the conference this year?

Our focus topic for 2021 is materials and sustainability. The aim is to share knowledge, venture into new territory and connect people and organisations. Because of the pandemic, we are currently focusing on digital formats, but we are looking to establish them in the long term as well. With its programme, the speakers’ complementary fields of work and their recommendations, this year’s is almost the perfect demonstration of the directions in which the furniture industry and its suppliers could evolve. It will provide plenty of material for lively discussions in the live chat and on the video channel. 2021 2021

On 5 and 6 May you are hosting digital masterclasses that explore the conference themes in greater depth. What added benefits do they offer interzum @home attendees?

Our masterclasses allow participants to make direct contact with the speakers on Zoom, to discuss working examples, solve problems together and expand their networks. The masterclasses are deep dives on the conference’s short talk formats with an emphasis on continuing professional development. And as someone who has experienced our speakers in action in quite a few Zoom meetings and seminars, I can say that a direct exchange is highly enjoyable. It is an intellectual pleasure for subject-matter experts and the best kind of continuing professional development. What’s more, we have applied to the Chamber of Architects for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for the conference to be recognised as CPD for architects and interior architects. is almost the perfect demonstration of the directions in which the furniture industry and its suppliers could evolve.

What new opportunities do you see for the online platform interzum @home in terms of reach and opening up new target groups, but also in the context of the general expansion of digital formats?

During the pandemic, digital-only platforms are undoubtedly the ideal solution. They offer a host of great interactive tools and opportunities. Digitalisation makes interaction between people possible across continents and time zones. That is a great bonus. You avoid high travel expenses, and it’s effective and inexpensive. Platforms like these will definitely be able to find other geographical or market niches by developing tailored formats, whether they are purely digital or hybrid. It is this kind of diversity that makes a leading international trade fair like interzum.

You can find more information on the programme and the themes for this year’s on the website of interzum @home .

Between biology and technology

30 Apr 2021

© Moya, Berlin

Furniture and lamps made from antibacterial birch bark, © Moya, Berlin

A conversation with Dr. Sascha Peters on the Green Smart Materials stage at interzum @home , 3D printed buidlings and other green material innovations.

Dr. Sascha Peters, you are responsible for the Stage Green Smart Materials program. Which content-related focal points will play a role?

The innovation process is currently taking place in the field of tension between sustainability and smart material solutions. The world is calling for solutions that, overall, mean that we use our resources more responsibly. In the next few years we will see a change in our product culture towards a circular economy, we are quite sure of that and we will manage it.

The innovation process is currently taking place in the field of tension between sustainability and smart material solutions.

© Aalto University, Helsinki

Shimmering Wood - structural paints for wooden surfaces without the use of pigments, paints or varnishes, © Aalto University, Helsinki

Can you give us a few examples of “green” smart materials?

Structural paints for wooden surfaces, antibacterial birch bark, acoustic solutions made of paper pulp or algae pictures that remove fine dust and odors from the air - these are just a few examples of material solutions that are of natural origin and that can fulfill a function that otherwise only with additional materials or coatings would be feasible and usually make the use of chemical substances necessary. We show other solutions and are currently seeing many innovations and innovations that arise at the interface between technology and biology.

We will present natural material solutions that can fulfill a function that otherwise only with additional materials or coatings would be feasible.

© Baux, Stockholm

The world's first biodegradable acoustic panel made of paper pulp, © Baux, Stockholm

Don't "smart" properties also require new manufacturing processes? What interesting approaches do you see here?

In terms of manufacturing processes, we are currently seeing a leap in development in additive processes in construction. The topic and the potential for reducing construction time and costs have been discussed for a long time. Germany's first 3D printed building was realised last October, and more will follow. This not only influences the way architects work, it will also change the interior design, because certain spatial structures can already be anticipated or integrated into walls when a building is being built. We are excited to see what new opportunities will arise over the next few years.

© Peri, Weissenhorn

Germany's first 3D printed building, © Peri, Weissenhorn

The interzum @home platform is celebrating its premiere this year. What new opportunities do you see with a view to increasing digitization for expanding reach, opening up new target groups, business networking, etc.?

In order to increase the range and, above all, to address target groups in regions of the world that have not yet found their way to Cologne, the interzum @home platform certainly offers added value. But we are also looking forward to physical trade fair events again and hope that the pandemic will soon be a thing of the past. All digital tools cannot replace one thing: a personal conversation!

You can find the full program of the Green Smart Materials stage on the digital platform interzum @home here .

© Koelnmesse

Dr. Sascha Peters from Berlin-based material agency Haute Innovation, © Koelnmesse

New trend: hygienic surfaces

28 Apr 2021

© impress

Application of the Celestine Oak antibacterial surface on a door, © impress

The Corona pandemic has brought the issue of hygiene into focus for interiors. Since then, the demand for antibacterial and antiviral surfaces has increased. But it is not only since Covid19 that manufacturers have been concerned with hygienic solutions for heavily used public and private areas. Because every year, countless people fall ill with viral and bacterial infections. Surfaces and materials that actively prevent the spread of viruses, bacteria and fungi can make an important contribution to preventive infection protection. In addition to hygienic properties, current products for high-touch surfaces also offer new design options.

For sensitive interiors

Sustained protection and design is offered by the use of impress's antibacterial melamine surfaces. 99.9% of bacteria and germs on this surfaces are eliminated within 24 hours and their reproduction is prevented. This makes the products particularly suitable for sensitive areas of application with high hygiene requirements. Examples of this areas, are above all, the kitchen and sanitary rooms or places where people come together, such as in offices, cafés and restaurants. And not to forget risk zones in the health sector, such as reception, waiting rooms or treatment rooms.

© Pfleiderer

Surface technology microPLUS, © Pfleiderer

Antiviral Update

Pfleiderer developed microPLUS a few years ago to protect against bacteria and germs. Now, in addition to its antimicrobial effect, the surface technology has also been proven to have an antiviral effect. This creates additional safety and a new design scope for sensitive or heavily frequented interiors. The surface has an antiviral effect on enveloped viruses within 24 hours (test methodology ISO 21702:2019) - including SARS-COV-2. The technology achieves its effective protection against microbes through the additive Sanitized Silver and makes use of the natural antimicrobial and antiviral properties of silver.

Cosy impression

Feel Light Grey | Cosmos from Sonae Arauco is a decor-coated panel for high-quality furniture construction with advantages such as cleanability, resistance and antibacterial properties. The natural texture of the matt, three-dimensional melamine finishing in harmony with the authentic decor combines haptic experience and visual appearance. Based on textile felt, which stands for comfort, among other things, the product makes it possible to implement a textile material even in areas where it is not normally used. Feel Light Grey | Cosmos has been awarded the German Design Award 2021.

Tripple effect

In order to systematically address the problem of infection protection, Swiss Krono has brought what it claims to be the world's first furniture surface with an antimicrobial effect. The Be.Safe surface has a threefold effect against viruses, bacteria and fungi. The additive used attacks the membranes of viruses, bacteria and fungi and thereby eliminates any pathogens. Since the additive has a physical effect and is integrated in the product, it does not lose its effect and therefore offers permanent protection throughout the entire product life cycle. The antimicrobial product property has been tested, confirmed and certified by.

© impress

Jackson Oak antibacterial surface on furniture and the floor, © impress

Extra protection

In cooperation with partners, Schattdecor offers the Impregnated Surfaces product line in an antibacterial and/or antimicrobial version. The hygienic effect is achieved by adding a special additive, which does not alter the basic characteristics of our product nor its quality. The surfaces inhibit the formation and growth of bacteria and harmful microorganisms. They reduce the formation of odors and provide additional hygiene protection. This hygiene effect is particularly suitable for frequently touched surfaces in areas such as in offices, hotels and restaurants or medical areas.

Further innovations in surfaces can be found at interzum @home 2021 , which will be held as an exclusive online event from 4 to 7 May. At the digital Product Stage , every visitor will gain insights into the latest trends, developments and offers in the industry. In addition, the exhibitors' showrooms and lectures in the supporting programme offer an overview of the latest products for hygiene protection.

Material trends: interview with Hannes Bäuerle

21 Apr 2021

Hannes Bäuerle from raumprobe

Hannes Bäuerle from raumprobe

As a renowned expert in materials, Hannes Bäuerle is giving a talk on antibacterial and antiviral surfaces on the digital Trend Stage at interzum @home . He founded the online materials database raumprobe over 15 years ago, firmly convinced that there is the right material for every creative idea. We spoke with him about the latest developments in materials and surfaces and about the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on the industry.

Hannes Bäuerle, what developments are you currently seeing in antibacterial and antiviral surfaces?

There’s been a sharp rise in enquiries about materials with “anti” properties and searches for such materials. Happily, a whole range of materials with precisely these characteristics has been available for some time now. The latest new developments, which are being heavily searched for due to the pandemic, are also already available. However, what I don’t know is whether the surfaces offered are actually being put into use.

There’s been a sharp rise in enquiries about materials with “anti” properties.

How do you see the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally as a driver of innovation in materials and surfaces?

With mixed feelings. One extremely positive development is the increased awareness of “healthy materials” and premium surfaces. On the other hand, at raumprobe we are seeing and hearing that research and development departments in particular were put on reduced working hours, and some of them still are in that situation. That will cause an innovation lag in some markets, and we can’t say for now what kind of impact it will have. The extent to which COVID-19 has driven developments and innovations across hugely different fields of construction materials is something we will see at the latest in 2022, when the submissions for the Material Prize are made. We are already excited to see which companies are reading, interpreting and implementing the signs of the times the most innovatively.

© raumprobe

© raumprobe

What makes the online materials database raumprobe different from other materials platforms?

The unique thing about raumprobe is that we took a multipronged approach to communicating and presenting the featured materials and innovations right from the outset. At the heart of raumprobe is a permanent exhibition that allows all the exhibits to be understood and experienced with all the senses. The experiences gained from this and the reviews we collect feed into the online database. With our constantly up-to-date selection, we are now the most comprehensive source for architectural and construction materials. We are currently working intently on expanding what is probably already the most comprehensive collection of environmentally friendly, sustainable and circular materials. And in parallel, we’re launching a materials academy.

Surfaces with interesting structures, haptics and light effects are generating the greatest demand.

Your daily work involves new materials for contract furnishing. What general trends are you currently seeing in this field?

Materials are and will remain real! Even if we are currently living in a very digital age, and we’ve learnt a great deal in this area in terms of communication and daily project work, the real exhibit is absolutely essential for a genuine assessment of its quality.

© raumprobe

© raumprobe

Which materials are currently most in demand?

Surfaces with interesting structures, haptics and light effects are generating the greatest demand and lots of interest. Touch is becoming more and more important as a separate assessment criterion, which is probably a reflection of the growing weariness with always working at a monitor and using smooth touchscreens.

What other current trends can you see?

Another trend is the constantly growing demand for materials that do not pose any risks to people or the environment. One factor that should actually be self-evident, but sadly still isn’t, will be one of the decisive criteria in the future: whether a material is a sustainable success. A much more sophisticated awareness of these issues can be seen among the younger generation especially.

The lecture by Hannes Bäuerle on "ANTI*Material: ANTIbacterial and ANTIviral Surfaces" will take place on 4 May 2021, at 3 pm, on the digital Trend Stage .

interzum @home: Product Stages and interzum award

12 Apr 2021

© Koelnmesse

© Koelnmesse

With the new platform interzum @home , the May 2021 edition of the international trade fair will mark its debut as a fully fledged digital event. As with the established physical event, the online trade fair matrix will be enriched by exciting special events. Alongside three attractive digital stages and the conference, the accompanying events include the Product Stages and the interzum awards. Together, these formats will generate international attention for exhibitors and trade fair participants.

Product Stages: focus on innovations

The digital stages for the exhibitors, known as the Product Stages , will focus on presenting innovations and sharing insights between exhibitors and trade visitors of interzum @home . Here suppliers to the furniture production and interior construction industry can choose the issues that they want to communicate to their target sectors: new products, best practices, R&D or other important topics for the particular company.

The Product Stages will focus on presenting innovations and sharing insights between exhibitors and trade visitors.

Chats and content streaming

The numbers of participants at the Product Stages are unlimited, and the presentations on the stages will be available to interested viewers on demand for an extended period. The segments provide participants with 20 minutes for content streaming accompanied by session-based chats. They will then be available to view as video on demand.

interzum award 2021

interzum award at interzum @home 2021

interzum award: virtual premiere

The interzum award: intelligent material & design for innovative products, a long-established, highly acclaimed accolade, will also celebrate its virtual premiere this year: The submission of products by suppliers to the furniture and interior construction industry, the jury’s deliberations and the presentation of the prizes will all take place digitally. The prize-giving ceremony will be streamed on the Trend Stage following the opening of the interzum @home .

Powerful statement

The interzum award is open to interzum @home participants exclusively. For many years, the prize-winners have used the award as a powerful statement and a means to positively differentiate themselves from the competition in terms of quality in marketing and sales, but also in many other areas beyond these fields. In this way, the presentation of the awards and the other accompanying events support the core goals of the leading trade fair: successfully showcasing innovative ideas to a trade audience, bringing the entire industry together every two years, and forging excellent and lasting commercial relationships.

interzum @home: the event programme is available online

26 Mar 2021

event programme

interzum @home event programme

What are the hot topics in the furniture industry? What surprising innovations do the supplier companies have in store? And above all, what lies ahead – what business deals, what needs and what environment should the industry anticipate in the future? The digital event programme at the virtual interzum @home seeks to answer these questions on its various stages. Experience trends digitally and live – that’s what the on-demand content in the 30 specialist talks and workshops from eleven countries is all about. After all, it is not business alone that takes absolute priority – the “food for thought” offered to stimulate the future entrepreneurial success of the industry is also important when it comes to the success of the digital edition of interzum .

Trend Stage: future-oriented concepts

Katrin de Louw (Trendfilter) will curate the Trend Stage – the top platform for all design-relevant trends affecting furniture design and interiors in the next five years. Social trends have just as important a role to play as new technical possibilities when it comes to driving market developments. In addition, this virtual stage will showcase everything relating to materials, surface and colour trends, environmentally friendly and sustainable products as well as concepts for the interior design of tomorrow and beyond.

Platform for all design-relevant trends affecting furniture design and interiors in the next five years

Green Smart Materials Stage

On the Green Smart Materials digital stage, the future-oriented agency Haute Innovation, founded by Dr. Sascha Peters, will present sustainable materials innovations and smart technologies with great potential for the industry – such as textured paints for wooden surfaces, 3D-printed wooden windows or street furniture that can remove fine particulates from the air. Many aspects of the transformation of the consumerist culture into a circular economy will also be examined. A total of 32 lectures are planned, and 30 speakers from ten countries – including Finland, Israel, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam – will provide the latest insights.

© Royal Auping

© Royal Auping

Mattress Recycling Stage

With growing public awareness of sustainability, the circular economy and carbon footprints, the reuse and recycling of worn-out mattresses is also gaining in importance and is therefore the focus of the Mattress Recycling stage curated by publishers Ferdinand Holzmann Verlag. The network centred on the “Möbelfertigung” trade journal for the furniture production sector is bringing the mattress industry’s big names to the digital stage. The stage will also be supported by a host of international industry associations. All audience members can expect an exciting mix of lectures and panel discussions.

Sustainable materials innovations and smart technologies with great potential for the industry platform

The primary focus of the platform and conference for design and innovation will be on materials and sustainability. In cooperation with interzum @home , the event’s founder Martin Beeh aims to use specialist lectures by international experts on materials-related topics and several so-called master classes to reach out to an audience of, above all, designers, architects, interior architects and decision makers from innovative companies. “To mark the interzum supplier fair’s debut as a purely digital trade fair format, we will broadcast a brief daily summary of the highlights of the lectures and master classes online at,” says materials scientist and designer Beeh, describing a new, additional feature of the conference.

An initial overview of the exciting event programme is available online

interzum @home: Trend Stage

18 Mar 2021

Katrin de Louw

Katrin de Louw

Katrin de Louw is curating the Trend Stage for the new digital platform interzum @home with her agency, Trendfilter. The Trend Stage provides more than just an overview of the globally most important issues for tomorrow’s interior design. It also sheds light on aspects relevant to manufacturing for the industry. We spoke with Katrin de Louw about the focus topics for the programme and the new requirements for furniture and interior design in the coronavirus era.

Ms de Louw, you are curating the programme of talks for the Trend Stage. What pioneering ideas and developments will the programme focus on in particular?

We’re delighted to be able to start on 4 May with the winners of this year’s interzum award . That will be followed by a diverse programme covering a wide range of topics and offering something for everyone. Themes such as digitalisation, sustainability, the social change triggered by megatrends and international design trends will play an important role, but new practice-oriented products for manufacturers and interior designers will also feature prominently. We will shed light on global colour and materials trends from both the scientific standpoint of trend research and the perspective of application in practice.

interzum 2019

Trends in Surfaces & Wood Design by Katrin de Louw at interzum 2019

What other future issues will the Trend Stage cover?

The latest environmentally friendly products for furniture and interiors will play an important part in the programme: Recycled coatings, vegan wood-based materials and the prospects for recycling wood-based materials and furniture – the keyword here is cradle to cradle. We will present applications for generative design, or computer-generated design. In addition, we will outline ideas for how furniture manufacturers can generate added value from the hybrid commercialisation of their products, for instance by offering furniture rentals. But we will also address the new expectations within the furniture retail trade for manufacturers. All this will be accompanied by talks on practical applications, such as smart furniture as a form of social design and visions of tomorrow’s interior design from acclaimed international design studios.

Antibacterial and antiviral surfaces are currently playing an important role.

How will you address the current situation of the coronavirus pandemic?

Among other things, my own talk will examine the general changes that the coronavirus outbreak has triggered in interiors and furniture design. Antibacterial and antiviral surfaces are currently playing an important role. In most cases, this involves giving existing products an additional coating that can reduce the viruses for a specified amount of time or even eliminate them. We expect to see some new developments here in the coming months.

How do you see the pandemic as a driver of innovation in materials and design?

It’s true that the coronavirus outbreak has put a sudden brake on many things, but it has also speeded things up. It hasn’t stopped globalisation – on the contrary, we have seen that what happens in the world concerns all of us. But it still has been as if someone pressed the pause button. In the field of digitalisation and New Work by contrast, the pandemic has made a breathtaking speed possible. The developments it has enabled would have otherwise taken many years. And then there are new trends such as the growth of sport at home. Trends like these are only just emerging, but they have already reached their zenith with the pandemic because many people are looking forward to going back to the gym or the swimming pool when it is over.

ZOW 2020

Tiny Spaces by Katrin de Louw at ZOW 2020

The home office and home schooling have expanded the functions of the home. On the other hand, the need to plan small homes is growing due to rising housing costs. What solutions do you see for this need?

Incorporating multifunctionality into furniture and interior design on the one hand and individualisation by optimising interior construction on the other requires both the industry and the retail trade to rethink their approaches fundamentally. Furniture should be conceived, designed and sold to function across a range of rooms so that the wardrobe and the coat stand, for instance, can be combined in one object in a tiny space. Storage solutions also need to be improved, for example, by integrating them into the sofa or the table.

Multifunctionality and individualisation requires both the industry and the retail trade to rethink their approaches fundamentally.

Urbanisation and gentrification, but also the ageing of society are processes that are having a direct impact on home living. What pioneering approaches are you currently seeing for living together in limited, age-friendly and functionally optimised spaces?

I think this is first and foremost a social issue: The coronavirus pandemic has shown that we have to stick together. Many people are lonely. In pioneering urban neighbourhoods, you can find a community that includes all the key forms of provision. At the same time, it provides “third places” where people can meet up, have fun, perhaps grow vegetables together, rear animals or cook collectively, barbecue and spend time in nature. Demographic changes mean that these kinds of collective and cross-generational ideas for living communities that are able to extend across entire urban neighbourhoods are taking on an extremely important role. This naturally has an enormous impact on individuals’ personal space and how they furnish their homes.

Exciting talks are still wanted for the interzum @home Trend Stage. Please send your proposed topics as soon as possible to Katrin de Louw with interzum @home Trend Stage in the subject line.

Start of the interzum award

11 Mar 2021

interzum award 2019

interzum award: intelligent material & design 2019

Participants at interzum @home 2021 can now submit their technical innovations, state-of-the art materials and exciting product innovations for the interzum award: intelligent material & design 2021 . The global furniture supply industry is invited to face the worldwide comparison until 12 April 2021. The competition is organised for the 11th time by Koelnmesse in cooperation with Red Dot. A jury will decide on the best design achievements in the categories Function & Components, Materials & Nature and Textile & Machinery.

innovation drivers in the industry

“The competition underlines the importance of design as a value-added factor. Our award winners successfully use the label to set themselves apart from their competitors in the broader market,” says Maik Fischer, Director interzum. Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot, adds: “In these difficult economic times, it is all the more important to confidently communicate your own achievements. An interzum award shows that a company is an innovation driver in the industry.”

The competition underlines the importance of design as a value-added factor.

Maik Fischer
Director interzum

Exhibition iz award 2019

Exhibition interzum award 2019

Participation is free of charge

The interzum award: intelligent material & design is aimed exclusively at participants of the new business network interzum @home 2021 . They can enter their innovations and detailed solutions in the competition immediately and free of charge, submitting one or more products. This year, submissions will only be accepted digitally.

Registrations are possible in the following categories:

Function & Components
Lamps and (digital) lighting systems, semi-finished products for cabinet, kitchen, office and modular furniture, fittings, (digital) locks, built-in parts, hinges, connectors, etc.

Materials & Nature
Wood, veneers, parquet flooring, interior works, decorative surfaces, decor papers, laminates, wood-based panels, laminated plastic, mineral materials, edges, surface treatments, embossing cylinders, sheet metals, natural materials, press plates, etc.

Textile & Machinery
Machines for manufacturing upholstery and mattresses, upholstery materials, upholstery accessories, cover fabrics, leather, adhesives, temperature and humidity sensors for mattresses, smart textiles (light conducting or similar), etc.

Jurors evaluate submissions

A jury evaluates all competition entries with regard to their design quality, their innovative potential and aspects such as sustainability or a meaningful integration of digital components. A total of six jurors will jointly decide on the submissions after testing and discussing them. Together they will award the prize for High Product Quality and recognise outstanding achievements that set new standards as Best of the Best.

Application for interzum award

interzum 2021 will be hosted as a digital-only event

18 Feb 2021

interzum @home

interzum @home

The supplier industry thrives on creativity and personal contacts. However, the pandemic situation does not allow for a promising international presence event in May 2021 either. Therefore interzum developed a comprehensive online event concept. “In 2021, we’ll again be offering suppliers to the furniture industry and interior design sector their global stage, with an digital offering,” says Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse. Current trends, the latest product innovations, exciting lectures, the opportunity for professional exchange: all this is offered by the new platform interzum @home from 4-7 May.

Various options

"We’re offering every company the option of digital participation on our new interzum @home platform,” explains interzum director Maik Fischer. Various digital-only packages will be available for the purpose, allowing companies to participate on the platform - a presence that’s a perfect fit with their needs. A wide array of exciting formats will create an innovative trade fair experience. The platform will network exhibitors with decision-makers from the industry and give them an insight into all the latest topics in the sector.

Global community

Global community

Global audience

The goal of interzum @home is to use the new digital channel to increase overall reach. The components of this platform, which can certainly be considered state of the art, provide various possibilities for interaction, including digital showrooms, stages, workshops and cafés. Even in the face of the corona pandemic, this ensures interzum will reach a global audience. Broadly speaking, the main emphasis of interzum @home is on knowledge and content, the experience and socialising, like at the event in Cologne – but obviously always with fluid crossovers and connections.

Bridge to interzum 2023

"With interzum @home , Koelnmesse is offering us an ideal bridge to interzum 2023 in these extraordinary times. We from the industry very much welcome that", says Dr. Andreas Hettich, chairman of the interzum advisory board. "The digital platform enables us to present our products and innovations to a wide audience and thus achieve maximum reach, even if it certainly cannot replace a presence trade fair." With Hettich, Blum, Häfele and Vauth-Sagel, the first market leaders announced that they would be digitally presenting their innovations on the new business platform.

Digital networking

Digital networking

Developing new contacts

Developing new international contacts is just as important as maintaining contacts with existing customers. " interzum @home lives very much from and for networking: the exhibitors and visitors have the opportunity, for example, to find exactly the right person for their personal business among all participants," says Maik Fischer, Director of interzum . "Using the visual Discovery Graph, relevant contacts and companies can be found easily, entertainingly and interactively - either via the networks, personal contacts or by matching with the specified interests."

Wide range of information

In the next few weeks, the trade fair team will, among other things, hold webinars with live demonstrations for various markets in order to present the functionalities and possibilities of the digital platform. In addition, the interzum website offers a wide range of information about interzum @home . The trade fair team would like to support all participating companies in the implementation of an optimal presentation in the best possible way.

Green smart materials

14 Jan 2021

Cassina Croque La Pomme

Sofa from Cassina with leather made from apples (design: Philippe Starck)

Leather made from apple cores and peel, 3D-printed architectural components made from cellulose and structural colours for wooden surfaces – today innovations in materials and their processing are emerging between the opposing poles of digitalisation and sustainability. The Berlin materials expert Dr Sascha Peters is examining the latest innovations in this field for interzum 2021 .

The shift towards a sustainable product culture

We live in an increasingly digitalised society: Digital systems are transforming the development, production and distribution of products. This is also having an impact on furniture and interior design. On the other side of the coin, we can expect to see a shift in our product culture towards a circular economy over the next few years. With initiatives such as Fridays for Future, this transition has reached a new high point that goes beyond the political sphere. There is also a growing desire among designers and architects to move towards a functioning circular economy. Demand for products and processes with lower CO2 emissions is rising because the climate crisis is evolving into a threat to our prosperity.

Dr. Sascha Peters

Dr. Sascha Peters

A host of new developments

Companies stand to benefit from this development – if they are able to combine the need for a sustainable product culture with digitalisation’s potential. To do so, they need to position suitable offerings on the market. In some sectors, this change is already proving to be disruptive. This applies especially to production methods in which conventional processes are being supplemented or combined with additive manufacturing or even replaced by it. “Here a host of new developments with the potential to replace existing material applications have been presented over the last few months,” says Dr Sascha Peters.

Innovative technologies

Incredible developments have been achieved in the field of materials in recent years. For instance, agricultural waste products are being processed to produce leather alternatives. Apple cores and peel can be turned into the material for vegan sneakers or upholstered furniture. Singapore University of Technology and Design(SUTD) has unveiled a robot-based manufacturing process for producing high-strength architectural structures made exclusively from cellulose and chitin. Researchers at Aalto University in Helsinki have developed a technology that gives wooden surfaces so-called structural colours, which give the material colour without pigments.

Special area "Disruptive Materials"

Special area "Disruptive Materials" at interzum 2019

Focusing on groundbreaking possibilities

Materials with sustainable characteristics are set to play an increasingly important role. They will be complemented with digital and integrated functionalities that will enable them to increase resource efficiency in furniture production, design and architecture enormously. Sustainability and digitalisation thus define the possibility space for pioneering innovations. Starting from these developments, Dr Sascha Peters is examining some of the latest material innovations and smart technologies for interzum 2021 . His Berlin-based trend forecasting agency Haute Innovation researches green smart materials across the world. Based on the agency’s previous presentations, its findings promise to be extremely exciting.

Interior design post-corona

11 Jan 2021

Desk by Hettich

Power-assisted height-adjustable desk by Hettich

Looking into the future is not easy – and even more so when a pandemic is turning life upside down. It therefore remains to be seen whether the coronavirus crisis will have a lasting influence on home living. But it is already clear that existing developments in interior design have been strengthened and new issues have moved into focus. They are enhancing trends that have been transforming how we live for some time, such as increasing urbanisation, demographic change and digitalisation.

A new perspective on interior design

Interiors and furniture change with social developments. Due to the current situation, many people are currently spending more time than usual in their own homes or apartments. They are starting to see their homes differently as a result. Working from a home office is also changing many people’s perspective on their personal environment, prompting them to rethink their interior decor or add new functions. Manufacturers of furniture and furniture accessories were already addressing these kinds of changes in our living environments before the coronavirus outbreak: They have developed new solutions for the general reduction in living space and the increasing connection between home life and work life. With the pandemic, these themes have assumed a new and growing significance.

Home office by Hettich

Home office solution by Hettich

More adaptability

Flexibility is an important keyword in new forms of home living. With the rise of the home office and homeschooling, many houses and apartments are taking on new functions. But the kitchen table has its limitations as a workspace. Interior design that adapts to the available space and different situations is needed more than ever before. If living and working areas cannot be separated due to space shortages, multifunctional or modular furniture and furniture systems offer intelligent solutions. These space-saving, practical concepts meet both functional needs and the desire for a place that feels like home.

Blum box system

Adaptable box system with handleless fronts by Blum

Preventive hygiene

Health and hygiene are trending because of the current situation. These issues also concern the interior design of public and private spaces. Easy-clean surfaces such as furniture decors with antibacterial properties help with infection prevention. Recently launched products are extremely elastic and flexible, which extends their potential applications. Innovative synthetic coverings for upholstered furniture are dirt-resistant. They can be cleaned without leaving any residue and withstand treatment with disinfectants. Handleless furniture fronts can be quickly and thoroughly cleaned. In these designs, push-to-open mechanisms make opening and closing flaps, doors and pull-outs easier. Recently introduced electromechanical opening systems are especially convenient to use.

Light by Gera Leuchten

Light for the office at home by Gera Leuchten

Technology for greater convenience

Speaking of technology, the technical equipment of interior spaces has also gained a new significance due to the coronavirus outbreak. Electric height-adjustable desks and furniture surfaces with charging technology are just some of the possibilities for enhancing convenience in the home office. Good lighting promotes personal well-being, especially during the darkest time of the year. Light can foster concentration or aid relaxation. But it can also play an active role in health protection: UV LEDs can sterilize surfaces when the light is applied directly to them. They can supplement everyday lighting or be fitted in existing luminaires.

 Rauvisio crystal vario by Rehau

Surface collection Rauvisio crystal vario by Rehau

Individual solutions

As uncertainty intensifies, so too does the need to create one’s own place of retreat. Designers and manufacturers were addressing the individualisation of interior design even before the coronavirus crisis began. Innovative materials and digital processes such as 3D printing now make individual product design possible even within a product range. This has the potential to assist with the development of alternative formats in areas where the pandemic has forced companies to abandon established practices. In this way, the crisis simultaneously provides an opportunity for creativity and new solutions.

Symposium on lightweight construction

23 Sep 2019

Jowat SE Heaquarter

Heaquarter and lecture hall of Jowat SE in Detmold

On 26th September a symposium on new developments and products will take place in Detmold. The program includes lectures from science and research as well as applications.

In light of discussions about avoiding CO2 emissions, the trend towards lightweight construction continues. As a partner, interzum therefore supports the symposium in Detmold in the planning and realisation.

Lightweight panels

Lightweight panels, © igeL e.V.

Three thematic blocks

In twelve lectures the symposium will highlight forward-looking developments. Divided into three thematic blocks, well-known speakers will discuss groundbreaking topics under the categories digitalization, sustainability and innovation. Current research results are just as much a focus as new products and production techniques.

Innovative and sustainable solutions

The symposium begins with a keynote address on the future of digitization in lightweight construction. In addition to the question of what role Virtual Reality can play for the furniture industry, the first lecture block also deals with data-based production methods. The lecture block Sustainability introduces new products such as the flexible Aerowood panel and other sustainable solutions. The fact that the developments of lightweight construction are far from finished will be shown in the Innovation theme block.

Lecture hall Jovat SE

Lectures in the lecture hall of Jovat SE

Networking opportunities

In addition to networking, there is also the opportunity to visit an accompanying exhibition with lightweight construction products between the lecture blocks. A "hot chair" gives visitors the opportunity to ask questions to the speakers. The program will be rounded off with an evening event.

The symposium will be held in German at the location of Jowat SE in Detmold. Further information can be found on the website of the Interessengemeinschaft Leichtbau e.V.

interzum 2021: Trend Case Digital Printing

17 Jul 2020

interzum 2019: Special event area Digital Printing

interzum 2019: Special event area Digital Printing

With an expanded special event area, the upcoming interzum shows innovative solutions for digital printing. This technology is able to offer solutions in interior design quickly, to a high quality and at low cost. Thanks to the ability to create printed images dynamically, surfaces can be custom-designed so as to be one of a kind. That makes digital printing perfectly suited for industrial make-to-order production and one-off items.

More space for the trend showcase

interzum will therefore be continuing to focus on the subject of digital printing in 2021 as part of its role as a source of inspiration and a platform for innovation. Following its debut in 2019, interzum plans to give this technology much more space at the trade fair with its special Digital Printing trend showcase event. Once again, exhibitors will have the opportunity to present their innovative product solutions in the field of digital printing to an interested trade audience in the context of the trend showcase.

interzum 2019: Special event area Digital Printing

interzum 2019: Special event area Digital Printing

Answers for the trade audience

The trend showcase will focus on the various potential applications and the diversity of modern digital printing: on demand or customised, for use in direct printing or via image carriers. It will seek to respond to every unanswered question from furniture manufacturers, designers, interiors experts and architects – whether on the subject of advantages and risks, technological and design challenges, printable materials or technical implementations.

Direct business contacts

The trend case will demonstrate the possibilities offered by digital printing to trade visitors and enable them to make direct business contacts with the appropriate suppliers. interzum is extending an invitation to all companies that offer components, services, machines or unusual applications in the field of digital printing to participate in this key event as exhibitors.

interzum 2019: Special event area Digital Printing

interzum 2019: Special event area Digital Printing

Mapping of the value chain

It’s the explicit goal of the showcase to present this value chain in a self-contained yet diverse format and to offer visitors a one-stop-shop that can serve all needs and circumstances. The special exhibition area will be located in the Materials & Nature segment, which will also be the place to discover the latest developments being premiered at interzum 2021 by a host of surface specialists.

Green Product Award 2020

4 Nov 2019

Green Product Award 2020

As a platform for innovation the interzum is partner of the Green Product Award. The cool bird phase for submissions ends on 15 November 2019.

The international Green Product Award offers a platform for established companies, start-ups and students who design products and services which distinguish from common products in terms of design, innovation and sustainability. Since 2013, participants from 41 countries have applied for the award. The awards are given in 13 categories separately for companies and start-ups. In addition, the Green Concept Award is dedicated to the concepts that lead to a green future.

Kuori, Sarah Harbarth, UDK Berlin

Submission 2020: KUORI, banana peel leather, Sarah Harbarth, UDK Berlin

New topic "Future Village"

For the seventh time green products and concepts can be submitted to the international Green Product Award. This year, manufacturers, design studios and agencies are invited to submit their solutions within our new theme "Future Village". The award submissions fill the sustainable house of the future, where eco-friendly living and working is made tangible - in the categories architecture, bathroom, electronics, fashion, children, consumer goods, kitchen, material, mobility, outdoor, office, living & freestyle.

interzum exhibitors among former winners

interzum is partner of the Green Product Award. Among the former winners were also exhibitors of the international trade fair such as the company Organoid Technologies, which produces wallpaper made of natural materials such as alpine meadow flowers.

Wallpaper ALMWIESN

Winner 2019: Wallpaper ALMWIESN, Organoid Technologies GmbH

Cool bird phase for submissions

The current cool bird phase ends on 15 November 2019, after this the fees increase. The regular bird phase ends on 10 January 2020. In March, the winners and nominees (Selection) on the IHM's Green Campus will be presented.

Registration and submission here .

interzum 2021 and interzum 2023: registration is now possible

30 Jan 2020

interzum, photo: © Koelnmesse

interzum, photo: © Koelnmesse

The next interzum, the world's leading trade fair for furniture production and interior design, will take place from 4 to 7 May 2021 on the fair grounds in Cologne. Thus, exhibitors can already apply now for both interzum 2021 and for interzum 2023, which takes place from 9 to 12 May 2023. This increases planning certainty for all exhibitors, significantly accelerates trade fair planning and thus provides exhibitors with more time for the long term planning of their exhibition participation.

Like in 2019, halls 3 to 11 are at the ready for interzum. These will be supplemented by the modern exhibition hall 1 Plus, which will come into operation shortly before. It expands the intensively in demand "Materials & Nature" exhibition area and enables site planning that is on the whole optimised.

Even more improvements are in progress: The end of the 1st early bird for interzum 2021 is delayed by one month and thus ends on 15 June 2020. This will also help accelerate planning processes, so that interzum exhibitors will have concrete stand offers in their hands much earlier and can prepare accordingly over the longer term.

Application for interzum 2021 and interzum 2023 takes place exclusively online for the first time. Koelnmesse has provided corresponding links at

interzum 2021: Optimistic outlook

18 Jun 2020


interzum 2021: Optimistic outlook

Strong interest for the upcoming interzum. The leading trade fair is meeting new challenges with a variety of measures. The forthcoming edition of interzum is benefiting from these developments in multiple ways: The lack of opportunities for business partners to meet in person in recent months means that these face-to-face exchanges are now immensely important. Focused showcases of innovative product developments strengthen established global marketplaces, and recent trends are resulting in new priorities for industry exhibitions and changing traditional trade fair profiles.

Excellent demand from the industry

When the leading international trade fair for suppliers to the furniture and interior design industry opens its doors from 4th to 7th May 2021, the industry will meet again in Cologne. “All the companies among our exhibitor clientele can hardly wait for the forthcoming event” says interzum Director Maik Fischer. Even at this early stage, eleven months before the leading trade fair opens its doors, the interzum team is already registering excellent demand and large numbers of bookings – ranging from familiar names from previous events to smart newcomers and start-ups right through to major industry players.

interzum 2019

interzum 2019

New formats for trends

interzum is poised to shape international interior design as it has done in previous years. It is able to do so largely thanks to its successful trade fair concept, which the interzum team is constantly fine-tuning. Alongside the interzum award, which already has a high profile, the next event has some surprises in store, including trend forums and trend cases. While these new concepts are still abstract for the time being, the organisers will soon reveal more.

New trend formats

New trend formats

Expansion of digital services

From a strategic perspective, the trade fair team is also expanding interzum’s digital offerings. The now clearly identifiable boost for global digitalisation resulting from the coronavirus lockdown calls for trade fair organisers to present intelligent answers to the question of how we are to face the emerging new reality. The spectrum of the initial solutions for interzum 2021 ranges from smart marketing measures to IT-supported activities in the run-up to the event and following the trade fair.

Piazza digital printing

interzum 2019: Piazza digital printing

Comprehensive hygiene and safety measures

The well-being of all exhibitors and visitors is naturally the highest priority in all of interzum’s considerations. The detailed package of measures encompasses appropriate hygiene and allows for distance between all those involved. The trade fair organiser also considers itself well prepared for the stringent requirements for processes at the entrances, in the trade fair halls and at the stands. “We have every confidence that our exhibitors and visitors will behave professionally. We will register all participants fully and make use of the flexibility and size of our trade fair grounds and the opportunities that our digital signage offers,” says Maik Fischer.

Digital signage offers

Digital signage offers

Large numbers of bookings

As of now, all the major industry players that appeared at the previous event have confirmed their attendance in 2021 with binding bookings. In addition, many small and medium-sized enterprises and some newcomers have already made bookings. The organisers especially welcome the returners who are favouring the world’s central marketplace for suppliers in Cologne again. Among them is the Finsa Group, which operates globally in the particleboard and MDF sector. More than half of the planned exhibition grounds at interzum has already been booked with confirmed reservations. Judging by current indications, the forthcoming trade fair is set to be an excellent industry event that builds directly on the success of the interzum in 2019.

Material and digitalisation:

26 Feb 2020 conference for design and innovation will take place on October 22nd and 23rd in Cologne. The conference for design and innovation is supported by interzum and ZOW.

Innovation platform for design

The interdisciplinary event will be held in the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Cologne. The two-day conference offers an innovation platform for design, technology and business. It is aimed at designers, architects and interior designers, creative people from the worlds of business, science and politics. This years focus will be on materials and digitalisation.

Expert seminar and workshop course

A specialist seminar will take place on the first day of Speakers are renowned experts from design, architecture, universities and business. In the evening there is the opportunity to get together in the restaurant of the Museum Ludwig. The workshop course on the second day also offers new project impulses. Working together according to the Makeathon principle, material innovations will be discovered and new products, objects, rooms will be developed. 2019 2019

The conference can be attended on one or both days. Members of numerous industry and professional associations receive discounts for participating in Application for further training for architects by the Chamber of Architects in North Rhine-Westphalia has been applied for.

Interested parties receive further information here or can register directly here .

Feedback interzum guangzhou 2020

6 Aug 2020

interzum guangzhou 2020

interzum guangzhou 2020

Asia's largest trade fair for furniture production and interior decoration took place in Guangzhou in southern China from 27 to 30 July. interzum guangzhou marked the first major platform for the international furniture manufacturing and supply sector in the second half of the year. The response to the event was correspondingly large, with more than 800 exhibitors from 16 countries and around 100,000 visitors. The feedback from exhibitors and vistors on the event as a whole was consistently very positive.

Great visitor response

“In the current situation, the most important thing is for our customers to feel comfortable and safe at our events”, Keith Tsui, Managing Director of the Chinese Koelnmesse subsidiary, explained. “As event professionals, we see ourselves in a position to create conditions that are conducive to trade fairs, even in times such as these.” On the third day of the event, a record number of visitors was even achieved compared to previous events: “This shows that our visitors felt safe and enjoyed spending several days and more time at our show,” says Tsui.

interzum guangzhou 2020

interzum guangzhou 2020

Positive Feedback from exhibitors

The response from exhibitors was also very good. “So, I am quite impressed with the quantity of exhibitors and people”, said Dr. Rajat Agarwal, Corporate Vice President of Henkel in China. “We also see that the exhibition overall is extremely well organized and very clean. So, I'm very happy to see a well-organized exhibition.”

Simon Jenkinson, President of LINAK (Shenzhen), also referred to the high number of visitors: “My personal opinion is that the show is busier than I was actually expecting it to be. There are more people here than I thought there would be, and we are meeting many of our old friends as well from within the industry, that we haven't seen for a long time. This has been the first opportunity to catch up with existing customers and contacts.”

Detailed hygiene concepts

“For all of our events - whether in Cologne, with our B-SAFE4business concept, or abroad in coordination with our subsidiaries - we have developed detailed hygiene concepts that enable our customers to conduct business with one another directly”, Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, assured.

“Trade fairs have an absolute systemic relevance for the global economic fabric, and for many participants they are actually of existential importance. 90 percent of the exhibitors in the Koelnmesse programme are small or medium-sized enterprises for which international trade fairs represent the main gateway to the global market. Our mission, as an international trade fair organiser, is to give the industries involved the propulsive power they need for their business. And we take this mission very seriously.”

ZOW 2020: tips for visitors

30 Jan 2020

ZOW 2020: Special event area "[Tiny] Spaces

ZOW 2020: Special event area "[Tiny] Spaces: From Square Meters to Shared Meters"

The supplier fair for the furniture and interior design industry ZOW will take place in Bad Salzuflen from 4 to 6 February 2020. Here are some some tips and suggestions for your visit.

ZOW 2020 is a communication platform for product presentations for the coming order season, but also acts as a forum for thinking ahead for future years. Similar to a craft workshop or a prototyping lab, it offers customers and developers the time and space to discuss exploring new paths or to forge bold ideas in rough form. Here you can get an initial overview of the innovations and further developments at this years ZOW.

Craft workshop, studio and marketplace

Well timed for the industry’s sample cycle, the supplier trade fair with the feel of a workshop is hosted approximately halfway between the 2019 and 2021 editions of the industry’s leading international trade fair, interzum. It therefore provides enough time and scope for the first sparks of ideas for new implementations, for further product developments and company-specific adaptations of standard market solutions. In addition to being a craft workshop, studio and marketplace, ZOW will once again be one thing above all else: a forum for in-depth communication and active networking for all successful participants in the furniture value creation process.

ZOW 2018, igeL e.V.

ZOW 2018: Special exhibition area of igeL e.V.

Curated special show

Urbanisation and gentrification are processes that have an immediate impact on social structures, communal living and, not least, domestic life. This has direct consequences for urban planners and architects – not forgetting the interior design sector. At ZOW 2020 designer and trend scout Katrin de Louw will be presenting three layouts in a special exhibition area intended to provide lasting inspiration for increasingly sought-after tiny and shared spaces. At the special event area [Tiny] Spaces: From Square Meters to Shared Meters , ZOW will inspire new ideas among visitors from the worlds of industry, skilled trades, design and interiors and give rise to new product and service development concepts.

Future living spaces

With “ Best of PURE TALENTS CONTEST by imm cologne 2020 ” ZOW 2020 presents a selection of groundbreaking ideas on how living spaces will be designed in the future. In the begining of 2020, the imm cologne hold one of the most internationally renowned competitions for up-and-coming young designers for the 17th time. For the PURE TALENTS CONTEST 2020 723 young designers have applied from 59 different countries with 862 products. A selection of the best pieces will be displayed at ZOW 2020.

You can order your ticket free of charge for the ZOW online in the Ticket Shop .

Flowing space concepts

16 Sep 2019

Living Room by Sonae Arauco

How will we design our living areas in the future when they are becoming more and more interconnected? Exhibitors of interzum have developed new products for flowing space concepts.

As purely functional spaces, the kitchen and bathroom used to be often separated from the living area in the past. But these times have gone. Today, living spaces rather merge. Representative furniture and homely accessories increasingly overshadow the functional aspects such as cooking and washing.

Systematic and flexible

But what does the increasing merging of living areas mean for the room design? What are new requirements for furniture and components? Exhibitors of interzum have addressed this issue and developed new products for open plan living areas. They meet the increased demands on design and functionality with systematic concepts and high flexibility.

VS Elements for Household
VS Elements for Household
VS Elements for bedroom
VS Elements for bedroom

Modular system VS Elements from Vauth-Sagel

Modular system VS Elements from Vauth-Sagel

Modular system VS Elements from Vauth-Sagel

Modular system VS Elements from Vauth-Sagel

According to personal requirements

At last interzum, Vauth-Sagel presented a new modular system that can be used in different living areas. The system modules act as an open dressing room in the bedroom or as a modular organisation system in the bathroom or kitchen. Shelves made of wood or glass make the system frame into convenient storage, combined with a wire basket for practical hanging. It can be replaced and rearranged at any time, depending on the stage of life and personal requirements.

Room design system by Schüco Alu Competence

Openstyle room design system from Schüco Alu Competence

Open design principle

A system that can also be used in all living areas is "Open Style" from Schüco Alu Competence. It follows the principle of open design and consistent look of various living areas. The system divides rooms and performs various functions as a fixed or movable element. It can be used as a wall or niche application, room divider, privacy screen or as a decorative design element. The system's aluminum frame is combined with 16 mm thick decor panel material.

Kitchen by Sonae Arauco
Living room by Sonae Arauco
Bedroom by Sonae Arauco

„innovus“ range with more than 200 decors and 15 surfaces from Sonae Arauco

„innovus“ range with more than 200 decors and 15 surfaces from Sonae Arauco

„innovus“ range with more than 200 decors and 15 surfaces from Sonae Arauco

Various combinations

The Portuguese company Sonae Arauco has also developed a new collection for an open architecture with flowing living areas. The selection of melamine-resin coated panels and laminates is particularly suitable for flexible room design. The "innovus" collection, with more than 200 decors and 15 surfaces, enables more than 260 different combinations. Under the motto "Mix & Match" wood decors of various tree species, stone, oxide and cement decors as well as a large colour palette are available.

The traditional separation of living areas will probably be further lifted in the future. Not only our lifestyle speaks for it, but also an increasing shortage of living space. Therefore, flowing and multifunctional spatial concepts are becoming increasingly important. The novelties presented at interzum offer new and forward-looking possibilities for this.

Good prospects: interzum guangzhou 2020

31 Jul 2020

interzum guangzhou 2020

interzum guangzhou 2020

Encouraging signal for the industry: as the largest supplier fair for furniture in Asia, interzum guangzhou successfully took place with extensive hygiene measures.

interzum guangzhou in China (27 to 30 July 2020) demonstrated that trade fairs with strict hygiene rules in place and a limited number of admissions are possible in spite of the pandemic and can result in a good commercial outcome. The chinese branch of interzum in Cologne marked the first major platform for the international furniture manufacturing and supply sector in the second half of the year.

interzum guangzhou 2020

interzum guangzhou 2020

Great response from exhibitors and visitors

interzum guangzhou is the most influential trade fair for the furniture production, woodworking machinery and interior decor industry in Asia. At this year’s event more than 800 exhibitors from 16 countries and almost 100,000 visitors took the opportunity to meet vendors, customers and business partners again in person, building and strengthening relationships and reconnecting as an industry.

International participation

'In the current situation, the most important thing is for our customers to feel comfortable and safe at our events', Keith Tsui, Managing Director of the Chinese Koelnmesse subsidiary, explained. 'As event professionals, we see ourselves in a position to create conditions that are conducive to trade fairs, even in times such as these.' International exhibitors made use of the event. Among other things, there was an official German group entry comprised of a total of eight German exhibitors; their appearance was successfully supervised by local employees or sales partners on location.

interzum guangzhou 2020

interzum guangzhou 2020

Digital extension of the event's reach

interzum guangzhou was also a role model for a successful digital extension of the event's reach: For international customers who were unable to travel to the venue due to travel restrictions, the trade fair offered Offline2Online Live Business Matching. International visitors joined in the proceedings digitally from home, virtually meeting with the exhibitors on hand to cultivate business relationships and present new products. Exhibitors' feedback on these virtual meetings and on the event as a whole was consistently very positive.

Good prospects for the return to normalcy

interzum guangzhou offers optimistic prospects for returning to normalcy following months of uncertainty. 'The international participation was good and in keeping with the circumstances; thanks to digital business matchmaking, exhibitors were also able to reach visitors who were unable to travel to the event', according to Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse. 'This corroborates our efforts to begin hosting trade fairs again in our halls in Cologne as soon as possible. The success of interzum guangzhou encourages us to set the course for this outcome, together with our customers.'

interzum Flooring: focus on floor coverings

17 Sep 2020

PRO Comfort Floor EPC018 from EGGER

Winner at German Design Award 2020: PRO Comfort Floor EPC018 from interzum exhibitor EGGER

What are the trends in modern floor coverings? interzum 2021 is dedicating its own special show to the topic of flooring.

Investments in interior construction with the areas of floors, walls and ceilings have not only increased since the corona pandemic. The development of modern floor coverings is particularly exciting. Numerous new materials and decors today offer a growing variety in design and function. New and often surprising innovations are made possible with technical progress. They range from laying and connection techniques to material combinations and new areas of application.

Increasing demands on floor coverings

Modern floor coverings significantly shape the ambience, improve the acoustics or ensure a pleasant indoor climate. In addition to product characteristics, the buying decisions are being more and more frequently and more clearly influenced by soft criteria such as sustainability, socially responsible production, recycling capability as well as low transport and energy costs. The possibilities for individual design are diverse, because the flooring market also has a global alignment. The customers are increasingly demanding higher-quality line-ups that cut a “clean figure” for many years after the initial installation or renovation – both in the commercial section as well as for implementation by property owners and private customers.

Glossy Line from HOMAPAL

Decors in mirror-gloss finish with “Cascade” structure: Glossy Line from interzum exhibitor HOMAPAL

Offer for craftsmen, contractors and architects

The interzum is going to place an even stronger focus on the manufacturers of flooring at the coming 2021 event. An attractive pavilion will offer German and international companies from this segment a high-quality presentation platform. “Regarding the visitors, we are targetedly addressing floor layers, craftsmen, building owners and architects,” the interzum Director, Maik Fischer, stressed, adding "because almost a third of our trade fair visitors belong to these professions. Furthermore, our exhibitors are confirming the rapidly growing appeal of precisely this clientele.”

Growing importance for target groups in the flooring sector

interzum is thus one of the most coveted hotspots for floor laying companies and the flooring specialised trade. Recently around 75,000 trade visitors were registered at the leading Cologne-based trade fair for suppliers. Around 13% of whom belonged to the target group interiors/shopfitting, 9% were from the carpenter/joiner trade and 7% were interior design and decoration companies. The visitor structure analysis of 2019 also clearly reflects this significant position: Whereas in 2017 every fourth exhibiting company specialising on this visitor target group of floor and parquet layers considered their goals to be completely achieved and addressed, recently in 2019 it was every second company.

PRO Comfort Floor EPC014 from EGGER

Winner at German Design Award 2020: PRO Comfort Floor EPC014 from interzum exhibitor EGGER

Focus on innovative design

The preparations for interzum 2021 with regards to flooring are currently running at full speed. Grouped under the product segment Materials & Nature , the emphasis of which lies on resource-saving, sustainability and innovative surface design, the trade fair is awaiting exciting corporate presentations for parquet, solid wood and cork flooring, elastic flooring as well as for LVT or designer flooring and laminate.

Package at interesting conditions

Interested exhibitors are invited to participate in the interzum Flooring special area at the upcoming trade fair, which will take place in Cologne from May 4th to 7th, 2021. As with a birthday cake, interested exhibitors can book their own piece with a full-service package at interesting conditions. Alongside the presentation surface, the latter also includes the stand construction, lighting and electricity, the graphics, furniture, a communication package as well as parking and admission tickets. The red carpet is literally being rolled out for exhibitors and visitors whose commercial focus is flooring in Cologne next May.

interzum 2021: Safe platform for the industry


#B-SAFE4business concept by Koelnmesse

“We aren’t waiting for the good old days to come back”, says Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management, about the preparations for the forthcoming edition of interzum . The trade fair team aims to offer the industry a safe platform and enable a successful restart. “We firmly believe that everything is possible with our hygiene and safety concept, #B-SAFE4business , our new, broad-reach digital tools in the form of interzum@home, and a positive attitude. The playing field is prepared – now it is up to the industry to use this framework.”

interzum 2019

interzum 2019: Piazza Surfaces & Wood Design

Increase the reach and influence

An internationally leading trade fair like interzum provides significantly more potential for customer contact than any other analogue or digital format. It is only this kind of globally relevant platform that can really bring supply and demand together. “The trade fair’s future as a marketplace will increasingly take interzum into the digital sphere because this is where we see the best opportunities for increasing its reach and influence”, says Maik Fischer, Director of interzum. This will not only reach those visitors who are unable to travel to Cologne – the trade fair will also be able to make contact with people who have never made the journey. “It will no longer simply be about the numbers of exhibitors and visitors attending in person – we want to be measured in terms of the quality of our digital reach as well,” explains the Director.

Additional opportunities for customer interaction

With the launch of the new interzum@home platform, the trade fair is doing more than simply expanding business opportunities for its exhibitors. It will also reach a broader spectrum of visitors, thereby offering participants diverse additional opportunities for customer interaction. The platform will be a forum for virtual exchanges between industry peers, for networking with relevant new and existing contacts and elevating business to the next level. In addition to a variety of live-streamed digital stages, there will be open and thematically curated video chats in the virtual cafe, and visitors attending the trade fair online will be able to experience new launches in exhibitors’ exclusive showrooms. In this way, exhibitors will benefit directly from additional contacts and broader reach.

interzum 2019

interzum 2019: Piazza Digitalization

Hybrid events as a future concept

This elevates trade fairs to a whole new level. Hybrid events will broadcast the action at the trade fair venue around the world in online-friendly formats, enriching the industry event with additional digital offerings and extended availability online. The template for success that trade fairs have always followed is being expanded, not replaced. “The action at the trade fair venue will continue to be the cornerstone of the event and creates pull as a temporary meeting place for entire industries”, says Matthias Pollmann. “We are convinced that a huge concentration of energy is produced when the right people gather for a short period of time and take part in personal, emotional exchanges – that is what makes a trade fair; that is what makes interzum .”

Durable connection: home and office

21 Aug 2020

Pocket systems by Blum

Pocket systems by Blum bring great advantages to furniture design and assembly, © Julius Blum GmbH

New perspectives on home working seem to be evolving rapidly in the coronavirus pandemic. But what do they mean for interior design?

The use of digital media and the growing overlaps between our professional and our private lives were resulting in new forms of living and working even before corona. Trends that had been apparent for some years are now picking up speed. Issues such as how to create a home office have assumed a whole new significance in the crisis. One thing seems to be clear: How we live and how we furnish our homes are set to change in the long run.

Moving between different spheres of life

Unprecedented events like the coronavirus pandemic affect the world in all spheres of life. Lockdowns and social distancing regulations have made working from home a reality for many. This has focused even greater attention on a healthy work-life balance. But many living spaces are not designed to serve simultaneously as an office. Those working from home frequently find themselves distracted and overloaded as a consequence.

Flexible design solutions

Home working calls for creative ideas. After all, the kitchen table has its limitations as a desk. Innovative furniture concepts that adapt flexibly to different situations are needed, and not just since the coronavirus outbreak. Lighting must also be adaptable so that it can create a comforting and cosy atmosphere as well as fostering a pleasant work environment.

Wireless charging technology

Wireless charging technology integrated into the tabletop, © Homapal GmbH

Integrated technology for greater convenience

Modern technology makes working in the home office more convenient and efficient. Digital tools support home workers while video conferencing enables teamwork. But technical installations should be as unobtrusive as possible in living spaces. Cables and other distracting technical elements must be concealed in the furniture or integrated into the interior. Intelligent storage solutions can conceal bulky devices and simultaneously create more space for work.

Interior concepts as links

The quality of home life will not be determined by furniture design, however, but by the interior structure. Architects and interior designers were already developing growing numbers of loft-style solutions and open-plan interior concepts before corona. Ideas like these see the different areas of the home become gradually merged. Many designers view the modern home as a membrane between various functions and between inside and outside. This trend is likely to have a growing influence on the design of tomorrow’s homes.

One World Collection

One World Collection for individually designed living spaces, © Swiss Krono Group

New products and manufacturing techniques

Flexibility, saving space and convenience are crucial factors in the design of future living environments. The ways in which we live and work are becoming more heterogeneous and call for new solutions. Issues such as ergonomicsand health benefits are increasingly influencing furniture design – and not just because of the current pandemic. The desire for bespoke interior design that adapts to the individual’s needs calls for new forms and production techniques as well.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s home living

The changes in our living environments pose new challenges for the furniture industry and its suppliers. interzum plays a special role here as a catalyst for new ideas. The trade fair is a central communication platform for the industry and provides diverse inspiration. The most pioneering products appear in Cologne alongside new technological developments and innovations in materials. At the next event from 4 to 7 May 2021, suppliers to the furniture industry will gather again to present numerous new launches and look ahead to the future of home living – with a special focus on the coronavirus crisis and the changes resulting from it.

ZOW 2020: Focus on tiny and shared spaces

29 Nov 2019

Special exhibition "Tiny Spaces" at ZOW 2018, © Koelnmesse

Special exhibition "Tiny Spaces" at ZOW 2018, © Koelnmesse

In continuation of interzum, the trade fair of the supplier industry ZOW 2020 will place a focus on “Tiny and Shared Spaces“. Trend scout Katrin de Louw will be presenting three layouts in a special exhibition area.

From 4 to 6 February 2020, manufacturers of kitchens, upholstery, household furniture and office furniture as well as interior designers and contract furnishers will have the opportunity to experience many thrilling product debuts and production-ready innovations at ZOW. At next year’s trade fair, there is a clear focus on the intelligent organisation of our home and working lives of tomorrow and beyond.

Inspiration for tiny and shared spaces

Urbanisation and gentrification are processes that have an immediate impact on the interior design sector. The furniture industry and suppliers are increasingly turning their attention to this topic, offering product solutions that are both high-quality in design and perfected in terms of technology. At ZOW 2020 designer and trend scout Katrin de Louw will be presenting three layouts in a special exhibition area intended to provide lasting inspiration for increasingly sought-after tiny and shared spaces. young and old, employed people and retirees find common ground in the project.

ZOW 2018, © Koelnmesse

ZOW 2018, © Koelnmesse

Space for young and old

The 15 sqm apartment for a commuter is characterised by its built-in furniture, which is designed to make the best use of the available space. The upholstered furniture and cabinets blend into the space just as much as the kitchen and work area do. Different lighting compositions change the room in line with requirements and mood. IT has been integrated into the small apartment with a focus on multifunctionality. In comparison to this there is an age-appropriate 18 sqm city apartment. Accessible living is top priority with all the available comforts and the support of assistance systems in the background.

Usable areas for different requirements

In addition, the special exhibition will feature shared “co-joining” and “co-cooking” areas. The kitchen systems and usable areas for different requirements, storage space and media services are available to inhabitants. Indoor and outdoor areas also merge. It’s also possible to opt in or out of various functions and furnishings for a fee.

Special exhibition "Tiny Spaces" at ZOW 2018, © Koelnmesse

Special exhibition "Tiny Spaces" at ZOW 2018, © Koelnmesse

Key inspiration for new developments

With the global trend towards urbanisation, the concentration of dwindling resources in congested urban areas and the conscious shift in attitudes towards minimalist living and sustainability, entirely new approaches to work, accommodation and life in general are needed right now. In contrast to Asia, this emerging global trend is only just getting started in Europe, but important trade fairs like ZOW are already providing key inspiration for new developments. Interested ZOW exhibitors have already approached de Louw and her team. Companies including Hunger, Kalb, Impress, Interprint, Schüco Alu Competence and Swiss Krono are among those providing the project with interior furnishings and accessories, surfaces and fittings.

More informations you will find here .

Smart design: Innovations for the kitchen of tomorrow

29 Jul 2019

Concept study from Blum, © Julius Blum

What does the kitchen of the future look like? Will we operate all devices by voice and unfold furniture as needed? Exhibitors at interzum 2019 have thought ahead and presented new concepts.

Operating comfort with system

Among other things, the leading trade fair for furniture production and interior design showed how interconnected technology can increase the comfort in the kitchen. Austrian manufacturer Blum presented a smart concept study at interzum and demonstrated how wall cabinets and pull-outs, dishwashers and refrigerators can be opened and closed with simple, spoken commands. In customizable scenes like "Clear away the shopping" all the relevant wall cabinets and pull-outs will glide open by themselves. Opening the waste bin pull-out without touching it is another useful scenario. Blum showed how it is possible to define various scenarios and operate several items of furniture at the same time.

Electronic cabinet opener from Hailo

Voice activated opener

Especially in situations where you don't have your hands free, technology that can be voice activated is extremely practical. The exhibitor Hailo has transferred this realisation to an electronic cabinet opener. It can be connected to smart speaker systems – which is particularly practical when you have your hands full when preparing food in the kitchen.

"Urban smart kitchen" by Kesseböhmer

Optimum storage space

Space is tight. At least in the conurbations around the globe, where housing is scarce and prices per square metre are high. This poses a challenge to furniture manufacturers to extract optimum storage space, order and access in these very spaces. With its "urban smart kitchen", Kesseböhmer demonstrated at interzum how a small metropolitan kitchen measuring six square metres can be planned with intelligent fittings solutions in a practical and user-friendly way. Narrowing fronts, electrically opening and height-adjustable pull-outs as well as space-saving furniture offer plenty of comfort for small rooms.

Tray lifting system from Ninkaplast

At the touch of a button

At interzum Ninkaplast was showcasing its product development of Qanto, which is already considered a success by kitchen furniture manufacturers. The extending, powered tray lifting system was designed as a "plug-and-play" element for the optimum use of storage space in corner cabinets, kitchen islands or other base cabinets. At the touch of a button the storage space system, equipped with two or three trays, extends from or retracts into the worktop. The new lower pull-out tray easily moves kitchen appliances into an ergonomically optimum working position. The new adapter plate allows the top tray to be matched for the perfect aesthetic fit with the surrounding worktop.

The kitchen has always been a place for innovation. Current keywords such as "Smart Kitchen" or "Kitchen 4.0" show that nothing has changed. With the new products from interzum, the kitchen will be a little more innovative again.

New light for furniture

8 Jul 2019

"LichtBox" by Gera Leuchten

For the lighting of and in furniture, there are increasingly minimalist solutions today. There is a demand for luminaires and lighting systems that take up little space and blend discreetly into the furnishing concept.

New mini profiles

During Interzum, German company Elektra highlights three new mini profiles which correspond to the current philosophy of miniaturization. The purist appearance of the profiles are included into the furniture nearly imperceptible. The consistent 4-pole connecting system offers the use of the different control systems like sensor switch, remote control, Bluetooth control or voice control individually. For the professional shop fitting a flexible system for invisible electrification of standard shelf system is presented.

Ghost system by FitArt

Gallery LED light strip from DWD Concepts

Practical connection

The new pluggable Gallery LED light strip from DWD Concepts also offers a variety of uses on shelves or on furniture - and this with a very high colour rendering. Plug connectors and connections as well as the different holding clips allow a quick and easy installation of the light strip. The company FitArt has also developed an innovative solution for lighting shelves. The Ghost system is a patented system which, through the thickness of the panel, supplies the power to the movable shelves complete with lighting, installed on NB system. The electric power, transmitted by an electromagnet, is controlled and protected by an electronic board. The racks do not need electrification.

"Cleverglas" LED area light by Frerichs Glas and Hansen

Awarded with the interzum award 2019: Tube light by CHF Lichttechnik

Variable lighting technology

Minimalist design with innovative LED color changing technology combines the new tube light by CHF Lichttechnik GmbH. The round mirror luminaire was awarded the interzum award 2019. With black or white profiles, the tube lights are available in different variants. The spectrum ranges from classic surface-mounted luminaires to a complete framing of the mirror.

Shining minimalism

At interzum 2019, the exhibitors Frerichs Glas and Hansen presented an extremely flat light body, which is also suitable for harsher environments. "Cleverglas" is an LED area light in combination with durable safety glass, which emerged from a cooperation between the two companies. Minimalism is an aspect that all of the products in the portfolio of Gera Leuchten have in common. The new "LichtBox" from the manufacturer is based on the minimalist structure of the company's Lighting System 4: a rectangular black aluminium profile frame with integrated LED lights at the front and at the back – fully in line with the new restraint in furniture lighting.

Plastic alternatives and green components

27 Jun 2019

RePlastic by Khalil Design

Material from recycled waste or renewable raw materials offers future-oriented alternatives to plastics. Exhibitors at interzum 2019 presented new and innovative solutions.

In the manufacture of furniture and its components, recycled or biomaterial is now a serious alternative to plastic. This was proven by various exhibitors at this year's interzum with new products. For example, the furniture fittings of the Swedish manufacturer Ackurat are already being produced with “ocean-waste material”, recycled fishing nets or wood fibers. The company uses biodegradable material from up to 80 percent renewable resources. By 2020, 100 percent of fossil-free materials will come into production of the company.

Furniture fittings made of biodegradable materials, Ackurat

Natural appearance

Wagner System GmbH presented a green alternative to conventional castors, wheels and furniture glides from plastic at the interzum 2019. The newly developed "Ecofriendly" components of the manufacturer from the Black Forest are not only characterised by a natural wood appearance, but also score with a positive energy balance. Using state-of-the-art injection moulding technology, they are made from a special bio-compound, which consists of up to 80 percent renewable raw materials. The added regenerative ingredients become visible similar to a wooden structure.

Rattan instead of plastic

An alternative to plastic is the natural material "karuun shine", which was awarded this year's interzum Award. The young company out for space from Bavaria wins the material from the rattan palm. The material is light- and air-permeable as well as sound-insulating and can also be deformed. The environmentally friendly material thus opens up a multitude of new application possibilities - for example in the areas of acoustics, interior design, lighting, floor coverings etc.

"Ecofriendly" components from Wagner System GmbH

Karuun shine form out for space

Recycling bag from Willems Packaging

Green packaging

For the packaging of cushions or duvets, the exhibitor Willems Packaging came up with a green solution. With recycled packaging, the Dutch manufacturer wants to contribute to a sustainable circular economy. For this he offers various types of recycling bags made of various materials. Cotton or cardboard is reused in the bags as well as polyethylene and other plastics. Popular formats can already be delivered in small quantities.

New design made of used plastic

Plastic alternatives were also presented on the special areas of interzum. In the material hub at the Piazza "Mobile Spaces" the Stuttgart-based design office Khalil presented high-quality new surfaces made of plastic waste. "RePlastic" is a versatile product made from used plastic that is shredded into small granules using a specially developed machine. The further processed material is suitable, for example, for use in electric vehicles or architectural projects.

Innovative and inspiring: A look back at interzum

28 May 2019

interzum 2019 drew to an end with outstanding results. The world’s leading trade fair for furniture production and interior design was a source of inspiration for the design of future living spaces.

For four full days, interzum presented the technical, haptic and visual refinements with which tomorrow’s furniture will set new standards. With 1,805 exhibitors from 60 countries, more companies than ever before showcased their innovations across the exhibition areas. Out of a total audience of 74,000 visitors, over 55,000 came from outside Germany.

"Disruptive Materials" Piazza at interzum 2019. © Koelnmesse

Hotspot and meeting place

In its anniversary year, interzum mastered the balancing act of being an industry meeting place for trade visitors on the one hand and a hotspot for the creative professions on the other. manufacturers, architects and designers were able to discover a host of innovative materials and production processes. A diverse range of special event areas on materials and surface design, digital products, smart systems and mobile living spaces presented a broad spectrum of future issues.

Lecture in the Forum from Yasmine Mahmoudieh, © Koelnmesse

interzum award: future-oriented products

Future-oriented are the award-winning products of interzum award, which was held for the tenth time already – this year with an increase in the number of registrations. Participants from 22 countries entered their products, product refinements, materials and innovations. The awards show the global megatrends that drive the industry. Groundbreaking topics such as sustainability, flexibility or multi-functionality play a decisive role in many of the award-winning new products. The category “Tiny Spaces” featured in the award for the first time, with interzum recognising and responding to the trend of small-space living.

Winner of the interzum award 2019, © Koelnmesse

A forecast of tomorrow’s living spaces

With versatile special event areas, talk and discussion areas, piazzas and workshops, interzum 2019 provided a forecast of tomorrow’s living spaces. How will we live and work in the future? How will we get around and what vehicles will we use? Answers were found in the presentations at the trade fair: with environmentally friendly materials, with more comfort on smaller living spaces, with flexible solutions for more mobility and with digital tools that further simplify life. The standout themes this year that will set the direction of future developments were the continuing rise of individualisation, energy efficiency and sustainability, light (LED), digitalisation (including voice control), micro living and “slide and hide”.

The next interzum will take place from 4 to 7 May 2021 in Cologne.

Groundbreaking Design: VDID Newcomers’ Award 2019

24 May 2019

Winner: „CAPTin_Kiel" - Clean Autonomous Public Transport, © Jingyue Chen, Tobias Gehrke, Simeon Ortmüller, Yigang Shen, Vincent Steinhart-Besser

Up-and-coming talents for the future of industrial design are presenting their work at interzum 2019 in Cologne. The presentation of the VDID Newcomers’ Award 2019 takes place on 24 May as part of the VDID Industrial Design Day.

Outstanding student achievements

The VDID Newcomers’ Award honours outstanding student achievements and offers aspiring industrial designers a platform and support for a successful start to their careers. The jury was looking for the best student projects and final degree assignments completed at German universities between 2017 and 2019. The entrants were free to choose their own theme, with work from all areas of product and industrial design accepted. From 198 submissions by young designers from 30 universities, the jury selected four equally ranked recipients of the main prize and awarded the accolade honourable mention to four further projects.

Winner: „pure“ – mobile dialysis machine, © Anna-Lena Gölz

The prize winners of the VDID Newcomers’ Award 2019

Jingyue Chen, Tobias Gehrke, Simeon Ortmüller, Yigang Shen and Vincent Steinhart-Besser for „Captin_Kiel - Clean Autonomous Public Transport“, Anna-Lena Gölz for her final bachelor’s project „pure“, a mobile dialysis machine developed with the support of KfH Nierenzentrums Erlangen, Jan Christian Schulz for „Moorwerk“. The special prize „Light In Product Design“ goes to Lars Herzog, Lina Pfannstiel and Benedikt Schneeberg for their integrated lighting solution for a riot police helmet.

Further information can be found here .

Winner: „Moorwerk“, © Jan Christian Schulz

Winner: integrated lighting solution for a riot police helmet, © Lars Herzog, Lina Pfannstiel, Benedikt Schneeberg

At a glance: Special areas at interzum

20 May 2019

Piazza "Mobile Spaces": Concept „Individual Autonomy“ powered by KHALIL Design

With numerous special areas, interzum will show the future of furniture production and interior construction. An overview of the diverse event program.

interzum is an opportunity for the supplier industry to reveal all its innovative power. In addition to the innovations of the international exhibitors, there are numerous special areas for global megatrends and future-oriented developments in the industry. The leading industry platform is thereby an important source of inspiration for designers, architects, product developers and other planners.

Piazza „Disruptive Materials – Changing the Future“

In hall 4.2, the Berlin trend forecasting agency Haute Innovation will showcase some of the latest materials innovations and disruptive technologies at the trade fair. The exhibition will be divided into four main areas of focus: biological transformation, resource efficiency and sustainability, digital and smart materials, and production-related materials innovations. Featuring over 100 exhibits across roughly 400 square metres.

Piazza "Disruptive Materials": Material using potato waste, © Chip[s] Board®

Piazza „Trends in Surfaces & Wood Design“

The piazza in hall 6.1 will be highlighting how innovative surface materials broaden the range of options available to the industry. Trend expert Katrin de Louw will concentrate pioneering developments in interior architecture and furniture design into one area here. The piazza is divided into sections addressing the key words “Sustainability”, “Customised”, “Haptic”, “Lightweight”, “Digital Printing”, “Anti-Fingerprint” and “Wood & Stones”. It is not just wood and materials that will be presented in the special exhibition, but also related product groups such as furniture handles or upholstery and decorative fabrics.

Piazza „Trends in Surfaces & Wood Design“

Piazza „Mobile Spaces“

Visitors will have the opportunity to experience innovative solutions for life in mobile living environments. All the trends in the mobile sector are highly relevant to interzum because new materials and innovations in function, machinery and lightweight design are required to put them into practice. The special event area in Hall 10.1 will host impressive exhibits and highlight examples from the Maritime, Aircraft, Railway and Automotive areas. The „Mobile Spaces material hub“ in the centre of the piazza will look even further ahead into the future. The world of materials as the link that joins will be presented by KHALIL design.

Piazza "Mobile Spaces": Car concept "Dark Teaser", © KHALIL Design

Special area „Tiny Spaces – Living in compact homes“

Living space is becoming increasingly scarce in the world’s congested urban areas. How comfort can be combined with small living spaces is and will remain a highly relevant issue. interzum has attracted a range of high-profile companies to appear in the special area on the Boulevard: Atim, Blum, Hettich, Häfele and Pessotto will present their responses to the specific requirements of living in tiny spaces.

Special area "Tiny Spaces": Study for a micro apartment, © Hettich

Piazza „Digitalization: Focus on Consumer Trends!“

How can the expectations of furniture production and interior design be served by means of digitalisation? interzum 2019 addresses these questions in its new piazza in hall 3.2. This is where interzum’s exhibitors will showcase a product or service they offer, or a best-practice example from their everyday business. Physical products with digital components will be presented, as will new business models and solutions in which digitalisation influences design, production, sales, logistics or recycling.

Piazza „Digitalization: Focus on Consumer Trends!“

Special area „Digital Printing“

The broad spectrum of potential uses of digital printing will be shown also in hall 3.2 in a demonstration - ranging from the design concept to the finished piece of furniture and thus including all the important process steps required for the integration of this groundbreaking technology into furniture production and interior design. The entire process will therefore be shown, from the choice of decoration and its transfer into the computer programs to the actual printing stage and the subsequent finishing step. There will also be a presentation of a selection of leading specialists in the field.

Special area „Digital Printing“: Pattern wood decor, © Hymmen

You will find the complete event program here .

interzum 2019: trends and innovations

16 May 2019

"Tiny Spaces" concept by Hettich, © Hettich

From 21 to 24 May 2019 interzum presents pioneering innovations for homes and interior design. International exhibitors will present new materials and functions at the largest event for the supplier industry. We will take a look at some exciting novelties in advance - this time in the "Function & Components" segment.

New openness: the merging of living worlds

The boundaries between the different areas of the home have been eroding for some time. The increasing fluidity of transitions is having an effect on systems, fittings and lighting. Many exhibitors at interzum 2019 are focusing on flexible design elements that act as the foundation for a consistent home architecture. One example of this trend is the new Schüco Openstyle system, which allows spaces to be flexibly joined or subdivided in line with requirements and the current living situation. “OpenUp” is Vauth-Sagel’s slogan for its interzum appearance. The storage specialist will premiere solutions for all areas of the home at the fair. Highly flexible also sums up the presentation by Hettich, a specialist in functional fittings, who will present multifunctional new products for different living situations.

"Alu Competence" system by Schüco, © Schüco

Miniaturisation: Components are getting smaller

Increasing flexibility and multifunctionality in furniture is going hand in hand with rising standards for the design of technical solutions. In this context, the miniaturisation of fittings technology and components such as control and lighting elements continues to play a major role. At interzum, Kesseböhmer will present a new flap fitting that is significantly different to the previous standard solutions on the market in its dimensions, design and functions. Lighting furniture manufacturer Gera is also devoting its energies to miniaturisation. Its stand will feature luminaires that can be integrated into furniture almost invisibly. German start-up ambigence is taking advantage of this year’s interzum to present a completely new product category. It starts from a simple principle: instead of seeing the furniture panel and fittings as two separate components, they are conceived as a single unit.

"LightBox" by Gera, © Gera Leuchten

Optimal utilisation: greater comfort in limited space

A further issue that many exhibitors at the forthcoming interzum are addressing is increasing urbanisation. With growing numbers moving to cities, living space is in increasingly short supply, especially in major conurbations, and rents and house prices are soaring as a result. This trend calls for optimal utilisation of the available floor space and components to provide more space per square metre. The latest solutions here include intelligent storage solutions, such as Kesseböhmer’s “urban smart kitchen“. Other exhibitors like Hettich are showing new concepts for mini-apartments. As a world novelty, the company raumvonwert is showing a foldable staircase for small living areas that is modular, individually adaptable and versatile. A special event area at the trade fair will highlight the development potential that the intensifying shortage of living space presents: a number of exhibitors will showcase new concepts and solutions in the “Tiny Spaces – Living in Compact Homes“ Piazza. To accompany the Piazza, London-based star architect Yasmine Mahmoudieh will present her experience of working with tiny spaces and discuss the future requirements that will apply to this field in a talk on Tuesday 21 May 2019.

The innovations on display at the forthcoming interzum will determine the components and functions for the design of tomorrow’s interiors. An overview of the exhibitors from the "Function & Components" segment can be found in the exhibitor search .

"Klappster" modular system, © raumvonwert

"Open Up" by Vauth-Sagel, © Vauth-Sagel

interzum 2019: trends and innovations

15 May 2019

Design "Eiche Vital“ by Stainer, © Sunwood Stainer

From 21 to 24 May 2019 interzum presents pioneering innovations for homes and interior design. International exhibitors will present new materials and functions at the largest event for the supplier industry. We will take a look at some exciting novelties in advance - this time in the "Materials & Nature" segment.

Many consumers today expect their living environments to both look and feel good, and to be tailored to their individual needs and wants. Therefore the importance of the material dimension of design is growing, and with it attention is focusing on surfaces – a trend clearly in evidence at this year’s interzum. The diversity of new decors and surfaces that will be on display at the trade fair is almost limitless. New or rediscovered materials and combinations, as well as innovative manufacturing processes, have paved the way for these developments. Digital printing enables unique patterns while soft-touch or anti-fingerprint effects ensure an excellent look and feel that lasts.

New surface "ST20 Metal Brushed“ by Egger, © Fritz Egger GmbH & Co. OG

Reproducing: wood stays trendy

Reproducing materials remains especially popular in laminated surfaces. Imitating the appearance of very different woods is a trend that shows no sign of stopping and one that appears today in many different forms. Manufacturers like Egger are responding to current demand for striking, rustic woods with new synchronised pore surfaces with the look of old wood. Screen printing and digital printing specialist Stainer will have extra-large-format wood decors on display at its stand at interzum 2019. Its six-by-two metre panels with the look of different deciduous woods are suitable for walls and flooring. In the field of digital reproductions, the influence of matt, metallic-look surfaces is growing. The Viscora® Supermatt metallic coloured lamination film by Austrian exhibitor Hueck Folien is an example of this trend, as is a new surface by Egger that imitates the look and feel of finely brushed metal.

aerowood® lightweight panel, © Sperrholzwerk Schweitzer GmbH

Focus on sustainability

Consumers want the interior design of their homes to be as contaminant-free as possible, and many are also seeking to minimise their ecological footprints. Eco-friendly materials and furniture components are therefore a crucial point of focus for many exhibitors at the forthcoming edition of interzum. Among them is wood processing company Swiss Krono. It will be showcasing BE.YOND, the world’s first biobased chipboard that meets the most stringent indoor air quality requirements. As a renewable, carbon-neutral recyclable material, wood plays a major role in lightweight design and furniture construction. Austrian plywood manufacturer Sperrholzwerk Schweitzer will have aerowood® on display in Cologne. The lightweight panel is resource-efficient, extremely light and available in any dimensions.

Organoid Upcycled Swarovski, © Organoid Technologies GmbH

Natural materials

“Nature is here” is Proadec’s slogan for its showcase. Its new, exceptionally environmentally friendly edge banding will be on display at the trade fair. Another key area of focus at interzum will be biobased plastics. Among the innovations on show in this category are fittings by Swedish exhibitor Ackurat and a new launch by Oskar Lehmann, whose product portfolio includes cable guides for desks. Sustainability can result in great creativity, as Austrian manufacturer Organoid will demonstrate at its stand: natural surfaces produced from hay or moss are made to sparkle with upcycled Swarovski Zirconia gemstones.

Veneer collection Gamperana Triplex by Alpi, © Alpi S.p.a.

Sonae Arauco offers creative freedom with a variety of wood-based materials, © Sonae Arauco Deutschland GmbH

Versatile Marino collection by ServiCanto, © ServiCanto S.L.

Swiss Krono presents technologically advanced, ecological wood-based materials, © Swiss Krono GmbH

Stay flexible: individualisation is the new standard

The desire for solutions that are as individually tailored as possible is transforming consumers’ expectations of their lives and homes. This shift has prompted many exhibitors to present new products that allow interiors to be adapted to personal requirements. The new Innovus collection by Portuguese wood-based materials manufacturer Sonae Arauco is one of the products that promise design freedom. With five new finishes and around 100 new decors, it opens up a multitude of possible combinations and applications. The Marino collection by Spanish exhibitor ServiCanto is similarly versatile and can be paired with different types of surfaces. A unique interpretation of classic wood surfaces makes the new product on show from Italian manufacturer Alpi a standout. Its Gamperana Triplex veneer collection is a collaboration with designer Martino Gamper. Instead of appearing in isolation, the veneer sheets are grouped in threes, paving the way for highly original compositions. Praveedh Décor, based in Mumbai, India, has expanded the colour spectrum of its acrylic prelaminated boards: its new product OpuLux Fantasy is available in multicolour designs that can be adapted to customer preferences.

The innovations on display at the forthcoming interzum will determine the materials and surfaces for the design of tomorrow’s interiors. An overview of the exhibitors from the "Materials & Nature" segment can be found in the exhibitor search .

Micro Living: Interview with Yasmine Mahmoudieh

9 May 2019

Yasmine Mahmoudieh

With her studio in London, Yasmine Mahmoudieh is one of the world's most renowned architects and interior designers. Her work includes projects for well-known international hotels and companies as well as design for the Airbus A380. At the upcoming interzum, she will give a lecture about future-oriented micro apartments. We talked with her about the importance of materials and challenges for the living spaces of tomorrow.

Yasmine Mahmoudieh, where do you see the biggest challenges in terms of the living spaces of the future?

Talking about future living, materials have with the current developments in design and architecture even more meaning and necessity today. In the past many office spaces or hotels looked the same, it was all very predictable. Today the requirements are more complex – designs have to be unique and authentic. Therefore there is a growing need to research unusual and also sustainable materials.

Five + Sensotel by Yasmine Mahmoudieh

What do you currently see as the dominating trends regarding materials?

In general I think materials have more functions than just the beauty of the look. I always had interest in materials that either be natural or recycable. In the world we live today it is very important to look at our ecological footprint. There are so many exciting materials from banana leafs, resins, old bottles or other residues that we used. I think that such materials have a big future. It’s a little bit like the organic food. In the beginning it was very expensive and nobody really was consuming it and now it’s everywhere in the supermarkets. With materials it is the same – once the melt is growing there will be more ecological materials used for design or architecture. Interzum is a great fair to showcase that and to help planers to find and source such materials and hopefully use them.

Micro Apartment 26 sqm, © Yasmine Mahmoudieh

At the upcoming interzum, you will give a lecture about a micro apartment. What is the concept behind it?

In the future the majority of human beings will live in cities. So there is a big challenge in the way we build them. That’s why we talk about things such as micro apartments today. Spaces will have more quality of life but at the same time will get smaller. It’s a trade of quantity and quality. You can have big spaces if you don’t live in the city centre, only if you live outside. But if you have to work or you want to meet people you have to live in the city. Therefore living spaces will get smaller, but smarter and better designed. Developer have to think about how to attract people by looking on what is happening in a building, how to live and work there. The requirements are totally changing.

What are the main requirements today?

The rapidly growing of mini apartments woldwide has also another reason than to offer small spaces in city centres that are affordable. They address the issue of ‘loneliness’ of our digital society. People are thirsty for human interaction, in a world dominated by social media and technology. People trade bigger private spaces off to smaller spaces with shared common facilities as lounges, Coworking spaces, restaurants, gyms, libraries, cinema rooms etc. Community managers are making sure that people Interact and connect.

„Digital Detox“, Sleep & Eat London 2018, © Yasmine Mahmoudieh

Which functions and furniture are gaining importance for smaller living spaces?

I worked with Airbus and by designing the interior of a plane you have to discuss about millimetres. In the living sector it’s becoming a bit like this. We have to find clever furniture that is multifunctional, that use the space in a much better way. Obviously materials are in micro apartments even more important, because you are very close to anything. You see everything in vicinity. I think we also have to change the mood of spaces. There are digital tools that you can use for it, but there is also lighting that can change from day to evening. I want to integrate lighting and sound into living spaces. Can you replicate nice natural sounds in a city apartment? How can you filter clean air? You have to think more about the wellbeing of the inhabitants.

What do you expect from the upcoming interzum?

We are in a time where progress, development, innovation and new ideas are accelerating. So I’m really looking forward to interzum this year, because I’m always searching for new materials. It’s a great opportunity to have a trade fair that will show innovative products and solutions across the world and at the same time will look at future-oriented topics like digitalization, sustainability or urbanization.

More informations you will find here

Micro Apartment 26 sqm by Yasmine Mahmoudieh

Micro Apartment 26 sqm by Yasmine Mahmoudieh

Micro Apartment 26 sqm by Yasmine Mahmoudieh

Guided Tours for trade visitors

7 May 2019

To give trade visitors a quick overview of innovative new products, the upcoming interzum offers free Guided Tours. The tours will contain various topics and be conducted in English

International exhibitors will present innovative new products for the design of tomorrow at the upcoming interzum. From 21 to 24 May the trade fair will feature numerous product premieres and trend-setting innovations in its three segments. To give visitors a quick and efficient overview of the diverse range of topics, the fair offers Guided Tours in English. The tours will be last approx. 1.5 hours and each deal with novelties from a trade fair segment. In addition, there will be a daily tour to selected interzum event areas.

Below are the tours with times and main topics:

Tuesday, 21.05.2019

9:30 a.m. Follow the red line – SELECTED SPECIAL AREAS

11:30 a.m. Materials & Nature – TOPIC: SMART SURFACES

2:00 p.m. Function & Components – TOPIC: MERGING LIVING WORLDS


Wednesday, 22.05.2019

9:30 a.m. Follow the red line – SELECTED SPECIAL AREAS

11:30 a.m. Materials & Nature –TOPIC: ECO MATERIALS

2:00 p.m. Function & Components – TOPIC: SMALL ROOMS BIG


In order to ensure the highest possible benefit for visitors, the number of participants is limited to 20 persons, first come - first serve! The registration takes place at the interzum in the Service Center on the Nordboulevard. Please arrive at the Guided Tour Counter until approx. 15 minutes before the start of the tour to register for the required reception technology. To receive a pre-registration for the tours is only possible on the respective fair day!

Here you will find more information.

Three questions to Katrin de Louw

29 Apr 2019

Katrin de Louw

At interzum 2019, Katrin de Louw is designing a multifaceted special event on material and surface trends. We spoke with the trend expert about the importance of materials and groundbreaking topics for the furniture design of tomorrow.

Katrin de Louw, with the ‘Trends in Surfaces & Wood Design’ piazza you are designing your own special area for interzum 2019. Which future-oriented topics and developments are you focusing on in particular there?

For us it’s obviously all about materials and surfaces. We are presenting the latest products by our exhibitors and giving an overview of the most important topics. In addition to the wood types, modern textures, colours, designs and decorations, the feel of the products also plays an important part, and these can be experienced in exhibits and furniture on the piazza. Topics such as sustainability, anti-finger print, digital printing and lightweight construction will also be explored on the piazza. And we are looking forward to integrating textiles for the first time too.

interzum 2019: 'Trends in Surfaces and Wood Design' Piazza, © Koelnmesse

What role do surfaces play in the latest furnishing trends?

Surfaces are key in the first impression made by furniture and interiors, and as we know, there are no second chances when it comes to first impressions. The importance of materials, and thereby also of the surface, continues to grow. Only with the right surface can I compete in the market and produce appealing interior design today. Design trends are also being driven forward to a great degree by technical trends as well as by the emotional impression.

How do you generally rate a trade fair such as interzum as a platform for innovation and inspiration?

Only those who make an effort to stay up to date can discover new things and take advantage of opportunities. But that doesn’t always have to involve huge innovations. Sometimes it’s enough to combine old technology with new materials, or the other way around. In future, we will see the topics of sustainability and cutting-edge technology merging even further, and here at the trade fair people can find inspiration as well as expand their network in order to make innovations possible – also for themselves and their own work.

Here you will find more information.

Workshop: Innovations in wood-based materials

23 Apr 2019

Well-known format, new concept: The wood-based materials innovation workshop will be dealing with exciting developments in the industry before the upcoming interzum. This time the workshop itself is innovative.

One day before interzum's start, the wood-based materials innovation workshop on 20 May looks forward to ambitious research projects and fascinating applications. Together with Koelnmesse, the Association of the German Wood-Based Materials Industry, the IHD Dresden and the Fraunhofer WKI invite you to a traditional exchange of ideas. Even before the beginning of the leading international trade fair, the industry is experiencing the innovations that the wood-based materials industry has to offer.

Wood foam-metall hybrid material, © Fraunhofer WKI

Innovator pitches for novelties

Currently relevant innovations for surfaces, adhesives or process optimization will be highlighted in the workshop by experts and subsequently evaluated together. The event itself is innovative this year. Particularly interesting novelties are presented in short pitches. Who can convince the audience in a short time of his idea? Emerging technical questions can be discussed between the pitches.

KAV Award

The KAV Award is presented annually at the workshop by Förderverein Holzwerkstoff- und Holzleimforschung. Not only the prize money, but also internships in the wood-based materials industry will be awarded this year to outstanding student theses.

Wood-based materials innovation workshop at interzum 2017, © Koelnmesse

Dialogue and discussions

In the course of the workshop, two keynote speeches will shed light on the expectations of the wood-based materials and furniture industry. Dr. Jan Bergmann, Chairman of the Board of the Association of the German Wood-Based Panel Industry (VHI) and Jan Kurth, Managing Director of the Main Association of the German Wood Industry (HDH), comment on the same theses from different perspectives. At theme tables with moderators and in the subsequent panel discussion, the audience can discuss the different theses. A final TED vote among all participants then tries to find out where the trends in quality, raw materials, adhesives, application and health lie.

The workshop will be held in German language. More information about this workshop you will find here .

Focusing on consumers: „Digitalization“ Piazza at interzum

8 Apr 2019

© Koelnmesse

With a new special area, interzum 2019 explores various ways that the megatrend digitalization is having an impact on living environments. The “Digitalization“ Piazza captures the diversity of the topic and specific ways it can benefit customers.

In many aspects, the effects of digitalization are evident in consumers’ living spaces. They range from the digitalisation of the furniture industry and the new experiences on offer when choosing and buying interior fittings, right through to innovative business models. As a determining trend of our time, the upcoming interzum dedicates an own special area to the topic. The “Digitalization“ Piazza was designed in partnership with DC digitalconnection, an agency that specialises in digital transformation.

© Koelnmesse

Three trend areas

The outline for the “Digitalization“ Piazza is “service design”. Three areas will represent each a global consumer trend, to show interior designers, furniture manufacturers and retailers how they can fulfil customer requirements. The first area focuses on conscious, sustainable living. The topics here include solutions for smaller living spaces, furniture hire and sharing models as well as sustainable production, utilisation and recycling. Another trend is the individualisation of living spaces and the personalisation of furniture. The key aspects of this sub-trend are modular furniture concepts, sensors for individualised products and new experiences for the processes of choosing and producing furnishings. The third sub-trend addresses digitalisation in the context of furniture and accessories. Robots, Sensors and smart home technology can control a range of functions within the home.

© Koelnmesse

Versatility and benefits for customers in focus

For Tanja Kruse Brandão from DC digitalconnection, it is particularly important to capture the diversity of the topic and the specific ways it can benefit customers. “Our aim is to work together with the exhibiting companies to show how the digital revolution can be harnessed in order to meet customer expectations – not just in terms of product development but also in the areas of production, sales and recycling,” says Brandão. The exhibitors at the piazza present their digital solutions, which are responses to international consumer trends. As well as physical products, there are also new business models and solutions that use digital tools to improve the design, production or sales process.

Opportunity for improvements

“At this piazza, we are seeking to provide a combination of promising ideas and examples of best practice,” says Maik Fischer, Director of interzum. “We are not presenting digitalisation as an end in itself. It is a tool that makes it possible to cater for customer requirements more effectively,” Fischer explains. “Ultimately it is an opportunity to make improvements to fulfil current consumer requirements regarding sustainability, individualisation, comfortable living and convenient shopping.“

More informations:

Three questions to NUMAH

3 Apr 2019

Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali and Adrian Sierra Garcia, © NUMAH

Which trends are architects, designers and adjacent disciplines focusing on in terms of materials and surfaces? Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali and Adrian Sierra Garcia recently joined forces creating NUMAH for projects in the fields of architecture, design and art. We spoke with them about new materials and the upcoming interzum 2019.

Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali and Adrian Garcia, with backgrounds in architecture and design, on the one hand, as well as architecture and art, on the other, where do you currently see exciting trends in the field of materials and surfaces?

Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali: There are of course a lot of developments that we consider very interesting, for example the integration of new technologies in surfaces, or new perspectives on the production, use and sustainability of materials. Personally, I am especially intrigued by the use or re-use of natural materials. If you think of fungus-based materials: it feels almost like creating resources out of nothing; they can be used in very different ways and forms, including monolithic shapes which I am interested in. The need for ecological solutions can be a driver for very positive innovations.

Adrian Sierra Garcia in collaboration with Carbondale, Paris: BMW Manhattan Showroom, New York, © Carbondale

How important are materials and surfaces for your own work?

Adrian Sierra Garcia: With many years of combined experience in architecture, interiors, art and design, we have recently joined forces for specific interior and architectural design projects. I am intrigued by Yasmineʼs poetic, 'sexy-functional' interior and furniture designs, where new composite materials and surfaces seamlessly meet and match with soft leathers to create large volumes that sculpt space in an artistic way. My own projects often rely on sophisticated, intelligent light or video technology like addressable LEDs, combined with translucent glass or plastic to create functional spaces that are playful and that stimulate people in profound ways. We are eager to explore new potentials mixing light, art and new technologies to create surfaces that are truly alive and aesthetically surprising.

Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali/YBDD: Bench, textile surface with Gabriela Reumer, © Patricia Parinejad

Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali, looking back on your visit at the last interzum and with a view to the future: What do you expect from the upcoming interzum 2019?

Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali: One strength of the fair, from my point of view, is clearly the variety and diversity of big and small exhibitors which present themselves very close to each other. You can get a very good overview of new developments, from materials and specific details to holistic implementations. Especially new materials were and are very interesting for me and I am curious to see the next steps, as they might always help to find solutions for current designs as well as give inspirations for new ones in the future.

NUMAH is a new collaboration between Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali and Adrian Sierra Garcia.Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali is an architect and designer based in Berlin. With her studio YBDD she focuses on furniture and interior design; in addition, she is founder of Benhadj & Djilali gallery for design and art. At interzum 2017 she was a participant of the guided tour for architects. Adrian Sierra Garcia is an architect and artist based in Tijuana (Mexico) and Berlin. He has realized international architecture projects and art installations in public space as well as at renowned art fairs.

Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali/YBDD: Imago Kamera gallery space, © Jan Peter Sonntag

Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali/YBDD: Soft Target – Hiding Space, with Justyna Popławska, © Annette Hauschild

Adrian Sierra Garcia/Oidem: "Of Two" light installation, Simone de Beauvoir footbridge, Paris, © Jaime Jacques

Mobile Spaces: interzum shows mobile living spaces of the future

1 Apr 2019

Glacier Express (interior: nose design experience), © Peter Hummel

With a special area, interzum is once again responding to one of the most exciting current issues – life in mobile living environments: The Piazza "Mobile Spaces" takes a look at innovative equipment for cars, trains, ships and planes.

Innovative equipment

In transport by land, sea, air or rail, people and their needs are the central focus of all of the Piazza „Mobile Spaces“. As an innovation driver in the supplier industry, interzum ventures a glimpse into the future with the special area. Innovative options for equipping mobile spaces in the areas of "Automotive", "Maritime", "Aircraft" and "Railway" will be presented.

© Nautilus Hausboote GmbH

Greater attention on interior design

The difference for furniture manufacturers and interior designers, however, lies in the fact that mobile technology and interiors place diverse and specific requirements on material characteristics , technology and safety. This is clearly revealed by an example from automotive engineering: with new assistance systems making driverless cars a reality, much greater attention is being paid to the design of the interior, which must increasingly take account of considerations that normally apply to the home and its comforts. This is also the case with rail and air transport, where the focus on travel comfort is intensifying as well.

Wide-ranging expertise of interzum exhibitors

“Many interzum exhibitors are already active in the interior design of mobile spaces, so we can call upon wide-ranging expertise in this field“, says Maik Fischer, Director of interzum. With the Mobile Spaces Piazza, we want to draw the attention of visitors from the automotive, cruise ship and aviation industries to these offerings because the interior design industry’s showcase at interzum is stronger and more innovative than anywhere else in the world.”

Project study "Tradition meets future" by Khalil Design

A look further ahead

A good example of interzum’s mobile expertise is its cooperation with the Furniture Club. A group of the Furniture Club’s members will furnish a model cruise ship cabin to demonstrate their potential to trade fair visitors. The „Mobile Spaces material hub“ in the centre of the piazza will look even further ahead into the future. The world of materials as the link that joins will be presented by KHALIL design. It will present an outlook for materials and the language of form that will set the industry’s future direction.

The "Mobile Spaces" piazza will be on display from 21 to 24 May at interzum 2019 in Hall 10.1.

Supported by interzum: conference

22 Mar 2019

Material, color and surface in design, interior design and architecture are the focus of The conference for design and innovation will take place on March 26th in Cologne and will be supported by interzum.

The interdisciplinary event is organized in the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Cologne and offers an innovation platform for design, technology and business. The all-day conference would like to give suggestions and help to expand your own network. It is aimed at designers, architects and interior designers, creative people from the worlds of business, science and politics. Students of the design disciplines are also invited.

Lectures and workshops inform about news from the fields of materials and production methods. Speakers include Prof. Paul Böhm (Cologne, Germany), Gerd Ohlhauser (Surface Yearbook), Ruth Pauli and Christian Dorn (NCS Color). The latter also lead the workshop "Color". The workshop on "Surface" will be moderated by Gerd Ohlhauser and Alexander Rybol. Other working groups are on the topics of "Digitalisation in trade and industry" and "Innovative Materials". Company partners are also presenting new products in a special format called "materials.frames" - including breathtaking textures and sensual surfaces.

With four hours, the is recognized as a training event for architects and interior designers from NRW.

Information and registration at:

Designerly exploration: an interview with Wolfram Putz from GRAFT

20 Mar 2019

Thomas Willemeit, Wolfram Putz, Lars Krückeberg of GRAFT, © Pablo Castagnola

With offices in Berlin, Los Angeles and Beijing, GRAFT is one of the most renowned architecture and design studios in Germany. We talked with the office partner and co-founder Wolfram Putz about materials and customization in architecture.

Wolfram Putz, GRAFT is active in the fields of interior and product design, but also in architecture and urban planning. What major trends do you see in materials and surfaces today?

We’re currently seeing less of a radical change of direction in the trends and more of an intensification of existing developments. Ideas such as rough luxury, health, re- and upcycling and performance in terms of environmental impact are still going strong. Corresponding certifications are in high demand on the market. Atmosphere also continues to play an important role, in particular a natural ambience. And that is all well and good, but we had hoped that the new plastics might lead to the re-emergence of a Barbarella-style euphoria for the future, like in the 60s. But the more differentiated message, namely that the material is recycled, is best communicated when the product has that look. We’ve yet to see a real paradigm shift in design. The same applies to the application of new technologies. If you think of conductive surfaces or curtain materials that can change their light transmittance for example, it is all happening very much in passing. It would be great if more designerly exploration were possible on the market.

GRAFT: Old Mill Hotel, Belgrade, Serbia, photo: Tobias Hein, Berlin

To what extent do you cooperate with manufacturers on product and interior design and perhaps also on the development of materials?

We’re doing a lot more product design than before, and we’re also collaborating with manufacturers. For example, at the moment we’re developing a carpet series for a large manufacturer and designing furniture and lighting, which is a field where there is tremendous technological progress in areas such as LED, OLED and so on. We’ve just developed a large light sculpture with a lighting manufacturer. But our work tends to consist of design as a specific stimulus that we present to manufacturers that are active in material development. Generally the volumes aren’t sufficient for this.

GRAFT: Showpalast Munich, © Stefan Müller-Naumann, by courtesy of EQUILA

Speaking of volumes, what role does customisation play?

That’s a big question. Rapid prototyping hasn’t quite lived up to its promise yet when you look at the costs. Fittings can be produced with 3D metal printing, but generally the right tool is made, and that feeds into the price. Warranty issues are also more difficult than with traditional manufacturing. A general development can be seen here, but it’s very product-dependent. Where the industry already has suitable possibilities, we make use of them. But we also do customisation in furniture in a very traditional way – with a carpenter and an upholsterer. That naturally depends on an architectural project’s function and its budget; different things are possible with a luxury hotel than in residential construction.

GRAFT: Drift Interprofil Lounge, © ipdesign

GRAFT: Bibliolongue, © Hiepler Brunier Architekturfotografie

GRAFT: Phantom Table, © Studio Hamm (for SZ Magazin)

Today digitalisation is a topic with a formative influence. To what extent is it already integrated in our living spaces in a very concrete form?

Digitalisation is influencing materials and production, but it is also having an effect on the hardware house. We’re observing growing demand – naturally we’re still talking about a high-end market when it appears in a very pronounced form. If a living room wall is to be turned into a giant LED screen, for instance, it’s a cost issue. Added to this are the very short amortisation periods because the hardware is obsolete after just a few years: the extreme speed of development is the driver of implementation and the brake on it at the same time. There’s also the problem of data harvesting, the secret “vacuuming up” of our personal information in the home or at work, for example via a networked fire alarm that doesn’t solely fulfil its real function by any means. Time will show whether growing awareness of these risks among consumers will ultimately put a limit on this development.

GRAFT was founded by Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit. Its offices in Berlin, Los Angeles and Beijing realise projects ranging from product design to urban planning. Together with Marianne Birthler, GRAFT curated the German Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018.

Higher comfort for less space: „Tiny Spaces“ Piazza

15 Mar 2019

Current study for Micro Living: Upartments, © PAB Architekten

From New York to Berlin to Tokyo – living space is expensive and in short supply in attractive urban areas. More and more people are having to make do with smaller homes. With its new “Tiny Spaces” Piazza, interzum is addressing this highly topical issue. Renowned exhibitors will present their answers to the specific requirements of living in tiny spaces.

Challenge for the furniture and interior design industry

The trend to less living space doesn’t necessarily have to mean sacrificing comfort in the home, and showing how is a challenge for the furniture and interior design industry. Traditionally crucial momentum for new developments in interior design has come from suppliers to the industry. And these suppliers are also playing a vital role in the use of space: real wonders in small-scale living can be achieved with the right fittings and new solutions that open up the space inside furniture.

Temporary living in a small area: Stay Kook Hotel, © SV Hotel AG

Solutions from renowned companies

As the world’s leading trade fair for suppliers to the furniture industry interzum has succeeded in securing a line-up of distinguished industry names to appear in the new Piazza “Tiny Spaces”: Atim, Blum, Hettich, Hommel, Häfele and Pessotto will demonstrate new solutions for living in compact homes. With a selection of different market-ready solutions, they have set out to make functionality the focus of attention. In a true-to-life presentation, visitors will be able to explore home living in miniature.

Space-saving solution: Micro Apartment by Häfele (2017), © Häfele

Interior design for the Kanso project in Frankfurt, © PAB Architekten

Monocabin - an example of a miniature home, © Monocabin

Surprising and multifunctional

Among the products on show at the “Tiny Spaces” Piazza will be an electric cabinet bed system with a folding sofa by Pessotto that combines living and sleeping in a single space-saving design. Fellow supplier Atim from Italy developed an item of furniture specially for the event that showcases ten different space-saving solutions. Blum want to show surprising solutions for living rooms, bathrooms and hallways – wich can be adapted to all needs, from large to small living spaces. Hommel will use the exhibition space to present a micro-apartment as a complete solution that visitors can enter and experience in all its functionality.

Link between customer needs and industry

“The Tiny Spaces Piazza acts as the link between customer needs and the furniture industry“, says Maik Fischer, Director of interzum. “Our exhibitors have an instinct for market needs. They develop solutions for these requirements and thereby enable furniture manufacturers to deploy functional and innovative components so that they in turn can produce innovative products.” Visitors of the “Tiny Spaces” Piazza will be able to test the different elements themselves and discover what “you need to furnish small spaces”.

Three questions to PJMARES

11 Mar 2019

The Belgian designduo PJMARES focuses on interior spaces and objects, combining a joyful aura with traditional craftmanship and architectural structural thinking. We talked with the two partners, Peter-Jan Scherpereel and Tom Mares, about materials, surfaces and customization.

Peter-Jan Scherpereel, Tom Mares, as designers especially of objects and interiors, where do you see current and exciting trends in the field of materials and surfaces?

Peter-Jan Scherpereel: We are always on the hunt for new materials and surfaces. To be fair, we aren’t following the trends as much as we should. But when we come across a new beautiful material or surface that meets our standards we use it. It’s quite exciting to see how this field has developed over the last years. Ecological aspects have of course gained importance, while at the same time the appearance has become quite diversified. The characteristics of materials, reaching from recycling to hi-tech in production and performance, can be chosen very precisely for a specific task, yet leaving the designer more aesthetic freedom than probably ever before.

How important are materials and surfaces for your own work? What do you focus on?

Peter-Jan Scherpereel: Materials and surfaces, their appearance and feel and their way of aging are very important to us. In our work, materials and surfaces are often used as a graphic communication layer that is put over the practical lines of our furniture. We love making unexpected combinations in texture as in colour, use traditional materials and processes in combination with hi-tech. Life should not be too dull.

PJMARES: Bar Sanba, Antwerp, © Peter-Jan Scherpereel

PJMARES: DWS desk, © PJS Photography

PJMARES: Dressoir, © PJS Photography

How important is customized design today, the possibility to produce singular furniture and objects for individual needs and tastes? You lately launched a very successful kitchen system which seems to rely on these aspects.

Tom Mares: We feel a great need with our clients to distinct themselves. We help them doing it by allowing our furniture to be 100 percent customizable. In the case of our NOMAX kitchen system we developed a modular metal system which acts as the backbone on which we can apply the typical PJMARES material combo’s that make it a very high-end, high performing and very personal kitchen.

The design duo behind PJMARES are Peter-Jan Scherpereel and Tom Mares. PJMARES was founded in 2014 and is located in Brussels, Belgium. PJMARES creates their own collection of discerning, timeless design and interiors and are the creators of the NOMAX kitchen system.

VDID Newcomers’ Award: Young designers wanted

5 Mar 2019

Koelnmesse promotes upcoming design talent. Together with the German Association of Industrial Designers, the trade fair company will be presenting the VDID Newcomers' Award at interzum. Young designers have until 20 March 2019 to submit their university projects.

Outstanding study achievements

The VDID Newcomers' Award honors outstanding study achievements. Aspiring industrial designers are thus supported in entering the profession. With interzum, Koelnmesse also offers young professionals an effective platform. Entries can be submitted in all areas of product and industrial design – from household and interior to industrial and office through to interface design. The award ceremony will take place on 24 May at interzum.

High level of design

“The submissions received every two years clearly demonstrate the high level of design education in Germany,” says Stefan Eckstein, VDID President. Together with his colleagues on the jury panel he is looking for the best student projects and final degree assignments at German universities from the years 2017 to 2019. At the end of the selection process, three equal main prizes will be awarded. There will also be a special prize for “Light in product design”.

Innovation requires cooperation

For Maik Fischer, Director of interzum, this way of fostering the next generation is hugely important: “Today, innovation requires cooperation between different disciplines, by which I mean a dialogue between development and application, between established companies and start-ups, between young and old.“ Therefore, interzum not only offers a worldwide unique platform for product innovations, but also an international industry forum. „We provide a forum in which a highly diverse range of people can meet on an equal footing“, says Maik Fischer, „even including industry representatives and the young talent who may go on to revolutionise the products of tomorrow.”

Further information and registration at:

interzum Future Lab: groundbreaking event in Zurich

21 Feb 2019

“The future starts here” – this is a promise that interzum has kept since its beginnings. The 60th anniversary oft he trade fair was now the occasion for a very special event, which took place in Zurich on 14th February. At the interzum Future Lab, press representatives from all over Europe met to take a look at the design of future living spaces together with internationally renowned experts.

Workshops for future questions

As the world's largest trade fair for interior construction and furniture production, interzum is an international platform for innovation. What is shown here shapes the lifeworlds of tomorrow and points to fundamental questions. What does living in 20 years look like? How will we move in the future? Which materials and functions shape the design and architecture of tomorrow? These and other topics of the future were the focus of the interzum Future Lab in Zurich. Various workshops invited to the inspirational discussions in the creative atmosphere of the Zurich coworking location Kraftwerk. It shed light on global megatrends that have a significant impact on the supplier and furnishing industry.

Varied range of topics

Following an introduction by Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management of Koelnmesse, internationally known architect Yasmine Mahmoudieh started the interzum Future Lab. In her keynote address, she looked at pioneering trends in the design of future living and working spaces with a focus on the use of exceptional materials. In the subsequent workshops, IT expert Dr. Gerd Wolfram showed the effects of digitization on the furniture industry and Dr. Sascha Peters presented innovations in the field of "Disruptive Materials" - both topics will be staged with their own special areas at the upcoming interzum. The future topic "Micro Living" was also presented by the architects Dr. Krista Blassy and Thiago Zaldini. In addition, the designer Christian Harbeke from the renowned Zurich studio Nose Design Experience was on hand, which presented innovative examples of mobile spaces.

A look ahead at the upcoming event

Overall, there was a wide range of topics, with which interzum once again underscored its aspiration as a future driver and incubator for innovations. “By engaging intensely with future issues and offering our visitors solutions to questions that may not arise until a future date, we create a consistent brand experience or the interzum feeling”, as Matthias Pollmann emphasized. At the same time, the interzum Future Lab gave an outlook on the upcoming event from 21 to 24 May 2019. Then Cologne will once again be the meeting point for the global supplier industry, to experience product premieres for the design of tomorrow.

Three questions to Sebastian Herkner

8 Feb 2019

Sebastian Herkner, photo: © Gaby Gerster

Sebastian Herkner, photo: © Gaby Gerster

Sebastian Herkner is among the most sought-after designers today. When he is designing objects and furniture for international manufacturers, he pays particular attention to the materials used. We spoke to him about the influences on his work and the connection between traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.

Sebastian Herkner, in your work as a designer, how important are materials and surfaces to the development of your designs and their characteristics?

The material is usually a fundamental consideration right at the start of my design process. The manufacturing technique or form of processing is naturally crucial here. The surface and colour go hand in hand with it and are decisive in the design’s character.

Das Haus, imm cologne 2016, photo: Koelnmesse

Das Haus, imm cologne 2016, photo: Koelnmesse

Your work combines an awareness of traditional processing techniques and materials with new technologies and finishes. What role does the manufacturers’ expertise – and by that I also mean their collaboration with you – play in this process?

As a designer, I am dependent on manufacturers. Together with the trades and artisans, they are important partners that turn my ideas into reality.

Home life, work and leisure are increasingly interlinked today in terms of both space and time. This trend is intensifying with the digitalisation of our living environments and increasing mobility. What do these phenomena mean for designers and their approaches?

These social changes have an immense influence on my work when I’m developing new approaches to furniture.I question typologies, structures and patterns of thinking, and develop new ones. Designers and their approaches have an enormous responsibility here.

Sebastian Herkner founded his studio in 2006. He designs furniture, lighting and objects for large numbers of international manufacturers. He also creates interiors and exhibition designs. Herkner produced “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” for imm cologne 2016 as the guest of honour at the interior business event.

DELIGHT glass table for Pulpo, photo: © Pulpo GmbH
CIRCO range for Ames, photo: Andreas Valbuena
SOAVE range for La Cividina, photo: © La Cividina

DELIGHT glass table for Pulpo, photo: © Pulpo GmbH

CIRCO range for Ames, photo: Andreas Valbuena

SOAVE range for La Cividina, photo: © La Cividina

interzum 2019: Digital printing in the spotlight

4 Feb 2019

© Hymmen GmbH

© Hymmen GmbH

“Individualisation” is today’s buzzword in furniture production. Technical innovations are absolutely central to the subject of individuality, and digital printing will play an important role here in the future. As a source of inspiration for the design of tomorrow’s living spaces, interzum is the ideal launch pad from which to present new, promising innovations such as digital printing to the industry.

Whether Industry 4.0, the latest facing materials or fabrics – in many cases they only serve one purpose: to make the end customer’s dream of a personalised home a reality. Digital printing is the key to the efficient production of furniture, fabrics or carpets whose finishes are individually designed according to the customer’s wishes. “The recent rapid development in the operational readiness and stability of digital printing has convinced us to give this topic more space at interzum, because the desire to use this technology is growing among our visitors,” says Maik Fischer, Director of interzum, confirming the emphasis placed on this theme.

© Hymmen GmbH

© Hymmen GmbH

In Hall 3.2’s edutainment area, the potential uses of digital printing will be shown in a highly practical demonstration ranging from the design concept to the finished piece of furniture and thus including all the important process steps required for the integration of digital printing into furniture production and interior design. The entire process will therefore be shown, from the choice of decoration and its transfer into the computer programs to the actual printing stage and the subsequent finishing step. In this way, visitors will discover how digital printing technology can be integrated into their processes to worthwhile effect. With this knowledge, visitors will gain valuable know-how with practical relevance.

© Hymmen GmbH

© Hymmen GmbH

“Digital printing gives furniture manufacturers, architects and interior designers the ability to respond quickly and flexibly to customers’ needs,” explains Dr Anke Pankoke from Hymmen GmbH. The mechanical and plant engineering business from Bielefeld will be one of the companies exhibiting at interzum 2019 and providing content for the edutainment area as supporting partners. “Koelnmesse’s decision to explain the individual steps that are necessary to successfully integrate digital printing into furniture production and interior design is extremely helpful for companies – and it’s allowing us to reach out to new customer groups,” continues Dr Pankoke.

Made to measure: 3D printing in the furniture industry

28 Jan 2019

Printed furniture surface “Radiolaria” by OceanZ and Lilian van Daal, © Manon van Daal

Printed furniture surface “Radiolaria” by OceanZ and Lilian van Daal, © Manon van Daal

The furniture industry discovered the benefits of 3D printing several years ago. Companies and designers are looking for new applications and experimenting with materials and shapes. But what opportunities and advantages does the process really offer? Current projects demonstrate the potential of 3D printing for interior design.

Many companies and designers in the furniture sector have been working with 3D printing for some time and have already gained initial experience. The technology can be used in many different ways – whether for the production of entire pieces of furniture or individual components. The advantages of the process are plain to see. There are hardly any limits to creative design, the choice of materials is more flexible and hardly any waste is produced. There are also advantages in the assembly and individual adaptation of furniture.

The large Swedish furniture store with a four-letter name has already used 3D printing for the production of knitted furniture and spare parts. The group is also planning a chair for online gamers whose 3D-printed seat can be adapted to the anatomy of the respective buyer. Similar examples can be found in the independent design scene. The Data Stool by Dutch designer Henri Canivez, for example, measures the size and shape of the individual user. The seat is then created by means of 3D printing using an algorithm.

The process appears to be especially predestined for individualised products like these. A current research project at the Institut für Holztechnologie Dresden (IHD institute of timber technology) is investigating a new suspension system for upholstered furniture using the fused filament fabrication process. The project aims to make it considerably easier to adapt the seating comfort to customer requirements.

Rapid Liquid Printing
Printed furniture surface
Dining set
Objects made of paper waste

“3D-FeSy” suspension system for upholstery in the printing process, © Institut für Holztechnologie Dresden (IHD)

Rapid Liquid Printing: 3D printing process for office furniture, © Steelcase

Printed furniture surface “Radiolaria” by Ozeanz and Lilian van Daal, © Manon van Daal

Dining set "Saul" with 3D printed connecting elements, © Jon Christie

Objects made of paper waste printed with the Paper Pulp Printer, © Beer Holthuis

One of the major advantages of 3D printing is its speed, which is constantly being optimised. “Rapid Liquid Printing” is the name given to one of the latest processes, which was developed last year by MIT Self-Assembly Lab researchers in cooperation with furniture manufacturer Steelcase. The new printing process builds up objects layer by layer in a gel-filled container. Its objective is to create structures much faster than with conventional methods in order to create more personalised office furniture.

3D printing is also increasingly being employed to reuse raw materials. Researchers at Michigan Technological University have developed a filament from recycled wood waste from the furniture industry for use in 3D printers. The aim of the project is to produce new furniture components from leftover wood scraps. The furnishing objects created by Dutch designer Beer Holthuis are made of recycled paper waste. His Paper Pulp Printer produces objects from paper pulp, which could be a sustainable alternative to plastic.

Biomimicry is the name designer Lilian van Daal has given to her chair project, which she developed together with the 3D printing company OceanZ. The chair is made of a single material, which is both stable and flexible and is inspired by microorganisms. The waste-free production of the chair requires no foams or adhesives.

The 3D printing process appears to be forward-thinking, particularly when it comes to the production of individual components. Scottish designer Jon Christie was one of the first to combine traditional furniture production with this new technology. Using connecting elements made in a printer, his wooden chairs can be assembled quickly and designed according to the customer’s wishes.

Many pieces of furniture produced using 3D printers are still laborious design experiments. But it looks like it’s only a matter of time before the additive process can also be used to produce inexpensive objects for mass use. Sustainability and waste avoidance considerations speak in its favour, as do the advantages of fast and personalised manufacturing.

3 questions for Daniel Trappen, kadawittfeldarchitektur

16 Jan 2019

Daniel Trappen kadawittfeldarchite

Daniel Trappen, kadawittfeldarchitektur © Carl Brunn

Which trends are architects and interior designers focusing on in terms of materials and surfaces? We spoke with Daniel Trappen from the prestigious architectural firm kadawittfeldarchitektur, asking him about the latest developments in these areas and what he is expecting from interzum 2019.

Daniel Trappen, in your opinion, what are the hottest trends at the moment in terms of materials and surfaces?

There has been a renewed focus on the texture and feel of materials and surfaces. Firstly along the lines of ‘hygge’ – a new level of cosiness – but also in terms of a natural feel that is accompanied by eco-friendly, sustainable approaches to design. These topics are becoming more and more important, not just in the domestic sphere but also in today’s working environments. Especially as new technologies facilitate the highly customisable design and planning of bespoke interior spaces.

kadawittfeldarchitektur: Neue Direktion, Cologne (DE) © Jens Kirchner

kadawittfeldarchitektur: Neue Direktion, Cologne (DE) © Jens Kirchner

How important are materials and surfaces in your own work? Some of your firm’s projects focus on recycling and follow cradle-to-cradle design concepts as well – might these developments also become more prominent in the interiors sector?

In the coming years, cradle-to-cradle and recycling concepts will occupy a lot of our attention. There is an ever-increasing focus on aspects such as reusability, recyclability and the purity of recycled materials. The trend for upcycling, although it may initially have been confined to the DIY sector, has been marketable for some time. Upcycling is now used in some industrial process structures. In addition to using existing recycled products, we see it as our role as designers to help encourage manufacturers to press ahead with the development of new innovations – by generating demand and offering to collaborate with manufacturers. With this in mind, we are interested in products that can be obtained from production waste. We want to utilise the positive properties of the materials. For example, sheet materials that are made by pressing the waste material from fabric production. These materials can be used as decorative felt panels, which have acoustic properties, or in board form for making furniture. Another example is bonded leather, which has a unique feel and texture and can be used as a sheet material or as a wall covering. We’re also interested in alternative products that are made of renewable resources, such as pineapple leather.

kadawittfeldarchitektur: Canteen building at the LWL-Klinik Dortmund (DE) © Andreas Horsky

kadawittfeldarchitektur: Canteen building at the LWL-Klinik Dortmund (DE) © Andreas Horsky

What are you expecting from the upcoming interzum, perhaps following on from your visit last time the fair was held?

We are hoping to discover more exciting new fields and to get some new food for thought. It is of course always interesting to have an update about what the market as a whole is doing in the area of materials and surfaces. But we are also curious to see whether some of the visionary ideas from the previous interzum have been taken further and made more professional – the area of recycling processes is just one example. And to see which new technologies are emerging – perhaps some of them will only recently have become marketable. In the past, we were particularly excited by interzum’s interdisciplinary approach, which involves exhibiting production techniques that originate from other sectors but have great potential to inspire and foster innovation within the interiors sector.

Daniel Trappen is Head of Interior Design at kadawittfeldarchitektur in Aachen. The specialisms of this prestigious firm range from interior design to urban planning and include residential and office buildings, trade fair projects and museums. At interzum 2017, Daniel Trappen participated in the guided tour for architects.

kadawittfeldarchitektur: DocMorris Headquarters, Heerlen (NL) © Andreas Horsky

kadawittfeldarchitektur: DocMorris Headquarters, Heerlen (NL) © Andreas Horsky

Innovative exhibition: the „Disruptive Materials“ Piazza at interzum 2019

20 Dec 2018

Disruptive Materials

Paper floor for temporary buildings, © Paprfloor

Young designers are increasingly addressing the worsening shortage of resources. They are reviving old craft techniques and using locally available raw materials. A special event area at interzum 2019 will demonstrate how a return to closed-loop material cycles could transform the world of design.

Scientists and other experts agree: we cannot continue to consume resources as we have been doing up until now. At our current levels of consumption, our way of life today probably cannot be sustained in coming generations. Young companies and designers are increasingly responding to this situation and addressing the threat of resource shortages. They are rethinking today’s material flows and recycling processes, and working to optimise the use and lifespan of resources. But instead of going down the high-tech route, they are reviving the almost forgotten knowledge of old craft techniques. For them, being aware of locally available plants and waste products is very important – this knowledge used to be handed down from generation to generation.

The special event area Disruptive Materials – Changing the Future at the upcoming interzum (21 to 24 May 2019) will be devoted to these materials and production methods. “The exhibition’s title draws on the term ‘disruptive technologies’,” explains Dr Sascha Peters. The renowned expert is curating the special event at the leading international trade fair together with his Berlin-based materials agency, Haute Innovation. “‘Disruptive technologies’ describes innovations that do more than merely bring about a shift in direction. They replace an existing system,” he says. The difference between disruptive materials and material innovations therefore lies primarily in the nature of the change that they produce. While innovations enable the further development of an existing market, the impact of disruptive technologies is much wider-reaching. For consumers, the effect of a disruptive change can usually only be felt after some time later. Just as the invention of LED lighting has gradually replaced the conventional light bulb, the materials on display in the special event area could have an immense impact on the design of furniture and interiors.

Disruptive Materials
Disruptive Materials
Disruptive Materials
Disruptive Materials

Rapid Liquid Printing: MIT and Steelcase developed a novel 3D printing process for furniture, © Steelcase

Volvo car interior with Bcomp components containing recycled plastic, © Volvo Car Group

Individual product for mass production: My Esel bicycle frame made of wood © My Esel

Laser sublimation from solid wood, veneer or any other desired organic material, © Strasser AG Thun

The Disruptive Materials Piazza will offer visitors at the forthcoming interzum insights into the large number of disruptive materials and technologies that are being developed and tested today. The exhibition is divided into four large themed areas. Alongside bio-based materials and natural growth processes, they will present solutions for improving product efficiency. The themed areas will also showcase digital materials and smart systems as well as production-related material innovations. The presentations will be accompanied by information on the materials’ characteristics, their applications and the product life cycles. The central focus will be on material flows, an aspect once overlooked entirely in mass production. The desire to create closed-loop material cycles is raising awareness of these developments, which could have a lasting influence on the world of interior design.

Piazza Surfaces & Wood Design: interzum 2019 puts the focus on surfaces

12 Dec 2018

Piazza Surfaces & Wood Design

Piazza Surfaces & Wood Design

interzum is the industry meeting place for new trends in materials and surfaces. At the upcoming event, visitors can experience the new products of exhibitors at first hand and explore a special event that highlights the latest developments in the field. The “Surfaces & Wood Design” piazza presents product solutions for interior architecture and the furniture design of tomorrow.

There is a broad and diverse range of new surfaces available for furniture and interior design. The upcoming interzum trade fair offers an exclusive overview for those looking for help navigating the growing number of new products. Numerous exhibitors will be presenting their latest products and innovations here. In addition, the trade fair is, once again, dedicating a special event to the topic of surfaces. The “Surfaces & Wood Design” piazza in Hall 06.1 will be highlighting how innovative surface materials broaden the range of options available to the industry. Trendsetting developments for interior architecture and furniture design are bundled in one area here.

Piazza Surfaces & Wood Design

Piazza Surfaces & Wood Design

The “Surfaces & Wood Design” piazza is curated by the interior architect and trend expert Katrin de Louw. With her agency Trendfilter® she has already been responsible for a special exhibition on the topic of surfaces at the last edition of interzum. “Our aim is to make it possible for people to experience the manufacturers’ latest developments at first hand, and to focus in particular on the most important from the great quantity of new developments,” says Katrin de Louw. To achieve this, she has further developed the area’s workshop feel: steel reinforcement mesh is used to stage the exhibits with a cool and casual look. Around large tables, visitors can experience and touch samples and prototypes, and gain a concentrated insight into the huge range of possibilities that the latest carrier materials and surfaces offer customers.

Piazza Surfaces & Wood Design

Piazza Surfaces & Wood Design

The piazza is divided into sections addressing the key words “Sustainability”, “Customized”, “Haptic”, “Lightweight”, “Digital Printing”, “Anti-Fingerprint” and “Wood & Stones”. It is not just wood and materials that are presented at the special exhibition, but also related product groups such as furniture handles or upholstery and décor fabrics. With the presentation/lecture stage now moved to Hall 04.2, the special event is now also significantly bigger compared to interzum 2017 – allowing visitors to experience even more of the great diversity of cutting-edge carrier materials and surfaces at the special exhibition and at the specialist presentations by renowned experts.

interzum 2019 on course for success

16 Nov 2018

interzum 2019

© Koelnmesse

What’s staying? What’s coming? From 21 to 24 May 2019, the upcoming interzum will again be addressing key industry issues. The variety of products and topics presented at the world’s leading trade fair for furniture production and interior design will increase again. More than 1,800 exhibitors are currently expected. That will mean that interzum has succeeded in increasing the number of exhibitors by around 300 companies in only 2 events. For 2019, Koelnmesse is expecting a high number of new exhibitors, and 14 percent of the companies that have already registered will be attending the trade fair for the first time.

“In combination with the continuing strong growth in exhibitor numbers, interzum has undergone further strategic development and is now more than ever the place to be,” says Matthias Pollmann. The Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse “interzum will provide new inspiration for the industry because we identify the relevant topics and add strong emotional appeal to them.” At the largest industry event worldwide, the most innovative products, new technological developments and innovations in materials are presented. In addition to global key players, the whole industry descends on Cologne to witness a whole host of product premieres – and to steal a glimpse of the future.

Piazza interzum

© Koelnmesse


Photo: © Koelnmesse

Forward-looking Topics that are currently making waves in the industry include the digitalisation of products and production methods, efficiency enhancements, resource conservation and sustainability, and tiny homes. At interzum you can find highly diverse answers to the market’s key questions in the products of the exhibitors. But the trade fair also delivers thematic inspiration through the piazzas, Next year, the focus areas of the piazza concept include the topics “Mobile Spaces” in Hall 10.1, “Surfaces & Wood Design” in Hall 6, “Disruptive Materials” in Hall 4.2, “Digitalization” in Hall 3.2, “Digital Printing” in Hall 3.2 and “Tiny Spaces” on the North Boulevard. In this way interzum generating stimuli for new ideas and discussion topics, making it a meeting point that invites networking.

“Our mission is an evolution of the trade fair”: An interview with Maik Fischer

12 Sep 2018

Interview Maik Fischer

© Koelnmesse

Maik Fischer became the new Director of interzum in April 2018. We spoke to him about new developments in the coming edition of the international fair for the furniture and interior construction industries' supplying sections, current issues affecting the industry and his ideas for the future of interzum.

Mr Fischer, you became the new Director of interzum in April 2018. Do you have any previous professional experience of materials, finishes and so on? Or is this an area in which you have a personal interest?

Both! On the one hand, I was previously the Director of the Mueble & Madera trade fair, which is part of the interzum family and is run by us at Koelnmesse in conjunction with a local partner in the Columbian capital, Bogotá. On the other hand, I have a great personal interest in the material qualities of furniture – and thus also for design, materials, finishes and so forth.

How do you plan to further develop interzum, and how will the trade fair be positioned in future?

In recent years, interzum has become the most important platform for communication and trade for the international furniture supplier industry – the team has done an excellent job in the past. My goal is to maintain this standard and build upon it. interzum must continue to be a place where the innovations of the furniture supplier industry are showcased to international visitors, where people meet and discuss the latest trends and developments.

Interview Maik Fischer

© Koelnmesse

What specific new developments will there be at the next edition of the trade fair, and how will they be realised?

We see our mission as an evolution of the trade fair, not as a revolution. In addition to what has already been mentioned, we will therefore carry out relatively small optimisations in terms of hall layout. We will also dedicate a new special exhibition area to the subject of digitalisation in order to highlight its impacts on suppliers and manufacturers in the industry. In terms of communication, we will make even greater use of social media – especially to address (potential) visitors. Here, we can reach the younger generation in particular more efficiently. We want to put more emphasis on the topic of living in tiny spaces as well. And, last but not least, we will be marking 60 years of interzum, and we’re going to make the celebrations fun – you’re in for a surprise.

interzum can look back on a very successful history. What opportunities and areas of potential or prospects for development do you see ahead for the trade fair?

In future, we will continue to pay special attention to reflecting global, social trends that influence the furniture industry. These include solutions for living in small spaces and for an ageing society. In addition, we want to showcase the latest developments in materials and carry on highlighting the implications of the digitalisation megatrend on furniture’s production and form. interzum’s slogan describes our central theme perfectly: the future starts here.

Maik Fischer

Maik Fischer, Director interzum © Koelnmesse

Smart textiles: an interview with Sabine Gimpel from the titv Greiz

27 Aug 2018

Smart Textiles

© titv Greiz

Smart textiles are expanding the possibilities in furniture construction and automotive engineering. The Institute for Special Textiles and Flexible Materials (titv) is a think tank for these kinds of new textile applications. We spoke with Sabine Gimpel, Head of Research Marketing, on the latest developments and future prospects in smart textiles.

Ms Gimpel, the titv Greiz conducts research with interdisciplinary teams on textile innovations. What key new developments are you seeing?

Textile companies in Germany are increasingly concentrating on technical textiles. There’s also now a stronger focus on smart textiles. At the titv Greiz, we mainly work on the development of electrically conductive textiles and special surface treatments and their applications – such as luminous, sensory or heating textiles. In our research fields smart textiles, functional surfaces and flexible materials, innovations are being developed for applications at all textile processing stages and for sectors such as automotive engineering and wellness.

Smart textiles is one of your research fields. What developments are you seeing on the market in relation to these products?

Research on smart textiles has been ongoing for more than 15 years, but only small numbers of products are available commercially. A large breakthrough is on the horizon in the field of sensory clothing for the health and wellness sector. Smart textiles – whether they are sensory, have an actuator function, are heating, luminous or interactive when combined with mobile devices and user-friendly apps – are set to conquer the market. The prerequisites for this are reliable products, market-ready technological solutions and cost-effective automated production.

What opportunities are new production methods such as 3D printing opening up for textile production and processing?

3D printing is almost something of an all-rounder already. Whenever individuality and samples or tiny quantities are required, 3D printing can be used in the idea generation process. For smart e-textiles, component housing or encapsulation are relevant areas.

What do the new developments in textiles mean for furniture production?

As with almost all products, function integration is also relevant to furniture construction. Textiles with sensory, luminous or heating functions can contribute to this.

And what opportunities do these kinds of textiles offer for automotive engineering?

The key issues in vehicle development today are new drive concepts and conserving resources. Closely related to them are electromobility and lightweight construction, and textiles will be an interesting material in these fields. Diverse activities in fibre-reinforced plastics are contributing towards this. The integration of sensor technology and actuator elements in textile structures can also contribute to further weight reduction through system integration. Touchless sensor systems offer further opportunities for use in cars. With various textile technologies, capacitive sensors can be constructed in such a way that EMG signals can be captured and evaluated without direct contact with the body. This opens up interesting approaches for driver assistance systems, in particular for avoiding accidents such as those caused by tiredness.

Trimmed to old: veneer trends 2018

17 Aug 2018

Distressed and rustic is the current trend for veneers.

Distressed and rustic is the current trend for veneers. © Initiative Furnier + Natur/Röhr GmbH

Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN) has examined the latest trends in real-wood veneers. Especially popular according to the experts are brushed, rough-cut, sandblasted, planewave and chopped looks – and with individual designs to the customer’s specification being very much on-trend.

Real-wood surfaces can tell a story. Furniture or floorings made from natural wood are enhanced by its patina. But old wood is often time-consuming to process and hence rarely available. Initiative Furnier + Natur has noticed that it is increasingly common to distress veneers for this reason.The thinly sliced, natural surface material is now available in a wide variety of different looks. The selection of individual surfaces currently ranges from knotty oak to dark walnut and the varying colour of Balkan oak through to spruce, Swiss pine and larch, both with and without knots.

End-grain veneer is all the rage in 2018.

End-grain veneer is all the rage in 2018. © Initiative Furnier + Natur/Schorn + Groh

With today’s veneers, there are no limits to the personal desires and preferences of the user, installer or moderniser. The natural surfaces are suitable for all imaginable applications in furniture making, flooring and interior construction. “At the moment, so-called end-grain or cross-grain veneer is all the rage. It has an extraordinary appearance because the annual growth rings of the tree can be easily made out,” explains Ursula Geismann, Executive Officer of Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN).

Classic, smooth veneers are also used in automotive manufacturing. Here, too, a wide range of looks are possible. New industrial processes are increasing the spectrum even further by incorporating features such as metal intarsias into wood surfaces. Previously this would have only been possible with labour-intensive handwork. A new level of design freedom can be achieved with 3D printing, which can produce organically shaped veneer elements, among many other possibilities. “Anything you like goes. The immense spectrum of veneer looks makes it hard to decide today,” says Ursula Geismann.

Hettich and Rehau: International Design Award 2018

2 Aug 2018

Cabi HettichRehau

„Cabi“ smart furniture for children Photo © Hettich/Rehau

interzum exhibitors Hettich and Rehau want to encourage the creative potential of students with the International Design Award. At this years competition a public voting over several weeks has choose the three winners. Award recipients were a smart furniture for children and two solutions for small rooms.

Making it to the top was a smart furniture idea for children's bedrooms that inspires children to play and clear up or which, later on, clears itself up so to speak with the aid of drones. The novel design was entered by Jia Min Luo, Kang Tian and Yi Fei Zhong who are studying at South China Agricultural University.

Moving cabinet HettichRehau

„Moving cabinets“, Photo © Hettich/Rehau

The small cabinet of the second-place winner „Moving cabinets“ provide the storage space that happens to be needed. The cabinet elements can be moved, flexibly adjust to suit any chosen use. The technically perfected idea also comes from China, from Fangyuan Cheng, a student at Nanjing Forestry University.

Third-place winner „Chair PF“ is a veritable allrounder. It can be used as a chair or bench, high desk or table. Equally as simple as it is impressive, this practical design comes from Daniel Diermeier who is studying at Pforzheim University in Germany.

Chair PF HettichRehau

„Chair PF“, Photo © Hettich/Rehau

Bright prospects for interzum 2019

16 Jul 2018


© Koelnmesse

Planning for the next interzum is in full swing – and things are looking exceptionally promising. From 21 to 24 May 2019, 5 per cent more exhibitors will be showing their new products at the largest international fair for the furniture and interior construction industries' supplying sections. The proportion of international exhibitors is expected to grow to around 80 per cent.

Koelnmesse, the organiser, is expecting more than 1,800 exhibitors from around the world for the next interzum. Around 13 per cent of the companies registered so far will be attending interzum for the first time. "The results of the first early booking phase make us very optimistic that we will achieve our goal of five per cent more exhibitors in total. For the time being, we can register growth from all over the world, especially from Turkey, Spain and India," says Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management. This will make interzum in the coming year not only the largest, but also the most international industry event for the furniture supply industry.

Alongside the industry’s big names, plenty of smaller, highly innovative companies will also be participating again at its 2019 edition. Exhibitors will once again use interzum to introduce their innovations to an international audience and will be showcasing an exciting and extraordinarily wide-ranging mix of new technologies, materials and surfaces at the fair. Precisely because of this wide range, not only do the most modern materials, components and manufacturing processes become visible at the fair, but also trends and visions for the design of future living spaces. As drivers of innovation and suppliers of the entire interior design industry. the exhibitors are important partners in the development of new products and design trends. Resource conservation, sustainability, living in small spaces and the increasing interest in digitalised products and production are only a few of the topics covered at interzum 2019.

Successful Sales Start: ZOW 2018 is moving ahead

11 Jul 2017

Erfolgreicher Vertriebsstart ZOW

© Koelnmesse

ZOW is on course for success – with a new concept the fair is continuing to grow as an innovation platform for tomorrow’s living spaces. From 6 to 8 February 2018 the regionally oriented trade meeting will offer a platform for business and inspirations.

When it comes to expertise in furniture production and interior construction, Cologne is facing only green lights at the moment. The concept is working brilliantly, as the excellent results of interzum, an established global player, and the very promising interest in the efficient, regionally oriented ZOW show. “You could really feel at interzum just how important ZOW is for the industry” says Matthias Pollmann, Director of Koelnmesse and responsible for interzum and ZOW. „As a crucial forum for work, ZOW is held in Bad Salzuflen - the heart of the European furniture industry”, says Pollmann.

Die ZOW nimmt Fahrt auf

© Koelnmesse

Koelnmesse offers exhibitors of ZOW a choice of stand areas ranging between 18 and 120 square meters with a consistent stand architecture. Hall 20 with a gross exhibition space of 12,000 square meters will be occupied for the event. Free catering for exhibitors and their clients promotes efficient networking and sales. But the new ZOW is intended to be more than just a platform for business contacts. It is designed to sell emotions and inspiration. Like a laboratory ZOW is addressing one of the biggest challenges of this century with the special event “Tiny Spaces – Big Ideas in Small Spaces”. Cities and towns are becoming more expensive, and space is in increasingly short supply. Exhibitors will have the opportunity to present their visions of “Tiny Spaces” in the special event area curated by trend expert Katrin de Louw.

With interzum and ZOW Koelnmesse has set out to offer the industry two cutting-edge trade fair concepts tailored to the full spectrum of the regional, national and global markets. “Our vision with ZOW as a supplier fair for Eastern Westphalia was to create another special format that is positioned midway between an exhibition and a business meeting. It’s a vision that is moving ahead at full speed,” says Arne Petersen, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse.

Trends for tomorrow: a look back at interzum 2017

12 Jun 2017

Trends for tomorro

© Koelnmesse

“The future begins here” – this is what interzum has proved yet again: with a host of innovations, exciting inspiration for the industry and record numbers of exhibitors and visitors. Anyone wanting to find out about trends and new launches for future living spaces could find a wide range of suggestions at the leading international trade fair.

From 16 to 19 May, more than 1,700 exhibitors presented new ideas and innovative solutions for furniture and interior spaces in Cologne. Materials, technologies and new design approaches were just some of the key areas that the trade fair focused on. The wide-ranging special events at the fair also examined global trends such as sustainability, mobility and digitalisation. Individuality was another theme that played a special role at interzum. Surfaces, materials and decors can increasingly be individually designed. Many exhibitors now offer whole decor worlds for different lifestyles. The special Individuality event area in the Materials & Nature segment showed just how much diversity there is today. The materials and surfaces on display in the event area demonstrated the growing interest in this trend and the wide spectrum of innovations it has inspired.

Piazza Materials & Nature interzum 2017

Piazza Materials & Nature at interzum 2017, © Koelnmesse

The increasing importance of materiality was particularly evident at interzum. The trade fair has always been a platform for innovations in this area. The latest materials are characterised by the wide range of properties that they combine and their use of alternative raw materials. Biomaterials are now a serious alternative to plastic, as a number of exhibitors proved. Other innovations improve the characteristics of conventional products, making them lighter or stronger.

interzum award 2017

interzum award exhibition, © Koelnmesse

The quality of furniture is revealed in daily use. To improve it, interzum exhibitors are working to refine surfaces. The latest furniture fronts are scratchproof and waterproof, resistant to fingermarks, chemicals and bacteria, not to mention light-resistant, all of which makes them highly robust. Microstructures protect surfaces from scratches and abrasion. Digital printing provides almost limitless possibilities for design. Today solid surfaces are available in a concrete or steel look, or their appearance can bring glass to mind. Natural materials can also be convincingly reproduced. From slate to marble, wood or leather, the appearance and feel of printed surfaces are scarcely distinguishable from the originals.

Nanotech interzum 2017

Nanotech supermatt surfaces by Italian brand Fenix at interzum 2017, © Koelnmesse

Furniture made from wastepaper, old jeans or skateboards – interzum demonstrated just how much potential reusing materials opens up at the special Circular Thinking event area. The objects on show here use renewable raw materials or materials that would otherwise end up in the waste. The exhibition of furniture made from old bike frames, escalators and waste plastic proved that recovered materials can be the starting point for high-quality design. Alongside innovative biomaterials, smart energy generators were also on display, including the world’s smallest hydroelectric power station.

interzum exhibitors are rethinking how we furnish our urban living environments, where space is in increasingly short supply. Their adaptable products provide greater comfort for home living even when space is limited. Smaller, lighter, more flexible was the motto for many of the innovations on show at the trade fair. To make optimal use of the space available in homes, a wide range of new storage solutions are also available. Clothes or food storage can be simplified with space-saving modular systems.

Circular Thinking – from Upcycling to Biofabrication

Special event area "Circular Thinking – from Upcycling to Biofabrication" at interzum 2017, © Koelnmesse

Mobility is a crucial aspect of our lives. But how will the future of motion be designed? interzum dedicated a special event area, Mobile Spaces, to mobile trends. One of the ideas explored here was how a new understanding of mobility will influence vehicle interiors. As with homes, the trend here is for constantly lighter and more flexible materials. The innovations in veneers presented at the trade fair demonstrated this especially clearly. Innovative products made from rattan or balsa wood reduce the weight of components whilst still providing high levels of flexibility.

Daily life today is flexible, mobile and virtual, and influenced by a wide range of activities. As a platform for innovative developments, interzum 2017 was devoted to the question of how to design furniture and spaces to suit contemporary lifestyles. The leading international trade fair presented trends for future living spaces with its diverse innovations and offered visitors groundbreaking, inspirational ideas for tomorrow’s furnishings.

Mobile Spaces interzum 2017

Special event area "Mobile Spaces" at interzum 2017, © Koelnmesse

Digital 3D Surfaces: Three questions to Rolf Warda (Warda Design)

22 May 2017

Digital 3D Surfaces interzum 2017

Special event area "Digital 3D Surfaces" at interzum 2017, © Koelnmesse

The designer and trend watcher Rolf Warda has curated the Digital 3D Surfaces special event area for interzum 2017. Leading manufacturers were showcasing the creative possibilities provided by digital printing systems. We put three questions to Mr Warda about the innovations in this area and about his personal perspective on the recent trade fair.

Mr. Warda, what was the concept behind the special event area „Digital 3D Surfaces“ and what new products and ideas do you see in this field?

Right now, we are witnessing digital decor printing becoming more common, in the form of both printing directly onto the substrate material and the more traditional digital printing onto decorative paper. The Digital 3D Surfaces special event area has presented examples of the next steps in industrial development. Tactile effects can be obtained with the latest digital printing systems – and on virtually every type of material, meaning that for a leather surface, for example, not only can the look of leather grain be created, but so too can the actual feel of leather.

Digital 3D Surfaces interzum 2017

Special event area "Digital 3D Surfaces" at interzum 2017, © Koelnmesse

What possibilities do you currently see in 3D printing, particularly with regard to interior design?

Thanks to 3D surfaces, manufacturers can now, for the first time ever, cost-effectively produce the same decor and the same look and feel of a material, with exactly the same surface performance, on different substrate materials – on aluminium for lightweight design, for example, or on fibre cement in environments demanding compliance with fire safety regulations. Furthermore, digital printing offers considerably shorter reaction times to the wishes and requirements of creative professionals. Special editions can quickly be modelled and manufactured in small production runs.

Surfaces at the special event area

Surfaces at the special event area, © Koelnmesse

You are a designer and trend watcher. How do you personally used interzum for your work?

I use interzum to offer my customers a sort of “retrospective” on the present day. Current trends are still very much shaped by the demand for the “authentic”. However, originality and authenticity are clearly being exhausted, becoming inflationary and interchangeable. At interzum you could see the first signs of an “aesthetic of the new”. Digital 3D Surfaces has showcased examples that venture a look at such an aesthetic.

Rolf Warda, © Warda Design

Rolf Warda, © Warda Design

Rolf Warda has many years’ professional experience in product development and collection design, as well as in advertising and communication for international companies. In 2000, he founded his design and trend research bureau Warda Design , based in Cologne.

Natural values: designing with veneer

19 May 2017

© Schorn & Groh, out for space, Decospan

© Schorn & Groh, out for space, Decospan, IFN/Röhr GmbH

In these times of decreasing natural resources, wood is once again attracting attention as a renewable raw material. New processing and production techniques are changing its characteristics and inspiring new solutions. interzum 2017 exhibitors are developing veneers for a wide range of applications.

Wood is suitable for almost every conceivable area of use in furniture and interior construction. The material’s essential naturalness is turned into a special feature in veneers. The thin sheets of wood that are sliced or peeled from the trunk are suitable for many applications in furniture design. Wood veneers are also used in interior construction, appearing in different segments such as home, office and store design. But products by interzum exhibitors can also be found in automotive and aeroplane interior furnishings.

Decospan interzum

Decospan at interzum, © Koelnmesse

The full spectrum of possible veneer looks is vast today. The reproduction of decorative and graphic effects enables great design freedom. The latest production techniques make it possible to imitate both common and exotic types of wood. Distressed surfaces are currently in demand. Just like historic beams, veneers paint pictures with the different colours of the wood and their knots and cracks. “Brushed, rough-cut, sandblasted, plane-wave and chopped looks are now on-trend – especially veneers that are individually printed to the customer’s specification,” explains the Secretary of the veneer association Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN), Dirk-Uwe Klaas.

Schorn & Groh plaited veneers are handmade

Schorn & Groh plaited veneers are handmade, © Schorn & Groh

In furniture construction and automotive manufacturing, the general trend is for classic, smooth veneers. Today’s surfaces stand out here because of their authentic textures and huge diversity of colours. The new designs range between natural looks and graphic design, and the material properties are now similarly very diverse. Veneers can be translucent or air-permeable and can even be shaped in three dimensions. This year’s interzum has shown the immense spectrum of possibilities that the wood material offers.

Innovativ karuun von out for space

"karuun" veneer is made from rattan and can be shaped in three dimensions, © out for space

interzum award: Three questions for Professor Martin Stosch

18 May 2017

Winner interzum award 2017

Winners interzum award 2017, © Red Dot

The “interzum award: intelligent material & design 2017” selected the best products from the international furniture and interior construction industries’ supplying sections – innovations for the future design of furniture and interiors. We met jury member and Professor at Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences, Martin Stosch at interzum. Three questions about this year's awarded products and current developments in the industry.

Professor Stosch, looking at this year's awarded products, where do you see the biggest potential for innovation?

Basically, I think the biggest opportunity for development at present is in the area of functional fittings, which have been reducing in size dramatically, as well as in the materials sector. New materials always have the potential for new uses and functions. It is also exciting to see long-established manufacturing technologies being combined intelligently, giving rise to new components. If you ask me where it's all heading, I believe that in future we'll see a lot of fittings disappearing in the furniture panel. In addition, the individual elements are becoming ever more elegant and smaller, almost invisible. The interior of the carcass of a piece of furniture will be finished to the same aesthetic standards as we have long since come to expect of the exterior.

interzum award intelligent material & design interzum 2017

"interzum award: intelligent material & design 2017” at interzum, © Koelnmesse

How much importance would you attach to interzum?

For us as wood technologists who train specialists and managers for the furniture and furniture supply industry, interzum is by far the most important fair in the field. This is where we can see and actually touch the latest product innovations – it is a platform where truly new products and ideas are presented. I always make interesting discoveries on my visits to the fair. Also, interzum is like a family get-together for the industry.

What would you like to see from the industry in the future?

We need to make better furniture with less and less materials and think about more sustainable solutions. I would like to see the furniture supply industry develop something like the concept cars of the automotive industry – trying out playful and visionary things that show a perspective on the future.

Prof. Martin Stosch

Professor Martin Stosch, © INDEED Photography

After completing his high school diploma, carpentry apprenticeship and interior architecture studies, Professor of Engineering Martin Stosch was initially employed as a product developer for various companies in the furniture and furniture supply industries. In 2000, he took up a post lecturing in industrial furniture manufacturing on the wood technology course at Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences. Since 2003 his research and teaching has been focused on the lightweight construction of furniture.

Groundbreaking: lightweight design at interzum

16 May 2017

kleinergleich5 table, Info boxes

kleinergleich5 table by Ruben Beckers, Info boxes by igeL e.V.

A special event at interzum 2017 will showcase current developments in lightweight design. It will explore materials, tools and technologies, and present a project on the applications of lightweight design in kitchen furniture. The event will provide a platform for designers who are the visionaries behind groundbreaking ideas.

The Lightweight Construction Association igeL (Interessengemeinschaft Leichtbau e.V.) is transforming its stand at interzum into a giant mushroom. The special event area on the Boulevard North sets out to show that lightweight design means more than just reducing weight. Lightweight design is a source of groundbreaking trends such as the sustainable use of raw materials and the production of intelligent, adaptable products.

Chuck bookshelf Neuvonfrisch

Chuck bookshelf by Neuvonfrisch

The association will showcase the latest lightweight materials and joining technology under the striking mushroom-shaped structure, built with lightweight solutions. On show right beside it will be the project Concept Cabinet 2016, a collaboration between Beeck Küchen and Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences. The project demonstrates the lightweight materials that can be used to replace chipboard in A components in kitchen base units. Designers will also present their avant-garde, groundbreaking designs for lightweight furniture on the outside of the stand.

Table by Christian Lessing

Table by Designer Christian Lessing

igeL e.V. is presenting these ideas that have been developed to provide inspiration and encourage reflection and discussion. The association is publishing a booklet to mark the interzum special event in which it sets out its objectives and presents other project partners.

MaterialTransformation: connecting designers and industry

15 May 2017

active touch

active touch – research project by Tim zum Hoff with industry partners Fritz Becker, Häfele and Wilfried Koch

How do I find the right supplier? Who can provide assistance with material questions or production problems? Questions that newcomers to the product design sector frequently pose. With its new service MaterialTransformation interzum provides a platform for contacts to the supplier industry.

MaterialTransformation is a contact platform where interested companies from the supplier industry can present their services for designers (e.g. samples, prototype production, consultation, etc.). An events calendar listing all the dates of workshop visits and the workshops for designers offered by the industry.

InFoam Printing

InFoam Printing – research project by Dorothee Clasen, Adam Pajonk and Sascha Praet with Covestro

MaterialTransformation will be represented at interzum 2017 with its own booth in hall 4.2. At the MaterialTransformation Insight event on 19th May young design studios will report about typical initial difficulties and industry representatives will provide possible solutions for a successful collaboration.

Why don‘t you partner this platform too, inform us of your offer for design studios and benefit from contacts to the next generation of designers. Contact:


CORCRETE© – a mixture between recycled cork and cement by Design Studio Niruk

Varied program: A preview of side events at interzum

12 May 2017

Hornschuch, Formsitz Design, Arssedia

© Hornschuch, Formsitz Design, Arssedia, Koelnmesse

Special event area Individuality (Materials & Nature Piazza, Hall 6.1 and 10.2)

With its wide spectrum of products and concepts from international exhibitors, plus an excellent programme of events, interzum 2017 is a versatile platform: From 16 to 19 May, topics to be addressed at the fair will be new ideas on the current trends of furniture production and interior design. An overview of what is on offer in the supporting programme.

Visitors to interzum can obtain a comprehensive orientation at the two Materials & Nature Piazzas. Alongside exhibitor highlights in materials and surfaces, they will present current trends in these fields. Hall 10.2 will also host a wide-ranging programme of talks on developments in the sector – from design trends to technical issues.

Piazza Materials & Nature

Piazza Materials & Nature, Hall 6.1 and 10.2

Special event area Circular Thinking (Innovation of Interior, Hall 4.2)

At the Innovation of Interior special event area in Hall 4.2, the exhibition “Circular Thinking – from Upcycling to Biofabrication” will be presenting new ideas for sustainable materials cycles. Special attention will be paid to current upcycling models, as well as the recycling of energy. Alongside materials, furniture and functional objects, innovative products will also be on display. Rounding off the event will be the congress “Circular Thinking”, which will take place at interzum on 18 May.

Piazza innovation of interior

Piazza innovation of interior, Hall 4.2

Special event area Mobile Spaces (Textile & Machinery Piazza, Hall 10.1)

The upcoming edition of interzum will be presenting trends in mobility in a dedicated special event area under the title of “Mobile Spaces”. It will focus above all on “rolling spaces”, examples of which include high-quality details in motorhome’s interior, such as multi-layered furniture fronts and solid surface materials, have until now not been used in this segment. The “Pioneer” concept car from the surfaces specialist Hornschuch is another extraordinary mobile space that will be on show in the exhibition and that shows the impact a fresh understanding of mobility has on car interiors.

Morelo Empire Liner

Piazza Textile & Machinery, Hall 10.1, photo: © Morelo

Special event area Digital 3D Surfaces (Piazza Hall 10.2/Stand D 80)

Leading manufacturers will present examples of digital industrial manufacturing using wood, ceramics, glass, textiles, metals and other materials. Experts will offer insights into technologies, software and services. They will cover the complete process chain. The exhibition will explore the choice of printers and inks as well as how complete solutions can be developed from a single source. It will offer inspiring examples of cutting-edge 3D printing technology.


Special event area Digital 3D Surfaces, Hall 10.2/Stand D 80, photo: © Arssedia

interzum award 2017 (Boulevard)

The interzum award: intelligent material & design recognises the best products by the international furniture supplier industry. Already in its ninth edition, the design competition is organised by Koelnmesse in collaboration with Red Dot. The winners will be honoured at the interzum opening ceremony on Monday 15 May. The winning exhibits will be on display during interzum on the trade fair’s Boulevard.

interzum award 2017, Boulevard

interzum award, Boulevard, photo: © Koelnmesse

New approaches: Industrial Design Day at interzum

10 May 2017

VDID interzum

© Koelnmesse

Innovations need exchanges – exchanges between different disciplines, between development and application, between young and old. The VDID Industrial Design Day 2017 will provide insights into current cooperations to mark the opening of interzum. Experts from different industries will gather in Cologne on 16 May.

The increasing complexity of tasks and processes is changing industry, and this calls for new forms of collaboration. The VDID Industrial Design Day 2017 gives this development the attention it deserves with a varied programme. Experts in industrial design, materials development, technology, architecture, psychology and marketing will offer insights into innovation and development processes. The themes covered will be as diverse as its participants: from the acoustic solution employed in the Elbphilharmonie concert hall to the successful transfer of lighting solutions from automotive interiors to other products. The conference’s central focus is how different disciplines can collaborate to foster new approaches and enable innovations.

VDID Newcomers' Award 2017

Winning projects of VDID Newcomers' Award 2017

To conclude the conference, Stefan Eckstein and Andreas Schulze from the VDID’s executive committee will discuss design’s contribution to the development process with guests. The VDID lab and the opportunities it offers for the next generation will also be presented at the conference. The highlight of the day is the prize-giving ceremony for the VDID Newcomers’ Award 2017, which will be presented to the winners at interzum.

Industrial Design Day 2017 16 May, 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Hall 4.2/Conference Forum

Efficiency and ambience: Lighting solutions for interiors

8 May 2017

© HeraGERA

© Hera/GERA Leuchten

Light not only provides illumination but also creates an atmosphere, so it plays a special role in the interior design of living and working spaces. At the upcoming interzum fair, exhibitors will be showing how furniture and rooms can be made to shine.


The LED ADD-ON Mini from Hera offers a homogenous planar light, © Hera

Whether creating an atmospheric ambience or illuminating specific areas, light shapes the design of interior spaces. And in doing so, lighting solutions nowadays have to meet a lot of different demands. Home and work life are merging. New functions are coming to the fore. Considerations such as energy efficiency and sustainability are gaining importance. Demands on design and technology have also increased. Exhibitors at interzum are reacting to these trends with luminaires, lighting systems, sensors and other products for contemporary approaches to lighting.


20-metre long low-voltage strips (24V DC) from D-Leuchten, © D-Beschlag

The lighting solutions on show at interzum offer new possibilities for home and work life. Whether as built-in luminaires in furniture or light sources on walls and ceilings, they create an effective setting in rooms and specific areas within rooms. Exhibitors at the fair will be offering a wide range of lighting products: extremely small and lightweight under-unit lights for use in cabinets, track lighting for bookshelves, fluorescent storage surfaces and mini profiles for furniture and installations.

Q.7 range of switches

Materials such as concrete characterise the new Q.7 range of switches from Berker, © Hager Vertriebsgesellschaft

Above all, technical innovations such as LED and OLED offer new options in lighting, which have enabled the lighting industry to grow at a particularly rapid pace in recent years. By virtue of their extremely compact design and high energy efficiency alone, LEDs are versatile components in the design of furniture and interiors. As light sources in living and working spaces, in shopfitting and other sectors, they impress with their adaptability and particularly long operating life. At interzum, the latest developments will be shown, from tailor-made, planar LEDs through to self-adhesive, flexible LED strips for a wide range of uses.

With its numerous new lighting solutions for furniture and interiors, interzum is an inspiring platform for designers, lighting planners, interior architects, contract fitters and other specialists. Technological innovations on show at the fair make previously impossible product solutions possible. Exhibitors will make the whole range of modern lighting shine with their presentations.

GERA Leuchten

GERA’s under-unit lights for the kitchen are extremely lightweight and small, © GERA Leuchten

Creative freedom: innovations in kitchen design

5 May 2017

© Rehau

© Rehau

Today the kitchen is increasingly becoming a space for working and living. And this means the standards in kitchen design are rising. Kitchen furniture is attracting greater interest from creative professionals, and it is becoming more personal, homely and, at the same time, more flexible. The exhibitors at the forthcoming interzum will demonstrate how innovative components can transform furniture design.

Turning cooking into an experience is currently a major trend, and this has sparked immense interest in kitchen furnishings. Purely functional considerations may have defined the design of kitchens for years, but the boundaries between working and living areas are now blurring. The latest technology and functionalities alone are no longer enough in contemporary kitchen design. A combination of a cosy atmosphere and an attractive design is also called for – right down to the smallest details.

AIR Salice

AIR hinge © Salice

Italian fittings specialist Salice will demonstrate the possibilities that new components open up in the design of kitchen furniture at the coming interzum. Its innovative AIR hinge attaches doors to the top or bottom panel of a cabinet without the need for any attachments on the side of the furniture. The sophisticated technology renders the hinge virtually invisible. Measuring a compact 10 millimetres, it completely disappears behind the door frame, yet it meets all the technical requirements that have come to be standard: it is adjustable in three dimensions and offers soft-close and push-to-open functions.


Unicolor surface finishes, © Westag & Getalit

A solid look is preferred in kitchens, and not just for hygiene reasons. Smooth cabinet fronts and seamless surfaces prevent dirt and moisture from building up. At the same time, joints between the surface and the edge should not undermine the design of the furniture. interzum exhibitors such as Westag & Getalit will present coloured surface finishes as a solution for seamless surfaces. They can be used to make joined elements look as if they are one single solid unit. At interzum, the manufacturer will present new decor papers and variants for its Unicolor surface finishes. The finishes are just one millimetre thick and suitable for use in almost any interior.


RAUVISIO crystal, © Rehau

One of the global premieres that will be celebrated at this year’s interzum will be the corner cabinet system Cornerstone Maxx. Developed by Vauth-Sagel, it is a highly efficient and convenient solution for the insides of corner cabinets. Two shelf surfaces can be filled completely and travel forward on straight paths to bring the entire contents out in front of the cabinet. Its lightweight design makes the fixings virtually invisible, but it can still carry loads of up to 25 kilograms per shelf.

As the international platform for suppliers to the furniture construction industry, the forthcoming interzum will demonstrate the sector’s tremendous capacity for innovation. The fair will provide many new sources of inspiration for furnishing kitchens as contemporary living spaces – providing greater comfort, flexibility and creative freedom.

interzum award: Interview with Martin Darbyshire (tangerine)

4 May 2017

Martin Darbyshire

Martin Darbyshire © INDEED Photography

“Finding beautiful solutions for simplicity”, that is the aim of Martin Darbyshire. The founder and CEO of London-based design studio tangerine is member of the jury for interzum award 2017. We talked with the renowned designer about the importance of innovations, inspirations for his own work and his expectations for the upcoming interzum.

Martin Darbyshire, how did you judge and evaluate the entries of interzum award 2017 regarding the quality and the potential for innovation?

I think you have to approach it from an innovation perspective. Then it depends on what you think innovation is. Many of the examples we saw were innovations in thinking around how you might create improvements. These improvements often will be almost invisible to customers but actually they could contribute to making a big difference. Some of the best things we saw where really thought through and well executed. That's what I really liked about it – this incredible thought and attention given to really establish a creative breakthrough in an area or to be imaginative and find a new form of expression, a new solution. Instead of trying to judge a whole design you’re looking at an element saying: “What contribution has that made to everything and how transferable is that thinking to other things?

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia’s new Business Class © tangerine

Were there any surprises for you?

Yes, many. There were some very powerful examples of using natural, organic materials in new interesting ways. Many of those materials aim at doing so in an environment-friendly and sustainable way, which is increasingly important. We as designers have to champion bringing change in a sustainable process because we cannot just keep on consuming and consuming. So I think there was a lot of careful thought and many powerful examples that show real attention being paid to creating things that have a useful finish and at the same time use resources very carefully.

Cepsa Flagship Service Station

Cepsa flagship service station © tangerine

Do you see any specific trends in the field of material and surfaces?

To me, an increasingly important aspect is the overlap between design and technology. It’s the way you synthesize both to create the optimized solution. I think, today something has to rely on being made in the right way and on being assembled in a clever and intelligent way, being repairable or replaceable, bringing a big improvement holistically.

In general, how important are materials and surfaces for your own work?

Very important. They express the quality of things. You can’t hide that. The material quality of nice things is something everybody enjoys. It’s the difference between something which feels fake and something which feels real.

Innisfree Flagship Store

Innisfree flagship store © tangerine


Innisfree flagship store © tangerine

What do you expect from the upcoming interzum?

As designers, we’re looking at the fair from an inspiration point of view. It gives us an opportunity to discover new materials and new approaches that we can use in our projects. We have a dedicated colour and material-finish team and they are always looking for inspiration. We come from a product-design background and have designed a lot in the field of transportation. We’re working on interiors for aircrafts, trains etc., like mechanisms or seats which move to make people feel more comfortable. We have to think very carefully about how we deliver a better experience – make design lighter, take away complexity and find beautiful solutions for simplicity.

Martin Darbyshire is the founder and CEO of the internationally renowned design consultancy tangerine , working for clients such as Asiana, Azul, B/E Aerospace, Huawei, Nikon, The Royal Mint, and Virgin Australia.

interzum 2017: Trends for future living spaces

4 May 2017

© Klöckner Pentaplast, Grass, Rehau, Schattdecor

© Klöckner Pentaplast, Grass, Rehau, Schattdecor

Living is variety: Within a confined space various processes and design requirements come together – and will continue to change rapidly. interzum 2017 will take a look at trends and products for the design of future living spaces.

In the living environment, significant changes can be observed today. The perceptions of classic living areas have, for instance, broadened: The kitchen has become a full-value living space, the bedroom is already more than a retreat at night, whilst we increasingly associate places outside our private sphere – stores, offices, lounges – with perceptions of homely comfort. This results in interactions between room typologies and demands on perception; exacting requirements for functional comfort are combined with a new emotionality.

Common to all living zones is the increased attention to spatial aura, quality processing, ecological quality, functional flexibility as well as visually and haptically appealing surfaces. These qualities interact right through to materiality and technology. An example for this are decorative laminates: criteria of sustainability combined with highest abrasion, humidity and light resistance and animated surfaces. Computer-aided production technology also promotes the trend towards customized design: Economic individualised solutions have found their way into the mineral material field just as with veneers, which combine finest processing with a natural surface feel and have developed from a pure surface material into an independent material.

© Salice, Impress, Rehau, Woodbox Karl Baliko

© Salice, Impress, Rehau, Woodbox Karl Baliko

Developments in areas where the tasks appear primarily technical-functional are similarly exciting. Modern fitting solutions, for example, allow a rethinking of established functional routines – and thus their creative answering. Evolutions in consumer electronics took place even faster: Instead of huge appliances small, elegant interfaces become part of the pieces of furniture and space-determining elements. Just as in the lighting field: LED and OLED technology allow glare-free integration of sustainable lighting concepts directly into furniture and components: moving away from the luminaire and towards atmosphere and interior.

So regardless whether you look at the new, stimulating surfaces or deliberately behind them – the trend is clear: Technology and materials combine performative as well as sensual functions. Innovations, which strongly influence and interlink design trends, will be shown at interzum 2017.

„It is always evolution I am looking for“: Interview with Piero Lissoni

27 Apr 2017

Piero Lissoni

Piero Lissoni, © G. Gastel/ALPI Tarsie 2 Black, © ALPI

Piero Lissoni has gained a worldwide reputation as architect and designer. Running four studios in Milan and New York, he is covering projects from whole buildings to interiors and products for renowned international companies. We talked with the Italian allrounder about the importance of materials and surfaces and his focus on interzum.

Piero Lissoni, how important are materials, surfaces, connected technologies for your work as an architect as well as a designer?

Truly essential! When I’m designing an object the choice of materials is of prime importance. The surface of a piece of furniture is like its skin, with a tangible, tactile appeal. New technologies in surface treatment provide new fascinating and sophisticated opportunities. The surface area is communicating with the outside world so to speak.

ALPI Designer Collection

ALPI Designer Collection by Piero Lissoni, © Federico Cedrone

Since one year you are art director of ALPI, a leading company in the production of decorative composite wood surfaces and an exhibitor at interzum. This task includes so various aspects as developing new products, branding, visual appearance of the company etc. What are the major challenges when working in this field?

Our goal is always to create innovations and new surfaces. The wood that ALPI utilizes is rigorously of controlled origin, and completely processed in-house and a precious resource. A very important point in the sustainable production process of composite wood is environmental and social responsibility. Resource saving is a great challenge. Through continuous research ALPI has developed a technological process for retransforming recycled wood into a new artificial wood that has similar properties, visual characteristics as well as haptic qualities like real wood.

Lissoni Architettura Hotel Roomers

Lissoni Architettura: Hotel Roomers, Lobby, Baden-Baden, Germany, © Noshe for Gekko Group

Where do you see – or would you like to see – main developments in the field of materials and surfaces, now and in the near future?

I would like to work in a field where saving natural resources and sustainability are self-evident. We need to stop cutting real trees and destroying our woods. New nano-technological procedures and new surface treatments support this ecological development in the field of materials. This synthetic progression will surprise us by even superior material performances, compared to the natural products. One day simulated wooden materials will be more natural than nature itself.

As the major fair in its field, interzum combines innovation, business and informal communication. What do you expect from interzum, where is your own main focus as art director, designer, architect?

Every year I expect to discover something surprising and new at interzum. It is always evolution I am looking for.

Glas Italia Commodore

Glas Italia Commodore by Piero Lissoni, © Glas Italia

In 1986, Piero Lissoni and Nicoletta Canesi founded Lissoni Associati in Milan, later followed by the visual communications company Graph.x, Lissoni Architettura and New York based Lissoni Inc. Furthermore, Lissoni is the art director for various major brands including ALPI, a leading company in the production of decorative composite wood surfaces and an exhibitor at interzum.

New impulses for architects and designers: Dr. Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven

20 Apr 2017

With new materials, furniture components and textiles interzum offers numerous sources of inspiration for creative professionals. The trade fair is where architects, designers and interior designers find versatile ideas for the design of future living spaces. As an architect and interior designer, Dr. Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven appreciates the wide range of innovations and surfaces.

Dr. Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven, architect and interior designer (Düsseldorf):

"I like the narrative element in surfaces and their communicative aspect. I find it amazing what the exhibitors have to offer at interzum – the variety of innovative materials and surface finishes".

Digital 3D surfaces: special event area at interzum

18 Apr 2017


Art chair with motifs by Arij Moka, © Arssedia

Growing numbers of manufacturers and designers are switching to 3D printing for furniture and interior construction. The special Digital 3D Surfaces event area at the coming interzum will focus on the latest developments in the field of surfaces. The key themes at the event area will be creativity, faster response times and greater flexibility in home living and interior decor.

Today’s digital printers print “surfaces” that are not only tactile, three-dimensional and, where desired, very durable, but also in large formats, at cost-effective print speeds and to the highest quality. For furniture and interior design, this opens up new potential for creativity and flexibility. interzum 2017 will present current developments in this field at the special Digital 3D Surfaces event area. The exhibition is curated by the renowned designer and trends researcher Rolf Warda.

Hotspot, © A. + E. Ungricht

Hotspot, © A. + E. Ungricht

Leading manufacturers will present examples of digital industrial manufacturing using wood, ceramics, glass, textiles, metals and other materials. Experts will offer insights into technologies, software and services. They will cover the complete process chain – “from theory into practice, from laboratory sample to industrial scale”, as Rolf Warda puts it. The exhibition will explore the choice of printers and inks as well as how complete solutions can be developed from a single source. It will offer inspiring examples of cutting-edge 3D printing technology for architects, product designers and decision makers in furniture and interior construction.

The special Digital 3D Surfaces exhibition will be on show at interzum in Hall 10.2/Stand D 80 from 16 to 19 May 2017.

New impulses for architects and designers: video statement Christian Tschersich / LAVA

10 Apr 2017

With new materials, furniture components and textiles interzum offers numerous sources of inspiration for creative professionals. The trade fair is where architects, designers and interior designers find versatile ideas for the design of future living spaces. As an architect, Christian Tschersich of internationally operating LAVA (Labotary for visionary architecture) appreciates the forward-looking approach of the fair.

Christian Tschersich, architect, LAVA (Stuttgart, Berlin, Sydney):

"Very often, our work is related to issues of well-being, such as the question as to how far an environment can have a stimulating effect on people. In this respect, the materials chosen are incredibly important in terms of colour values, haptics and acoustics. With its combination of trade fair, exhibition and special formats, interzum is pursuing a forward-looking approach - the event revolves around innovation."

Three questions for: colour expert Dr. Hildegard Kalthegener

10 Apr 2017

Colour library

Colour library, © SystemToWin

As a designer, lecturer and colour expert, Dr. Hildegard Kalthegener works in very different industries. At the coming interzum, she will discuss the relationship between colour systems and individual design in her talks. Three questions on contemporary colour trends and intelligent colour planning.

Dr. Kalthegener, what trends are you currently observing in the use of colours in furniture and interior design?

At trade fairs and in interiors over the past few years, we’ve seen many achromatic, predominantly grey shades, which is something that will change slightly in the future. Grey will remain popular for a while, but it will be diversified in many subtly coloured shades. The less chromatic surface will tone perfectly with the accent or dominant colour. What’s more, the meaning of tones between lightened terracotta and watermelon red is changing. Pink – and violet, too, – was an absolute no-go for men for a long time. But even today, a small quantity of the right shade between flamingo and salmon combined with a selection of attractive grey shades and beautiful woods can be a trend-conscious eye-catcher for all genders. The key is to identify trends as quickly as possible so that you have longer to think about whether and how to apply them.

Planing with real patterns

Planing with real patterns, © SystemToWin

At the coming interzum, you are giving a talk on colour systems and the increasing individualisation of design in the Materials & Nature Piazza. How do these two ideas relate to each other?

Individualisation and systems do not have to be a contradiction in terms in my eyes. Many decorators and users think that a colour system – and by that they mean almost any system – restricts creative freedom to make choices and create combinations, and therefore prevents them from coming up with original solutions. That’s not the case. There are intrinsically system-based ideas that can be used to develop a huge number of individual solutions – easily and with sure-fire results. This can even be achieved with a relatively small number of colours if an intelligent collection plan is applied.

imm cologne 2017

Impression from imm cologne 2017, © Hildegard Kalthegener

Colour simultaneously fulfils a functional need and an atmospheric one. Which criteria should be taken into account when choosing colours for interiors?

The search for general rules for creating colour harmony has to this day not produced a universally accepted solution, despite all the smart solutions. But it’s still helpful to be aware of certain criteria. Especially if you have hardly any time and rarely have the budget to experiment, as is so often the case in day-to-day work. Colour planning also shouldn’t be done on screen: the deviations are a frequent source of error. It is much safer to work with physical true-colour samples of colours and materials, even if it might look a bit old-school. In my view, there are a lot more rules that are easy to grasp even if they may be complex than the general public is aware of. I will explore this idea in more depth at interzum.

Innovative wood-based materials workshop

6 Apr 2017


© Pfleiderer

Using wood in construction and home decor is becoming increasingly attractive. The Sixth Innovation Workshop for Wood-Based Materials on 15 May 2017 will examine current developments in this field. Talks, discussions and a chance to take part in a televoting poll on the innovations presented will provide plenty of inspiration for participants.

Wood is currently in high demand as a material for furniture and interior construction. Today innovative materials and machining processes are opening up new possibilities for its use. Wood-based materials are becoming lighter, more efficient and more sustainable. The construction-related field is one area in particular where the German wood-based panel industry was able to expand its output last year. There is now growing recognition of wood’s potential in construction and home decor.

Wood-based materials industry

© Koelnmesse

interzum is providing an overview of the innovations developed by researchers and the industry at the Sixth Innovation Workshop for Wood-Based Materials. The event will focus on new applications in furniture, vehicle, exhibition and interior construction. Acclaimed experts will present current innovations and the latest research results. Short talks and a concluding plenary discussion will offer participants wide-ranging insights into wood-based innovations.

The workshop marks the opening of interzum 2017 and will demonstrate how the industry is addressing current challenges. At the end of the event, participants will have the chance to rate the innovations presented in a televoting poll. The next day trade fair visitors will be able to see the innovations by the wood-based materials industry for themselves at interzum.

Wood’s potential in construction and home decor.

© Koelnmesse

New impulses for architects and designers: Peter Ippolito / IF Group

31 Mar 2017

With new materials, furniture components and textiles interzum offers numerous sources of inspiration for creative professionals. The trade fair is where architects, designers and interior designers find versatile ideas for the design of future living spaces. As an architect, Peter Ippolito of internationally operating ippolito fleitz Group appreciates the wide range of innovative surfaces.

Workshop of Dreams: AHEC at Interzum 2017

30 Mar 2017

American Hardwood Export Council

Set of stools and tables (design: Benedetta Tagliabue) © American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) showcases its innovative approach to hardwood at interzum fair through the exciting initiative “The Workshop of Dreams”: four unique pieces by Spanish designers and architects created with underused hardwood species.

The American Hardwood Export Council will present the four thoughtful pieces in Germany for the first time. The project brings together four of Spain’s most innovative architects and designers with inspiring talents in an exciting collaboration that celebrates creativity and craftsmanship in wood. The resulting unique mix of objects - a beautiful set of coffee tables, a completely ergonomic lounge chair, an extraordinary kitchen cart and an unusual design concept for a portable cabin -, effectively demonstrate the vast capability and beauty of some of the lesser known American hardwoods.


Tulipwood cabin (design: Jacob Benbunan), © American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)

The AHEC space at interzum will also feature a scale model of ‘The Smile’, the revolutionary timber pavilion AHEC created in collaboration with Alison Brooks Architects and engineers Arup in London. This project featured the largest ever panels of cross laminated timber (CLT) to be made, showcasing the structural and spatial potential of cross laminated hardwood and, more specifically, tulipwood CLT.

At interzum AHEC will also present a new interactive online tool that shows forest distribution, growth and removal of American hardwood species across the United States. David Venables, AHEC’s European Director, reiterates how valuable interzum is within AHEC’s programme and adds “interzum continues to be a vital communication platform for us and our industry to network, influence and educate timber industries across Europe and beyond.”

American Cherry Lounge Chair

American cherry lounge chair (design: RCR), © American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)

Green furniture trend: chairs made from biomaterials

23 Mar 2017


Artichair, © Studio Kizis

Sitting on seagrass, potatoes or leaves? It’s possible with the new biomaterials for producing chairs. Designers are discovering nature as a source of inspiration and are creating classic seating furniture with green criteria.

The chair is one of the most exciting pieces of furniture for designers. As objects of design, seating furniture has always been a medium for innovations – just think of the Bauhaus cantilever chairs or 60s plastic chairs. Their pioneering shapes and materials are often ahead of their time, and they simultaneously reflect social trends. The latest models also clearly bear the traces of these currents in the way in which they emphasise sustainable design.

Green furniture

In their search for materials that conserve resources, designers today are discovering natural materials as a source of inspiration. Apparently superfluous waste products are being processed into raw and recyclable materials for new chair models. Many designers are experimenting with plant and vegetable waste and similar organic debris. They are putting highly unusual sources of raw materials to the test to produce bioplastics for seat shells, for example. In contrast to conventional materials, these biobased materials offer crucial benefits: the raw materials are freely available in large quantities and can be sustainably exploited.

Green furniture

Take seagrass for instance. Thousands of tons of the flowering plant are washed up on the coast. Designer Carolin Pertsch uses it to create her Zostera Stool. The plant waste, which would otherwise wind up as special waste in rubbish tips, is used as a bioplastic in the stool’s seat. Jarrell Goh from Singapore takes a similar approach with his Potato Stool, made from potato industry waste. Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma has developed a chair made from flax and a plastic produced from polylactic acid (PLA). The award-winning seating object is fully biodegradable and proves that ecodesign can be very stylish. The lounge and dining chairs by Kizis Studio are also exceptionally elegant. The Athens- and London-based studio uses a 100% biodegradable ecomaterial made from artichoke waste in its seat shells. One of the most recent projects to adopt these ideas is the Beleaf Chair by Slovakian designer Šimon Kern. Currently in development, the chair uses a mixture of fallen leaves and a bio-resin produced from leftover cooking oil. It proves, as the other models mentioned do, too, that there’s no such thing as waste – instead it’s just new material to create and design with.

Green furniture

The coming edition of interzum will examine sustainable materials from 16 to 19 May in a dedicated special area. Under the slogan “Circular Thinking”, it will present a host of innovations, including chairs made from used jeans, in Hall 4.2.

interzum award: Three questions for Prof. Dr. Peter Zec

22 Mar 2017

interzum award - intelligent material and design

The interzum award: intelligent material & design recognises the best products by the international furniture supplier industry. Already in its ninth edition, the design competition is organised by Koelnmesse in collaboration with Red Dot. Three questions for Professor Dr. Peter Zec, CEO of Red Dot, on the competition’s importance and the challenges facing future design.

Professor Zec, the interzum award: intelligent material & design has been presented since 2007. How important is this year’s competition?

The interzum award: intelligent material & design is now a firm fixture and documents design’s vital role as a driving force in the international furniture supplier industry. Design is immensely important and goes hand in hand with technical innovation and optimal function – not just in this field, but beyond it as well. Ultimately, a product can only be as good as the materials and suppliers’ products that it is made from. This being the case, companies that are constantly striving to find new solutions to ensure high-quality end products have found a forum in the interzum award that highlights their achievements and enables them to showcase their work.

As the trade fair for the furniture and interior construction industries’ supplying sections, interzum is a platform for innovations. What developments are you currently observing in the industry, and how important is design quality to them?

One of the current developments I’ve been observing with great interest is the development of new materials that follow natural and organic characteristics closely. Some innovative and successful products are being brought to market that are modelled on structures and surfaces in nature combined with the latest technological achievements. As this development is still relatively recent, there are large differences in design quality, which is why it’s crucial to assess their value and to scout out the best designs with a jury’s help.

Among your positions, you are CEO of the Red Dot Award and Senator of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) in Montreal. What challenges do you see for the future of design?

The keyword that often crops up in this context is sustainability. Fossil fuel resources are dwindling and therefore becoming more expensive. The raw materials in many areas of industrial production will no longer be economically viable in the future as a result. Making production truly future-oriented is therefore the challenge that has to be overcome – and by that I mean using recyclable materials, optimising the potential for savings in materials and, of course, continuing to promote research in materials.

Professor Dr. Peter Zec

Professor Dr. Peter Zec

Professor Dr. Peter Zec studied media science, psychology and the science of art. Since 1991 he is president of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen e.V., which organises the Red Dot Design Award. For what is now the ninth time, Koelnmesse, in cooperation with Red Dot, presents the interzum award for intelligent material & design. The winners will be honoured at the interzum opening ceremony on Monday 15 May.

Mobile Spaces: special event area at interzum 2017

20 Mar 2017

Mobile Spaces

Whether in the car, aeroplane or caravan – mobility is an essential part of our lives. So what will private transport look like in the future? In the “Mobile Spaces” special event area, interzum 2017 will show how surfaces and materials can alter the character of such spaces.

Electric cars, digital networks and autonomous driving are pioneering developments that will have an increasingly significant impact on our mobility. And the demands made on materials and surfaces used in the fitting out of mobile spaces are also changing. For this reason, the upcoming edition of interzum will be presenting trends in mobility in a dedicated special event area under the title of “Mobile Spaces”. In doing so, the industry’s leading international fair will be addressing the particular relevance this subject has for the furniture and interior construction industries’ supplying sections. Many of the exhibitors at the fair are equally active in both home furnishing and the fitting out of vehicles. New products and ideas from the conventional furniture sector, such as surfaces, textiles and fittings, are likewise used in cars, ships and aeroplanes. Innovative materials and features play just as important a role in mobile spaces as they do in homes.

Mobile Spaces

However, the demands on mobile spaces are often even higher than for a home environment. In particular, the specific requirement for low weight calls for special solutions. This is another field where the two disciplines stimulate each other because lightweight design is immensely important not only in rolling, floating and flying spaces, but also in residential construction and furnishing. Transportation and logistics call for cost minimisation and low weights, not least for sustainability reasons.

Mobile Spaces

In its “Mobile Spaces” special event area, interzum will focus above all on “rolling spaces”, examples of which include specially fitted-out motorhomes such as the “Empire Liner” from Morelo. High-quality details in this luxury motorhome’s interior, such as multi-layered furniture fronts and solid surface materials, have until now not been used in this segment. The “Pioneer” concept car from the surfaces specialist Hornschuch is another extraordinary mobile space that will be on show in the exhibition and that shows the impact a fresh understanding of mobility has on car interiors.

Morelo Empire Liner

More comfort in less space: adaptable living spaces

14 Mar 2017

Tiny Spaces

© Häfele

Living space is at a premium today, especially in cities. More and more people are living in smaller and smaller living spaces. This has prompted interzum exhibitors to rethink the design of furnishings. Their objective is to provide great comfort in the smallest of spaces with adaptable furniture and interior concepts.

Doing a lot with a little space is the challenge facing planners today. Cities and towns are becoming more expensive, and space is in increasingly short supply. Growing numbers of architects and designers are responding to the shortage of space by proposing home living concepts for the smallest dwellings, using flexible furniture and well-thought-out planning to create more space. In these homes, doing without also expresses a new attitude towards life. “Less is more” is being applied to the home. The social trend for cutting back is being reflected in how we design our own living spaces.

Tiny Spaces

“Small has a future” is what architect Krista Blassy thinks, too: “Flexible, compact apartment solutions are becoming increasingly popular.” Blassy collaborated with Häfele on its recent study on micro homes, MicroApart 20/30. In the study, the fittings specialist and exhibitor at the coming interzum presents an adaptable solution for the smallest spaces. Depending on the size of the home and the standard to which it is furnished, the MicroApart 20/30 concept can be scaled to individual requirements – from a minimum living space of just under 20 square metres. Furniture including a walk-in cupboard, a sofa bed and a sideboard that doubles up as a table provides flexibility, comfort and convenience. The modular kitchen and multifunctional column in the bathroom increase the concept’s versatility.

Folding tables, pull-out sofa beds and similar two-in-one furniture are ideally suited to making the most intelligent use of small spaces. They can be adapted in different ways to suit requirements and the time of day. Multifunctional furniture like the examples presented in the micro homes study combines comfort with technology. The new launches that have been developed for designing these artists of transformation will be presented at the coming edition of interzum. As the world’s largest event for the industry, held in Cologne from 16 to 19 May, the trade fair provides a comprehensive overview of the innovations in interior construction and furniture production: doors, flaps and pull-outs for opening and closing furniture; easy-to-use fittings; new storage space solutions; sliding door systems for creating movable room dividers and electronic closing systems for excellent ease of use. The many materials and surfaces on show will also provide a rich source of inspiration for new ideas for homes.

Tiny Spaces

Plenty of inspiration for commuters and working nomads will also be available at the coming interzum in the form of space-saving home ideas. Looking beyond conventional stationary spaces, the trade fair has a dedicated “Mobile Spaces” special event area, which will showcase innovations such as the Tiny House project. Covering just eight square metres, the mini home provides a living space with a table, kitchenette, washroom and a comfortable sleeping loft. The interior design by carpenters and designers Tischlerei Bock can be fully adapted to individual tastes. And the best thing about it: the Tiny House is on wheels and can be taken absolutely anywhere.

Tiny Spaces

“Circular Thinking“: special event area at interzum 2017

10 Mar 2017

Circular Thinking

For economic activity to be sustainable, the way in which we use available resources is becoming increasingly important. For this reason, issues such as upcycling are gaining more significance. The potential offered by the reuse of recyclable materials will be shown at interzum 2017. In the “Circular Thinking" special event area, designers’ and manufacturers’ innovative products will be showcased. Sectors that currently involve high levels of material consumption can particularly benefit.

Make new from old – in upcycling, materials initially discarded during the sorting and recycling process become the starting point for high-quality design. Furniture made out of waste paper, used jeans or skateboards make good use of seemingly unusable materials that would otherwise go to landfill. Waste becomes reusable materials with their very specific qualities for innovative design. Ideally, at the end of a product’s lifecycle, high-quality materials remain for the manufacture of new products. Resources remain in the cycle, and waste is avoided.

Circular Thinking

As the world’s population increases, the shift away from the consumption of a resource to its use is becoming increasingly important. “Over the course of the next decade, industrialised societies will be working to improve their use of available resources and make the transition in their industrial production to closed-loop material cycles”, observes Dr. Sascha Peters, the materials expert who, with his Haute Innovation agency, will be showing the potential of alternative sources of raw materials at the upcoming edition of interzum: at the Innovation of Interior special event area in Hall 4.2, the exhibition “Circular Thinking” will be presenting new ideas for sustainable materials cycles. Special attention will be paid to current upcycling models, as well as the recycling of energy. Alongside materials, furniture and functional objects, innovative products, such as a small hydroelectric power plant for mobile electricity supply, will also be on display.

Circular Thinking

Rounding off the event will be the congress “Circular Thinking – from Upcycling to Biofabrication”, which will take place at interzum on 18 May and which will offer trade fair visitors the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the subject with the help of practical examples from Dr. Sascha Peters and other industry experts.

Green Product Award: Green innovations at interzum

2 Mar 2017

Green Product Award

© Green Product Award

As the leading international fair for suppliers to the furniture industry, interzum is an ideal platform for innovations. At this years event the Green Product Award will refer to new developments in the field of Sustainability. Under the theme “How do we live tomorrow?” a selection of innovative sustainable products and prototypes will be shown at the fair.

The Green Product Award is an annual international competition for sustainable products and services. Participants range from students to international brands. The contributions will be awarded in fourteen categories, such as Architecture, Office, Mobility, Consumer Electronics, Furniture and Home Accessories.

Green Product Award

The Green Product Award considers itself to be a place, in which green Ideas are being refined and mediated, so that they can go to the market. „How do we live tomorrow?“ – in this year, the award will address a global topic. With the Netherlands and China, two country partners are also on board. New 2017 is the possibility to submit green product- and service concepts, the best ones will be accompanied to the market.

The Green Product Award will present a part of this year’s Green Selection from 16 to 19 May 2017 at the interzum in Cologne. From ground-breaking concepts and inventions to buzz­worthy upgrades with profound implications, this is sustainable innovation at its best. The presentation includes an outstanding product range from the interior field: innovative materials, design furniture, sustainable technologies and solutions. The stand will be located in hall 4.2 in the Innovation of Interior area – interzum's special format for architects, interior designers, industrial designers and other planners.

interzum 2017: BMWi supporting the participation of young companies

1 Mar 2017

BMWi interzum

© Koelnmesse

A great opportunity for good ideas: as in previous years, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is once again offering newly founded companies financial support for their trade fair participation in interzum 2017. Young companies can save up to 60 per cent of trade fair costs. On offer is sponsorship for a presence at pavilions where new participants in the market can showcase their innovative products and solutions.

As the leading international fair for suppliers to the furniture industry, interzum is an ideal platform for young companies to present their creative, new developments in product and process technology. The BMWi shares this view and has included the event in the portfolio of trade fairs worthy of support from the Ministry this year. The BMWi's selection criteria are, among other terms, internationality of both the presentation and of the visitor profile.

The BMWi is pursuing a clearly defined goal with the programme: to strengthen Germany's standing as a centre of innovation and promote the export of innovative products and processes. To this end, young companies are being helped to bring their ideas to market. In concrete terms, this means that if the company meets the BMWi's prerequisites, the Ministry will pay up to 60 per cent of the stand costs. In order to be eligible for the sponsorship programme, companies must have either developed from scratch or significantly improved products, processes and services and introduced them to market. In addition, the company must be no older than ten years and must be based in Germany. The company must also fulfil the EU definition of a small company, i.e. fewer than 50 employees and with a yearly turnover of no more than Euro 10 million.

The application for the trade fair in question must be received at least eight weeks in advance of the event, a mandatory component being a formal request for the approval of sponsorship of the fair participation which must be submitted immediately in writing to the Federal Office for Economics and Export Control (BAFA) in Eschborn.

The application forms for the stands sponsored by the BMWi are available to download at:

Material and surface: an interview with Sylvia Leydecker

20 Feb 2017

Sylvia Leydecker

© 100% interior

Interior Designer Sylvia Leydecker is an internationally sought-after expert in new materials. In her studio 100% interior, she develops groundbreaking space concepts for companies in Germany and abroad. As the Vice President of the Association of German Interior Architects/Designers (BDIA), she knows the industry like hardly anyone else. An interview on the importance of materials and surfaces in her work and her expectations for the coming interzum.

Ms Leydecker, how important are materiality and surfaces in your work?

I’m interested in the following question: what is constructive in realising a vision of a space?For me, the answer includes material and surface on a very fundamental level. They are a unit, but they can also be detached from each other. It really does depend – but I always place a great deal of importance on them.

Material and surface

Which materials do you like working with? What is their particular appeal or specific characteristics?

I adore classic materials such as solid wood when it stands out because of excellent details in the workmanship and the ability to age gracefully. On the other hand, I love synthetic high-tech materials, such as carbon, aerogel and light-transmitting concrete – materials that appear translucent and diffuse, or that are dichroic and only reveal their full potential under the effect of light. I also find adhesive foils in all their many varieties, from reflective foils to glitter, great for translating my ideas simply. For me, everything from the natural to the high-tech and synthetic has its own poetry intrinsic to the material as long as my vision is right.

Where do you see the greatest developments or the greatest potential for development?

I see the greatest potential in innovative technologies such as environmentally sound manufacturing techniques or producing functional surfaces that can conduct energy, for instance. I also see potential in repairability instead of disposal. In parallel, I can envisage a renaissance in craftsmanship qualities, even more individualisation in mass production, for example with 3D printing techniques. Put together, their combination with digitalisation in every respect.

Material and surface

What expectations do you have for interzum? What kind of inspiration does the trade fair provide for your work?

First of all, I’m looking to discover innovations that provide scope for my visions and expand my creative freedom to rethink things and express them. As a self-confessed materials freak, I’m excited to see what’s in store for me this time and what I will integrate into my designs in practice.

Sylvia Leydecker works as an interior architect in her studio 100% interior, where she specialises in the fields of healthcare and offices, product and exhibition design. She is also an internationally sought-after expert in new