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 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.
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.