Cologne: 04.–07.05.2021 #interzum

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Three questions to NUMAH


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