Trends for tomorrow: a look back at interzum 2017
“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 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 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 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.
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.
Special event area "Mobile Spaces" at interzum 2017, © Koelnmesse