IMM 2016: What We Saw and Loved

At Design Post, Paris designer Christophe Delcourt showed off his glossy red YBU table.
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At the IMM booth of Swiss brand De Sede, Alfredo Häberli's DS-373 seating collection made the absolute most of leather.
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Spanish brand Mobles 114 displayed the delightful Tube chairs by Eugeni Quitllet at IMM Cologne, as well as new furniture by young Spanish designers.
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As part of a group of Danish designers exhibiting together, Pernille Snedker Hansen stood out for her Never the Same Furniture Tables, which played with multi-hued marbling effects on wood.
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Outdoor furniture is about to get a colour infusion. Kettal, the Spanish manufacturer, showed off its poppy upholstery palette by Doshi Levien.
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We spotted many covetable accessories and small furnishings at IMM, including the faceted lamps at Menu (left), and the marblized ceramic tables, by Elisa Strozyk, at Pulpo.
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We can't deny our love for Das Haus, the exuberantly curtained installation by Sebastian Herkner. It even featured a bathroom tiled in fragrant soap.
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Herkner's new collection for Ames (featured in Das Haus and its own standalone booth) includes rugs and planters made by craftspeople in Colombia.
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Daniel Wilkens, a student at the Folkwang Universität der Kunste, presented his Foodprint project, where a 3-D printer made cakes embedded with images in chocolate batter.
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Many a seating collection featured pillows, throws and other integrated accessories that could be tucked in, folded out and transformed. Ligne Roset's contribution was the relaunch of the retro design in plush upholstery.
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Jaime Hayon was behind many of the novelties at &Tradition, including this handsome Calderesque desk, called Palette.
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IMM Cologne's Pure Talents Contest is the place to see young, up-and-coming designers experimenting with new form and functionality. Aurelie Hoegy's Dancers – a series of chair-like furnishings made of textile and inspired by dancers' movements – won first prize.
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ClassiCon debuted new tables as well as the classic collection of Eileen Gray.
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Dutch brand Spectrum is best known for re-issuing classics by Rietveld, but it also produces new designs, like the Tangled collection of tables and shelving.
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Werner Aisslinger's Garden of Wonders for Kvadrat, at Design Post.
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Also at Design Post, Danskina debuted a collection of dynamic rugs by creative director Hella Jongerius.
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We predict that shelving and storage units will become colourful focal points of the home, like the ones we feasted our eyes on at New Tendency and Montana.
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Young designer Michel Charlot was featured alongside his mentor – British designer Jasper Morrison, fêted as Designer of the Year – at the Kölnischer Kunstverein.
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At Ruff Factory, young design talents showed off everything from textiles to lighting.
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YES! A stool and storage set at Ruff Factory.

At IMM Cologne and its offsite circuit Passagen, colour made a comeback, young designers got the spotlight and major brands presented fun new furnishings. Here are our favourite moments from the fair. 

One of my favourite moments at the IMM Cologne fair was checking out the little leather elephants in a long, linear display case that wrapped the inside of the De Sede booth. At the centre was the original – the buttery, tanned leather elephant that designer Alfredo Häberli found in a flea market and inspired his new collection of seating for the Swiss manufacturer. The thick leather upholstery of DS-373 seemed dark and heavy but also had a whimsical touch.

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Whimsy and elegance came together again and again at Cologne, whether at the fair itself or its offsite anchor, Design Post. Brands like Menu and Pulpo showed off beautiful, thoughtful new home accessories, while Linteloo and New Tendency added a burst of colour to furniture and shelving. The work of young professionals, displayed in the schools section and at the Pure Talents Contest, showed a curiosity with form and functionality that was fresh and new. If you need proof, see Aurelie Hoegy’s Dancers chairs.

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Central to it all was the Das Haus installation, where Sebastian Herkner awed the crowds with his creativity. Every surface – from the Rosenthal-made beaded-porcelain screen to the soap bars that clad the bathroom walls – was an exercise in novel thinking about what the home can be. Encircled in soft drapes, and featuring many entrances, the installation also made a statement about embracing visitors – a message that spoke to the refugee crises in Europe and elsewhere.

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If one trend stood out above the others, it was colour: marbled wood tables, multi-hued shelving and vibrant textiles showed that exhibitors are moving away from the safe neutrals of years past and embracing happy tones once again. Spain’s Kettal introduced a rich new palette of upholstery for its outdoor furniture designed by Doshi Levien, and Montana, a new Danish company, displayed modular storage in a variety of citrus-y hues.

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