Where can you find tiles made of paper, tabletops manufactured from waste timber and lamps with non-toxic salt batteries? At the Interior Business Event, imm cologne, that’s where – right next to the latest chairs, the most original furniture for storage spaces, folding lounge chairs and centrally arranged kitchen modules. Young designers are thinking about sustainability, interactivity and cross-generational design for both young and older people – that is the positive summary of the 16th edition of the Pure Talents Contest.
The high-profile panel members for the Pure Talents Contest 2019 jury came together in Cologne in October to view the 926 products submitted from 69 nations. Only 26 have made it through to the exhibition, which will attract many designers and design enthusiasts during the Interior Business Event, imm cologne.
This year’s jury is made up of designer Rianne Makkink (Studio Makkink & Bey) from Rotterdam, Suvi Saloniemi, Chief Curator of Helsinki Design Museum, designers Sebastian Herkner from Offenbach and Cristian Zuzunaga from Barcelona as well as design journalist Johannes Hünig (editor of IDEAT magazine) from Hamburg and Wilfried Lembert, Managing Director of Minimum Einrichten GmbH, Berlin.
The competition, promoted and organised by Koelnmesse, is specifically aimed at designers who are still studying or have recently completed their education. It is one of the most prestigious international contests for young design, as highlighted by the further increase in submissions (up by 11 %) and its international character (last year’s event: 53 countries represented).
In 2018, the participants once again included many students and recent graduates from distinguished design schools such as Aalto University Helsinki, the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, Eindhoven’s Design Academy, École cantonale d’art de Lausanne, the Elisava Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, Kassel College of Fine Arts (KHK), New York’s Pratt Institute, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Royal College of Art in London and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.
20 of the chosen designs will be on show at imm cologne in the renowned Pure Talents Contest exhibition in Hall 3.1. For the nominated designers, the presentation of their creations at imm cologne is the ideal platform from which to launch a successful career. Jury member Cristian Zuzunaga is convinced: "The contest is an excellent platform. And it will help a lot of people. I’m very happy to be a part of it."
This year’s Pure Talents Contest reflects the fact that the new generation of designers is deeply engaged with issues relating to the use of resources and materials recycling, as Wilfried Lembert points out: "Even young design today has a value that makes you realise that it’s not about designing something that’s cutting edge and special, but rather something that’s simply well made and useful. That way, it lasts. The trend is moving away from consumption and towards usefulness. And those products that are consumed should be manufactured from environmentally friendly or recyclable materials."