Themed “Connecting Communities,” imm Cologne 2024 continues the reconceptualized format that began with the recent imm Spring Edition in 2023. Back to its regularly scheduled January date (14 to 18), the tradeshow once again invites the international design industry to discover the furniture and product trends and innovations that are set to influence the year ahead. 

First introduced during the spring installment, the new format for the show is centred around The Circles – content and event platforms that will serve as meeting points, showcases for products and concepts, and demonstrate the blurred boundaries between art and design. In total, four Circle themes have been devised to provide “connecting elements” for visitors, exhibitors, designers and field experts to congregate and share ideas, knowledge and inspiration: The Circle Club, Café, Bistro and Bar, gathering points with a relaxed atmosphere for meetings, snacks and drinks; Brand Circles for product highlights; Community Circles to exhibit a variety of collaborations, concepts and networking opportunities; and the Installation Circles, where three studios – Studio Dessí, Raw-Edges Design Studio and VANTOT – will each craft visionary displays that tread the line between art and design and challenge perceptions of light, material and hospitality in stunning sculptural installations. 

“Welcome to Stay” by Studio Dessí
imm Cologne 2024 Installation Circle Welcome to Stay Studio Dessí

Vienna-based Studio Dessí, founded and led by Marco Dessí, explores the concept of hospitality with its “Welcome to Stay” Installation Circle. Situated under a giant doughnut-shaped inflatable “roof” – which Dessí considers “the purest form of welcoming” – the studio has used decontextualized materials and semi-finished products from the construction industry to form an intriguing backdrop for a selection of furnishings – including the studio’s own Texta D70 and Thonet 520 chairs – that encourage lingering, discussion and creative play.

imm Cologne 2024 Installation Circle Welcome to Stay Studio Dessí

Dessí’s stark black Cima lights for Lodes are suspended from cable ropes and keep the installation anchored, so to speak. Touching on cultural traditions and artistic impulses that often-times characterize hospitality, the circle evokes the ethereal beauty of James Turrell’s temple architecture and will feature compelling art objects by Vienna-based multidisciplinary talent Quirin Krumbholz. 

“Sense of Surface” by Raw-Edges Design Studio
imm Cologne 2024 Installation Circle Sense of Surface Raw-Edges Design Studio
imm Cologne 2024 Installation Circle Sense of Surface Raw-Edges Design Studio

Situated behind a set of digitally printed curtains, the “Sense of Surface” installation by Raw-Edges Design Studio delves deep into the concept of multi-layered structures. Offering a moment of visual calm and contemplation, the secluded space transforms flat surfaces into three-dimensional lighting objects made from 3D-printed-mesh: Designed by Raw-Edges co-founders Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay, the individual objects were printed as flat structures at their London studio and then formed on-site (this economized printing material and transportation costs).

imm Cologne 2024 Installation Circle Sense of Surface Raw-Edges Design Studio

The organically shaped luminaries – inspired by nature, handicrafts and digitally generated patterns – toy with convention in that the structures “close up” (or become opaque) when illuminated and return to transparency when the light is turned off. 

“Impact of Light” by VANTOT
imm Cologne 2024 Installation Circle Impact of Light VANTOT

Consisting of an open outdoor area and a darker indoor space, the “Impact of Light” installation by VANTOT (based in Breda, the Netherlands) experiments with the disembodiment of light. Suspended from a filigree grid system, numerous spotlights are positioned to carve out spaces and sculptures from light, exploring the potential to craft expansive light sculptures in public spaces as well as in smaller more intimate interiors.

Impact of Light by VANTOT
imm Cologne 2024 Installation Circle Impact of Light VANTOT

Fashioned by VANTOT’s design duo Esther Jongsma and Sam van Gurp, the illuminated installation highlights the influence lighting can have on and in a space and how one system can achieve vastly different results. Powered by low-voltage technology, the light sculptures invite interaction and allow visitors to creatively play with light. 

While each of the three Installation Circles offers a unique and curious perspective, they do share one thing in common – an adherence to sustainability and responsibility: All materials (including the inflatable roof) from Studio Dessí’s installation will be returned to and reused by the construction industry; all elements in the Raw-Edges circle are fully recyclable or reusable; and VANTOT’s restrained use of physical materials means there will be no waste upon disassembly. 

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