Record numbers for The 15th Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne 2018

Objects that seem to be alive, surfaces that shimmer like a beetle, fabrics draped in waves and carpets made of thick skeins of wool woven into a honeycomb structure – these are some of the entries that make up the 15th edition of the Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne 2018 (15-21 Jan). 

The special exhibition (Hall 3.1) will show smart product concepts, offbeat ideas and solid craftsmanship in a tremendous diversity encompassing everything within the world of interior design, from ultra-simple furniture and textile works to home accessories and lamps through to conceptual design.

The range of entries is astonishing. One focuses on materials, the other on concept or on industrial functionality”, comments member and designer Rianne Makkink from the Rotterdam-based Studio Makkink & Bey. “It’s very international, and that is something that I like very much. The task of choosing 20 nominees from the more than 800 entries seems almost impossible.”

As a platform for young design, the Pure Talents exhibition format draws together imm cologne’s activities in support of the next generation of international designers. Its highlight is the Pure Talents Contest, which is entirely financed by the trade fair and looking forward to celebrating its fifteenth birthday at imm cologne 2018. 

The number of submissions was higher than ever – but the standard has remained consistently high, as Sebastian Herkner stresses. Especially “the strong entries from Asia and particularly Japan will enrich the exhibition at imm cologne”, states the designer, welcoming the competition’s high level of internationality. 

In terms of design theme, this year most of the young designers addressed the relationship between man and object: our era, the users themselves and almost forgotten craftsmanship – all this takes on a shape in this year’s winning entries for the Pure Talents Contest.

There are carpets with an in-built patina effect that only acquire their pattern and final colours after traces of use and discolouration have left their mark, lamps that constantly change their (light) shape in response to the user’s adjustments, and furniture that only becomes furniture when spontaneously joined together. Classic and virtually production-ready design solutions such as the adjustable sixty° angled connectors for light modules, which form their own structural framework, stand alongside less realistic, conceptual design objects such as a loose combination of the rudimentary elements table, chair and lamp that only become a fragile unit with the arrival of a user.