Home LifestyleEvents Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne 2024: Congrats to the Winners!

Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne 2024: Congrats to the Winners!

by creativehomex

Technologically intelligent, functional and mobile – the outstanding designs selected all share these qualities, being based on a sustainable concept involving minimal material usage. Four particularly impressive designs were recognised from the over 1,000 submissions to the reconceptualised Pure Talents Contest: a mobile sauna, roof tiles made from recycled palm fronds, a skilfully crafted, textile partition screen and a foldable three-seater sofa. Visitors to imm cologne have the chance to view the winning designs at at the trade fair until 18 January.

The Pure Talents Contest, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a new and innovative concept, aims to promote young design talent. The jury of five international designers evaluated the “Objects” (products) and “Spaces” (interior design concepts) submitted in the three categories: “lifestyle and home living in cities with limited space”, “lifestyle and home living in a circular society” and “lifestyle and home living as a statement/message/concept”. The jury itself was another innovation, being for the first time composed of former nominees of the competition for upcoming designers who have made a name for themselves in the international design community. They are Marco Dessí from STUDIO DESSí, Esther Jongsma from VANTOT, Jonas Wagell from Studio JWDA, Tomás Alonso from Tomás Alonso Design Studio and Yael Mer from Raw-Edges Design Studio.

The winners were announced at the awards ceremony on the first day of imm cologne. Matthias Pollmann, Vice President at Koelnmesse, said: “Among the entries exhibited at the trade fair, you will be able to discover not only outstanding designs, but also ideas that expand our perception of product, space and time. Some of them offer unconventional solutions to the challenges confronting our world, whether this is in their approach to urbanisation, demographic shifts, digitalisation and, in particular, climate change. These changes will have a lasting impact on our lives and the design industry.”

A mobile sauna for urban spaces
The winning entry in the “lifestyle and home living in cities with limited space” category was the “MFG Mobile Sauna” (in which “MFG” stands for “Mobil für Gelassenheit” or mobile serenity), an interior design concept from Emil Löber, Sophia Reißenweber and Friedrich Gerlach. Their collaborative submission applies the tiny house principle to an unusual type of space: a mobile sauna. The micro-architectural structure is designed for use in compact settings such as parking spaces, and pairs lightwood with a transparent outer shell. This represents a new, modern take on the communal sauna, a concept deeply entrenched in Scandinavian culture. “But the most exciting thing about this sauna is that it is mobile – an intelligent technical solution allowing the entire structure to be tilted and pulled by just three people on foot. On a conceptual level, a sauna on wheels that is used in an urban setting challenges the societal and architectural conventions associated with saunas, making the concept as clever as it is humorous from our point of view,” says jury member Jonas Wagell.

Intelligently repurposing industrial waste
Carolin Schelkle is the winner in the “lifestyle and home living in a circular society” category with her “Wasted Treasure” project. The design showcases an alternative way of using biomass generated during palm oil production, especially that produced from the plant fibres in palm leaves, which do not decompose easily. Schelkle’s work illustrates the advantages of this material using roof tiles as an example. “We liked that the designer translated the original use of palm fronds as protection against the weather, especially in the area of house roofing, into a contemporary, industrial and sustainable solution. The holistic approach of this material-driven project and the fact that it gives due consideration to the processes involved is also commendable,” says designer Marco Dessí. The addition of limestone and the recycled material brick dust results in dried, finely ground fibres that make for a weather-resistant, breathable building material. The intelligent repurposing of industrial waste is an important issue that permeates all areas of home living and building.

A new twist on the partition screen
The winning design in the “lifestyle and home living as a statement/message/concept” category is the “Pleated Partition Screen” from Fenna van der Klei. The screen is made entirely of textiles and constitutes a new and innovative take on traditional folding techniques such as pleating. The fabric is stiffened without binders or adhesives, and stability is achieved merely by means of the folding technique, supported by the felt elements integrated into the pockets. The exquisite use of colours and patterns combines with thoughtful touches and the design’s simplicity to make this submission particularly charming. The self-supporting structure can be easily transported in flat packaging. “The screen makes a stunning visual statement and functions as an enchanting yet functional design feature at home, in the office or in the hospitality sector,” says Yael Mer.

A special mention for a three-seater sofa
In addition to the three winning designs, the jury gave a special mention to the “Ballast” project from Anton Defant, in recognition of his unconventional furniture design. Jury member Tomás Alonso describes it as “probably the quickest three-seater sofa in the world to set up”. “Ballast” makes use of a radical approach that reduces the seat and backrest to the mesh material normally used to secure baggage stowed overhead and is surprisingly comfortable. The compact sofa can be collapsed in minutes, uses little material and is suited to all kinds of living spaces, ensuring that it meets the demands of a nomadic lifestyle. The intelligent construction, which was inspired by outdoor furniture, dispenses with extensive upholstery in the interests of material separation and the circular economy, making “Ballast” a contemporary example of experimental design with a new twist on the tradition of utilitarian design.


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