Cologne in pole position as trade fairs rev their engines

The season of trade fairs connected with the world of interior design is about to begin. First up on the calendar is imm Cologne – the beating heart of the city's Design Week – which takes place on 18-24 January.

The event is being presented as a huge shop window on the global and entrepreneurial panorama of the furniture universe, enclosed within a Central European city. Over recent years, this trade fair in Germany has seen such an increase in visitors that record figures are expected for this year, both in terms of international guests (over 120,000) and exhibitors (1200 from 50 countries).

This edition of imm Cologne promises to serve up plenty of new things. First of all, there's the reorganisation of Pure: an exhibition space dedicated solely to design, which is opening up with a more-streamlined and better-organised format that places the traditional offering alongside other sectors: Pure Editions and Pure Talents.

Pure is a space exclusively dedicated to the top brands in design, distributed among pavilions 10.1 and 11 where companies present the philosophy behind their projects to the public. Pure Editions, on the other hand, welcomes companies aiming for more futuristic furniture projects and products. These can be visited at pavilions 2.2 and 3.2.

Young talent doesn't miss out on the chance to grab the limelight either, the Pure Talents section is reserved for young and experimental design on show for the first time at pavilion 4.1. Here too the winner of imm Cologne's international youth competition will be revealed (previously D3 Contest, it has now been renamed Pure Talents Contest). 

A constant feature at the imm Cologne event is the Das Haus project, a concept installation that is created by an international designer every year. This year, the job has been handed to Sebastian Herkner from Germany, who has developed the idea of an 'open' house: fluid lines, colourful and communicative. Wherever you are on the various levels of the circular structure, there are panoramic views opening out onto the surrounding environment. This sense of freedom is reflected inside as well where the furniture is positioned freely around the space.

LivingInteriors will also be taking place at the same time as imm Cologne. This is a biennial event dedicated to products and materials from the bathroom, floor, wall and lighting sectors.  

Proposals from Design Week will spread throughout the city with Design Post, an exhibition reserved for the best Italian and international brands and their new product offerings, set up within a modern and inspirational setting. Finally, you'll be able to visit different quarters of the city thanks to Passagen, the “Fuorisalone” that brings together more than 200 events distributed among studios, showrooms, museums, art galleries and universities.