Hannover – ‘Think of the merchants travelling along the Silk Road, encountering exotic handmade carpets and purchasing them before journeying home,’ said Michael Christie, author of The Ruggist, a blog dedicated to the downy products under our feet. ‘The connection of two disparate worlds – brought together by the creativity and beauty of handmade rugs – cannot be discounted.’
Christie would know about the power of rugs bringing people together: thanks to the previous edition of the flooring mega-event Domotex, the Canadian author was able to share outlooks and work on an extended project with Rug Star, a German manufacturer and one of Domotex’s 1,553 exhibitors in 2018.
That’s why, for the 2019 edition, the Hannover event has decided to celebrate its ability to bring together, just like the Silk Road before them, the perspectives, interests and insights of people from all over the world. The fitting theme this time? Create’n’Connect.
Modern consumers are looking for texture because they experience the world through a flat, textureless screen
‘Domotex is still the number one platform for our industry,’ explained Rug Star founder Jurgen Dahlmanns. ‘There is no other fair with the same importance, and visitors understand that it’s not enough just to look at products and think about the local market anymore. The attitude of consumers is becoming more and more global. Domotex guarantees that international context, which no-one can afford to ignore.’
Indeed, the organisers are expecting 38,000 visitors at the Hannover Exhibition Grounds between January 11-14; that takes care of the Connect part. How about the Create component? What new proposals will they see there? Here are three macro trends to watch out for.
‘Perhaps this is an extension of the resurgent popularity of Moroccan carpets, which are high texture,’ wondered The Ruggist. ‘Then again, perhaps it’s a pendulum swing. As blogger Igor Josif said last year at Domotex, modern consumers are looking for texture because they experience the world through a flat, textureless screen.’
DIVERSITY AND TOOLS FOR CUSTOMISATION
‘As companies realize that diversity and customisation are now the key elements to secure the future, we’ll be seeing more of that,’ explained Dahlmanns. ‘To establish a certain style and connect it to the company brand is an old philosophy. These days, companies need to connect more with the values of quality and honesty.’
Apart from the Flooring Spaces zone, where exhibitors can stage their creative interpretations of this year's theme, and the NuThinkers zone, an opportunity for students to present their take on the connectivity megatrend, keep an eye out for the Art & Interaction zone. In this standout section, artists and designers approach the theme of flooring from both a social and haptic point of view, providing a sensorial feast that goes far beyond the visual.
For example, Portuguese artist Vanessa Barragão is doing a rather unexpected thing with waste material. As a resident of textile powerhouse Porto, with the sea always at her side, she's using techniques such as crochet, macramé and knitting to recreate three-dimensional coral reefs from recycled materials. ‘I am painfully aware of the damage the textile industry does to the world's oceans, which absorb 90 per cent of the world's air pollution and are therefore warming up,’ she explained.
So thanks to projects such as these, this year's fair won't only be a way to connect with industry stakeholders; it will also be a place to connect what's being displayed inside its walls with what's happening outside it.
Domotex 2019 is taking place between January 11-14, 2019 at the Hannover Exhibition grounds. If you'd like to receive a free ticket to visit the event, register here.