The best of IMM Cologne 2017

COLOGNE – The superstars of the international interiors show IMM this year have much in common. Comfort and luxury juxtapose with the creative usage of durable materials in a diverse range of seating. Modular furniture is all the rage, including storage elements of all shapes and sizes, polished by unexpected touches like translucent coloured glass.

The trend that emerges from all the most interesting products and showcases at IMM is design that considers what makes us feel most at home – whether at the office, in a concert hall, or out in the garden.

Drawing up a Chair 

What makes a chair a chair? It goes beyond having four legs and a vertical surface for support – some chairs lack these while some tables might have them. It’s evident that there’s surprising scope to rethink and reimagine this humble object.


Molteni&C engaged Rodolfo Dordoni to update the Chelsea chair, and the Italian designer reinvigorated its simple structure and elegant proportions with a glossy lacquer finish to give the original comfortable design a new inscrutable air of sophistication.


On the other end of the aesthetic spectrum, the latest Vitra Panton chair was a bright pop of ‘sunlight’. Designed by Verner Panton, the iconic chair was the first all-plastic chair to be manufactured in one piece in 1967, and this happy egg-yolk-coloured iteration expands the range of the series.


To soothe the cramps and pains of desk-bound office workers, Wagner turned to German designer Stefan Diez for the Dondola office chair. The three-dimensional Dondola seat mechanism created a more dynamic connection between the base and seat of a chair; and Diez added yet another dimension to the D1/D2 chairs with four-axis rotation. Both the seat and backrest can tilt and pivot in response to the user’s posture, which activates the seated body and encourages a more dynamic way of sitting. Who says lounging has to be lazy?

Something New to the Table


Using state-of-the-art technology to fuse recycled glass into a glossy new material dubbed Glaskeramik, Studio Sebastian Herkner developed the Font tables for Pulpo. Working together with German manufacturer Magna, the studio is the first to transform this eco-friendly material into a furniture collection. Each piece is unique, with minor variations in colour and texture such as those that characterize handblown glass.

Modular Made for You

Modular furniture provides standardized quality and aesthetic cohesion while allowing for individual taste and customization – preventing personal, public and corporate spaces from looking like they’ve all been lifted from the same page of a catalogue.

In this spirit, German designer Werner Aisslinger gave a touch of the 60s and 70s to the modern concept of modular storage with tinted glass. Aisslinger designed a customizable storage system for Piure using different tones of coloured glass – the Mesh collection’s subtle tints add an element of playfulness to the open structures and varied materials, allowing it to be adapted to any living space.

Lapalma added the ADD-T tables and ADD-S storage units to their repertoire of modular products designed for the contract market. As people are spending more and more time in collective spaces – offices, restaurants, lounge areas and hotels – Lapalma creates solutions to the sterility of public areas through minimalist elegance with a warm spirit.


A Slender Slant of Light


Danish minimalism strikes again with Danish design company &Tradition’s Fornell ABF1 lamp. Designed by Andreas Bozarth Fornell, the narrow aluminum hanging light has a matte finish on the outside and a high-polish mirror effect on the inside, injecting the traditional with a dose of the unexpected.

Sofas out on the Soil

Antonio Citterio’s new series of outdoor furniture for B&B Italia expands the comfort of the living room out to the garden lawn. The Erica armchair, sofa and chair are lightweight, stackable and can stand up to the elements while maintaining a plush worthy of the indoors.

A Place like Home


What makes a house a home? American product designer Todd Bracher investigates this question in Das Haus – Interiors on Stage, his installation for IMM 2017. Simulating a residential home, Bracher twists the traditional floor plan of designated rooms into a three-zone apartment divided according to function: nourishment, rest, and hygiene. Bracher applies his philosophy of reducing the complicated to the simple for Das Haus, ensuring that everything in the installation is self-explanatory.

The interior of a theatre has its own music, as it impacts the way a performance is experienced. For Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie concert hall, German designers Eva Marguerre and Marcel Besau collaborate with architect Daniel Schöning and E15 to design an equally elegant range of custom furniture for the space. Black and white powder-coated steel with variable surfaces permeate the minimalist furnishings of the concert hall’s foyers to give visitors a sense of elevated comfort.

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