On the river in the shadow of the imposing Dome was an independent gathering of young, freelance designers, defying the Messe halls and big manufacturers with their own, individual shows.
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These designers, more than anywhere else across Cologne, responded directly to the questions people are asking about how design might be affected by the slimming economy. Not unlike Mike Meire’s statement, local resources, mobility and imagination are the main criteria.
This translated into numerous, varied designs: from new materials (pliable, spun concrete) to multiple functions (mirrors that turn into ironing boards), furniture for minute spaces (foldable everything) to the most attractive kitchen design we’ve seen for a while.
If this is the way young designers tackle touch times, then the future of design is far from doom and gloom.