The first furniture fair of the year, IMM Cologne is often noted as a place where big brands show new finishes for existing pieces or reissue past classics, rather than unveil new collections. This year turned out to be somewhat of turning point, with a wealth of new products on display within the fair's many halls.
A standout in this year's new 'Living Kitchen' section was Matteo Thun's collaboration with Milanese brand, Riva 1920, and American Hardwood. His 'La Cucina' installation deliberately harked back to a time before gadgets and mechanisation, when simpler kitchens centred around conviviality. 'I am not a friend of all these electrical controls,' Thun said. 'It is against the nature of our Mediterranean approach of sitting and talking to nonna [grandma].' Surrounding the central cooking tripod was a series of units, also constructed by Thun, using wood reclaimed from his 'Beacons' installation at last year's Salone del Mobile.
Elsewhere in the fair, the Design Talents show proved a big draw, with highlights including Laetitia Florin's rubberised 'Bidum' storage containers and Emilie Colin Garros' 'Functional Rhythm' table. Making a feature out of metal framework proved a persistent trend, as shown by designers like Linn Kandel and Schwab/Panther.
Ligne Roset's contribution to the fair is also always a highlight. This year it unveiled new additions to its Ruché collection by Inga Sempé, and a 'Simplissimo' range of seating, including a banquette and chaise longue, by Jean Nouvel, which may look firm but are actually surprisingly comfortable.
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