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Design meets sustainability: the Installation Circles at imm cologne

One of the highlights of the innovative trade fair concept The Circles at imm cologne 2024 is set to be the Installation Circles. Here three internationally renowned design studios will present their artistically staged installations on the themes of “Welcome to Stay”, “Sense of Surface” and “Impact of Light”.

The installations with a sculptural dimension will be exhibited on compact circular areas. Even from a distance, they will be invitations for the audience of trade visitors to explore, pause and enjoy. Appealing to the senses, conceptually strong and sustainable, the installations by STUDIO DESSí, Raw-Edges Design Studio and VANTOT set out their thinking on hospitality, materials and light, transforming the objects into centrepieces of the trade fair.

Installation Circle of Studio DESSi.

STUDIO DESSí: Welcome to Stay
The dominant feature of the Installation Circle on the theme of hospitality is the roof – because 'the roof seemed to us to be the purest form of offering welcome,' says Marco Dessí from STUDIO DESSí. The Vienna-based designer has created a temporary setting for the furniture, a stage whose backdrop aims to do more than just create a beautiful illusion of hospitality. The materials and semi-finished products from the construction industry are decontextualised and, much like in a stage play, serve as a canvas for the projection of ideas and interpretations. The true protagonists, however, are the furniture and lighting designs crafted by STUDIO DESSí. In their interpretation, hospitality is also characterised by cultural traditions and sources of artistic inspiration. It’s no coincidence, therefore, that the installation brings to mind a pavilion in the centre of a (trade fair) landscape, which magnetically attracts visitors like a landmark.

Raw-Edges Design Studio: Sense of Surface
Surfaces have more than one dimension in the installation by the London design studio Raw-Edges, led by Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay. Even from the outside, which consists of digitally printed curtains, there are hints that this installation will involve a multi-layered concept. The curtains are made from a transparent fabric (Apollo by RÖKONA) that has been digitally printed using the unique XDi technique developed by Kornit. They invite visitors to enter a shielded space that reveals an unexpectedly deep visual calm. Objects with various organic forms, the surfaces of which sometimes shimmer transparently, sometimes opaquely, float here like the nuclei of a cell: light objects, exclusively designed for this installation by Raw-Edges Design Studio and shaped from a 3D-printed mesh. What makes the installation unique is that, rather than becoming transparent when it’s illuminated, light causes the mesh to “close up”, becoming an opaque shape that only regains its transparency when the light is extinguished.

VANTOT: Impact of Light
In the installation of the design duo VANTOT from Breda in the Netherlands, light is bodiless. Taking a graceful grid system as its framework, VANTOT uses individual spotlights to create spaces and sculptures made of light. It’s not the volume of the luminaires that’s of interest, but rather the effect of the light on the room itself. In their installation, VANTOT play with the possibilities offered by the system to create large light sculptures in public spaces or in small, intimate rooms. The installation therefore comprises an open outdoor area and a darker indoor area, with completely different lighting effects achieved in each, despite the same system being used. 'The installation will have a sculptural quality. We’re really looking forward to the opportunity to focus simply on presenting our ideas about light and lighting,' says Esther Jongsma from VANTOT.

Sustainability as the fundamental premise
VANTOT’s approach to both their design and their sustainability goals focuses on using less material. Raw-Edges Design Studio also seek to minimise the consumption of materials and energy. 'It would take the pleasure out of the process for us if our installation left nothing but rubbish behind after just a few days because the materials had to be thrown away. That’s one of the reasons we only use materials that can be recycled or reused,' explains Yael Mer from Raw-Edges. STUDIO DESSí, on the other hand, uses inflatable elements and semi-finished products that will be returned to use in the construction sector after the trade fair. Circular systems and resource-efficiency are therefore at the heart of the construction of the Installation Circles.

The Installation Circles in Halls 1, 3 and 4 will be open for visitors to explore throughout the entire trade fair from 14 to 18 January 2024.

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imm cologne

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