IMM Cologne 2020

IMM Cologne is absolutely one of the most important design activities of the whole year. It’s like a mix of Stockholm Furniture Fair and Salone del Mobile in Milan. You have small scale and Scandinavian producers as well as Italian luxury brands. This is golden opportunity to get an early idea on where our design world is moving.

Just as tha majority of all fairs, also IMM has sustainability as a focus. I will end my report on this note. And before we actually start with the trends – let’s look at what is new.

One reflection I had was that we are starting to see a new kind of furniture. Not as small as a chair, and not as big as a cabinet. Perhaps a multifunctional piece? Is it a chair or a desk – or both?

A pretty terrible picture, but the idea is that you get a desk where you have your bookshelf. Yes, we have seen it before but it also fits my insight about cabinets as room dividers.

A room divider with plants…

Fronts that roll on wheels.

Semi-open or semi-closed.

See through

In general, I saw a fair amount of innovation on shelves.

All dining tables were enourmous and round.

My favourite table or furniture pieces was this table with a shelf underneath. Easy to put away your computer when you work at home.

I saw a lot of smaller pieces. The drink trolley or bar cabinet seem to make a comeback.


Sofas are getting sharper. No oversize, lounge pieces.

Or if you wanna go the whole way at the opposite direction. Ligne Roset relaunched this 60s or 70s pieces. Fun.

Lets look at trend details. As expected we saw a lot of blue. Definately a trend colour for 2020.


Another trend colour is yellow. For me it is extra interesting as this might symbolize a new optimism and “happy”. I like yellow.

The two pictures above from Mut who were the “guests of honours” and made the installation Das Haus.

I like how this installation actually worked with post-it, just to get the right hint of yellow.

Yellow details at Vitra.

There were plenty of sculptural lights also. And they were all opaque glass.

Even paper, with the same effect as glass.

A thing I see exploding – room dividers. I mentioned that we will see furniture and benches as room dividers. We of course will see ordinary and normal “extra walls”. All kinds.

Last chapter on this report. Sustainability. An over all theme for the fair. But not really present at the stands. Just recently I talked about sustainability at fairs like Heimtextil and Domotex. It is very evident that the textile industry have come much further on this than many others. Very few signs at stands talked about this issue. Very few.

I you look at the small text ont the sign, this company actually don’t say much. There are talks about “minimizing environmental impact” etc. But what is that? No talks about new materials, new ways of doing business or really anything. But at least this company address the issue. So many others don’t.

I mean, if you look at a fantastic project like this carpet. This is done my my friend Emma Olbers and contain a huge percentage of the woodfibre material tencel. Done for Swedish producer Asplund. But no signs, no communications. I really like Asplund so don’t get me wrong.

Some brands communicate stronger on this. Like Zanat.

But also look at amazing brand Ames. I really, really, really love this brand. They do so much good. They work in good materials and with local craftspeople in countries that need the income. It is all fantastic – but no communication.

At a fair with over 1200 exhibitors – it is extremely difficult to actually find the proper sustainable products. I need more. The way we do this now – it’s not good enough.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule. There are exhibitors who clearly post information about their sustainable approach. But still. I need more…

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