January 21, 2020

10 Rising Young Product Designers Seen at IMM 2020

Each year, as part of its Pure Talents Contest, home furnishings trade show IMM Cologne singles out rising young design stars. Sebastian Herkner—for example—is one notable alum. From a clock that indicates passing time with its dimming light to easily assembled flat-pack furnishings and an open-source design aiming to reuse vacuum cleaner trash, here are 10 of our favorite finds.

1. Levi Table by Marie Kurstjens and Iva Coskun

Photography courtesy of Marie Kurstjens and Iva Coskun.

There are times when Ikea instructions seem akin to rocket science. First prize winner in this year’s Pure Talents Contest, the Levi flatpack table by Marie Kurstjens and Iva Coskun is geared towards university students, and meant to be intuitively assembled and disassembled—minus the tools. 

2. Omit by Hiroyuki Morita

Photography by Hiroyuki Morita, courtesy of Koelnmesse.

An electrical outlet is not always on hand for cleaning, say, a car—or so thought Japanese industrial designer Hiroyuki Morita. Omit is an electricity-free vacuum cleaner and the second prize winner in this year’s Pure Talents Contest. 

3. Jojo Lamp by Sofia Souidi

Photography by Sofia Souidi, courtesy of Koelnmesse.

Pull the string to illuminate wind-up lamp Jojo—”jo-jo” is yo-yo in German—by Sofia Souidi. Starting out warm and bright, the lamp slowly dims with passing time. 

4. According to the Grain Furniture Collection by Sho Ota

Photography by Sho Ota, courtesy of Koelnmesse.

Knots are celebrated with the According to the Grain wood seating collection by Sho Ota.

5. Aspirator by Qing Deng

Photography by Qing Deng, courtesy of Koelnmesse.

Suppressed emotions are usefully channeled to create a seat with Aspirator by Qing Deng. “The Aspirator venting machine is a psychological vacuum cleaner that helps people vent negative emotions,” according to press materials. “When people are unhappy, shouting or saying something to the Aspirator will make the airbag inflate. In the end, people can create a seat made from their own negative emotions and relax in it to find solutions to their problems.” 

6. Flow Chair by Filip Lenarcik

Photography by Filip Lenarcik, courtesy of Koelnmesse.

Flatpack doesn’t mean ugly, according to Filip Lenarcik. Despite a classic look, the Flow chair consists of four main elements and eight joints. 

7. Stratum Tempus Vase Collection by Daan De Wit

Photography by Daan De Wit, courtesy of Koelnmesse.

To create the conical forms of the Stratum Tempus vase collection, Daan De Wit laser-cuts sheet material into thin concentric layers. Sustainable materials, such as 100 percent recycled acrylic or bamboo can be used—with a production process leaving almost no waste. 

8. Fold Lamp by Thalea Schmalenberg and Kasper Friis Egelund

Photography by Thalea Schmalenberg and Kasper Friis Egelund, courtesy of Koelnmesse.

Pondering the simplicity of a paper fan, Thalea Schmalenberg and Kasper Friis Egelund conceived the Fold lamp. When not in use, the paper shade can be folded up and placed into an aluminum stand. 

9. Tenok Open Source Vacuum by Tim Krahmer

Photography by Tim Krahmer, courtesy of Koelnmesse.

The design of a vacuum cleaner is inherently wasteful, Tim Krahmer realized. More than half are still functional when thrown out, he says. With an online instruction manual and a 3D-printed adapter, Tenok can be equipped with used vacuum cleaner parts from nearly all manufacturers. 

10. Pipeline Table by Peter Otto Vosding

Photography by Peter Otto Vosding, courtesy of Koelnmesse.

Highlighting its function, the large pull-out pipe extending the Pipeline table by Peter Otto Vosding is meant to be seen. 

Read more: 15 New Product Highlights from IMM 2020

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