Simon Keane-Cowell

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Simon Keane-Cowell
Zürich   Suiza

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'


The biggest, the fastest, the smartest. When it comes to marketing-speak, there's nothing like a superlative to liven things up. Best of Best – the annual exhibition held at imm cologne of the category winners from the Interior Innovation Award 2013, a scheme organised by the German Design Council and voted for by a jury of big names from the design industry – is no exaggeration, however.
 

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
Besides promising extreme comfort visually and then delivering it, Antonio Citterio’s ‘Grand Repos’ armchair for Vitra innovates technically, with a concealed synchronised mechanism that holds the chair in position across its full range of motion

Truly successful awards schemes stand the test of time and Interior Innovation Award Scheme, launched over ten years ago by imm cologne and the German Design Council, is proving to be a winner.

If there’s one word that sums up the award scheme’s raison-d’etre, it’s innovation. It sets as its mission the highly selective showcasing of products for the interior that actually make a difference. In short, real achievements. And this across all product areas within the sector, including furniture, the bathroom, the office/work place, building interiors, walls/floors/ceilings, kitchens/household, luminaires and textiles.

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
‘My New Flame’, designed by Moritz Waldemeyer for Ingo Maurer, is a never-ending candle: 356 tiny LEDs, atop an elongated circuit board, create the illusion of candle-light. It’s back to the future with this award-winning product

This year’s jury – designer Carole Baijings; 
Barbara Friedrich, Editor-in-Chief of A&W Architektur und Wohnen; Andrej Kupetz, General Manager of German Design Council; designer Giulio Ridolfo; Gerhard Wolf of Funktion Möbel; and Sebastian Wrong, designer and co-founder of Established & Sons – identified 15 pioneering products, including, but not limited to, those shown at imm cologne.

What the Interior Innovation Award serves to do, beyond its lending of a seal of approval to the winning products, is to offer their manufacturers a means to differentiate themselves in a highly populated, highly competitive market, and to leverage the kudos that such a plaudit delivers to help position their brands. No wonder they’re so coveted.

If you weren’t at this year’s imm cologne, fear not. Here’s a round-up of the 15 products that scooped the sought-after gongs.

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Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
Design duo Shay Alkalay & Yael Mer, who together make up London-based studio Raw Edges, have created an geometrically elegant desk in a box for Arco called, you’ve guessed it, ‘DeskBox’, perfect for small spaces

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
Hard geometry meets soft fabric in Isa Glinks new collection of designs, ‘Unfold’, for textile manufacturer Kinnasand, which occupy compelling ground between the two- and three-dimensional

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
Accessibility is the keyword with manufacturer HEWI’s new ‘Comfort and Care’ system of products for private, public and care-sector bathrooms, designed with the needs of all generations in mind, yet not at the expense of aesthetics

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
‘Like little protrusions in nature’ is how manufacturer Vitra describes its latest collaboration with Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. ‘Corniches’ is a collection of sculptural, irregular and individual shelves, that turn storage into exhibition

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
‘LightBeton’ from Richter Furniertechnik is an innovative new composite material, which looks like solid concrete, but is, in fact, consists of melamine-resin-coated chipboard coated with a mere 3mm of concrete. Its applications are numerous

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
The ‘Liz’ chair, designed by Claudio Bellini for Walter Knoll transfers technology from one industry to another, applying an elastic, high-comfort material developed for aviation to a delicate frame

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
Manufacturer MDF Italia’s new ‘Inmotion’ storage system, designed by Neuland Industriedesign, is an all-rounder. Almost literally. It creates a new typology by making the side of each of the units just as utilitarian as the front

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
‘Xetis’ is an innovative, enamelled-steel wall surface for shower areas from Kaldewei, which, with its integrated wall drainage, melds seamlessly into bathroom flooring, creating an interior-architectural harmony

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
Super-slim 2 and 2.5mm powder-coated sheet steel provides the material for Jorre van Ast’s ‘Steel’ table for Dutch manufacturer Arco, lending it an industrial appearance and feel. A 2.5mm solid-wood top is available as optional finish

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
Technology-driven British design legend James Dyson, he of the bagless vacuum cleaner, had his new ‘Dyson Digital Slim DC45’ product recognised with Interior Innovation Award

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
High-end kitchen-sink and tap manufacturer Blanco’s ‘Blancoattika’ sink, with its elegant proportions, raised rim, and lowered mixer-tap ledge, which sits inside the bowl, make for a unique product

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
The new ‘Più 3d’ spotlight series from lighting brand Occhio enables the free placement of light within a room, allowing users to determine how interior space is perceived and experienced. Halogen and LED options are available

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
If floor space is at a premium in your kitchen, manufacturer Schüller have come up with a solution. The only way is up with its ‘next125’ wall-mounted kitchen, which combines sleek lines with a satisfying visual levity

Non Plus Ultra: the Interior Innovation Award 2013's 'Best of Best'
The jury (L to R): Andrej Kupetz, German Design Council
; Gerhard Wolf of Funktion Möbel; designer Giulio Ridolfo; Barbara Friedrich, Editor-in-Chief of A&W magazine; Stefan Scholten of Scholten & Baijings; and designer Sebastian Wrong

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to the German Design Council website to the German Design Council website