System furniture did what it's wont to do at this year's imm cologne: expand. A number of new and innovative furniture programmes, modular in nature, were shown alongside augmented and reworked old favourites. It's all about joined-up thinking.
It was all systems go at this January’s imm cologne. Sleek, modular furniture programmes that inject a healthy dose of the architectural into the interior, helping to define the way space is encountered, used and enjoyed, were in plentiful evidence.
German designer Werner Aisslinger’s new modular furniture programme for Flötotto, called ‘ADD’, features a patent-pending plastic joint system, whose fasteners allow the easy addition or removal of front, side and back panels
In these economically uncertain times, planners and end consumers are thinking even more than ever about the longevity of furniture, as a long-term investment – which is, of course, no bad thing. Beyond their ability to respond to the needs of their users in a tailored way, such furniture systems are, at least in theory, always a work in progress, the option of adding to them or reconfiguring them at a later stage built into their design.
Like a programme of our own, here are some product highlights from the Cologne fair.
Extruded form is the name of the game with Konstantin Grcic’s new ‘kit of parts’ ‘Bench B’ for BD Barcelona Design. Extendable to six metres, its profile is also an homage to Mies van der Rohe’s iconic ‘Barcelona Chair’
Product designer Werner Aisslinger has collaborated with German manufacturer Interlübke on the expansion of their ‘Cube’ cabinet programme. Four new modules mean an even greater configurability
Pastoe has marked its (first) 100 years in business with a ‘Vision Elements Jubilee Cabinet’, designed by Pierre Mazairac and Karel Boonzaaijer. It speaks the same architectural, rational language of the Dutch manufacturer’s entire programme
The vibrant new colour options available for MDF Italia’s successful ‘Randomito’ modular bookcase, designed by Neuland Industriedesign, turns the discreet and the utilitarian into the emphatic and the statement-like
Carsten Gollnick’s ‘Board’ product system for Schönbuch is reduction itself. Reminiscent of a Constructivist painting, functional modules can be added to a painted, wall-mounted shelf, providing a coat rail and a console
2013 sees German manufacturer Kettnaker expand its remarkably flexible ‘Alea’ furniture programme, with, among other developments, a new system of legs. Show here, a new colour option: Blood Orange Lacquer
Thonet’s new ‘S1520’ coat-rack programme is, as you’d expect, satisfyingly utilitarian in terms both of pure function and of aesthetics, and references its signature, Marcel-Breuer-originated material language of tubular steel
The 2013 edition of imm cologne saw String, the Swedish manufacturer of the eponymous shelving system, extend its ‘String Pocket’ lightweight shelving, offering the product in three new designs: copper, raw and ash/white
Danish system-design brand Montana possesses some impressive vital statistics: 42 basic units, 4 depths, and 42 colours. This imm cologne saw the introduction of two sizes of custom-built loudspeaker for their wire-concealing TV hi-fi modules
German brand Piure are thoroughly systematic people. They only produce system furniture. ‘Nex’, designed by Studio Piure, is a highly permutational storage programme, where volume, line, material and colour create distinct compositions
Vertically and horizontally expandable, ‘Stell’, the new free-standing system by eigenwert for German brand Tojo, can range in scale from sideboard to full wall shelving, its elements fitting together without the need for any kind of fixtures