IMM Cologne: [D3] Design Talents

One of the absolute highlights of imm cologne was [D3] Design Talents, a selection of award-winning products from up-and-coming designers. The tenth [D3] contest saw 671 submissions from students and recent graduates from all over the world. Just 21 products from 27 designers were selected. And from those 21, these were my favorites…

D3 Design Talents And A And Be And Not by Camilla Richter

This folding screen entitled “And A And Be And Not” by Berlin-based designer Camilla Richter is made from different color transparent sections, which change color according to the light and where you’re standing when you look at it. The shapes and colors created by the piece itself and by the shadows and reflections are mesmerising.

D3 Design Talents: Reflection Range - Circus / Buren by Kim Thome

Combinations of semi-reflective glass and colorful patterns continue the theme of reflection and morphing geometric shapes in London-based Kim Thome‘s Reflection Range – Berlin and Circus.

D3 Design Talents: The New Old Light by Lin YiHsien, Shih HsiaoChun and Yen TingWei

I first spotted the New Old Light by Lin YiHsien, Shih HsiaoChun and Yeh TingWei at Tent London during the London Design Festival in September. It’s a fascinating combination of traditional and modern, East and West, and simple and complex. The soft diffused light turns into a focussed spotlight when the shade is pulled down.

D3 IMM Cologne Swell by Rachel Griffin

D3 IMM Cologne Swell by Rachel Griffin

Swell by Dutch designer Rachel Griffin unites the conventional production phases into a single step. The foam expands to fill the fabric and at the same time acts as a binder between material and frame. Because the foam expands differently every time, each piece is unique.

D3 IMM Cologne CMYK Lamp Dennis Parren

It was great to meet Dennis Parren and see the CMYK Lamp in person, as we’ve featured it on Design Milk before. He describes the CMYK Lamp as “the light that colors the world.” It uses LED technology to cast shadows in cyan, magenta and yellow.

D3 Design Talents: 3/4 Platzhalter-Stuhl by Julian Sterz

Julian Sterz explored the relationship between objects and the meaning we attach to them in his diploma thesis – what is it about a chair that makes it a chair? In 3/4-Platzhalter-Stuhl one chair becomes four with the missing parts replaced with a metal frame. Each chair loses its functionality but retains its identity.

D3 Design Talents: Slagbaenk by Rasmus B Fex

Again challenging seating conventions, Slagbaenk by Danish Rasmus B Fex is a deceptively simple concept. It uses two chairs and five boards to form a bench with integrated storage space. The dimensions of the bench are dictated by the length of boards used to join the two chairs.

D3 IMM Cologne Engineering Temporality

One of the most talked about pieces at the show, and certainly the most moving, was Engineering Temporality by Tuomas Markunpoika Tolvanen, also previously featured on Design Milk.

D3 IMM Cologne Engineering Temporality

Inspired by the declining health of his grandmother due to Alzeimer’s disease, Tuomas covered items of furniture with a network of welded steel rings before setting them on fire so that only the steel rings remained; “memories of things that were once objects of emotional attachment.”

D3 Design Talents: The Royal Family by Ellen Heilmann

German designer Ellen Heilmann presented “The Royal Family,” a modular family of stools, which can be taken apart and used as tables and cushions.

D3 Design Talents: Dear Disaster by Jenny Ekdahl

Dear Disaster was created by Swedish designer Jenny Ekdahl in response to recent global disasters.

D3 IMM Cologne Dear Distaster by Jenny Ekdahl

Inspired by infographics, and representing the sea and the sand, the 2,000 wooden scales can be moved back and forth to help people process what they’ve seen. The tiles are incredibly tactile and strangely calming.

D3 IMM Cologne Per by Tim Mackerodt

Per by Tim Mackerodt is a freestanding object; part glass room divider, and part lamp. The bulb is held in a double volume of hand blown glass by a light fixture concealed in a cork.

D3 Design Talents: Tilt by Tina Schmid

Tina Schmid explores the transition from graphic shapes into the three-dimensional objects, with this “picture of a cube” made from a system of jointed rods, that folds out into a table as seen above.

D3 Design Talents: Berlin by Daniel Becker

Berlin by German designer Daniel Becker is an updated version of the tiles that cover traditional ceramic heating ovens. The three-dimensional form increases the surface area, allowing the oven to give off more heat, and creates a beautiful geometric pattern.

D3 Design Talents: Pilu by Leoni Werle

And last but not least, Pilu by Leoni Werle. These see-saw lamps have an oak base which enables the lamp to switch between two positions. The toadstool shaped lampshade is jointed so that it points downwards in either position. Every detail of the aesthetic right down to the cabling has been carefully considered.

With thanks to Modenus and BlogTourCGN sponsors, Miele, Blanco, Mr Steam, Du Verre Handware, Axor and NKBA

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.