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Pure Talent: 12 Design Prototypes from the Designers of Tomorrow

For the past fourteen years, Imm Cologne has played host to the Pure Talents Contest. This internationally renowned design competition provides an opportunity for young design talents to gain wider recognition: the contest is targeted at designers who are either pursuing their studies or have recently qualified.

At Imm Cologne 2017, twenty-one products from twenty-three global designers and studios were shortlisted for the Pure Talents Contest. The chosen prototype designs, representing a wide range of genres, provide an insight to the designers of tomorrow, their thinking and ambitions.

Shortlisted designers at the Pure Talents Contest 2017. Photo courtesy of Imm Cologne.

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Pure Talents Contest: Winners

First prize was awarded to German designer Bernhard Osann for ‘Neo’, an ultra-minimal rod light that is bent in two places. Designed to lean against a wall, Neo uses LED lighting modules; its light source is rotatable, so providing both direct and indirect illumination.

Neo. Photo courtesy of Imm Cologne.
Neo. Photo via Dezeen.

Second prize was awarded to German designer Simon Diener for ‘Pong’, a functional and mobile lamp comprising a pendant, battery and a cable connecting the two. The cable is the element that defines this portable luminaire, allowing the lamp to be slung 0ver a banister or suspended from a beam, with the heavy battery acting as a counterweight.

Pong. Photo courtesy of Imm Cologne.

Third prize was awarded to German designer Christoph Hauf for his ‘Slanted Mirror’, designed especially for corners. The mirror’s trapezoid shape ensures flush contact with walls and the floor, and its space-saving design is perfect for smaller abodes.

Slanted Mirror. Photo by Michelle Mantel © 2017 Christoph Hauf.

Pure Talents Contest: Special Mentions

A special mention was given to German designer Vera Aldejohann for ‘Goldwaage’, a wardrobe ‘object’ that functions like a set of scales. The scales tilt when an item of clothing is added or removed, prompting the user to act to restore their equilibrium. Goldwaage’s design is a purposeful, analogue reaction to the increasing digitisation of the home environment. The name Goldwaage translates as ‘gold balance’.

Goldwaage. Photo © Decoist.
Goldwaage detail. Photo courtesy of Imm Cologne.

A special mention was given to Swiss designers Christoph Buomberger and Tobias Pfister for ‘Klappstuhl’, a folding chair whose frame is made with a steel tube, cut with a tube laser.

Klappstuhl. Photo courtesy of Imm Cologne.
Klappstuhl. Photo courtesy of Imm Cologne.

A special mention was given to Dutch designer Martijn Rigters and Swiss designer Fabio Hendry for ‘The Colour of Hair‘. Using natural human hair—gathered from barbershop and hairdresser floors—the two designers developed a process that creates surface treatments and decoration on different metals. ‘The Colour of Hair’ turns hair into printable ink: hair is applied to a heated panel for up to ten seconds; carbonising instantly, it acts as a form of ink with similarities to etching and anodising.

The Colour of Hair collection by Martijn Rigters and Fabio Hendry. Photo via The Colour of Hair.
The Colour of Hair collection by Martijn Rigters and Fabio Hendry. Photo via The Colour of Hair.
The Colour of Hair floor by Martijn Rigters and Fabio Hendry. Photo via The Colour of Hair.

Pure Talents Contest: A Selection of Other Shortlisted Entries

‘SOL’ is a Japanese-inspired table lamp by Swiss designer Jona Messerli, that allows the sun to shine indoors.

SOL table lamp. Photo © Decoist.

‘Collecta’ is a range of furniture and objects by Italian industrial design graduate Alberto Bellamoli. Collecta brings a fresh perspective to the use of traditional terrazzo.

Collecta. Photo © Decoist.

‘Pico Balla’ is a colourful, sculptural display unit by German designer Enzo Zak Lux.

Pico Balla. Photo © Decoist.
Pico Balla. Photo courtesy of Imm Cologne.

‘Focus’ is a table lamp by German designer Susanne Tesche. A clever and playful light, Focus incorporates a concave mirror, used to reflect a beam of light from the height-adjustable LED.

Focus table lamp. Photo © Decoist.

‘Major Tom’ by German designer David Ciernicki, is a modular system.

Major Tom. Photo © Decoist.
Major Tom. Photo courtesy of Imm Cologne.

Created by French designer Guillaume Morillon, ‘Paresse’ is a daybed designed to celebrate the pleasures of a lazy day spent at the beach.

Paresse. Photo © Decoist.

Gerard McGuickin

Gerard is a writer, a thinker and a modern-day gentleman living in a modish neighbourhood in south Belfast. Walnut Grey Design is his popular manifesto of good design. From Gerard’s discerning perspective, design should be aesthetic, smart, honest and gratifying. Moreover, it must be for keeps. A self-confessed urbanite, Gerard is enthralled b[...]

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