For 14 years, the Pure Talents competition at IMM has tried to reduce the risk and expense for young designers bringing new products to the market. Twenty-one ideas were shortlisted from an international pool of 395 entries and from there three winners were chosen. “The designers’ contributions were very inspiring, and, taken as a whole, incredibly multifaceted”, Sebastian Herkner, a German designer who served on the jury. “I was overwhelmed by the creativity.”
First place was awarded to a lamp borne in a moment of pique. Hamburg designer Bernhard Osann was frustrated with the base of another floor lamp project. After bending the now baseless lamp so it would lean against the wall, Osann saw he was onto something and Neo was born. Reminiscent to North Americans of Bob Barker’s Price is Right microphone, the thin, now-gracefully bent body swivels in the upper third so the LEDs light a room directly or be diffused by the wall.
“The light Neo is not yet under contract. At the moment I am trying to find a manufacturer,” Osann told ArchiExpo e-Magazine.
Second prize winner Simon Diener, from Karlsruhe, doesn’t have eureka moments, relying instead on “past impressions and experiences that I collect over time.” His lamp, called Pong, makes the necessary things seem like design decisions. The cord snakes lazily over any object and the battery that acts as a counterweight. It’s an elegantly simple solution that makes you wonder why no one thought it before.
The third prize was awarded to Christoph Hauf for Slanted Mirror. Its 1950s trapezoidal curves and position in the corner of the room make the reflection of light feel soft and warm rather than interrogative.While Osann’s piece is up for manufacturing grabs, Diener and Hauf’s work are represented by kkaarrlls, part of the Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe.
Another standout was the copper clock named Es Liegt was in Der Luft – or There is something in the air – by German designer Patrick Palcic that tells the hour via a drip of essential oil heating up on the copper plate. Each hour has its own fragrance.
Outside of the Pure Talent contest, there were several stands with term projects from various German design schools. Danai Moshona and Christian May from Fachhochschule Potsdam were charged with reinventing the door and came up with Pythagoräer, a geometric sculpture that can also bring peace and quiet. Lisa Drenkelforth from Angewandte Kunst Schneeberg, used sound dampening tiles made of synthetic felt to make a cradle. The idea of the angular, collapsible Nap, easily the most playful Pure Talent in the show, was to keep sounds away from the baby. There’s nothing saying it couldn’t work both ways too.