Food for Thought

October 2018

imm Cologne is set to return in January next year. The first fair of the year, it kicks off a year of design events – setting trends and topics, while profiling talents for the coming months.

Next year will be no exception, as creative director Dick Spierenburg presents the Living Kitchen programme designed to exhibit visionary concepts and smart solutions for the future themes of the food industry. The section will comprise the following areas: Future Technology, Future Design and Future Food Styles.

Future Design

Probably the biggest draw of this section is Future Kitchen, which will serve as an experimental space created by Argentinian designer Alfredo Häberli.

"In Alfredo Häberli, we have been able to win an internationally renowned designer and pioneer. We can look forward to inspiring and at the same time practicable solutions", said creative director Dick Spierenburg. "The Kitchen Selection will add some freshness and also be convincing in the details with original ideas."

On his design, Alfredo Häberli comments:

“Reducing growth is becoming a very important issue that touches not just mobility and space utilisation concepts, but also the kitchen,” says Häberli, who designs products for brands such as Alias, Baufritz, BD Barcelona, BMW, De Sede, Georg Jensen, Iittala, Kvadrat, Luceplan, Moroso, Ruckstuhl and Vitra in his Zurich studio.

He sees his open design less as a personal vision and more as a source of inspiration for everyone. Here visitors will really be able to get a glimpse of tomorrow’s kitchen.

“I deliberately want to elevate my design for a future kitchen to a certain level of abstraction because the times in which we are living are moving incredibly fast. My kitchen at LivingKitchen addresses the near future.”

Complementing Häberli installation will be a second exhibition area named Kitchen Selection, where young designers will showcase a plethora of kitchen designs, concepts and accessories – all chosen by an international jury. With the Kitchen Selection, a special award for the Kitchen category will be awarded for the first time in the context of the Pure Talents Contest, the international competition of imm Cologne for young participants.

Future Technology

The Future Technology, aptly, will represent the technological developments expected to come – but using current products as a starting point.

Set in an area of around 600 m2 in hall 4.1, the focus of the part of the show will be on networked technologies – otherwise known as smart technologies. Exhibitors will look at the influence they have on our homes, and how existing technologies such as smart heating and security systems can be applied to the kitchen.

Future Food Styles

This part of the show will pose the question: what will we be cooking tomorrow?

At a time where the western world is obsessed with food consumption and constantly questioning what is sustainable, what is healthy, and how can we make our supply chains better, Future Food Styles will present some of the individuals working at the forefront of food design.

"Will the private kitchen of tomorrow become the 'cold kitchen', in which, except for smorging and convenience, almost nothing is served on the counter table, while parties are celebrated in the communal kitchen? Or will a robot do all the cooking? Will there be a counter-trend with a gas stove, in which chicken broth with vegetables from the leased garden allotment simmers?"

Most importantly, the area will look at our change in lifestyles, and how this will affect the food industry. Methods for self-production, urban gardening, indoor farming or outdoor kitchens will be on show alongside concepts for food sharing, cooking robots and dialogue cookers.

Elsewhere in the fair, Studio Truly Truly will present their vision for living at imm Cologne's Das Haus installation – filling it with objects from their past and present.

imm Cologne takes place from 14 to 20 January 2019.


The future of the kitchen: Alfredo Häberli’s installation in Hall 4.2 is one of the highlights of the new supporting programme for the international kitchen event LivingKitchen 2019 in Cologne.
Future Kitchen project synopsis by Alfredo Häberli Design Development
Photo courtesy: Alfredo Häberli Design Development