Pure Talents Contest 2021 is a competition for emerging interior and product designers organized by imm cologne and LivingKitchen.
The contest has confirmed its solid position internationally even in times of Covid-19. In this edition, the Pure Talents Contest has received 862 product proposals from emerging designers from 59 countries, representing 240 design schools. Furthermore, with a male turnout of 48%, the competition also achieves a well-balanced gender distribution.
Run and organized by Koelnmesse, the contest is specifically aimed at designers who are still in college or who have just completed it. As evidenced by the number and internationality of entries, the Pure Talents Contest is among the most recognized international emerging designer competitions.
Products with a vision of the future
The 26 nominated designs belong to the categories of: furniture, floor coverings, wallpapers and textiles, lighting, smart home, home accessories and kitchens. The selected designs exhibit a very broad spectrum of functions, construction principles, materials and approaches. Products range from textile design to latex and tubular steel; from a simple magnetic connection and ingenious hinges to interactive controls. Increasingly, the focus is on the relationship and interaction between furniture and users.
Twin lampshade series by Albane Hundevad, for example, are placed on the lamp holder to adapt the lighting to each situation. Elina lamp by Dirk Vosding is designed as a bookend but can be used as a table lamp or as a shelf reading light.
The Olivia chair by Finnish designer Tatu Laakso explores the balance between lightness, robustness and economy, embodied in molded plywood. Elie Fazel proposes the TLV aluminum chair, intended for multifunctional use in public spaces.
Candidates demonstrate the high level of creativity that product and interior design has achieved. Interactive products, sustainability, innovative furniture and smart kitchens are key in the proposals of the 18th edition of the Pure Talents Contest.
Reinvention against Covid-19
The pandemic forced Pure Talents Contest 2021 to face new challenges. Claire Steinbrück, director of imm cologne, explains that “due to the coronavirus we had to readjust the conditions of participation. That is why we are even more satisfied with the very high level of registrations. We are very aware of our responsibility towards young creatives and we will offer an edition to match despite having to cancel imm cologne 2021”.
Usually the 20 nominated designs (26 in the LivingKitchen years) are presented in an eye-catching exhibition during imm cologne and LivingKitchen by the designers themselves. However, the cancellation of imm cologne 2021 makes such a face-to-face presentation impossible. “Although direct exchange between the participants of the Pure Talents Contest and imm cologne visitors and exhibitors will be impossible, we trust that both the public and the industry will welcome young talents with open arms,” adds Claire Steinbrück.
A first-rate jury
The members of the jury met in Cologne last October to evaluate a total of 862 applications. This year’s judges are designer Eva Marguerre (Studio Besau-Marguerre) from Hamburg; Jennifer Reaves, Executive Director of the Blickfang International Design Fair; designer Sebastian Herkner from Offenbach; and Norbert Ruf, Creative Director and Managing Director of Thonet GmbH.
The jury was impressed by the numerous international proposals and the high creativity of all of them. In addition, he highlighted the importance of making yourself known in a complicated context: «for the young generation, being seen and expanding their network is the beginning and the end of everything,» says Jennifer Reaves.
Sebastian Herkner adds: “We could be facing a lost generation of designers because Covid-19 has made it impossible for young creators to meet producers. Also, most companies tend to hire established designers rather than relying on young talent. That is why it is more important than ever for imm cologne to hold this competition”.
4 awards for the best products
Including the award for the LivingKitchen Selection, the Pure Talents Contest jury can award a total of four awards for the best works.
Six products from the categories of kitchen accessories, kitchen appliances and kitchen concepts were nominated for the LivingKitchen Selection of the Pure Talents Contest. The winners will be announced in February.
For further information: https://www.imm-cologne.com/events/pure-talents-contest/