interzum 2023 was a resounding success, despite the pandemic’s pause on people’s willingness to travel. The supplier sector proved to be innovative and progressive, with a particular focus this year on sustainability. Environmentally conscious and space-saving solutions should not mean sacrifices, interzum showed us they inspire creative and extraordinary new products.
interzum in Cologne, Germany, ended successfully on Friday, 12th May. With approximately 62,000 trade visitors from some 150 countries, the leading international trade fair for suppliers to the furniture and interior design industry exceeded all expectations and inspired everyone at the stands and numerous special event areas over the course of four days. “The trade fair could barely have showcased its importance for the industry any better. First-rate flagship events such as interzum are more vital than ever,” said Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse, the event host.
The importance of interzum for the industry was underlined by the high number of international trade visitors. Predictably, the countries with the largest number of visitors were Germany, Italy, Spain, and Poland but hundreds of Australian and New Zealand visitors were also present. Hettich’s Australian representative Martin Gane said that 60 Australian businesses were attending this time. Given the travel restrictions for China, visitors from that country were also encouraging. Foreign trade visitors accounted for approximately 76 per cent of all attendees to the fair.
The supplier sector, inspired by the neo-ecology megatrend is becoming greener with every passing year. Neo-ecology could best be interpreted as environmental awareness, making the most of what the planet has to offer. In a gross exhibition area of around 163,000 m², trade fair visitors were offered a broad field of creative and environmentally friendly innovations. There is much green potential to be found in the furniture industry, whether it’s the smart conservation of resources, renewable energy, or with the use of new materials.
However, not only pioneering new products provided a look into a more sustainable future for the furniture industry. Several companies also used their trade fair stand to make a very conscious statement. Subsequent to the trade fair, Vauth Sagel will plant a tree for every visitor and will reuse most of its trade fair stand. Even the fair’s organizer accepts responsibility. In the run-up to the event, interzum launched an initiative to make the world’s biggest industry event for furniture production and interior construction more sustainable in the future. Drawing on the experiences gathered this year; the trade fair will explore how it can further integrate sustainability into future events.
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Blum is a family company located in Austria, they are not in the stock market so their green focus is voluntary. All their new products must pass a sustainability test. Their main circular design interzum displayed their products in living spaces from bachelor pad through to a home for the aged. Their ‘green’ credentials were seen in their research that suggests that less food waste saves 122.9 kilograms of carbon compared to 10.41 kilograms saved by using CO2 reduced steel in their products.
Because a large percentage of the ecological impact of a piece of furniture is determined by its components, there lies an enormous potential for transformation towards a circular economy. For example, Egger sources 71 per cent of the wood used in its TM9 PerfectSense Smoothtouch Matt lacquered boards from the circular economy. This new product is 100% recyclable at the end of its life cycle and can be used to produce new boards.
Häfele showed what can be achieved, not what they supply, it was a more conceptual stand in nature. One product that did stand out was the new ‘Free Slim’ family of flap fittings, available in Australia some time next year, speak to your Häfele representative. Free Slim is unique in terms of both design and functionality. Free slim is a hardware system with a minimalist design. Thanks to its extremely slim design and the possibility of integrating it directly into the cabinet wall, it maximizes the storage space volume of furniture, therefore putting furniture design and the impression of movement in the foreground.
Hettich’s award-winning FurnSpin is inspiringly different. The innovative fitting for the high-end segment does away with old style formats and puts a creative new spin on furniture design. Open doors or flaps no longer get in the way – most of the cabinet body can now be moved with effortless ease. A stylish turn leaves furniture to reveal what’s inside. Hiding everything from view again, a further spin returns furniture to its closed state. FurnSpin synchronizes two different forms of movement: swivel action as well as rotation through 180 degrees. FurnSpin from Hettich fascinates in all types of furniture.
The Salice Folder is a system developed to allow complete access to the internal space of both conventional and corner cabinets and, at the same time, to minimize the space taken up by the cabinet doors when they are fully open. Folder is a combination of hinged doors with a sliding system. When opened, the two doors fold and overlap each other until they automatically reach the point of maximum opening. This frees the cabinet interior from any obstruction and allows the unencumbered opening of full-width internal drawers without the use of spacers. The closing action is extremely smooth and controlled with a gently decelerated movement.
Visitors to the Titus stand were able to experience the Titus flagship T-type hinge family, designed for quick assembly and consistent lifetime performance. Now with a tool-free hinge cup fixing system for fast and easy mounting along with the exceptional stability of the recent T-type-i 170-degree hinge with integrated damper effective for tall doors. In the area of custom damping solutions, the highlight was the new damper for cold environments. Also from Titus, the new Tekform Slimline+ drawer, the latest addition to the Titus drawer range. One of the standout features of the drawer is the three-dimensional adjustment mechanism and front panel connection making engagement and disengagement reliable and easy.