D3 Contest at IMM Cologne 2010


When I see young and exciting talent trickling so quickly each year out of international design shows, it makes me want to clap my hands in glee! What ideas! What forward thinking! What talent! Where will they be in five years time? How will they be changing the world?

That’s why I love competitions like the D3 Contest held each year during the IMM Cologne interiors trade fair. The competition is open to students and graduates from the fields of product design, industrial design or interior architecture and allows all interior products like furniture, lighting, textiles, carpets or wallpapers at the status of prototypes at the time of the fair or in preparation for serial production. The contest aims to give young designers an opportunity to present their ideas for the furniture, lighting, home textiles and accessories to an international audience.

In the 2009 competition 31 products were chosen from 827 entries of 475 young designer from 38 countries of which the best three products were awarded, 1000€, 2000€ and 3000€. Here are a few of my favorite entries… See more here.


The above took first prize and is titled ‘Etirement’ by Remi Bouhaniche. ‘I shaped Etirement on the principle of an organic body composed by skin and skeleton. In pulling a rod, the intensity of the light can be reduced and raised according to the distortion of the fabric membrane. In order to produce a flowing and expressive movement, I concentrated on a very precise and harmonious gesture focused in one point. In this way, the lamp becomes a temporary shape creating a poetic time from daily action.’


The above ‘Love Lamp’ is by Klára Šumová. ‘The main idea is to introduce the material wood in different stages of the work progress. The stand is made of a bark covered trunk, which emerges into a clear baroque curve. This raw piece of wood is complemented by a machine-cut stick and a simple lighting construction. The whole concept concludes with adding a huge paper shade with the fine structure of bark.’


Above is the ‘xy+z Suit Rack’ by Emma Fox Derwin / Nigel Groom. ‘The contemporary man’s xy+z suit rack is elegant, funny and modern, inspired by the traditional men’s valet clothing stand. Our suit rack accommodates your entire ensemble: jacket, shirt, tie, belt, pants and shoes. A single line, hand formed in three axes from steel, powder coated with a light texture to prevent clothes from slipping off, the piece folds up for easy assembly, disassembly and transport.’


Above is ‘Schaukelkette’ by Johanna Richter. An accessory for the home that is also a fashion item. Schaukelkette is reductionist and subdued, but not too subdued: an item of jewellery for the home. The inspiration for this design came from the antiphonies between an object in the home and a piece of jewellery. A swing- cum-necklace, a new way of looking at what furniture is all about.


Above is the ‘AT-AT Walker’ by Lifegoods. ‘We are fascinated by wood and its codes. We pick up antique details of cabinetwork and give the object a look which is totally contemporary due to its dimensions. We explore the limits of the wooden piece by expanding its legs and by creating a drawer that functions as a light dimmer. The lamp is like a science fiction object but characterised by the warmth and the preciousness of woodwork.’


Above is I think my favourite of the bunch, ‘PÁP’ by Martha Schwindling. PÁP is a chair with a shape derived from a folded sheet of paper. A key element of the entire design process was not to lose sight of this feature. Though the seat is therefore very thin and seems very delicate, it is held firm thanks to the folding and is surprisingly strong. The upper part above the enclosed seat is a free-swinging framework in tubular steel, which serves as an additional graphic element in the design.

Author: Rohini Wahi

Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.

She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at mail@rohiniwahi.com

2 Comments on D3 Contest at IMM Cologne 2010

  1. Otto
    Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 18:20 at 6:20 pm (8 years ago)

    Where can I get the xy+z?!?!

  2. Rohini
    Thursday, January 28th, 2010 11:06 at 11:06 am (8 years ago)

    It’s cool right? I think it might still be a prototype as it was a New Designers comp but since its proved to be so popular they might have already started production – email info@well-groomed-fox.com to enquire.

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