New Design Shines at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre
LOFT achieves strong growth – Tiny House Festival is a magnet for visitors
LOFT achieved strong growth rates among its exhibitors. Photo: KMK/Jürgen Rösner
The appeal of good design was tangibly evident during the past three days at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre, where LOFT – The Design Shopping Centre, which premiered four years ago, achieved strong growth rates among its exhibitors, and EUNIQUE – Fair for Unique Design Objects hosted slightly fewer exhibitors than the year before: 350 designers from seventeen countries showed their newest creative objects and design products.
The trade fair’s organizers were especially pleased by the success of the Tiny House Festival, which was staged for the first time and evoked great interest. One third of the 15.000 visitors came to Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre to experience this new way of dwelling. Such a large number of houses, most of which were built by their residents, had never before been brought together at a single location in Germany. “We are very enthusiastic about the community’s response to the Karlsruhe Trade Fair’s invitation to share ideas and present Tiny Houses”, says Karlsruhe Trade Fair’s CEO Britta Wirtz.
Strong popularity was likewise enjoyed by the second Karlsruhe designweek, which counted among its participants more than thirty retail merchants in Karlsruhe’s inner city. Two weeks in advance of the fair, interested individuals could already experience the exhibitors’ designs and savour a foretaste of the upcoming design weekend in central Karlsruhe.
Unique and innovative designs attract an audience with ample purchasing power
EUNIQUE, which is dedicated to artisanal one-of-a-kind items, celebrated its tenth anniversary this year. LOFT – The Design Shopping Centre has provided a platform for young, innovative, serially manufactured designs for the past four years. Among the trends displayed at this symbiosis of two trade fairs were the first serially capable 3D-ceramic printer and the first Tiny House Festival. These were also appreciated by the visitors, many of whom came to familiarize themselves with the latest innovations and to discover inspirations. Over 90% of the visitors were enthusiastic about the quality of the exhibited objects and products. Their enthusiasm also expressed itself in the many purchases and orders transacted at the fairs. At the point in time when the survey was conducted, nearly 60% of the visitors said they had already bought something and another 30% planned to do so before the fairs were over. All in all, they spent 20% more money than the year before.
New Housing – Tiny House Festival
Germany’s first Tiny House Festival took place at LOFT as part of the special “New Housing” exhibit. The architect and expert for Tiny Houses Van Bo Le-Mentzel, who opened the event on Friday, 8 June, was delighted with the courage shown by Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre, which is “the first large enterprise to focus on this trend, thus creating a platform for new ideas.” Urging people to network, Le-Mentzel explained that living in a Tiny House does not mean dropping out of society, but experimenting with the question of how affordable and sustainable living can be made possible in cities. Manufacturers, do-it-yourself builders and people interested in Tiny Houses engaged in a lively exchange of information, which will be continued next year.
EUNIQUE Award conferred on rope designer Annette Hartmann
The annual EUNIQUE Award for applied art and design is jointly conferred by EUNIQUE’s advisory partner, the German Crafts Association, and Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress GmbH to honour the exhibitor who presents the year’s best design. The criteria for the choosing the annual winner include sensitivity for the right material, quality in the craftsmanship and the functionality of the designed objects. The winner of the 2018 EUNIQUE Award is Annette Hartmann, who invents creative, colourful, one-of-a-kind design objects made of rope. Coil after coil, her unique design objects grow into unique lamps, baskets and boxes. Christina Beyer, CEO of Bundesverband Kunsthandwerk, explained the reasons that prompted the five-person jury to grant the prize to Annette Hartmann: “This year’s award winner shatters stylistic conventions with a traditional technique of fabrication and on the basis of conventional forms. Her pieces span a broad spectrum from practical objects for daily use to sculptural artefacts. A simple starting material, in conjunction with stylistic competence, leads to surprising and impressive results.”
Plenty of admiring attention was attracted by the Art Aurea Forum, which was initiated for the first time in cooperation with the homonymous online platform. Fifteen artists presented masterpieces of applied art of the finest calibre here. Reinhold Ludwig, who operates the portal, commented on the Forum: “I was very pleasantly surprised to see that our presence triggered such strong enthusiasm. There were a great many conversations and each one was very positive. All I can say is: the Forum was a complete success.”
Visitors especially appreciated two focal points at EUNIQUE: the special show titled “Just Plastics...new uses”, which presented design objects made of plastic; and the special show by “Design Nation”, our international partner from Great Britain.
The next EUNIQUE and LOFT with the special New Housing exhibit will take place from 24 to 26 May 2019.