Call for Submissions: Pure Talents 2021 Contest

The Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne is calling for more multifunctional sustainable products of our most important living environment: the home.

Despite all of the current challenges, imm cologne is hosting the contest for up-and-coming designers ahead of its January 2021 fair. The next generation of designers will present original furniture concepts and ideas for more sustainable products that the interior design industry looks to for inspiration.

The second special mention of the Pure Talents Contest jury 2020 went to According to the Grain, an item of seating furniture honouring the materiality of wood, designed by Sho Ota (Japan). The harder branches of the wood are revealed by sandblasting the softer parts, which, despite the protruding branch rudiments, results in an on the whole soft surface.
Photo credit: Sho Ota; Koelnmesse

The Pure Talents Contest sees tables reinvented, furniture designed for ease of transport, lamps created from paper, and experimental objects for our homes and lives.

“Students and young freelancers are the first to be hit by the emerging economic downturn. But paradoxically, they are the last to be considered when it comes to providing assistance. In my view, if we are able to host a trade fair during a pandemic, we must also remain committed to our measures to support young designers, having positioned ourselves as their trusted partner for so many years. This is something we won’t give up on so easily,” said imm cologne Director Claire Steinbrück.

Each year the contest jury is formed of different representatives from the international design scene, the trade press, institutions, and manufacturers. This year it includes the designers Ana Relvão (Relvãokellermann, Munich), Sebastian Herkner (Studio Sebastian Herkner, Offenbach), the design journalist Johannes Hünig and Thonet’s Creative Director, Norbert Ruf.

The jury will assess the entries and nominate the 20 best designs from six categories: Furniture, Home Accessories, Lighting, Floor Coverings, Wallpapers & Textiles, and Smart Home.

The competition offers young designers more opportunities to win with the inclusion of a dedicated LivingKitchen Selection to mark the biannual kitchen event and the second awarding of the Audience Prize.

Submissions for the LivingKitchen competition are reviewed in three categories: Kitchen Concepts, Concepts for Electrical Appliances, and Kitchen Accessories & Kitchen Utensils. The six nominated products in these three categories will appear in a dedicated exhibition, and one first-prize winner will be chosen from among them.

The jury will choose the four best designs from the exhibited products on the first day of the trade fair. They will select the first-, second- and third-prize winners – who will receive 3,000, 2,000, and 1,000 Euros — as well as the winner of the LivingKitchen Selection, who will receive 3,000 Euros in prize money.

The Audience Prize, which debuted successfully last year, calls for the public to vote on Instagram, and the winner chosen will take home 1,000 Euros.

The registration process will be digital, and the presentation of the nominees to the jury and at the event will also take place exclusively via digital media.

Design students from all over the world and design graduates from any country who received their degree no more than three years ago can enter the Pure Talents Contest 2021. The deadline for entries is September 17, 2020.

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