Why do we live in a particular way and not differently? How many walls do we need to feel comfortable, and why do we prefer particular furniture? How do we prioritize functionality, aesthetics and tradition? Which colours and materials create positive feelings, and which ones are sustainable? What role does the home play today? And what role will it have tomorrow?
These questions are often put to architects, designers and sociologists. But it is very rare to find projects where designers are able to try out something genuinely new in practice — something far removed from the typical conceptual installations, which are often works of art rather than ideas for living. While trade fair organizers and exhibition curators may expect the unexpected from them, in day-to-day business, clients, aesthetic conventions and very real requirements in terms of standards, profitability and weather conditions set narrow parameters.
Todd Bracher. Photo courtesy of imm cologne.
“Das Haus” is a platform for experiments in living located right in the very centre of this divide: between installation and “real” life. The superlative design event in Cologne, Germany occurs at the International Interiors Show imm cologne; and every year, a young, influential designer is given the opportunity to make a personal statement on contemporary living in a simulation of a residential house combining architecture, interior design and furnishings. New York-based product designer Todd Bracher has been nominated as the guest of honour for the sixth edition of “Das Haus” in 2017.
For Bracher, “Das Haus” represents an opportunity to question the traditional perception of contemporary living. As guest of honour, Bracher has produced a distinctively spacious and architectural design for the event –turning the traditional concept of a sequence of rooms into a vision of intertwining zones: one for dining, one for rest and one for hygiene. Under a floating roof stand are two interwoven, starkly different frames – one a large space surrounded by bookshelves as walls and a semi-transparent shell; and the other a black cube over which a ball seems to hover as it emits a moonlight glow. In one corner is a showering and washing area.
“The home is an elementary synthesis of needs and functions that is very precisely directed toward supporting the people who live inside it in their daily lives and their growth,” says Bracher. For his “Haus”, he will follow his classical approach to design rigorously: reducing complexity to its simplest elements and functions.
Todd Bracher Haus. Photo courtesy of imm cologne
“Why do we choose a particular lifestyle?” asks the 41-year-old. “We want to question our conception of what makes contemporary living by rethinking the principles that define the home and asking ourselves if they meet the requirements of the world today.”
“Das Haus” will run from January 16-22, 2017. For more information, please click here.