Why do designers or artisans opt for specific materials or processing techniques in their projects? Whether it’s natural processes or unusual combinations of structures, different approaches express a person’s individual values, evoke memories of times gone by or reflect a certain cultural identity. Striking concepts and meticulous attention to detail go hand in hand – as will be demonstrated at Tendence from 29 June to 1 July 2019 by 25 up-and-coming artists in the Talents promotional area as well as by the winners of the prestigious design competition FORM. Thanks to their works, which embody innovative design solutions as well as identities and convictions, the two areas complement the new hall concept at Tendence with its cross-product structure organised according to individual lifestyles and target groups.
The Talents promotional area: objects that tell stories
Even the biggest talents started small at some stage. Through its Talents promotional programme, Tendence gives a platform to artists working in design, the craft sector and jewellery. They can exhibit their unique items and product series free of charge on all three days of the trade fair, while networking with important decision-makers in the international design and consumer goods industry. The hand-picked talents will then showcase their ideas within the immediate environment of the exhibition FORM 2019, presenting contemporary products that bridge the gap between craft and design. In all, 25 German and international talents will be exhibiting their products in the promotional area Modern Craft this year, with each work telling stories, evoking forgotten times or expressing perspectives and identities.
When a piece of oak falls into one of the bogs of northern Germany, it turns jet black after several hundred years. Jet black is also a consistent feature in the works of the Talents exhibitor Jan Christian Schulz. The product designer has developed a near-natural finishing process that accelerates the bog-wood formation process of an oak, and he applies the same principle not just to wood, but also to other types of material, such as leather and other natural textiles. The initiator of the moorwerk project encapsulates the identity of traditional German bog culture in his works. Its high level of originality turns this method into a sustainable alternative to chemical dyes.
Sharareh Aghaei is one of the talents whose jewellery bridges the gap between cultural identity and craft. Her trademark is jewellery made from metal netting, covered with several layers of cement and rock flour and shaped to form a hollow object. The Iranian-born artist applies a traditional Iranian knotting technique to the metal netting. Memories are also evoked by the humidifiers and conical smoke flues designed by Andreas Uhlig and Daniel Böttcher. The concrete structures, which are 13 to 30 centimetres in height, take us back to a time when an urban habitat was marked by chimneys and cooling towers and when the landscape was dominated by smoking factory stacks. Part of regional folklore, their SCHLOTE (smoke stacks) represent little memories of a culture and a period that have long become obsolete.
FORM 2019 brings together the craft sector and industry
Inspiring design is memorable – and not just because of its unusual appearance. It also inspires because it follows a clear concept, comments on social issues or tells a story. This is why the selection of this year’s FORM exhibitors focuses not only on the designers’ attention to the material, functionality and detail, but also the persuasiveness of the overall concept.
The prestigious contest, which is organised and coordinated by the German Crafts Association (BK) and Messe Frankfurt, is open to all exhibitors at Tendence. To combine the diversity of both craftsmanship and industrial manufacturing, the jury of FORM 2019 consists of members of the German Crafts Association (BK) and also of guest judges from the sphere of industrial design. “My own work puts the emphasis not only on technique and craftsmanship, but also on communication. Whenever a decision is made – either for a certain colour or a specific material – it can be perceived as a statement. And I can see how the submitted items reflect the harmony of these three elements,” says jury member Torsten Trautvetter, who is both a goldsmith and a certified designer. The five-member jury will have selected this year’s winners by mid-June. The contest provides them with additional advertising, enabling them to showcase their work in an attractive venue. Each of the FORM 2019 contestants will be awarded a certificate.
>> Tendence will be held from 29 June to 1 July 2019.
Text: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, Anil Öt
Photos: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH