Doshi Levien’s Dream House debuts at IMM Cologne Furniture Fair

After an absence of four years, the Ideal House concept, “Das Haus,” is back, showcasing this year’s guest designers, the London studio Doshi Levien.

Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien

The IMM Cologne furniture fair is worth visiting because you get to see furniture made in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland that you might not see elsewhere, as well as product debuts by wunder stars like Stefan Diez or Konstantin Grcic. Moreover the fair’s d3 Design Talents section is among the best-curated exhibitions of young designers from around the world. And the organizers’ strong track record of presenting trends in furniture and interiors is bound to trickle down to the home section of your local newspaper in a few years time. All this makes IMM Cologne worth paying attention to. But it’s the organizers’ foresight in identifying new design talent, way before they become superstars, and commissioning them to create the Ideal House that’s become a most anticipated event in the industry. Through the years we have seen installations by Hella Jongerius, Patricia Urquiola, Naoto Fukasawa, and the Bouroullec brothers. After an absence of four years, the Ideal House concept, “Das Haus,” is back, showcasing this year’s guest designers, the London studio Doshi Levien.

2.IMM_HouseDoshi and Levien’s concept for the IMM Ideal House
to be presented at this year’s IMM Cologne furniture fair.

Unlike the super sleek show houses you might see at other fairs, the Doshi Levien house promises to reflect a portrait of the designers’ home—and become, as they promise, “an example of how it’s possible to create a world of one’s own that becomes an expression of one’s own personality.” Unlike past Ideal Houses which presented abstract translations of the designers’ concepts, this year’s house promises to be a personal living space created by Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien under “relatively narrowly defined conditions, making use of furnishing elements that are actually available—mainly their own furniture and designs,” according to IMM Cologne.

MBBkitchenDoshi and Levien’s concept for the IMM Ideal House Kitchen

Doshi Levien have a mature body of work, the result of collaborations with major industry players such as Moroso, Authentics, Tefal, and Cappellini, as well as working with smaller companies like Glass Idromassagio. Their house will reflect a hybrid approach to design that draws upon various cultures, industries, and craft techniques. “It will be interesting to see what unconventional way they choose for combining furnishing objects and elements from other sectors into something unique in Das Haus. They reconcile many worlds. That in itself is a reason why they are so well suited to our new project, as well as to Pure Village [the special building focused on high design at the fair],” says Dick Spierenburg in response to the fair’s decision to invite Doshi and Levien.

salonDoshi and Levien’s concept for the IMM Ideal House Salon

Look out for our feature coverage on Doshi Levien in the March issue of Metropolis. For coverage of past Ideal House designers, click here to read about Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Patricia Urquiola, and Naoto Fukasawa. IMM Cologne takes place January 16 to 22, 2012 at the Koelnmesse fairgrounds.

Categories: Furniture, Interiors