Setting Up at Dornbracht Booth 708

Thirty-six hours before the doors open on the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, the convention floor is a frenzy of construction, littered with drills, cardboard boxes, and glossy glimpses of half-packed product. At booth 708, Dornbracht’s team is in a good humor. Display coordinator Bruce Jones calls it “organized chaos.”

Dornbracht, a bathroom, kitchen, interior, and lighting product manufacturer, decided to focus their booth on the way the company’s products create their environment to form functional “living worlds.”

The innovative 800-square-meter booth is made of aluminum, resilient flooring, gauze, glass, plaster, and concrete. It features three themed “worlds” based on three human “needs”: Eternity, Imagination, and Transfer. A team from MICE/KADOKE Displays is helping to assemble these “worlds” out of foam plastic, copper, marble, plywood, sponge, Plexiglas, concrete, and felt.

Eternity represents the need to be free from fear and danger and will showcase such Dornbracht design icons as Tara, Madison, and Domani. The Imagination theme is based on curiosity and the need for progress or evolution. It showcases the company’s high-design products from the Yota, Dreamworks, and Domani.02 series. Transfer showcases products from the eMote infrared-controlled product line, Giorno (designed in a way that is “absolutely out of hand,” says Jones, by Ferrari showroom architect Massimo Ghini), and META TEC for Kids series, which features products that evolve as children grow. META TEC is garnished with pure colors and characters but transforms into a sleek adult product.

The booth is made of gunmetal gray cabinets and tables ornamented with austere, beautiful, wall-sized photographs. Streetlamps guide the visitor through the space.

“The booth’s architecture does not dominate. It’s simple,” says architect Mike Meiré of Cologne-based Meiré and Meiré. “In cases where the products have become icons in their own right, the architecture takes a backseat. It’s not the form that defines but the content.”

Dornbracht hopes that a visit to the booth will resemble a visit to an open studio or workshop. “Counseling islands” in the booth mark the location of staff who will explain the products to visitors.

At the booth, look for innovative new lines like MEM, which features products that approach design holistically. The MEM-line shower allows water to stream from the ceiling to mimic a summer rainfall. MEM also features products to diffuse steam and scent, as well as lighting modules.

“We’re creating an individual space in the bathroom for every person. We’re encouraging people to spend time in the bathroom, to reflect on himself or herself,” says marketing communications manager Oliver Bleich. “We want to hide the technical details and build the product around the person.”

Another new product series to look for: Meta Plasma. The series is based on a luminous, translucent Dornbracht-patented plastic which refracts light through the edges, making them glow. “We’re trying to create sustainable designs that will be there for a number of years,” Bleich says. “It’s a constant evolution.”

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