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Materials Observed: Interzum 2013

A look at some of our favorite material innovations from this year's Interzum show in Cologne, Germany.

Photos and captions by Kenn Busch, Material Intelligence

A look at some of our favorite material innovations from this year's Interzum show in Cologne, Germany.

Interzum, held in odd years in Cologne, Germany, is the largest materials fair in the world, attracting architects, designers, and fabricators from around the world. Here’s a tiny glimpse at some of the exciting new ideas from the 2013 fair.

Light-Up Laminates

While there are several high-quality decor printers based in Germany, one stands out not only for its on-target trend introductions, but for its ability to continually innovate and push the boundaries of what “laminates” are – Schattdecor. One example shown at Interzum is a prototype Smartfoil (lightweight decorative surface) that glows in the dark, here in the shape of a lightbulb. www.schattdecor.usPageBreak

Endless Flow

Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij designed a collection of furniture produced using a single continuous strand of recycled plastic. www.dirkvanderkooij.nlPageBreak

Ticklish Decor

A new take on translucent panels with organic inclusions, from Adiana Interior GmbH.PageBreak

Moldable HPL

“Recurv3d,” from the European laminate producer Resopal (a Wilsonart company),  is an innovative material that combines the benefits of laminate and decorative foil surfaces. With its dense, hygienic and translucent surface, it is just as robust as HPL while being considerably more flexible at the same time.PageBreak

Moldable HPL, cont.

The material mainly consists of Evolon, a polymer nonwoven which is saturated in melamine resin and pressed into shape. It can be printed or dyed. The production process is similar to that of laminate, so Recurv3d can be produced using existing technologies. Recurv3d won an Interzum award for best product quality.

The chair is staged against samples of the company’s new designs, colors, and textures. www.resopal.dePageBreak

New Concepts in Texture

Manmade decorative surfaces need both great visuals and textures to be successful. Milan-based SESA Press Moulds showed several new texture concepts for architectural and furniture design.PageBreak

The End Game

A new idea for achieving the old-school look of solid wood: decorative edge materials with end-grain designs. Shown here on a highly textured laminate based on a design by Interprint. www.interprint.comPageBreak

In-Depth Edge Design

A thick edge material with stratified color layers is sculpted to reveal undulating variations, on a table surfaced with a concrete laminate design from Interprint. www.interprint.comPageBreak

Organic Moulding Technology from Vienna

Organoid technologies has developed an organic binder for organic materials, allowing them to be sprayed into shaped and moulded with vacuum presses to create everything from eyeglass cases to architectural panels. www.orandoids.atPageBreak

Felted Wood

The Haute Innovation pavilion at Interzum featured dozens of new material concepts. Barktex is a fluffy composite of the sub bark of Ugandan Ficus natelensis (bark cloth), combined with wool and cotton. This is the first time a wood material has been felted.;