Digitalisation is sometimes referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. Its effects are also evident in consumers’ living spaces. These effects range from the digitalisation of the furniture industry and the new experiences on offer when choosing and buying interior fittings, right through to innovative business models. With its new ‘Focus on Consumer Trends!’ piazza, interzum 2019 explores various ways that this megatrend is having an impact on living environments. The practical, forward-looking examples presented at the piazza will provide manufacturers and fitters with new ideas to work with. As a leading global trade fair, interzum is aiming to stimulate creative new ideas for the future by reflecting current trends and showcasing the innovations offered by businesses. The piazzas, which are special topic-specific displays, represent a cornerstone of this concept. For interzum 2019, the planning team has expanded the concept of having piazzas by adding the relevant and important topic of digitalisation. This topic will have its own piazza and will be presented at the exhibition centre in Cologne from 21–24 March. At the piazza, experts and manufacturers will be on hand to answer key questions about the fourth industrial revolution. Questions such as, “How can digitalisation help to satisfy consumer requirements for furniture production and interior design?” And what role do the products and solutions of interzum exhibitors play here?
“Digitalisation is one of the key issues of our time,” says Maik Fischer, Director of interzum. “So it goes without saying that we are devoting more attention to this trend. At this piazza, we are seeking to provide a combination of promising ideas and examples of best practice.” Maik Fischer views digitalisation as an opportunity to make improvements. He acknowledges that consumer requirements have become more demanding in many respects. Sustainability, individualisation, comfortable living and convenient shopping – these are just a few of the big areas where digital solutions would help companies to fulfil these requirements. “We are not presenting digitalisation as an end in itself. It is a tool that makes it possible to cater for customer requirements more effectively,” Maik Fischer explains.
The Digitalization piazza was designed in partnership with DC digitalconnection, an agency that specialises in digital transformation. For Tanja Kruse Brandão from DC digitalconnection, it was particularly important to capture the diversity of the topic and the specific ways it can benefit customers. “Digitalisation is multifaceted,” she says.“The exhibitors at the piazza present their digital solutions, which are responses to international consumer trends. As well as physical products, there are also new business models and solutions that use digital tools to improve the design, production or sales process.”
The key concept here is ‘service design’, which provides the outline for this special exhibition. The fourth industrial revolution has not only radically changed the opportunities of the industry and trade, but also the expectations of the customers. In the digital age, customers are better informed than ever before. They can access product information, prices and suppliers at any time and in any place. This consumer behaviour is associated with a growing need for real social connection, for sustainability and for experiencing the way things feel to the touch. The special exhibition entitled ‘Digitalization: Focus on Consumer Trends!’ uses three areas, each representing a global consumer trend, to show interior designers, furniture manufacturers and retailers how they can fulfil customer requirements. Each of the sections highlights certain aspects of these trends. The first area focuses on conscious, sustainable living. The topics here include consumer expectations of solutions for smaller living spaces, furniture hire and sharing models for living areas and workspaces, as well as sustainable production, utilisation and recycling.
A trend that has been challenging the furniture industry for some time is consumer demand for the individualisation of living spaces and the personalisation of furniture. In this respect, digitalisation is opening up a new level of freedom in terms of design options. The key aspects of this sub-trend are modular furniture concepts, sensors for individualised products and new experiences for the processes of choosing and producing furnishings.
The third sub-trend addresses digitalisation in the context of furniture and accessories. For some time now, robots have been performing routine domestic tasks such as vacuum cleaning and mowing the lawn. Sensors and smart home technology can control a range of functions within the home in order to save energy, improve security and make life easier. Sensors and data that is processed using artificial intelligence can be used in order to offer custom solutions for the home environment.
“Our aim is to work together with the exhibiting companies to show how the digital revolution can be harnessed in order to meet customer expectations – not just in terms of product development but also in the areas of production, sales and recycling,” says Tanja Kruse Brandão.
Koelnmesse – Global Competence in Furniture, Interiors and Design
Koelnmesse is the world’s top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, the leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry. Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fast expanding markets to its portfolio. These include idd Shanghai, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the online portal for the interiors business, Koelnmesse offers direct access to products, contacts, expertise and events relevant to the industry all year round.
Further information is available at: www.global-competence.net/interiors/
Further information about ambista: www.ambista.com/