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The best products show the way to a more sustainable future

4-7 May 2021 • interzum @home

The best products of the international supplier industry for furniture and interior design show the way to a more sustainable future – the results of the interzum award: intelligent material & design 2021.

This year, Koelnmesse and Red Dot have been searching for technical innovations, advanced materials and exciting product innovations in the furniture supply industry with the interzum award: intelligent material & design 2021 for the eleventh time. The jury consisting of six experts from the fields of design, material science and architecture honoured a total of 20 submissions with awards: four entries received a “Best of the Best” award for outstanding design achievements that set new industry standards in terms of form and function, while sixteen other products and materials received awards for high product quality, honouring special design achievements in form and function. In total, interzum exhibitors and designers from eleven nations took part in the competition.

Digital award ceremony on 4 May 2021 and presence at interzum @home

The winners will be honoured on the morning of 4 May 2021, directly after the official opening speech by Koelnmesse COO Oliver Frese. There will be a digital award ceremony at interzum @home 2021, the digital platform of Cologne’s leading world fair for furniture manufacturing and interior design. In addition, the winning products will also be presented on their own show floor at interzum @home from 4 May. Subsequently, all award-winning materials and products will be permanently presented on the interzum website at

Products in line with the spirit of the time

For the first time in this competition year, sustainability was explicitly included in the assessment criteria according to which awards were given. “Of course, the quality of responsibility, including aspects such as production methods saving resources, as well as recyclability and durability, always plays a role in the evaluation of design,” says Professor Dr. Peter Zec, organiser of the interzum award and CEO of Red Dot. “By including it in the official criteria catalogue, however, we wanted to send a clear signal that we would like to see more products and materials in the future of the industry that take this aspect into account.”

Best of the Best: pioneering materials and product solutions

And indeed, many winning products are reflecting this: among the “Best of the Best” winners, for example, is the Häfele Linear lens, a lighting system that intelligently bundles the light of an LED strip, enabling it to double its illuminance while maintaining the same dimensions, thus making additional, more energy-intensive light sources superfluous. Moreover, “Orbis” by The Vita Group is a sustainable polyurethane foam made partly from raw materials derived from recycled foam mattresses. Using “Bloom Technology FENIX NTM and Arpa HPL”, Arpa Industriale reduces the amount of phenol contained in the resin and replaces it with lignin, a natural wood polymer. At last, Lamello’s “Clamex P-14 Flexus” furniture connector does not only save material as well as offer maximum flexibility in assembly sequences, but also increases design possibilities thanks to its innovative construction.   

“The industry is on the right track.”

“With the interzum award, we want to set impulses and put innovations in the spotlight,” states Maik Fischer, director of interzum. “The winners of this year’s competition impressively show that the furniture and supplier industry is working towards new and improved solutions saving resources. The idea of a circular economy is becoming increasingly visible, too, showing that our industry is well-positioned to face the future. We are already excited for what we will get to see in two years’ time.”      

The jury of the interzum award: intelligent material & design 2021

Martin Auerbach, General Manager of the Association of the German Home Textile Industry and, as part of a cooperation with the Association of Interior Privacy and Sun Protection and the Association of the Mattress Industry, its Managing Director, Wuppertal, Germany

Martin Beeh, Founder and owner of beeh_innovation, initiator of “materials cologne – The Conference for Design and Innovation”, and university lecturer in Design Management, Cologne, Germany

Annette Lang, Designer, Annette Lang Product Design, Wiesbaden

Vito Ora�em, Vice President, Red Dot, Essen, Germany

Dick Spierenburg, Designer, spierenburg studio, Tienhoven, Netherlands

Prof. Martin Stosch, Lecturer in Industrial Furniture Production at the department of Production Engineering and Wood Technology, University of Applied Sciences and Arts OWL, Lemgo, Germany

Dates for the interzum award: intelligent material & design 2021

Online award ceremony: 4 May 2021 

Online exhibition of all awarded products: from 4 May 2021

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