These are the winners
For 23 years, the “Interzum Award”, which is organized every two years by Koelnmesse and Red Dot for the furniture supply industry, has gone to particularly innovative products. This year, the jury selected 52 products from nearly 150 entries submitted by manufacturers from 18 nations. Seven entries were recognized with a “Best of the Best” for outstanding achievements that set new standards in their industry in terms of form and function, and 45 other products and materials received a High Product Quality Award, which is given for special achievements in form and function. The award winners were honored on May 8, the eve of interzum 2023. The award-winning products, materials and concepts will be presented in analog or digital form on the trade show’s North Boulevard for the duration of the show through May 12.
This year, for the first time, the focus was on the topic of “Neo Ecology”: with a category set up specifically for this purpose, the search was on for products, processes and concepts that point the way to the future in ecological terms. “Innovations in products and production processes, as well as new materials, are the kind of impetus for a sustainable economy that is driven from within the companies themselves, bringing this year’s interzum guiding principle ‘Shaping the Change’ to life,” says Maik Fischer, Director interzum. “It is precisely such innovations that deserve our special attention – also and especially in the context of a leading international trade fair such as interzum 2023. By introducing a corresponding category, we want to help our exhibitors’ achievements in this area gain more visibility.”
In the “Neo Ecology” category, the jury presented eight awards, including a “Best of the Best” for the “Vita First” mattress from The Vita Group in the UK. This is a mattress produced using innovative, sustainable technologies, eliminating the use of adhesives to facilitate disassembly and recycling at the end of its life cycle. It also consists of Orbis Plus MB, Novus, a reconstituted foam and has a sustainable cover.
According to the jury, one of the most important trends in “Neo Ecology” is resource reduction. Vito Oražem, jury member and managing director of Red Dot, explains: “Today, it’s not just about pure product properties, but also about how technology and design can help reduce the resources used. This reduction must be brought into harmony with the respective function. The current slimming down of many products goes hand in hand with a simplicity in design that I find very interesting.”
A total of three “Best of the Best” awards were presented in the “Function & Components” category, including Hettich’s “FurnSpin” turn-and-swivel fitting, which, thanks to a unique translational rotation movement, makes it possible to turn the cabinet interior completely outward around its own axis. Also for the electronic system “Amperos” from Julius Blum, a simple and safe solution for the electrification of furniture, and for “Peanut Core” from Pyrus Panels, an invisible, tool-free connecting fitting for furniture made of frameless lightweight panels.
In the “Materials & Nature” category, two “Best of the Best” awards went to “Arfinio,” a novel solid-surface technology from Covestro and Arcesso Dynamics that enables the production of seamless solid surfaces, and the wood textile “Nuo” from the manufacturer of the same name, which offers the softness of leather and the suppleness of fabric, but is made from real wood, vegan and sustainable.
In the “Textile & Machinery” section, an award was given to “SmartSleeve Circular,” a mattress protector made from marine plastic waste by BekaertDeslee. This is equipped with a “Transparent Circular Label” with NFC tag, which provides consumers such as recyclers with complete transparency about the material composition of the schooner at the end of the product life cycle.
Sustainability interzum Design function Award