Ambiente, the world's premier trade fair for consumer goods, is now being staged in Frankfurt. The five-day affair is the largest show of its kind, drawing more than 100,000 visitors to the Messe Frankfurt fairgrounds.
With an unrivalled range of products, Ambiente provides the inside scoop on the consumer market and the latest innovations in tableware, kitchenware, leisure products, home goods, interior design and gifts – as well as being a valuable networking opportunity for industry professionals. The fair also hosts a programme of events, conferences and award shows that further strengthens its place in the industry.
As with the previous 11 editions of the show, design studio Stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano predicted the main trends that shape and define the event. Architecture, fashion, design and art are all taken into account and the tends are showcased in an exhibition by the studio?? in the context of various situations, including work, dining, living and wellness.
The first trend, "shaped and softened", shows a neutral palette of reduced tones –such as white and grey – are in favour, placing a greater emphasis on materials and their tactile qualities. With furniture, for instance, products are chosen for their sculptural form, interesting silhouettes and, of course, functionality. The new focus on materials and unexpected forms also calls for the creation of more flexible, multi-use products and contributes to the general ambience of a space. The studio suggests that hard surfaces – such as glass, porcelain and ceramics – inspire enthusiasm, while textiles, with their natural flowing forms, speak to movement and irregularities.
"Precise and architectural", says the studio, is the next trend, with a shift to a more architecturally inspired colour palette and materials that evoke rustic charm. Contrasting materials meet geometric forms in an array of unobtrusive surfaces that put a strong emphasis on proportion and material aesthetics. Terrazzo, wood, glass, steel, bronze and surfaces with a matte finish or a subdued gloss effect are playfully combined with leather and heavy textiles such as cord, tweed, bouclé and velour.
The last trend, "artistic and diverse", encompasses a collection of objects that are treated as works of art. This concept turns a space into an experimental doodle, and looks to break boundaries with the general conception of contemporary designs. These products are bound to be unusual, stimulating, and cross-disciplinary, and each has its own unique character, owing to a variety of bold new materials, unusual manufacturing processes and unconventional themes.
A highlight of this year's Ambiente is the launch of a dedicated presentation, Focus on Design, which showcases products and the design insights of a specific country. Brazil has been selected this year, and five of its design studios have been invited to showcase their creative output at the fair.
Among the dizzying range of trends and talents, the notion of sustainability is ever present. To reflect the increasing momentum of the ethical consumerism movement, the fair has produced the Ambiente Ethical Style Guide, a curated directory that features 314 manufacturers from 49 countries that follow eco-friendly and socially responsible production standards.