Two university professors – design experts Hansjerg Maier-Aichen and Mark Braun – took the world’s press on a tour of Ambiente over the weekend (February 9 and 10). As well as focusing on the latest trends, the ‘designer tours’ also highlighted critical issues which are currently under discussion.
Professor Hansjerg Maier-Aichen, a lecturer in product design,showed participating journalists around the Living and Giving areas of Ambiente, where he focused on examples of outstanding design in regard to environmental criteria, sustainability and quality. He also drew attention to factors contributing to the authenticity and innovative character of the products, discussing whether excellent product design is enough to gain a competitive edge. As well as visiting several handpicked Living and Giving exhibitors, the tour also included a visit to Ambiente’s partner country presentation curated by the Indian designer Ayush Kasliwal.
In addition, Professor Mark Braun, a designer and lecturer in product and industrial design at the Saar College of Fine Arts in Saarbrücken, led a guided tour around the Dining halls. The central issue was identity in design and the factors that drive it. Professor Braun explored the distinctive features of socio-cultural identity in the global market, with his tour including exhibitors whose identity stands out among the crowd, as well as those companies who are making innovative use of original materials or rediscovering ancient craftsmanship techniques.
An important part of the tour was a visit to the Starry Night Café, created for Ambiente by the Indian designer Sandeep Sangaru, who works with both artisans and women from North East India to turn bamboo into a viable material for everyday use.
Ambiente is taking place at Messe Frankfurt until Tuesday February 12.
Top: Professor Hansjerg Maier-Aichen showed participating journalists around the Living and Giving areas of Ambiente over the weekend.