Cologne: 27.–31.10.2020

#ORGATEC

Materials Culture: ORGATEC highlights changes in materials and work culture

Innovative materials are changing the world of work. In the process, it’s becoming more and more common to see traditional production methods and materials technologies being rediscovered. When transferred into the modern office setting, they offer particular options in terms of the design of the working environment. We spoke to Dr Sascha Peters about the special exhibition area “Materials Culture”, which he will be showcasing at the upcoming ORGATEC trade fair with his agency Haute Innovation. The Berlin-based trend experts will present the latest materials innovations at the points where different cultures intersect.

Dr Peters, you will be presenting another special exhibition area highlighting innovative materials for the world of work at ORGATEC 2018, as you did two years ago. Have the key areas of focus changed since the last edition of the trade fair?

Two years ago, we mainly focused on so-called smart materials. We showcased materials solutions featuring intelligent components and offering users added value in terms of functionality – such as the ability to be controlled in digital environments. This year, we’re taking cultural influences on the development of materials into consideration – in line with the trade fair’s motto, “Culture@Work”.

With your exhibition entitled “Materials Culture”, you refer to the rediscovery of traditional production methods and materials technologies. What exactly will you be displaying in the special exhibition area?

We’ll be presenting exciting innovations, triggered either by particular influences in their country of production or by the resources used in creating the material. Above all, we have also revealed fascinating innovations at the intersections between the various innovative cultures.

What kinds of innovations are they?

At the moment, innovation is heading in two directions, with the expression of each appearing to be highly contradictory. But both have their own justification. On the one hand, digitalisation is having an increasing impact on our world of work, on our surroundings and on our life together. On the other hand, there is a desire in society for a more sustainable use of resources in the way in which we organise our lives.

What effect do these two approaches have on each other?

There are a lot of overlaps and developments that are mutually beneficial. Most notably, when it comes to the traceability of resources used in a product, in the future, digital tools will help us to keep materials in the cycle. In terms of health, the promotion of creativity and concentration, many people long for open, bright spaces and the use of natural materials in the interior design. In this respect, visitors to ORGATEC will discover many exciting materials in our exhibition.

How specifically do the cultural influences in a country actually have an effect on the manufacture and use of materials? Can you give any examples?

If I may take Sweden as a case in point: 75 per cent of the country’s surface is covered in forest (the EU average is just 42 per cent). Traditionally, wood is used in construction and other industries in Sweden. The country’s powerful paper industry had to accept a decline as a result of the increasing use of digital media. The production of newsprint fell by around 50 per cent between 2000 and 2014. A few years ago at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, they therefore began developing cutting-edge materials for high-tech industries and sustainable product systems based on cellulose. And the results are impressive: transparent wood, hollow cellulose balls as a filling material for lightweight solutions, magnetic wood cellulose for digital applications and a foam that is fully biodegradable after use as packaging or upholstery material. Visitors to ORGATEC can marvel at all this in our special exhibition area.

The special exhibition area “Materials Culture” will be on display at ORGATEC in Hall 8 from 23 to 27 October 2018.


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 CIKB in 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/

The next events:
China Kids Expo - China International Baby Articles Fair, Shanghai 16.10. - 18.10.2018
ORGATEC - New visions of work, Cologne 23.10. - 27.10.2018
idd shanghai - , Shanghai 22.11. - 24.11.2018


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Michael Steiner
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Michael Steiner

Press contact

Michael Steiner
Communications Manager
Tel. +49 221 821-3094
Fax +49 221 821-3544
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