Every year, the international interiors show imm cologne presents a different, very personal vision of contemporary living, created by hot young designers and design teams from around the world. Over an area of around 180 m², “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” is constructed and fully furnished in accordance with the plans of the respective nominated designer. The simulated home transports visitors to unique worlds, sometimes cosy or elegant, sometimes minimalist or fantastically designed: to pretty, rustic houses, distinct wooden cubes, intricate architectural structures, circular, stage-like residences or room structures bathed in light.
This year’s Das Haus at Imm Cologne is stripped of walls and dividers found in the traditional house. The Australian design duo, Kate and Joel Booy of studio Truly Truly, selected to create the house, open up the space to offer a set of ‘mood’ areas. These reflect a new way of living that is fluid, at times engaging and energetic, at others slow-paced and receptive.
“We’re delighted to blaze a trail for inquisitive design with our version of ‘Das Haus’. We see the project as an opportunity to question some of the typical ways our living environments operates and to work up alternatives. The space that we’re developing for ‘Das Haus’ will be unfamiliar yet inviting at the same time – in a balance between abstraction and warmth,” Truly Truly promise.
Truly Truly’s ‘Living by Moods’ is therefore an experiment in living, an expression of the duo’s own lifestyle philosophy paired with their design ethos. Their underlying purpose is to meet today’s changing societal needs. The house in fact caters to requirements of space and personality, offering variations that the user can pick and choose from to create their own ideal living space.
A certain empathy between house and inhabitant is what guides the designers’ choice of furnishing and the partition of spaces. Objects are mutlifunctional, ambiences carefully put together to welcome occupants in a setting that suits their feelings and desires. Even the front entrance is a reflective glass, mirroring the dweller’s mood.
What was the aspect that most excited you in approaching this year’s Das Haus project?
The most exciting aspect of being a part of this project was actually doing a Haus as a product designer. So as product designers we’re always thinking about how an object or furniture piece will impact on the space it’s in. But in this project we’re able to look at how the architecture will impact on the furniture as well as the other way around.
How do the different spaces and their functions communicate with one another within the project? And, on a smaller scale, what is the relationship within these spaces between products and architecture?
We divided the space into four zones by moods: Active, Reclining, Serene, and Reclusive. We’re not saying that everybody should have four moods in their house, but we’re giving an expression of those moods to offer different options of expressing differently in your home.
In Reclusive things are closer. If you want more head space, the Reclusive mood would suit you. The Active space has a lot more bright, harsh lighting. In the front of our house there’s a space we call the Reclining space. The Kitchen breaks down into this space. In the middle of that space we have a pouffe made of hard foam and textile. It’s about 250mm off the ground which makes it a coffee table height, but it’s also a seat. So if you have a smaller living space, you could just have our Kitchen and the Reclining space to make your house.
You chose to place the kitchen at the center of the house. Why?
We see the Kitchen as a place to not be super-fast and efficient, that’s why we’ve broken it up into elements that take up more space, but break into the different parts of the house. So for us the kitchen is a place to do things slowly, to enjoy cooking, cleaning… You should be in there! Participating in that activity. For us it’s also a creative activity, so it’s not work, it’s enjoyment.
‘Living by Moods’ is the title you chose for Das Haus 2019. What is your vision for contemporary living?
Living these days is much more fluid, you don’t do just one thing in one place. You can have less objects and do more things with more simple objects. Our dining table doesn’t just have eight chairs around it. We call it an Active Table, because there’s two chairs that are dining chairs, and then another two that are work chairs. We also don’t have walls in here. We’ve divided our space up by objects and by furniture, rather than having walls.
It’s possible to take one of the moods of our Haus and say ‘that’s the bit that I would want in my house’. So we’re not suggesting that you need 180sqm for a house. What we’re giving is the moods that you could choose with this new way of living.