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Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien to create "Das Haus" in Cologne
Aug 4, 2011

Starting in 2012, the international interior design fair imm cologne will be hosting the design event: “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage.” The project focuses on the design of an artificial living situation—a  public and yet very personal living space designed by husband and wife design team Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien within the imm cologne trade fair January 16-22.
The London design duo is famous for its original designs for major players like Moroso, Authentics or Cappellini, but also for its affinity with interaction design and other sectors of industry. As an Anglo-Indian husband and wife team, they take a hybrid approach to design that allows them to combine various cultures, industries, technologies and craft techniques.

Das Haus will show a structure created entirely in accordance with the guest designer’s ideas – architectural elements, interior and outdoor space – as well as arrangements of furniture and furnishing elements for an individually configured interior design. In the middle of the Pure Village hall, the trade fair will erect an approx. 180 m² platform to serve as an open stage for the project. “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” is thus both a designer portrait and a visionary blueprint, an example of how it is possible to create a world of one’s own that becomes an expression of one’s own personality.
“With ‘Das Haus – Interiors on Stage’, the imm cologne is resuming the tradition of the Ideal Houses, although without adopting their rather abstract dimension,” explains Dick Spierenburg, under whose leadership Koelnmesse’s internal creative team is developing and implementing the project. Instead, the imm cologne is very deliberately seeking to connect with real conditions, thus building a bridge between the industry’s furnishing products and the progressive creative drive of the international design elite. For the creatives have to design “their” home under relatively narrowly defined architectural conditions, making use of furnishing elements that are actually available – mainly their own furniture and designs. To complete their design, they can choose from the spectrum of products provided by the ranges of goods on show at the imm cologne– a spectrum which today represents all the segments relevant to interior design, from carpets and kitchens, textiles and beds, bathrooms and lighting, all the way to colour systems.
Visitors will be presented with the scenography of a home – not a sleek designer home, but the home of a designer. The kind of personal living situation a designer would dream about – for himself, for one night, for a lifetime, for the future. A game between improvisation and perfection, between intimacy and prestige, between indoors and outside.
Besides picking up on current interior design trends, the project also addresses the public’s aspirations and social change. Ultimately, anybody interested in the art and culture of interior design – whether for private or professional reasons – has an ideal of his perfect home. But what does it look like? How can the dual function of one’s own four walls – as both a prestigious interior and an intimate place of retreat – be resolved on an individual basis? How can the aspects of trend-savvy, timelessly classic and individual living be reconciled? And what does the interior say about one’s own character?
Das Haus provides the ideal platform by providing prominent designers with an opportunity to experiment, a chance to formulate a creative statement on modern interior culture using up-to-the-minute products.
“We are delighted to have found such a progressive and forward-looking studio as Doshi Levien, who are not just part of the scene’s avant-garde but, thanks to their many product developments, also cover a wide spectrum and can genuinely point the way ahead,” said Spierenburg.
“It will be interesting to see what unconventional way they choose for combining furnishing objects and elements from other sectors into something unique in Das Haus. They reconcile many worlds. That in itself is one reason why they are so well suited to our new project, as well as to Pure Village,” said Spierenburg.

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