COLOGNE, GERMANY -Embossed panels, textured veneers, distressed lumber, and fabric on board laminates - plus inventive hardware - were among 42 winners for quality in the 2013 Interzum award: for intelligent material & design. The entries give a feel for mjor trends at Interyum 2013 in design, color and hardware functionality.

A "cuticula” product line that uses real salmon skin as a surface finish for core materials was notable. Möbelfabrik Denkinger, Wehingen, Germany used a computer-aided laminating process specially developed for this which allows for an intersection that runs exactly along the line of the scales.

This means that the pieces of salmon skin can be cut so that it is no longer possible to see any joining lines when joining the individual pieces. This produces a homogeneous image in which the natural characteristics associated with fish skin are transferred directly onto the substrate surface. A Hydro Varnish then protects the surface from external abrasions.

The black embossed panel “Fossil” from the Motion series uses an innovative pressing technique so different designs can be created with a three-dimensional appearance on the veneered surface.

The embossed panel consists of a veneered surface made from an HDF base with a maximum thickness of six mm. This small thickness makes them elegant and at the same time  economical. It was developed by R. Ulrich & Co., Hamburg, Germany, and in-house designer Skip Eckerod at Design Interlam, Inc., Mount Airy, NC.

Every two years, Koelnmesse collaborates with red dot to host the "interzum award: intelligent material & design." The competition awards the best designs in the international supplier industry for the furniture and interior decorating industries. Entry is free to exhibitors.

Around 500 manufacturers, designers and marketing execs - plus media from around the world including WoodworkingNetwork - converged at the Koelnmesse site to see the results of the competition. A total of 200 entries from 16 countries were submitted in 2013. Entries included materials and surfaces, fittings, glass and lighting, upholstery manufacture and bedding. Quite a few were wood products related items - shown here - as opposed to bedding and upholstery.

The jury awarded 42 products whose excellent design sets them apart, others won the top Interzum 2013  "Best of the Best" award. All award winners are on display throughout the show, which runs through May 16.

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