Interzum trends: realism, function and performance
July 18, 2019 | 8:55 am CDT
Interzum is where the furniture world sets its focus once every two years for inspiration, in design and functionality. 
While it’s impossible to cover the whole fair in one article, we found some leading indicators to tell a story about how tiny details are driving big changes in materials and hardware. 

Full-size panel designs and textures, no repeats

Photo by Material Intelligence

The biggest news-you-can-feel from Interzum is the Infinite Collection’s Mammoth Wood launch from SESA Press Moulds. 

SESA’s long record of innovation includes EiR, or embossed-in-register technology, which allows for the perfect alignment of the surface texture with the printed design in laminates. It is this development that represents one of the greatest leaps forward in decorative surfaces. 
While EiR was still big news in the booths of many materials suppliers this year, SESA has already introduced its next big idea: the Infinity Collection’s first design, Mammoth Wood, a full-size (up to 6’ x 20’) design with no repeats. 
Mammoth Wood was developed using reclaimed River Cypress – 1,000-year-old trees harvested between 100 and 200 years ago, recovered from the bottom of a river where they had sunk on their way to sawmills. The wood slabs were carefully selected because of their elegant and oversized woodgrain structure and large cathedrals, ideal for large spaces that require a more exclusive look. 
“The pattern itself is made of two sections which include a large central cathedral combined to unique figuring and linear wood effects along its edge,” says Lise LeBreton, Design, Business Development and Sales for SESA in North America.  
“We purposely chose to keep the variation in the woodgrain and color, as well as the unique figuring and natural marks and cracks in order to stay as true as possible to the look and feel of the original wood. This authenticity is probably one of the most important aspects of the pattern. With traditional printing, repeating shapes and tones can create tracking so we tend to remove all of the unique character when we develop patterns. With the Mammoth Wood pattern, we let the real wood tell its story.
“The color of River Cypress comes from its hundreds of years underwater,” says LeBreton. “Rich brown accented by green to grey mineral tones makes each massive log unique. Knowing this, the name Mammoth Wood takes on a whole new meaning!”
LeBreton says the texture, developed by hand by SESA’s design team, looks very natural and is very authentic to the touch. “The final result is beautiful and goes far beyond what can be found on the market today.”
In an even greater departure from the norm, SESA is offering the matching printed design with its Infinite textures. 
Because of the circumference of the printing cylinders a typical rotogravure-printed design repeats every four feet, so you’ll see two or three repetitions of the design on a full decorative panel. This is why designers are often reluctant to use these panels in large spaces, because the repeats become obvious to the untrained eye. 
By capturing the full design, whether it’s wood or stone, SESA is beginning with full landscape of the texture, instead of attempting to match a texture to a print file that they’ve been handed. The Infinite décor paper is a high-resolution digital print, an exact match to the texture. 
This way the texture is more than just an afterthought,” says Liboria Bonaffini, head of marketing for SESA. “Everyone loves EiR textures but starting with a print design and then researching and developing a texture to match is a very time-consuming and expensive process. It’s also open to a range of interpretations, which slows the development and decision making process even more. 
“But when you start with a real sample, at least everyone involved understands what the original inspiration is and can collaborate more effectively on changes desired for specific applications and markets.
“We believe this is the way forward, showing customers that we’ve thought through and streamlined this process, and are ready to work with them on inspirations that come from outside the standard catalog. And we can deliver the entire design, texture and prints, very efficiently.
The Infinite Collection won an Interzum Award, and has caught the attention of several of Europe’s largest panel producers. 

The innovative leadership of America’s newest decorative panel producer 

Under the motto “MORE+less,” Egger showed that several trends can work next to and with each other. How we live and how we design our space is less and less influenced by trends, but more and more by the individual interpretation of trends, influences and materials. 
“Our visitors appreciated this year’s concept, with six room settings that included highlight decors, surfaces and products adapted to the relevant trend,” says Hubert Höglauer, Head of Marketing and Product Management Furniture and Interior Design.
Egger was also recognized with an Interzum Award: Intelligent Material & Design 2019. The company’s PerfectSense Matte with Duo edging received the award “Best of the Best” for the successful interplay of the two products. The new worktop texture ST75 Mineral Satin and PerfectSense Topmatte worktops with edging received the "High Product Quality” award. 

There’s a broad movement amongst young designers and consumers away from assembly hardware wherever possible. Egger’s focus on creating furniture components for easier assembly has resulted in its sophisticated Clic technology, allowing consumers to quickly and easily pop their furniture together without hardware, and without compromising the assembled integrity of their furniture. Photos by Material Intelligence

The homogeneous, moisture-resistant and extremely robust compact [solid phenolic] worktop of 12 mm thickness is perfect for use as a worktop. Two-sided bevel milling on the longitudinal and transverse edges emphasize the material’s thin, modern look. Photo by Becker Lacour

“Perfect Imperfection” - Perfection can often be easily achieved with the help of the latest technology, but that’s not always what people want. Irregularities and imperfections, tears and cracks convey more personality and emotion, and ultimately offer a more natural appearance. The surface feel of the material is particularly important, because touch is the only sense that cannot be imitated artificially. Photo by Material Intelligence.

Big ideas for tiny spaces

Blum Hardware had a 14,000 sq ft booth at Interzum, but the buzz was all about its “Tiny Spaces” installation in the boulevard connecting the halls. Several innovative functions, like a pull-out step for reaching higher storage, were on display as actors continuously portrayed life in a minimal footprint. Photo by Material Intelligence.

 3DL and 2DL: Tasty colors, deep textures

Renolit’s new “Color Roads: The Taste of Colors” exploration ties trending colors to food and taste under themes like Fields, Markets and Gardens, an approach designers are finding especially palatable. And the company’s Sweet Chestnut 2D design pulls out all the texture stops, with its harmonious interplay of printed and synchronous pore finish. The pattern runs three-dimensionally on different levels; growth rings resemble steps and give the printed image a depth which looks extremely natural. Every level has its own dimension - ribbons, stripes and knotted effects alternating in the grain. Renolit says Sweet Chestnut brings an elegant yet rustic feel to living and sleeping areas, and is available in Chestnut, Bleached, Limed, Dark Grey and Black shades. Photos by Material Intelligence.

Stress-free zero-edge materials 

The latest introduction of Alpha-Tape Zero edge treatments from MKT doesn’t show stress or white marks when welded to tighter radiuses, perfect for companies applying their edges via CNC. 
Photos by Material Intelligence.  

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About the author
Kenn Busch

Material Intelligence organizes educational material exhibits like the Materials Pavilion at NeoCon, creates certified educational content on materials for architects and interior designers, and collaborates with design educators and students to nurture new thinking about materials and materiality. Founder Kenn Busch also covers the major materials and design fairs in Europe for the A&D and manufacturing communities, and organizes the TCM North America Decorative Surfaces Conference.