Tomorrow, I head to the furniture fair in Cologne, Germany. I haven’t been there for a few years. I only go for a couple of days, but get a tremendous amount of information.
As I began to plan this show, it was apparent it was going to cost my left arm and other parts. I really wanted to keep the cost in just dollars and cents, something that made sense to me.
So, I started looking into transportation options, so I could fly into another airport, and then take the train. Europe is flush with high speed trains. I figured that out and made it so I could get to Cologne at a reasonable price, but the hotels were outrageous ($300-$500 a night), at least for me. I wasn’t going to pay that, but I wanted to go to the show.
So, I thought maybe I could stay in another city and just take the train. I was able to find a hotel in Brussels, which is a 90 minute train trip to Cologne. The hotel is a block from the train station in Brussels and the train station in Cologne is just a short walk from the show. Since I was only going to the show for two days, not a big deal.
So, why do I go through all of this stuff?
Because the Europeans are the best at making stuff that is multi-functional. They think differently than we do. And, it is important, at least to me, to have different perspectives when designing new products.
They also have the best student design show in the world. Cool doesn’t begin to describe what I get to see. The last show, I saw a lampshade that opened and closed like a window shade, changing the light in the room from reading to ambient. Simple idea. Simple product. Great idea.
So, I leave with an open mind, small notebook, camera, and comfortable shoes. I hope it’s great. Pictures will be forthcoming.