IMM Cologne Pure Talents Contest 2021


Creative Ideas Design

Location (s):

  • Germany
  • Online


The Pure Talents Contest 2021 is now open for entries – and it will be a very special design contest that reflects the accelerated evolution of a digital future. Once again young creatives from across the world are invited to submit their individual or group works for a highly diverse range of furniture categories. The Pure Talents Contest can serve as the springboard for a successful career for them. Many former contestants have launched their design careers via the Pure Talents Contest. Given the challenging conditions under which the current competition will be held, ensuring a strong international dimension is a particular concern for the organisers.


As the organisers are striving to ensure equal opportunities for all contestants and they currently have to assume that travel will be subject to different restrictions in different regions of the world, competition entries will be submitted digitally, and the presentation of the nominees to the jury and at the event will also take place exclusively via digital media. In addition to the prize money for the winners and the fully sponsored presentation of their designs at a special exhibition at imm cologne and LivingKitchen 2021, the nominees will benefit from additional PR measures and will be granted access to the trade fair’s exclusive networking tools. This will allow them to strengthen their presence at the trade fair and guarantee them opportunities to successfully make contact with potential producers.


The Pure Talents Contest is amongst the most highly recognised international design competitions for up-and-coming designers. Hosted by one of the world’s most important interior design trade fairs, it is the platform on which emerging talent can showcasetheir products to a large audience and make their rst contacts inthe industry. In the past seventeen years, a total of 476 products by 526 designers from all over the world have been presented at imm cologne as part of the contest exhibition.

Many of these products have found their way into the collections of well-known manufacturers. Up to 20 current pieces of work by design students and young designers from all over the world will be put forward and showcased. From this selection, the three most talented international up-and-coming designers in 2021 will be chosen by the jury. The LivingKitchen Selection Prize is selected from up to 6 works.

An Audience Prize will also be awarded.

In 2021, despite the many challenges posed by COVID-19, Koelnmesse would again like to give young, up-and-coming designers the opportunity to present their work to a large audience and establish contacts in the furniture industry. With a sophisti- cated security concept, Koelnmesse will guarantee a secure tradefair. It is even expected that the two exhibitions will be the rstrelevant platform for the interior industry during COVID-19. Participation is therefore more worthwhile than ever.

The Pure Talents Contest 2021 will therefore be run under adapted conditions of participation.

LivingKitchen Selection

For the second time, a special exhibition will be held and a special prize awarded for prototypes and concepts for kitchens and kitchen products to mark the LivingKitchen event. Up to six additional designs will be selected and exhibited in the LivingKitchen Selection, with an award presented to the best product concept.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:


Students of design and up-and-coming designers from all over the world are invited to enter, providing that they graduated no more than three years ago, i.e. after 1 January 2017. Entries from groups of up to three members are also welcome as long as each member meets the requirements concerning their current course of studyor their degree award. Group applications must be identi ed assuch during the online registration process. The subsequent addition of entrants to the group is not permitted.

Entries will be accepted in the following product categories:

  • Furniture | Home Accessories | Lighting | Floor Coverings, Wallpapers and Textiles | Smart Home

The following categories will be open for submissions for the LivingKitchen Selection:

  • Kitchen Concepts | Concepts for Electrical Appliances | Kitchen Accessories and Kitchen Utensils

The designs should be no more than one year old. Product entries are restricted to prototypes that are not yet in series production. At most, they may be in the preparation stage for series production. Products submitted may have already been on show at other exhibitions or have been featured in publications. Every participant may enter up to three products. A full-sized model of the submitted product or products must already be available for presentation in the exhibition, or it must be possible for the entrant to produce a full-sized model in time for the exhibition at his/her own expense. Exclusively in the case of the kitchen appliances product category, entries may be submitted and exhibited in the form of design models and therefore do not need to be entered as working prototypes.


Deadline: As soon as possible

Program Starts: January 18, 2021

Program Ends: January 24, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

Exhibition and competition

The selected products will be exhibited as part of imm cologne 2021 from 18 to 24 January 2021. The designers nominated for the exhibition and the competition undertake to make their products available as full-sized models for collection from 1 December 2020. The models will remain at imm cologne from the time of collection throughout the entire duration of the exhibition, after which they will be returned to the stated collection address. The selected products may not be simultaneously exhibited at another location for the duration of imm cologne 2021. The meeting of the jury will take place in the exhibitions before the fair opens.

The personal presence of all designers at the jury meeting and during the exhibition due to COVID 19 for imm cologne 2021 is not planned this year.

In line with our equal opportunities policy, this will apply to all nominated designers. The day before the trade fair opens, the designers will attend the meeting of the product jury by video- conference for the selection of the 26 nominated products. Koelnmesse will set up and dismantle the products and look after them during the exhibition.


Upon con rmation, all of the entrants put forward for the contestexhibition will receive the label »nominee«. Prize money is awarded to the entrants who receive the following places:

  • First prize: € 3,000.00
  • Second prize: € 2,000.00
  • Third prize: € 1,000.00 
  • Audience Prize Living:  € 1,000.00
  • Kitchen Selection: € 3,000.00

The awards for the Pure Talents Contest are presented during the trade fair.


Participation in the application process of the competition is free ofcharge. Koelnmesse makes reasonable nancial and organisationalsupport available to the exhibition participants for the transport oftheir products. The amount of the nancial expenses awarded isbased on the objective internal guidelines of Koelnmesse, which take the circumstances of the individual case into account. Koelnmesse bears the costs for insuring the products that are presented in the exhibition.

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