Interzum Guangzhou 20 plus 20 Award Kiaro Opening

Interzum Guangzhou 20 plus 20 Award

Elly Lee in conversation with juror Dr Sassha Peters

8 April 2022

Elly Lee: Mr. Peters, This edition of 20 PLUS 20 Awards revolves around the theme “In Pursuit of Furniture Accessories with Vitality”, and evaluates based on the innovativeness, usability, safety and practicality of the nominated works. From your professional point of view, how or from what aspects should furniture manufacturers showcase the “vitality” of products?

Sascha Peters: To show the “vitality of products” means two aspects for furniture manufacturers. One refers to the use of a piece of furniture and primarily concerns questions as to whether a product can have a negative health effect on people. For example, is a piece of seating furniture ergonomically designed?

Were materials used that are free of fumes and can be recycled at the end of the product’s service life. Are they even materials that can circulate completely in the biological cycle? In the future, a manufacturer must be able to answer all these questions with its products.

What is your overall evaluation of this year’s 20 PLUS 20 entries? What aspects of the nominated products have left an impression on you?

Sascha Peters: I found it remarkable to see the diverse ways in which the submissions for this year’s 20 PLUS 20 Awards reflect current innovation activity. When evaluating the submissions, two aspects particularly struck me.

On the one hand, I found it remarkable how much the manufacturers in the upholstered furniture sector were looking for approaches to find plastic-free or bio-based options for increasing the sustainability of the products in the sense of reducing materials that are harmful to health.

I also had the impression that ways to reduce the use of resources were being sought across all categories. Intelligent design has enabled functions to be implemented that previously required a large amount of material and a large number of components.

What are your expectations and aspirations for future 20 PLUS 20 contests?

For the future, I expect the competition to focus even more on the sustainability aspects of furniture and its production. With a view to climate change, the world is facing enormous challenges. These need to be tackled at all levels and in all industries.

Customers and users of furnitures and products will thank the manufacturers, so that the companies will also benefit economically from investing in sustainability innovations.

How do you think the furniture manufacturing industry will develop in the next five years? Could you give us an analysis in terms of materials or design?

Whether it’s 100% bio-based leather alternatives made from hemp fibres, building panels made from coconut husks, acoustic solutions made from mushrooms or bio-based wood protection from phytoextracts: in the next 5 years we will increasingly be confronted with innovations in design that are based entirely on natural materials and which can be traced back into the biological cycle.

With this we will experience a transformation of our industry towards a material culture that stands once again in harmony with nature and is based on innovations at the interfaces between biology and technology.


With his expertise as a material and innovation expert, Hon.-Prof. Dr Sascha Peters is regularly appointed to the juries of design and ideas competitions.

The “20 PLUS 20 Annual List” is part of a special area at this year’s Interzum Guangzhou from 26-29 July 2022. The selected finalists have already been published:

image: Kiaro Fox opening system (source: Italiana Ferramenta, Italy)