Lien A Natural Latex Mattress - interzum guangzhou Award

Interzum Guangzhou Award 2024

Elly Lee in conversation with juror Dr. Sascha Peters

21 February 2024

Elly Lee: Mr. Peters, thank you very much for your willingness to support us with your expertise as a juror for the interzum gunagzhou Awards. What do you think makes the submitted products and materials different this year compared to previous years?

Sascha Peters: The interzum guangzhou Award is a wonderful reflection of current market developments. From year to year, we see in the submissions how furniture manufacturers try to satisfy changing customer needs with their products. From what I have seen, the interzum guangzhou Award reflects the diversity of innovation. Of course, it’s about simplifying the offerings for the user, developing solutions and products with a particularly efficient use of resources and offering additional features that the customer did not expect.

Based on the products and accessories you evaluate, how do you assess the current trends and innovations in the furniture industry? What will be the keywords for future trends?

Sascha Peters: We are currently seeing two trends in innovation in the furniture sector. On the one hand, manufacturers try to convert their products into the logic of the circular economy and keep the used materials and raw materials in cycles. We are seeing amazing material innovations in the area of upholstered furniture, from biocircular foams for mattresses to textiles and surfaces that can have a positive impact on the user’s health.

Another big trend, but this is actually nothing new, is the digitalization of our living environments. We see this in the submissions for the Interzum Guangzhou Award, especially for furnitures that are used for relaxation and in the bed area. Unlike European manufacturers, Asian producers add great value here and offer digital options in their products, such as monitoring breathing and snoring during sleep.

As an expert in this field, what advice do you have for manufacturers who want to improve the quality and design of furniture and accessories?

For the future, I would like manufacturers to take much more responsibility for the resources they use in their products than they already do. This is especially true at the end of the product cycle. The question of how used materials get back to the manufacturer is the crucial key to a functioning circular economy.

This will only work if the producer sees economic added value in reusing used resources. The development of circular business models can help on the way to the circular economy. Although there are already some exciting and economically lucrative circular offerings, the furniture industry is still in its early stages.

What contribution do you think the interzum guangzhou Award will make to the furniture industry?

With the interzum guangzhou Award, Koelnmesse has an ideal instrument to reflect innovation activities. It can also proactively accompany the transformation process towards a circular economy in a digital world and provide valuable information for producers across the entire industry. With the awards, the interzum guangzhou Award highlights best practice cases and thus offers guidance on the level at which current developments are taking place.

As a prominent materials expert and sustainability advocate, do you have any suggestions for the next interzum guangzhou Award?

For the next interzum guangzhou Award, I would like to see a special category for circular business models in the furniture and interior industry. This would not only honor submissions in the area of products and materials, but also business models that fit into the context of the circular economy.

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

An exhibition with selected submissions and the winners of the award will be displayed at this year’s interzum guangzhou from 28-31 March 2024.

image: Natural latex mattress (source: Lien A Co. Ltd., Vietnam)