Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne

The hosting of the Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne 2020 marks the seventeenth year for one of the most internationally renowned design competitions for young designers – the starting point for a successful design career for many of the chosen participants.


The Pure Talents Contest is one of the best known international competitions for young designers. Organised by one of the largest tradeshow for interior design worldwide the competition became the platform for emerging young designers where they could present their products to a wide audience and could achieve first contacts within the interior design business. Over the last sixteen years all in all 456 products from 503 designers from all around the world have been shown in the exhibition of the Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne. A large number of these products had been taken into production by well-known manufacturers. Up to 20 new works of design students and young designers from around the world, will be preselected and featured in a special exhibition. The three most talented up-and-coming international designers for 2020 will be chosen from these nominees.

Here you can download the conditions of participation.


Entries are sought from design students and young designers from around the world who have gained their degree not more than three years ago, with a graduation date after January 1, 2016. Applications will also be accepted from groups consisting of a maximum of three people which have to be named upon entry in the competition. All group participants have to fulfil the terms regarding the matriculation/university degree. Late nominations of group members will not be considered.

Products from the following categories are allowed to participate: furniture, home accessories, lighting, flooring, wallpaper and textiles, smart home.

The designs should have been produced within the previous twelve months. Only prototype products may be submitted which have not yet been included in series productions, although those in the preparatory stages of series production may be eligible for entry. Products submitted may have already been on show at other exhibitions or have been featured in publications. Not more than three products may be entered by the same applicant. A 1:1 model(s) of the product(s) submitted should already be available for display in the exhibition or the entrant must be in a position to produce the said 1:1 design model at his/her own expense by the time of the exhibition.


Registrations to participate in the Pure Talents Contest must be made online at www.imm-cologne.com/puretalentscontest. With the registration you have to upload three images (JPG) of the product (max. size 2mb per image). With the successful registration you will receive a confirmation by email along with a data sheet of your entry. Together with the registration you will have to upload a matriculation certificate or the university degree through the online form. The certificate or degree needs to be in English or should be uploaded as a translation certified by your university. For all applications of groups it is binding that all information of the group members are submitted with the entry form and that a certificate for each group member is uploaded.


From the applications received, the international jury will nominate a maximum of 20 products, whose designers will be invited to take part in the competition and thereby in the exhibition at imm cologne 2020. Out of these nominees the international Jury

will award the first three prizes of the Pure Talents Contest 2020.

The jury members are

  • NN
  • Suvi Saloniemi, Chief Curator, Design Museum Helsinki
  • Giulio Cappellini, Art Director Cappellini, Milan
  • Sebastian Herkner, Designer, Offenbach
  • Johannes Hünig, Editor, IDEAT Magazine, Hamburg
  • Philippe Malouin, Designer, London

The choice of designers will be made taking account of the German General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichberechtigungsgesetz). The judges‘ decision is final and not subject to legal recourse. Entries will be evaluated first and foremost in accordance with the following criteria:

  • overall concept
  • individuality of the design / originality
  • conceptual and visionary quality
  • functionality / practical value
  • quality of design and presentation

The jury is free to weight the individual criteria as it sees fit.

Exhibition and competition

All the products included in the exhibition will be on display from 13 to 19 January 2020 at imm cologne 2020. Designers nominated to take part in the exhibition and competition pledge to make a 1:1 model of their product available for collection by 1 December 2019. From the time of collection the model will remain at imm cologne for the entire duration of the exhibition before being delivered back to the pick up address. During imm cologne 2020, the products selected may not be displayed elsewhere at the same time. Before the fair the jury session will be held at which the up-and-coming designers personally present their works to the jury in the exhibition itself. Participants nominated (or a representative from the design group) must undertake to be present for the judging, press activities and award ceremony at least during the period from 11 to 15 January 2020. Furthermore, the designers must organize the dismantling of the exhibits at the end of the fair. Should it not be possible for the designer to be present in person for the dismantling, he is obliged to organize the dismantling of the exhibit by a third party, and to inform the organizer accordingly.


All selected participants of the exhibition will receive a 'Nominee'-Label. Besides the first three prizes, that are selected by the jury on the occasion of the tradeshow, imm cologne awards for the first time an Audience Prize whose winner will be determined by a social-media-based voting until 6 January 2020.

The awards are endowed with the following prize moneys:

  • 1st Prize 3,000 €
  • 2nd Prize 2,000 €
  • 3rd Prize 1,000 €
  • Audience Prize 1,000 €

The prizes will be awarded during the tradeshows.

More information can be found on this pdf.


12 september 2019





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