There is no doubt that COVID-19 has ruined pretty much everybody’s plans this year.  Events and fairs for the architecture, design, and construction sectors have been severely affected.  We have already written about how these events, which set the trends for the year, were saved by the virtual world during the worst months of the pandemic.  However, as lockdown measures have begun to ease and we seem to have some control over the situation, organisers have decided to go back to in-person events in order to get back some of that human contact that we lost behind a computer screen.

One of the most significant examples of this return to normal was the celebration of Formland Autumn 2020 in Copenhagen in August.  It was an incredibly enriching experience for some attendees, and it showed that life goes on in spite of the virus.  Camille Dybdal Christensen, CEO of the design company AU Maison, told the event’s official website that “it’s been so great to finally meet our customers at eye level again. The quality of the visitors has been really high, and there was a steady flow of customers already from Thursday. So, our preconception that this time the show would be a little quieter than normal because of corona completely flew out the window! We’ve had a fantastic fair where we have presented our four brands and received some really attractive orders, as well as enjoying a positive dialogue with our customers”.

 

Minimalist style is trending

Some of the most prestigious publications in the world of design had already pointed out that this would be the case, but Formland confirmed it: minimalism is trending. It’s all about clean settings with very little clutter that give a sense of spaciousness.

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With that in mind, the Marbella Design Fair is all about getting rid of superfluous objects to allow for a less cluttered composition. This fair will be taking place in-person from September 24 until October 3 at the Palacio de Congresos de Marbella.

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Innovation and cleaning

Marbella is not the only fair in Spain that intends to allow the public to visit its 2020 edition.  Interihotel is set to take place at the end of November at the Ciudad Condal in Barcelona. Here, you’ll find big names from the contract-hospitality sector.  Innovation and easy to clean materials that make clients feel safe will be the stars of this edition, which is still being organised.  It will also be presented in a hybrid format i.e. both in-person and online.  The organisers have set up a Youtube channel and have looked at how to get as much as possible out of various formats.  The driving force behind this edition is The Concept Rooms, which will be exhibited in display spaces and discussed in keynote speeches by the studios behind them.

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Just before Interihotel, you will also be able to atten Rebuild 2020, a specialised fair that focuses on innovation in construction.  It will take place at the International Convention Centre (the CCIB), which is also in Barcelona, from September 29 to October 1.

 

New formats and cancellations

Some trade fairs have not had quite as much luck and have not been able to remain international events because of the pandemic.  One of these was the London Design Festival, which wrapped up on September 20. It focused on local visitors in what is one of the most influential cities in the design world.

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Paris Design Week took place at the beginning of September with exhibitions that were open to the public, while the side event, Maison&Objet, went digital on the Digital Fair platform.

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Other fairs simply had to cancel or postpone, like Orgatec and the well-known Habitat de Valencia, which will now take place in 2021.  However, to make up for the loss of this edition, Habitat put together a special event for current circumstances which has adapted to the needs of those exhibiting.  It will take place from November 10 to 12 under the name Ágora Encuentros Hábitat & Home Textiles Premium VLC 2020.

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