FORM 2017: Craft meets design at the competition showcasing 194 award-winning products at Tendence

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Monika Vesely vigorously strokes a deep-pile tapestry, submitted to the competition “FORM 2017 – Form from Crafts and Industry”. “This really is an outstanding piece of work, handwoven from recycled new wool,” says Vesely, who is herself a master craftswoman, works as a gold and silversmith and is this year’s spokesperson for the competition jury. 
 
The jury spent two days sifting through, checking and discussing 497 submissions from 90 international applicants for FORM 2017, an exhibition at Tendence from 24 to 27 June. “The products I found particularly exciting during the selection process were those based on social or ecological ideas and principles. There are two areas, in particular, that stand out. The first one is upcycling – a resource-friendly approach which involves working with existing resources and then transforms them into new and interesting design products. Secondly,” says Vesely, “there is the integration of disabled and vulnerable people, which I believe to be an important contemporary issue.” 
 
Apart from Vesely, the other members of the prestigious jury are Cornelia Dollacker, Managing Director and Technical Manager at Hessen Design, the goldsmith Torsten Trautvetter, the freelance artist Heike Roesner and the designer Alexa Lixfeld. “The wide spectrum of contemporary styles, ranging from schematic and carefully organised to random and fluid, shows that there are no restrictions and that everything is possible. Nevertheless, to be convincing, the general idea or principle needs to be consistent, of course, and the product must be of a high material quality,” says Lixfeld. Other assessment criteria for the jury are the design quality, functionality, craftsmanship, appropriateness of the material to suit the product, and ultimately also the general composition. 
 
The experts were particularly taken by a number of items – not just the above-mentioned tapestry, but also, for instance, a set of high-quality metal vessels where the production process involved pressing together several layers of metal. They had been made by an association of small metal workshops. Another product on which their verdict was unanimous was a set of bowls where glass elements had been combined with knotted bell wire. 
 
The hosts and organisers of the competition are the German Crafts Association (BK) and Messe Frankfurt. “We were amazed to see that this year’s overall quality of submissions was outstandingly high. We’ve got a very good mix of industrial and hand-crafted products for the FORM 2017 exhibition,” says Christina Beyer, Managing Director of the German Crafts Association. The pieces that will be exhibited range from unique items to mass products. Yet they all have one thing in common: they have all been awarded the FORM 2017 seal of quality. This year a total of 194 products from 59 enterprises have been distinguished in this way and can be viewed in an exhibition at Tendence, in Hall 9.0
 
The selected firms include well-known companies such as Adhoc, Asa Selection, Eagle Products, Kahla, Lambert and Werkhaus as well as several renowned artisans. The latter include Anna Badur, Clemens Gerstenberger, Hedi Schon and Ulrike Scriba
 
Award-winning craftsmanship: the Hessian State Award  
 
Another design highlight at Tendence is the placement of the Hessian State Award for German Arts & Crafts. It is Germany’s oldest state award and will be given to the winners at a ceremony during the opening of the fair on 24 June. The works of the four prizewinners will subsequently also be on display at the FORM 2017 exhibition. 
 
Source: Messe Frankfurt Exhbition GmbH 
 
Images belonging FORM 2016 
 
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