Colours, personal freedom and kisses.

Tired, happy and full of inspiration – that’s us, heading home from the 2016 fair. Your Ambiente Blog team is buzzing with all the sights and sounds. At Ambiente we saw so much that makes modern life uniquely brighter and better. And no wonder! After all, this superlative event is the world’s most important consumer goods fair. We present you with our enthusiastic summary.

The entire universe of consumer goods is represented at Ambiente. Many fixtures in the design firmament shone brightly, new constellations were discovered, and we saw some shooting stars. More than 137.000 visitors from over 140 countries attended Ambiente 2016, a new record. Interviews and talks were held in English, French and Italian – and we all understood one another perfectly. Our former school teachers would have been proud! This melodic medley of languages only added to the cosmopolitan feel at Ambiente – where the whole world feels at home. It’s like the United Nations. The world sends its best design ideas to Frankfurt and they flow back from here to markets across the globe. The show is a definitely a shining star!

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A closer look
This year, many exhibitors talked of a different type of retro, a different pace of life. A search for sense and value, for environmental and social responsibility, for suitable materials and manufacturing processes. The world keeps turning, and we picked up on a new trend for valuing what we already have. At the same time, ideas of how to sustainably combine personal freedom and future requirements are gaining in importance. That means approaching the future from the past: it’s a sort of ‘retro futurism’. Four style worlds came together at this year’s Ambiente, which brought into ultra-sharp focus the idea of preserving and developing what we’ve already got.

 Mille baci!
A thousand kisses. The people’s favourite, Italy, charmed us too. It was this year’s partner country, and is a “godmother” of modern design. Paola Navone curated ‘Dolce Vita’, a special design presentation that flew the nation’s green, white and red flag. This industry star from Milan demonstrated, in her uniquely friendly way, things we know and love Italy for – its eating culture, crockery, glassware, utensils – and more besides. We say ‘Mille grazie’! In 2017 we’ll pass the baton to Great Britain somewhere we’re sure will light fireworks in the ideas department.

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Cold is the new hot
Our Blog Team tried cold filtered coffee in the new Ambiente Gourmet Shop and got the message loud and clear. ‘Cold drip’ or ‘Dutch coffee’ are other names for this hippest of brewing techniques which is slowly trickling through into the mainstream. The tall equipment looks like it would be equally at home in an alchemist’s laboratory, but the coffee comes out tasty and mild. We’d say this new method has great potential to really take off.

Bubblegum flavours
Cobalt blue and light blue here. Rose and powder pink there. What we saw at Ambiente 2016 makes it clear these are no longer simply ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ colours. Warm pink makes us feel cosy, cool blue stands for safety and good order. Colour psychologists confirm this and many manufacturers are currently keen to apply the knowledge. The Futuristic Couture style world displayed highly decorative examples and suggestions of this, in the form of tableware and glass vases. We think this soft gender mix of bubblegum colours has a great future.

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It’s all about the people
We spoke to a great many people during the trade fair, about design and about the world at large. We’re still mulling over these conversations. We talked to speakers of many languages, young and established designers, and even some famous faces. If Ambiente Frankfurt had a pulse, it would certainly have been raised over those few days – and not just because of walking up and down the aisles, which must stretch for hundreds of kilometres. We learned that good design is increasingly about paying individual attention to people. When do people feel safe and well, what is worth preserving or developing, and what will help keep our future green? Our philosophy is therefore: give each day the opportunity to be the best one of your life so far. Ambiente showed us the good that the aesthetics and functionality of things can do. The rest, which money can’t buy, is up to us.

Let’s stick together
Over the coming weeks and months, the Ambiente Blog will be reflecting the lightness and the attitude to life we felt at the fair. We’ve got a lot of exciting stories to tell, from new looks for kitchen and dining to unconventional interior trends. How does a unique mix of styles and cultural influences come to fruition? Which designs and accessories are currently in the ‘Premier League’? The Ambiente Blog will keep you informed and alert you to the trends, as they happen. Don’t miss out: subscribe to the Ambiente newsletter.