Germany: Bright city lights

The more of an experience you make out of a trade fair, the more unique it becomes. Just one of the reasons why spectacular tie-in events now take place outside of exhibition centres.

At the last Luminale visitors could marvel at over 200 light installations in Frankfurt and neighbouring Offenbach. (Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition / Jochen Günther)
At the last Luminale visitors could marvel at over 200 light installations in Frankfurt and neighbouring Offenbach. (Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition / Jochen Günther)

The last words of the great German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe were allegedly: “More light!”. While historians dispute that this is true, his native Frankfurt already fulfilled this wish a long time ago. Since 2002 it has hosted the light art event Luminale at the same time as the Light + Building trade show. At its last edition in 2016, visitors were able to marvel at over 200 light installations by exhibitors, light designers, architects, artists and initiatives – projected on buildings, in showrooms, galleries, museums, churches, stations, parks and unusual venues. Over 200,000 people came to see the light projects, in addition to commuters and rail travellers. Moreover, initiated by Messe Frankfurt, Luminale also drew international attention in the media. The ECB projections on the new headquarters and Eurotower looked like international beacons for Bank City Frankfurt. The project was even featured on the cover of a French newspaper. The next Luminale will shine again at the next Light + Building from 13 to 18 March 2018 in Frankfurt and Offenbach (www.luminale.de).

During trade shows imm cologne and Living-Kitchen there was a new edition of the installation "Time Drifts Cologne" (Photo: Philipp Geist / VG Bildkunst 2016)
During trade shows imm cologne and Living-Kitchen there was a new edition of the installation "Time Drifts Cologne" (Photo: Philipp Geist / VG Bildkunst 2016)

Koelnmesse is also aware of the impact of light installations. For the home interiors duo imm cologne and LivingKitchen it presented the light installation Time Drifts Cologne II by light artist Philipp Geist around the cathedral in mid-January. In doing so it extended the artist’s performance “Time Drifts Cologne” from New Year’s Eve 2016/17 to trade show year 2017. The light installation was projected on the ground and several façades. The installation visualised the topics “Space and Time” and “Wishes” for the year 2017. It featured words suggested by the people of Cologne over the course of several weeks. The original concept was further developed artistically for imm cologne: The words and associations were translated into several languages. This was done to address the international trade show audience who had gathered in Cologne, enabling an interaction between the projection on the architecture, on the ground – with the projection gradually vanishing in the mist. The terms were just briefly visible and then immediately disappeared again as a metaphor for the transitory nature of our existence. The enthusiastic visitors themselves became part of the installation, were able to enter the installation and view it from different angles. This was accompanied by a so-called “Ambient Sound” by Martin Gretschmann (www.koelnmesse.de).

 
 
Last January the Long Night of Architecture took place for the fourth time in Munich during Messe Bau. (Photo: Messe München)
Last January the Long Night of Architecture took place for the fourth time in Munich during Messe Bau. (Photo: Messe München)

In Munich the city lights also played a special role - as the setting of an evening event for the construction trade show “Messe Bau”. On 20 January around 35,000 visitors immersed themselves in the “Long Night of Architecture”. The event again provided unique insights into buildings with the most impressive architecture, urban development projects, showrooms and infrastructure projects in the Bavarian state capital. This time over 70 buildings and projects took part in the Long Night of Architecture hosted by Messe München. With eleven proposed routes, overlapping at specific junctions, the architecture fans were able to compile their own individual course – or follow the already planned trails. Odeonsplatz was the central hub. The square served as a transfer hub and starting point for some routes. Shuttle busses circulated on all routes and could be used free of charge. During the trip architecture students already provided information on the buildings. In addition, there were walking tours in the city centre that were very well-received, optionally with or without a guide. The next “Long Night” will be on 18 January 2019, again on the penultimate day of Messe Bau (www.lange-nacht-der-architektur.de).

Author: Peter Borstel

This article was published in TFI issue 1/2017

 
 

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