Guangzhou, China 28.-31. 03. 2025

20 PLUS 20 Award - Interview with Dr. Sascha Peters

CIFM / guangzhou-interzum

Hon.-Prof. Dr. Sascha Peters

-      20 PLUS 20 (2021-2022) Consultant
-      The founder and owner of the future agency HAUTE INNOVATION
-      One of the most renowned material experts and trend scouts in Europe
-      Member of the advisory board of the promotion initiative "Twenty20 – Partnership for Innovation"
-      Part of the advisory board of the German Association of 3D Printing e.V.
-      The jury of the renowned Red Dot Award Product Design
-      Honorary professor at the HAWK in Hildesheim

1.   This edition of 20 PLUS 20 Award revolves around the theme "In Pursuit of Furniture Accessories with Vitality", and evaluates based on the innovativeness, usability, safety and practicality of the nominated works. From your professional point of view, how or from what aspects should furniture manufacturers showcase the “vitality” of products?

Dr. Sascha Peters: To show the "vitality of products" means two aspects for furniture manufacturers. One refers to the use of a piece of furniture and primarily concerns questions as to whether a product can have a negative health effect on people. For example, is a piece of seating furniture ergonomically designed? Were materials used that are free of fumes and can be recycled at the end of the product's service life. Are they even materials that can circulate completely in the biological cycle? In the future, a manufacturer must be able to answer all these questions with its products.


2.   What is your overall evaluation of this year's 20 PLUS 20 entries? What aspects of the nominated products have left an impression on you?

Dr. Sascha Peters: I found it remarkable to see the diverse ways in which the submissions for this year's 20 PLUS 20 Awards reflect current innovation activity. When evaluating the submissions, two aspects particularly struck me. On the one hand, I found it remarkable how much the manufacturers in the upholstered furniture sector were looking for approaches to find plastic-free or bio-based options for increasing the sustainability of the products in the sense of reducing materials that are harmful to health. I also had the impression that ways to reduce the use of resources were being sought across all categories. Intelligent design has enabled functions to be implemented that previously required a large amount of material and a large number of components.


3.   What are your expectations and aspirations for future 20 PLUS 20 contests?

Dr. Sascha Peters: For the future, I expect the competition to focus even more on the sustainability aspects of furniture and its production. With a view to climate change, the world is facing enormous challenges. These need to be tackled at all levels and in all industries. Customers and users of furnitures and products will thank the manufacturers, so that the companies will also benefit economically from investing in sustainability innovations.


4.   How do you think the furniture manufacturing industry will develop in the next five years? Could you give us an analysis in terms of materials or design?

Dr. Sascha Peters: Whether it's 100% bio-based leather alternatives made from hemp fibres, building panels made from coconut husks, acoustic solutions made from mushrooms or bio-based wood protection from phytoextracts: in the next 5 years we will increasingly be confronted with innovations in design that are based entirely on natural materials and which can be traced back into the biological cycle. With this we will experience a transformation of our industry towards a material culture that stands once again in harmony with nature and is based on innovations at the interfaces between biology and technology.