Cleverly, Qubique's organizers have kept the airport theme, inviting guests to “check in” at the original gates, pick up materials on the still-spinning baggage carousels, and giving a row of international art galleries space in the former travel agencies’ offices. It was rather like stepping back in time to wander through a flea market of very cool, new stuff. The furniture—from big names like Thonet, Vitra, and Muuto to local and not-so-local lesser-knowns—is shown in three former airplane hangars. Add some rockin’ music in the arrivals hall, talks with design types like Konstantin Grcic and Iwan Baan, regionally sourced food, a red tent staked out near the runway, and a couple of live bands, and you’ve yourself a pretty cool gig. All photos by Avery Jennings unless otherwise marked.
What makes a tradeshow cool? Location, location, location. In the case of Quibique, a furniture fair making its debut October 26th to 29th, that means a cool city (Berlin) and a cool spot in that city (the hall of the former Tempelhof airport). The iconic, now-decommissioned airport, designed and built in the roaring twenties before a Nazi-era expansion, again became a symbol of hope after WWII during the Berlin Airlift when American pilots used it to deliver food and goods to West Berliners blockaded by the Soviet army.