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October 28, 2011

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.

Visitors check in at the old airport check-in stands.
Visitors check in at the old airport check-in stands.
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Now, Tempelhof’s main hall is the departure point for a new kind of voyage. But people still run the wrong way up the people movers when no one is looking.
Now, Tempelhof’s main hall is the departure point for a new kind of voyage. But people still run the wrong way up the people movers when no one is looking.
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The Shack cooks up regional specialties. The plywood tables were built in Berlin.
The Shack cooks up regional specialties. The plywood tables were built in Berlin.
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Even airplane hangars have a height limit. Photo by Sally McGrane.
Even airplane hangars have a height limit. Photo by Sally McGrane.
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British design and manufacturing company Established & Sons got to take over the back of the hangar area, where the fire station used to be.
British design and manufacturing company Established & Sons got to take over the back of the hangar area, where the fire station used to be.
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Hoping to tap into a tradition of high quality craftsmanship, Wolf Wagner, from Germany, teamed up with Minoru Nagahara, from Japan, to produce a series of pieces designed in Germany and made in Japan. Here, the Voronoi chair is one of the results.
Hoping to tap into a tradition of high quality craftsmanship, Wolf Wagner, from Germany, teamed up with Minoru Nagahara, from Japan, to produce a series of pieces designed in Germany and made in Japan. Here, the Voronoi chair is one of the results.
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Using wool, silk and metal fibers, German rug designer Jan Kath creates sumptuous, unusual pieces with distressed patterns. The rugs are woven in Nepal.
Using wool, silk and metal fibers, German rug designer Jan Kath creates sumptuous, unusual pieces with distressed patterns. The rugs are woven in Nepal.
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The gentlemen from Lemgo, Germany’s KFF take a break on the award-winning leather and metal “Unique” chairs. Made in Germany, of course. Photo by Sally McGrane.
The gentlemen from Lemgo, Germany’s KFF take a break on the award-winning leather and metal “Unique” chairs. Made in Germany, of course. Photo by Sally McGrane.
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Belgian BUZZISPACE.COM, created in 2007 in Antwerp, makes acoustic solutions for the home and office using bespoke felt made of recycled plastic or wool.
Belgian BUZZISPACE.COM, created in 2007 in Antwerp, makes acoustic solutions for the home and office using bespoke felt made of recycled plastic or wool.
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Spanish carpet designers nanimarquina want to reinvent the rug. Here, they do it with "Losange," a new design by the renowned French Bouroullec brothers. (Smoking is not allowed). Photo by Sally McGrane.
Spanish carpet designers nanimarquina want to reinvent the rug. Here, they do it with "Losange," a new design by the renowned French Bouroullec brothers. (Smoking is not allowed). Photo by Sally McGrane.
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Vancouver-based light maker Omer Arbel is interested in process, when he creates his hand-made glass lamp baubles for Omer Arbel Office. OAO has its European office in Berlin.
Vancouver-based light maker Omer Arbel is interested in process, when he creates his hand-made glass lamp baubles for Omer Arbel Office. OAO has its European office in Berlin.
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Berlin-based designer Elisa Strozyk combines wood and textiles in this wooden carpet.
Berlin-based designer Elisa Strozyk combines wood and textiles in this wooden carpet.
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London-based Sebastian Wrong’s Studio Chair is made of acrylic paint and ash. At Qubique, the co-founder of Established & Sons will launch his new personal venture, "The Wrong Shop," with a charity auction.
London-based Sebastian Wrong’s Studio Chair is made of acrylic paint and ash. At Qubique, the co-founder of Established & Sons will launch his new personal venture, "The Wrong Shop," with a charity auction.
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Danish lamp designer Gubi has been making objects of illumination in Copehagen since 1967.<br /><br /><p><em><strong>Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our </strong></em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dwell/id411793747?mt=8"><em><strong> FREE a
Danish lamp designer Gubi has been making objects of illumination in Copehagen since 1967.

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Visitors check in at the old airport check-in stands.
Visitors check in at the old airport check-in stands.

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.

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