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Report from Qubique in Berlin

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.

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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