PASSAGEN 2008 – BASF, Sonae Indústria and CRYSTALLIZED™- Swarovski Elements join forces at Germany’s largest design event

(PresseBox) (Ludwigshafen/Meppen/Wattens, ) BASF, Sonae Indústria and CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements will host a unique display at the KAP Forum in Cologne during the PASSAGEN 2008 exhibition, which will be held from January 14 – 20, 2008, to coincide with the "imm cologne" furniture fair. On the initiative of BASF, these three partners have put together an unusual display of combinations of materials that have never been seen before: brilliant colors by BASF incorporated into medium-density fiberboard TOPAN® colour by Glunz, the German subsidiary of Sonae Indústria, and decorated with crystals by Swarovski.

The exhibition will be held at the KAP Forum for Architecture, Technology and Design, which is located on the Südkai in Cologne. The KAP Forum is an alliance of companies that are active in the fields of design and architecture, including BASF as a leading partner to the construction industry.

Special colorant formulations and production techniques have made it possible to manufacture medium-density fiberboard (MDF) that is through-colored, which gives it an intense coloration and improves its fastness to light. The versatile properties make the material particularly useful for shops and trade fairs, interior design and furniture design. "Our colorants have made a great contribution to enhancing the quality of medium-density fiberboard and opening up new applications for this type of material. Combinations of MDF and CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements make it possible to create new, exclusive designs for furniture and fittings," said Juliane Krüsemann, head of the project at BASF.

This material is marketed by Glunz under the TOPAN® colour brand. "TOPAN® colour is now being marketed successfully throughout Europe and it has gained a very good reputation with designers. It is manufactured by a special process that enables it to be through-colored, which gives rise to very brilliant, lightfast colors. Decorating it with glass crystals makes it sparkle and opens up a wide range of exciting ideas for designers," said Mike Richter, product manager for MDF at Glunz.

Swarovski took a great interest in BASF’s initiative. The leading manufacturer of precision-cut crystals, renowned for its creations in the world of jewelry and fashion, is also very successful in the field of interior design. "The philosophy of continuous refinement and permanent innovation has been the driving force at Swarovski ever since Daniel Swarovski founded the company in 1895, and this has fueled the creation of novel designs and colors and revolutionary techniques for cutting and applying crystals. CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements open up fantastic new possibilities in the fields of interior design, household fabrics and furniture. They allow a whole host of new ideas in decoration to be pursued, especially in the field of wood products. A synthesis of art and architecture, an eagerness to experiment and a high level of technical expertise provide the inspiration that leads to innovations," said Michael Geister, General Manager of Swarovski Deutschland GmbH.

Around 130,000 visitors are expected to attend the PASSAGEN design event, which is held each year, and Cologne will become the center of attraction for the international design scene during the week. The latest trends in the fields of furniture, fabrics, lighting and accessories will also be on show at more than 150 prestigious exhibitions at various venues around the city.

About Glunz

The Portuguese Sonae Indústria Group is one of the world's largest manufacturers of wood based panels, operating 34 production sites in nine countries. In 2006, 6,900 employees achieved sales of almost 1.7 billion euros.

Sonae Indústria’s subsidiary Glunz AG is one of the leading wood based panels manufacturers in the German speaking region. As at January 2007, 2,300 employees worked at seven sites in Germany and Switzerland.

About Swarovski

112 years ago, in 1895, Daniel Swarovski I, a Bohemian inventor and visionary, moved to the village of Wattens, Tyrol in Austria, with his newly-invented machine for cutting and polishing crystal jewellery stones. From these beginnings, which revolutionised the fashion world, Swarovski has grown to be the world’s leading producer of precision-cut crystal, for fashion, jewellery and more recently lighting, architecture and interiors. Today, the company, still based in Wattens, family-owned and run by 4th and 5th generation family members, has a global reach, with some 20,000 employees, a presence in over 120 countries and a turnover in 2006 of 2,37 billion Euros. Swarovski comprises two major divisions, one producing and selling loose crystals to the industry and the other creating design-driven finished products. Swarovski crystal components, known by their product brand names CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements for fashion and STRASS® Swarovski® Crystal for architecture and light, have become an essential ingredient of international design. Showing the creativity that lies at the heart of the company, Swarovski’s own-brand lines of accessories, jewellery and home décor are sold through more than 1150 Swarovski stores and concessions in all major fashion capitals, while the exclusive Daniel Swarovski accessories collection has become the company’s Couture signature. The Swarovski Crystal Society has close to 400,000 members worldwide, keen collectors of the celebrated crystal figurines. And in Wattens, Crystal Worlds, the multi-media crystal museum, has attracted over 7 million visitors since it was opened in 1995, as a celebration of Swarovski’s universe of innovation and inspiration, of crystal as the ultimate creative material. The Swarovski corporation also includes four industrial brands, Tyrolit®, manufacturing grinding tools, Swareflex, for road safety reflectors, Optik, producing precision optical instruments and Signity, Swarovski’s brand for genuine and created gemstones.

Kontakt

BASF Coatings GmbH
Glasuritstraße 1
D-48165 Münster
Jürgen Jakob
BASF Aktiengesellschaft - Kommunikation
Axel Winne
Glunz AG
Agnes Elisabeth Suchta
Swarovski Deutschland (GmbH)
PR & Communication Manager
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