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Cooperation between Cologne University of Applied Sciences and Koelnmesse

Koelnmesse GmbH and Cologne University of Applied Sciences will be stepping up their partnership from the coming winter semester. Prof. Joachim Metzner, Vice Chancellor of Cologne University of Applied Sciences and Jochen Witt, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, signed the contract of cooperation to this effect on November 17, 2005. Starting in 2006, Cologne University of Applied Sciences will be the first and only university in Europe to offer Corporate Architecture, Fairs and Exhibitions as a program of study. Here, particular emphasis will be placed on the subject of trade fair architecture. Beyond the aspect of trade fair construction, the cooperation will include individual research and development projects as part of the Cologne trade fairs.

The new course of study has been created in line with the conversion of the German degree structure to the Bachelor and Masters system. It will become an integral part of the MSc in Architecture and, according to Prof. Metzner, will provide students in Cologne with "an additional qualification that will improve their career prospects in a tough market." He adds that the practical side of the degree will be "particularly motivating for the course participants, who approach the trade fair projects with great enthusiasm." Jochen Witt believes that the cooperation with Cologne University of Applied Sciences will be "an excellent way of creating fresh new ideas for trade fair architecture. We want to increase students' awareness of the trade fair business, which is why we'll be incorporating the findings of their project work directly into our events."

Projects at Eu'Vend 2005 and imm cologne 2006The architect Prof. Gunther Vettermann is a lecturer on behalf of Koelnmesse at Cologne University of Applied Sciences. His lectures cover everything from the development and construction of trade fair facilities to urban and landscape aspects as well as logistics and transport integration. Independent of this, Koelnmesse's project work in the form of individually paid contracts will help the university to achieve its research objectives.

The projects are generally related to single trade fairs. A current example is the forthcoming international furniture fair, imm cologne. Here, students from the university will be giving a presentation titled "Future Point" that's devoted to architecture and design. A total of 30 universities from all over the world will be presenting their visions of tomorrow's furnishings and interior design. A spectacular project was implemented at Eu'Vend, the International Trade Fair for the Vending Industry, in September: a completely new layout concept with a wide boulevard as the central axis of the hall, making all the stands and catering facilities easily accessible and clearly dividing the event's product groups.

Trade fair architecture presents great challenges"It is especially important to the students that they are involved not only in the planning but also in the implementation," says Prof. Vettermann. "The university's cooperation with Koelnmesse and its close proximity to the exhibition center provides ideal conditions in this regard. Trade fair architecture poses a special challenge for research, teaching and practical applications. Not only is it largely experimental, but it is also temporary and short-lived, making it completely different to conventional architecture." The project work helps Cologne University of Applied Sciences to finance the architecture department. The work also means a further internationalization of the university degree, which is due to the worldwide consolidation of the trade fair business and also is advanced through the integration into the bachelor's and master's system.

Koelnmesse supports systematic trainingFor many years, Koelnmesse has been taking on responsibility for supporting and ensuring systematic training for the trade fair industry. "The trade fair business accounts for 250,000 full-time jobs throughout Germany," says Witt. "Systematic training designed specifically for the trade fair industry is not available in marketing, architecture or other fields."

Koelnmesse trains salespeople for trade fairs and related events. In addition to its current partnership with Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Koelnmesse has been cooperating with the University of Cologne to support the Institute of Trade Fair Management and Distribution Research since 1999. "Through our involvement," says Witt, "we are bringing together the software - that is, the marketing - with the hardware in the field of architecture." There are indications that joint projects could be carried out in the future.

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