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Pure modern nostalgia We are constantly exploring new designs to add to the Victoria + Albert range to keep us at the forefront of bathroom innovation. This year we present ‘new traditional’. Timeless design combining enhanced luxury with classic styling. Crafted from volcanic limestone and resins which are polished to a lustrous sheen to ensure guaranteed quality and an ultimate bathing experience.

K E LV I N L E D G R E E N

Available in chrome, white, black and anthracite (grey) finishes and custom

For further details and to locate your nearest dealer visit: www.vandabaths.com/drayton

finishes for projects. Kelvin LED Green is also available in additional four models: wall bracket, clamp and desk mount (hidden or exposed cable). Please inquire for details and pricing at info@flosusa.com

Featured product: Drayton


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DESIGN BUREAU

bulthaup

Mar/Apr 2014

CONTENTS Issue 26 COVER FEATURE

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Chris Force chris@alarmpress.com -----

MILAN FURNITURE FAIR PREVIEW:

MANAGING EDITOR Scott Morrow scottm@alarmpress.com

Milano Magnifico /p50

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Amanda Koellner akoellner@alarmpress.com -----

“It’s like the Olympics, where you have to prepare to meet, discuss, and be judged on a worldwide level in just one week.” – GIANLUCA ARMENTO, BRAND

DESIGNER Michael Bodor michael@alarmpress.com ----CONTRIBUTORS Margot Brody, Sara Driscoll, Felicia Ferrone, Steven Fischer, Amber Gibson, Matthew Keeshin, Brandy Kraft, Aaron Lewis, Jill McDonnell, Sharon McHugh, Laura Neilson, Madeline Nusser, Gwendolyn Purdom, Patrick Sisson, Lesley Stanley, Sara Stewart, Rob Tannen, J. Michael Welton

DIRECTOR OF CASSINA

----MARKETING DIRECTOR Jenny Palmer jenny@alarmpress.com ----CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER Krystle Blume krystle@alarmpress.com ACCOUNT MANAGERS Gail Francis, Caitlin Frantzen, Mindy Helm, Amanda Herzberg, Matthew Hord, Joseph Hosch, Brianna Jordan, Moira Kelley, Kaitlynn Kelly, Miranda Myers, Courtney Schiffres, Katie Szafasz, Natalie Valliere-Kelley ----BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Ellie Fehd ellie@alarmpress.com Kellan Hegedus kellan@alarmpress.com Shannon Painter shannon@alarmpress.com Mike Runkle mike@alarmpress.com -----

EYE CANDY:

Heavy Connections /p84 Sports, history, and cast stone unite in one mind-opening design

Top: the Motek chair by Luca Nichetto for Cassina. Bottom: photo by Tim Hursley.

CONTROLLER Bob Achettu bob@alarmpress.com ----OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Nathan Krout nathan@alarmpress.com ----ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER Samantha Slawinski sam@alarmpress.com

We share your passion for architectural details and design concepts. Each bulthaup kitchen is unique: customized perfection tailored to your living space. To experience the timeless design of bulthaup kitchen architecture, please visit our showroom or contact us for a free consultation. bulthaup Scottsdale phone (480) 945-5500 info@bulthaupAZ.com


Mar/Apr 2014

CONTENTS Issue 26 FEATURE

ON THE COVER Photography: Chris Force Photo assistants: Sheila Barabad, sheilabarabad.com; Luhrs, luhrsphoto.com Model: Abby for Ford Models Stylist: Brandy Kraft Hair/makeup: Terria Fontaine for Factor Artists On the model: Top by Alaïa from Ikram, ikram.com; jacket by Alexander Wang, alexanderwang.com; earrings by Silvia Rossi from MCA, mcachicagostore. org; shoes by Fendi, fendi.com; bag by Furla, furla.com; jacket, shoes, and bag courtesy of Nordstrom Michigan Avenue, nordstrom.com. Chair: Wallace by Jean-Marie Massaud for Poliform. Lamp: Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp by Michele De Lucci for Artemide, courtesy of Lightology, available at lightology.com.

DESIGN BUREAU

Flow >> Matte Nickel with Bamboo Blades

Mar/Apr 2014

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

by Design

DESIGN BUREAU

----A one-year subscription to Design Bureau is US $24 (international $48). Visit our website at wearedesignbureau.com or send a check or money order to: Design Bureau 900 North Franklin Street Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60610

Design in Detroit: A New Frontier? /p30

(T) 312.386.7932 (F) 312.276.8085 info@alarmpress.com

INFORMER Design Bureau (ISSN 2154-4441) is published bimonthly by ALARM Press at: 900 North Franklin Street Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60610

FASHION & BEAUTY:

OBJECTS & GEAR:

Fear No Fashion /p14

Designer Toy Story /p22 PLUS

DB RECOMMENDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 DESIGN THINKING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 NOTES FROM THE BUREAU . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 ARCHITECTS & ARTISANS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 BUREAU OF ERGONOMICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 PIXELS & PRINT:

IMAGE, STYLE & DESIGN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

Painting With Code /p15

BEST NEW ALBUMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

Detroit photo by Vito Palmissano. Fashion photo by Joel Rhodin.

FOR HIRE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL and additional mailing office(s). POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to Design Bureau at 900 North Franklin Street Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60610 ----Retailers: To carry Design Bureau in your store, please call 201.634.7411. ----© 2014 Design Bureau. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. DESIGN BUREAU is a trademark of Design Bureau. CORRECTIONS, JAN/FEB 2014 In our “Light, Dark & Wild” feature on kitchens and baths, the designer of the kitchen on p. 63 should have been credited as Jessica Helgerson Interior Design. For “In Search of a Muuse” on p. 25, the woodenlace dress should have been credited to Louise Koerner. We regret the errors.

For the people of Milan, the Salone del Mobile is the biggest event of the year. It’s bigger than Christmas. That’s the case for the Milanese restaurant owners, taxi drivers, and hotel operators who directly benefit financially, and it’s undoubtedly the case for the design houses and their showrooms. The Lombardy region pulls in an estimated $277 million during the week of the Salone, and nearly 300,000 people will journey to the Milan fairgrounds for the six-day furniture fair. Last year marked our first Salone issue of Design Bureau, and we didn’t return to the theme solely because of the sheer size of the event. Milan is fighting to remain the international design capital of the world. It faces an ongoing financial crisis, steep competition throughout Europe, and fierce plagiarism and knockoffs. Yet the city remains a clear leader for the industry. A critical part of Milan’s success resides with its ability not only to design but manufacture its own work—an ability that continues to mystify other

cities. Take Gessi (included in our Salone feature on p. 50), for example. I had the pleasure of visiting its 8.6-million-square-foot “dream factory” oasis of a workspace, Gessi Park, back in December. Visitors will immediately notice the vintage motorcycle collections, meadows, woods, streams, and ponds on campus. But a deeper look will show that Gessi has an obsession with “do it yourself.” They not only design and make their own stunning products—they even create their own energy to print their own catalogs. It’s amazing.

Cool

4

Yes, this is the fair to do business. And its scale can be absolutely daunting, an ocean of furniture to keep from drowning in. But as a designer, it can’t be missed. ----Chris Force Publisher & Editor-in-Chief chris@alarmpress.com

Celebrating the modern idiom modernfan.com Photo by Jim Krantz, jimkrantz.com


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Mar/Apr 2014

DESIGN BUREAU

Mar/Apr 2014

FOR THE RECORD

FACTUALLY SPEAKING Stats, factoids, and random info, featuring the Salone del Mobile, April 8–13

Issue 26 “Today’s designs must take social values and concerns into account: the environment, energy resources, and new ways of living.” — GIANLUCA GESSI, CEO OF GESSI, P. 62

DESIGN BUREAU

DESIGN BUREAU CONTRIBUTORS

$277 MILLION Amount of revenue that the Lombardy region generated during the 2013 Salone between hotels, shopping, dining, transportation, and more

5,721 Number of journalists from 74 different countries that attended the 2013 Salone

DESIGN BUREAU ON INSTAGRAM

290,000+ Total number of expected attendees of this year’s fair

8.6 MILLION SQ. FT. On set with @designbureaumag @alarmpress @fordmodels_chi

Touring the Piazza del Duomo in Milano

Gessi’s Milan factory, complete with colored lights and dramatic music. #awesome

The DB-sponsored Unison holiday pop-up party, with Virtue Cider flowing

The size of “Gessi Park,” the esteemed Italian company’s “dream factory” / oasis / village that hosts its dedicated employees (read more about Gessi on p. 62)

See more of our photos on Instagram. follow us @designbureaumag ISSUE 25 12

DUTCH DESIGNER MARCEL WANDERS GETS INTIMATE, P. 40

DESIGN BUREAU

Jan/Feb 2014

Kitchens + Baths: Light, Dark & Wild “Another inspiring K&B issue. I have each of your previous ones and love them, but I was really struck by the ‘light, dark, and wild’ theme. And now we’ll have plenty of source material for our upcoming kitchen makeover.”

KITCHENS + BATHS:

LIGHT, DARK &

+

WILD GET THE LOOK ON P.60

JAN/FEB 2014 $8 USA/CAN

— W.E., VIA E-MAIL

“I love what you guys do—keep up the fantastic work!” — M.J., VIA TWITTER

5 OUTSTANDING PACKAGE REDESIGNS, P.16

Lorem Ipsum Omnim qui comnistis molorpore nonectatis esciet iuntorest

Comments, criticism, questions, suggestions, love letters, hate mail... We read it all. e-mail us your thoughts: letters@wearedesignbureau.com Lorem Ipsum Omnim qui comnistis molorpore nonectatis esciet iuntorest

During the course of his career writing about music and design, Patrick Sisson has made Stefan Sagmeister late for a date and was scolded by Gil Scott-Heron for asking too many questions. His work has appeared in Pitchfork, Nothing Major, Wax Poetics, Stop Smiling, and Chicago Magazine. patricksisson.com

Brandy Kraft works with Design Bureau by styling fashion features and cover stories. She loves to dig up and write about the best new and outrageous design trends. Her background consists of two art schools and lots of time in Scandinavia. Kraft currently resides in Chicago and creates photo-realistic oil paintings when she’s not on set. brandykraftstylist.com

Sara Driscoll is a Chicago native and a junior at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, where she is studying strategic communication with an emphasis in advertising. Sara was the previous Arts & Entertainment editor at Mizzou’s student newspaper, The Maneater, and was an editorial intern at Design Bureau this past summer.

Jill McDonnell is a St. Louis-based writer who has covered the fields of healthcare, nonprofit, financial services, and design. In marketing by day, she spends the bulk of her free time freelance writing. She is also the president of a high-school scholarship fund. jillmcdonnell.com

G I N A

H A N

TWITTERVERSE: 140-character shout-outs to Design Bureau

@ thedecorista Curling up + reading back issues of @DesignBureauMag SO INSPIRED! love it @ katijayne One of my design students also works @DesignBureauMag to which I replied with a puddle of drool. #favmagazine #barelyknowherandiloveher @ blackblum Fantastic article from @DesignBureauMag. Thanks, guys! join the conversation at

twitter.com/DesignBureauMag

www.gina-han.com ginahan01@gmail.com


planet side table - designed by c. bimbi windsor sofa - disigned by manzoni & tapinassi showroom - two hundred lexington avenue, new york, ny 10016 +1 (212) 696 0211 www.atelier-nyc.com info@atelier-nyc.com

exclusively at


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DESIGN BUREAU

Mar/Apr 2014

Design Bureau Recommends... Our staff is always on the lookout for cool gear. Got a tip? E-mail us at letters@wearedesignbureau.com 01

02

01

Large teapot by Heath Ceramics, $196, heathceramics.com “This is perfect for brewing tea on a cold Chicago afternoon, and the copper handle adds a nice, rustic touch.” — Amanda Koellner, associate editor

02 Sony smartphone attachable lens-style camera, $250, store.sony.com

“I love that this sleek lens attachment allows you to get the quality shot you’re looking for without the big bulky camera. Just like your iPhone, the lens detaches and slips nicely into your purse or bag while you walk around the city or during a night out with friends.” — Courtney Schiffres, account manager

03

03 Alice tray by Odile Decq for

Alessi, $240, store.alessi.com

04

05

“With the help of designer Odile Decq, Alessi brings architectural details to this serving tray. It’s sleek and stylish, plus it would look perfect on my coffee table.” — Jenny Palmer, marketing director

04 Marrakesh Chevron

Stachebook by Stache & Hyde for iPad Mini, $125, stacheandhyde.com

“I love this, especially because now when I use my iPad on public transportation, people think I’m reading a book!” — Shannon Painter, business development manager

05 O’Clock by Okum Studios, $98, okumstudios.com

06

“The pop of color on the arm of this clock against the natural color of the wood looks awesome on my bedroom wall.” — Michael Bodor, designer

06 Bean sofa by Tom Dixon, $9,200, tomdixon.net

“The curve of this sofa is perfect for chatting it up with guests if you’re having a party, and the blue would be the perfect complement to my dark hardwood floors.” — Moira Kelley, account manager

Images courtesy of the companies featured. Teapot photo by Jeffery Cross, jefferycross.com.

220 W Kinzie, 3rd Floor Chicago, IL 60654 312.527.3349

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm Saturday by appointment only

Think Outside the Mart.


   

DESIGN BUREAU

     

DRESSED IN NESPRESSO Swedish designer Bea Szenfeld and her team opened, emptied, and stitched together 2,000 coffee pods for this wearable work of art.

Photo: Ingrid Sjödahl. Stylist: Brandy Kraft. Makeup: Ellinor Fahl. Model: Julia at Elite Stockholm.



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DESIGN BUREAU

The Informer

Mar/Apr 2014

Mar/Apr 2014

FASHION & BEAUTY

The Informer

DESIGN BUREAU

PIXELS & PRINT

Fear No Fashion Swedish designer Bea Szenfeld turns tricky textiles into wearable works of art By Brandy Kraft

Technically impressive and awe-inspiring, the work of Swedish fashion designer Bea Szenfeld is some of the most exciting in her industry. And the best part is their unconventional materials: Szenfeld has been known to work with challenging textiles such as toilet paper, cardboard, and aluminum Nespresso containers. The artsy Swede got her start at Beckman’s College of Design in Stockholm, which has a reputation for annually producing Scandinavia’s boldest and most exciting new crop of avant-garde designers. In her short career of just more than a decade, Szenfeld has designed for Stella McCartney, Hello Kitty, and Björk. She also creates special designs each year for the Swedish Grammys. The latest collection to come out of Szenfeld’s studio is made completely out of paper. When asked why, her answer Left: photos by Joel Rhodin. Right: photo by Ingrid Sjödahl, ingrid.ownit.nu.

is simple: “I think that the relationship between the designer and the material is very important, and paper and I are very close.” To complete the collection, she worked with a team of 15 assistants every day for six months, cutting and sewing every piece by hand in her Stockholm studio. Her famous Nespresso suits were created as a special commission for the coffee giant. Between Szenfeld and a team of six seamstresses, they took three straight weeks to complete—each contains approximately 2,000 coffee pods that had to be opened, emptied, and stitched together before being finished off with a Swarovski crystal embellishment. And as a sort of battlearmor bathing suit, it gives new meaning to the term “swimwear”—while exemplifying Szenfeld’s fearless vision of fashion. a

Painting With Code Digital art may yet be in its infancy, but Brooklyn artist Siebren Versteeg is using coding technology to help it grow up By Madeline Nusser

The idea that painting’s death is imminent has persisted since the advent of the daguerreotype. But for digital artist Siebren Versteeg, painting is more relevant than ever.

make a digital artwork—colored pixels cleverly arranged and printed onto a canvas. He has a singular intent: to understand what a painting, in its essence, really is.

For the past few years, the Brooklyn-based artist has been making paintings randomly generated by algorithmic code. Versteeg doesn’t simply want to

In his modernist-informed abstractions, brushstrokes butt up against canvas edges or form moats around thick blobs of color. Droplets trickle down the

surface. Technically speaking, these aren’t paintings at all, but images printed from a 60-inch ink-jet onto canvas and fitted onto stretchers. “It’s a self-taught study of the specifics of how the material might be applied,” Versteeg says, “but it’s all in a hypothetical space.” To create them, Versteeg writes computer code that makes decisions about a number of variables: the paint’s viscosity and dimensionality; the size of a brush, its number of bristles, and their density and thickness. Variables confront how the brush pulls the color across the canvas, the speed at which paint dries, when the brush runs out of paint—even

how one color blends with the color beneath it. All in all, each bristle takes about 20 different properties into consideration. The whole process comes together as Versteeg gently steers the program, exporting a painting every hour or two. A small percentage of his work makes it onto canvas. In one such work, a splotch of orange hangs on the bottom corner like an afterthought in a child’s finger painting. Versteeg hung it on the wall, spent time with it, and found appreciation. “The paintings I tend to go for are the ones I’m most surprised by,” he admits. “They feel a little wrong or strange, or somehow extend beyond their own potential.” a Portrait by Dusdin Condren, dusdincondren.com

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DESIGN BUREAU

The Informer

Mar/Apr 2014

Mar/Apr 2014

PIXELS & PRINT

The Informer

DESIGN BUREAU

OBJECTS & GEAR

Factory Tour: Shinola Detroit’s new factory and luxury brand wrote its own origin story—but the next chapter may prove more intriguing By Patrick Sisson Shinola’s Detroit headquarters at the College for Creative Studies is a study in minimal, retro design. Handcrafted Americana—the showroom / trophy case presenting the company’s immaculate bikes (designed by a former Bianchi employee), or the expanding leather-goods workshop draped in colorful sheets of Chicagomade Horween leather—meets a sleek look forward.

CONTROLLED CHAOS Painter Gina Han finds harmony in spontaneity

By Brandy Kraft

LA-based artist Gina Han is a rarity in the art world: with a solo show booking every 18–20 months, she has been able to live and thrive off of her work since her start in 1994. A sustainable career is an artist’s dream and something for which Han is extremely humbled and grateful.

When preparing for a show, she has a very disciplined way of working. “Whether I like it or not, I’m there,” Han says. In the studio, she produces 100 or more individual painted panels that will eventually come together to form larger works (most likely at the last minute) like a jigsaw.

Eastern pop and Western minimalism, and she cites the Dada movement and Liechtenstein as some of her many inspirations. Infatuated with the bean form, Han leaves the meaning of her shapes to individual interpretation—but notes that for her, it embodies “a bursting of life.”

Her way of working may have something to do with that.

Han’s works conjure a mix of associations, most obviously

Han’s method stems from the Taoist belief that whatever

Image courtesy of Gina Han

happens will happen naturally. “I have to be very focused in my work, but it also has a lot to do with chance,” she says. “Each panel dictates where it should go.” This organic approach lends a free and playful essence to her work—a simplicity and spontaneity that resonate immediately. Yet for however free and loose one of her paintings feels, Han’s skilled hand sits as a natural and welcomed juxtaposition. a

Watching focused workers on the shop floor assembling timepieces, it’s hard not to be caught up in the enthusiasm. And, since Shinola is often cited in the phoenix-like stories spun about Detroit’s future, it’s also difficult not to consider what’s next. Part of that answer, according to creative director Daniel Caudill, is toasters. With worldwide expansion currently underway, including planned 2014 store openings in Chicago, Minneapolis, London, and Washington, DC—complementing recent placement in Paris’s chic Colette as well as new Berlin offices—appliances may seem secondary. But it speaks to the wider vision and the wave of resurgent American craftsmanship that Shinola set out to ride since its founding in 2010.

goods just need to maintain a straightforward, timeless aesthetic. For Shinola, timelessness means “stripping away what you don’t need” and representing American style without being too “heritage-y.” Caudill cites Donald Judd as an influence, as well as a Marfa road trip that sparked ideas on branding and store design. He also draws inspiration from the likes of Prada and Ralph Lauren.

TOP TO BOTTOM: Product specialist Peter Shin guides a tour through Shinola’s Detroit factory; Shinola’s Runwell Chrono; workers assembling products one delicate detail at a time.

“The way Ralph Lauren has one continuous message across all categories and platforms—they’re so consistent,” he says. “It’s inspiring.” In many ways, Shinola’s ambitions suggest an antinew-economy spin on those marquee brands’ aspirational stories. “Luxury in the United States is about quality,” Caudill says. Evidently, that also can apply to toasters. a

“Eventually, Shinola will have a whole product range, all predicated on US manufacturing,” says Caudill, a former global product designer at Adidas, who notes that jeans, outerwear, and shoes are slated for release this year. When the core story is as much about the process and the people involved, the Photos by Doug Comb

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DESIGN BUREAU

The Informer

Mar/Apr 2014

Mar/Apr 2014

STRUCTURES & SPACES

The Informer

DESIGN BUREAU

OBJECTS & GEAR

GO FISH! Aquarium Architecture’s luxe aquariums add unique flair to any setting By Jill McDonnell

Fill in the Blank: Jinil Park When Jinil Park says he’s inspired by his daily sketches, he means it quite literally. The 25-year-old South Korean designer infiltrated the blogosphere at the start of 2014 with his Drawing Series, a collection of furniture crafted with intersecting wires that resemble a two-dimensional sketch. Park distorted wire lines with a hammer, eventually welding them together to simulate the pen strokes he’d put to paper. The young designer recently graduated from Seoul’s Hongik University with a bachelor’s of fine arts in metal and art design, and with one solo exhibition under his belt, his foray into the design world has only just begun. a

For home- and business owners looking to punch up their design palette—along with owning a status symbol sure to be the envy of land and sea dwellers alike—aquarium installations are an increasingly popular choice. But as creative director Roland Horne of Aquarium Architecture notes, these pieces definitely aren’t the goldfish tanks reminiscent of many a dentist office. Aquarium Architecture has designed and installed aquariums across the US, Europe, Asia, and Africa—from a Martian-looking piece for an art fair that sold for more than $300,000 to an 8,000-liter saltwater tank for a New York casino that directly replicated what one naturally would find on the Great Barrier Reef. “It’s the wow factor that so many people desire,” Horne says. One of the main charges tasked to Horne and his firm—which is based in London and New York and comprised of 15 experts in the fields of architecture, Image courtesy of Aquarium Architecture

operations, lighting, installation, and maintenance—is helping clients add a certain ambiance to a particular room. “We ask ourselves what kind of mood our client is trying to create, and what type of lighting effect,” Horne says. “We may be presented with the client’s original desire, and after we delve further into their ultimate goal, we often present them with a commission that better meets their needs.” Horne and his team also are careful to consider how an aquarium will interact with its surrounding environment. “Our designs must make sense and complement the space and story in a classy, luxurious way,” he says. “For instance, I don’t want big white fish in a house that is absolutely dark and moody, unless we are going after an abstract look.” Though these installations definitely are not for the faint of checkbook, Horne’s innovative creations are enough to make us landlocked design aficionados want to study ichthyology. a

MY BEST IDEAS COME TO

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT

music in the morning.

manage my time as I plan.

ME WHEN… I’m listening to

PEOPLE TELL ME I REMIND

THEM OF… an angry raccoon.

MY PROFESSION IS… that I can

MY SPIRIT ANIMAL IS… a llama. IF I COULD HAVE DINNER WITH

IF I WEREN’T A DESIGNER,

ANY DESIGNER DEAD OR ALIVE,

I WILL NEVER GET SICK OF

IN THE YEAR 2100, DESIGN

IN THREE WORDS, MY WORK

I’D LOVE TO SEE ONE OF

I WOULD BE… a welder.

LOOKING AT… comic books.

SPACE IS… cold, huge, messy.

IT WOULD BE… Dieter Rams.

WILL BE… dead.

MY PIECES ON THE COVER OF… DAMn° Magazine.

Images courtesy of Jinil Park

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The Informer

Mar/Apr 2014

Mar/Apr 2014

TRAVEL & CULTURE

Must-See Milan Destinations

Visiting Milan for the Salone del Mobile (or just a personal vacation)? Be sure to hit these favorites of multidisciplinary designer Felicia Ferrone, who—before launching her international namesake label, Fferrone Design—began her career in Milan and lived in the city for six years, apprenticing with some of today’s most influential architects and designers. Ferrone’s licensed piece for Boffi was first shown at the Salone in 2012, but this year marks her 19th consecutive year in attendance—so listen up!

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Milan’s Old Town Milano Centro Storico

Experience Castiglioni Museum Having always been a huge fan of industrial designer Achille Castiglioni, I had tears in my eyes minutes after a tour of his studio, lead by his wife, began. The studio is intact just as it was before he passed away—full of prototypes of his most important pieces, drawings, and his many collections of oddities and everyday objects from eyeglasses to bristle brushes, all providing clues into the master’s mind. Piazza Castello 27 Spazio Rossana Orlandi This is the premier gallery to visit during Salone to see the up-andcoming and established designers from around the world. Rossana Orlandi has introduced the world to such greats as Front Design, Maarten Baas, and Nacho Carbonell, and selected students of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago have been showing there as well since 2010. Via Matteo Bandello 14 Castello Sforzesco Truly hidden in plain site, the Rondanini Pietà, Michelangelo’s unfinished sculpture on which he was working just days before his death, is housed within the Museum of Ancient Art, which is found in the Sforza Castle. Also within the museum are frescoes by Leonardo da Vinci in the Sala delle Asse. Piazza Castello 3

Photo by Maia Harms, maiaharms.com

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Eat/Drink Cova Founded in 1817, well before Italy became a nation-state, Cova is the place to get an espresso among the well-heeled Milanese and be a part of history. It’s the perfect break while shopping your way down Via Monte Napoleone, the most renowned luxury-label street in the world. Via Monte Napoleone 8

Shop

Pizzeria la Fabbrica You can’t go to Italy without having pizza, and this has been a local favorite for years, with good reason. There are several around the city, and all are rustic and simple loft-like spaces with endless pizza choices from the traditional to the more adventurous combinations. Alzaia Naviglio Grande 70

10 Corso Como Curated by Carla Sozzani, former editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, this is perhaps one of the most stimulating places on the planet. Be it the shoes, bags, clothing, perfumes, or accessories, each piece transmits the sense that it was painstakingly hand-selected to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Located above the showroom and café restaurant is the bookshop and music floor, with an adjacent art gallery of ever-inspiring shows. For the lucky few, there also is the possibility to stay in one of three hotel suites. Corso Como 10

Peck A true temple to gourmet food since the early 1900s. Though there may be Dean & DeLuca and Eataly, Peck is the archetype. The meat, cheese, and prepared-food counters are more like jewelry cases at Cartier, filled with the most impressive selections you ever will find. Everything there is so impeccable that it is impossible to not want to ditch your hotel for an apartment with a kitchen at your disposal. Via Spadari 9

Design Supermarket Located in the lower level of Italian department store La Rinascente, Design Supermarket contains the who’s-who of all things design, from small objects to books to stylish rubber rain shoes by Kartell. The top floor has an impressive selection of gourmet foods like truffled salt, incredible chocolates, and other delicacies while providing an upclose view of the Duomo di Milano’s ornate spires. Via Santa Radegonda 3

For an in-depth look at the Salone del Mobile, happening in Milan April 8-13, turn to page 50.


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The Informer

Mar/Apr 2014

Mar/Apr 2014

OBJECTS & GEAR

The folks at the Design Exchange museum in Toronto have tapped into their playful side to present This Is Not a Toy, the first ever large-scale exhibition of designer toys. But as the name suggests, these quirky objects are not mere playthings. The show celebrates the cool, madcap world of urban vinyl, a global art and design movement that has been gaining speed since the late-1990s. And though the cult-like genre remains relatively unexamined by the mainstream, many designer toys regularly sell upwards of several thousand dollars. Design Exchange’s massive showcase is co-curated by singer, songwriter, and big-name producer Pharrell Williams, and features worldrenowned limited-edition collectibles from an impressive roster of international artists and designers. Williams, a long-time fan of urban vinyl, donated works from his personal collection, some of which are products of his own collaborations. “The Simple Things” is the title of one such project Williams did with the prolific Japanese

Toy image: Chompers by KAWS for Be@rbrick

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TRAVEL & CULTURE

Designer Toy Story Remember the maniacal excitement you felt upon bursting into the toy store as a kid? Seriously, was there anything better? Well, probably not, but we may have found something that’s close enough.

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artist Takashi Murakami. Murakami’s cartoon-inspired six-foot sculpture of an open-mouthed head contains everyday objects that Williams considers essential in his own day-to-day life. These common items, such as a can of Pepsi and a sneaker, are encrusted with a total of 26,000 diamonds and gems. Another major draw for fans of the eccentric art form is the exhibition’s three largerthan-life plush pieces from hip Argentina-based designer brand DOMA, including a butcher-shop-style display of hanging stuffed toy meat cuts entitled “Carne.” And, of course, no urban vinyl super-show would be complete without an appearance by celeb-status designer KidRobot’s signature “Dunny,” the rabbit-like collectibles that are perhaps one of the most recognizable designer toys ever manufactured. In fact, 500 three-inch Dunnys—representing every edition ever produced—will be assembled behind a glass-display wall inside the exhibition. With this massive meeting of all-star designer toys from around the globe, This Is Not a Toy proves that kids don’t get to have all the fun. a

This Is Not a Toy runs through May 19th.

Pharrell Williams and Design Exchange get serious about playful design with This Is Not a Toy

I N T R O D U C I N G : M E TA L S

By Margot Brody

Fine-Art Fashion A British photographer produces slinky silk scarves from photo negatives By Brandy Kraft

When photographer Bryony Shearmur was asked to show her jellyfish photos for a group exhibition in London nine years ago, she had an unusual idea: print the images on silk. Wanting to make the jellyfish “move” as though they were floating, the idea sparked nearly a decade of experimentation and investigation into the world of silk printing. Today, Shearmur has mastered the art of transforming mesmerizing images into wearable luxury for her brand Silk by Bryony. She shoots on a medium-format film camera— an old Hasselblad by which she swears. Batches of negatives are scanned into high-resolution files, edited, and sent to the printer, where a fine-art giclée method is used to digitally transfer the images onto silk and ensure their quality. Upon their return, each scarf is cut and finished by hand with a delicate stitch along its edges. “I want to do this thing slowly, really well, and develop a quality product,” Shearmur says. “It has taken me a bit of time, but it’s been totally worth it.”a Image courtesy of Bryony Shearmur

see the entire collection at LAXseries.com or call 310.313.4700


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Mar/Apr 2014

Mar/Apr 2014

STRUCTURES & SPACES

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PIXELS & PRINT

CIAO DOWN

Beer-Bottle Revolution A popular Chicago microbrewery owes as much to aesthetics as to flavor In business since 2010, Chicago’s Revolution Brewing quickly has become a Windy City favorite, offering a delicious assortment of craft ales, stouts, porters, barrel-aged beers, and seasonal specialties. The brewery’s attention to flavor and variety are hard to surpass, and owner Josh Deth learned from some of the region’s best—he’s a former employee of Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery and has taken frequent visits to another popular Midwestern brewer, Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A large part of Revolution’s branding success, though, goes to designer Ian Law and illustrator Oliver Barrett, whose bold colors and play on Russian Constructivist propaganda have established an identifiable aesthetic for the company’s products. As an obvious play on words, its name—not to be confused with the microbreweries of the same name in Colorado and New Jersey—has been a regular source of inspiration for Law and Barrett. We caught up with Law to talk packaging.

The COO of Italian food emporium Eataly dishes on designing a mega-market Imagine an Italian food wonderland with bread, pasta, and mozzarella made fresh daily, shelves lined with products from more than 500 various suppliers, and 100 different types of olive oils readily available for purchase. Oh, and did we mention the eight restaurants that collectively seat 650 people? This foodie dream has become a reality at Eataly Chicago, the 17th (and most recent) installment in the high-end, global Italian food-market chain that hit the Windy City’s River North neighborhood in early December of last year. “The concept of Eataly is very much that it’s supposed to be kind of like a little Italian town, so to that end, it’s not a Photos by Galdones Photography, galdones.com

food court in any way, shape, or form,” says partner and COO Alex Saper, who, along with his brother, formed a partnership with the brand in 2007 when Eataly began talks of its first American location in New York City after seeing success overseas. “It’s a place where you can buy all of your groceries, have a meal, get some gelato, and check out the butcher all in one space.” Although each location varies in size, they are all designed to reinforce the idea that, as Saper says, “we cook what we sell and we sell what we cook.” Next to the butcher is a meatcentric restaurant, and near the fish market is the seafood eatery, so each restaurant is integrated throughout the retail instead of clustered together in one section.

How did you seek to incorporate communist and revolutionary imagery and play off the product names in an irreverent way?

Also found throughout the space: authentic Italian materials. “Most of our millwork, marble, wood pieces, bars, and counters are all made in Italy, and some of it is artisancrafted work,” Saper says. “The authenticity adds to the modern/traditional feel that helps Eataly feel like so much more

than a boring grocery store.” For American foodies outside of Chicago and New York, Eataly is eyeing Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Boston; Washington, DC; and San Francisco for future expansion. As the walls of Eataly read, “Life is too short to not eat well!” a

When I started working with Revolution Brewing three years ago, they already had a logo and an industrial feel in their brewpub. But other than that, it was pretty much a blank slate. Packaging was a main need, as they were about to begin distributing beers for the first time. In order to communicate the theme of revolution, we drew inspiration from Russian Constructivist propaganda. This seemed like a wise direction because it was a plentiful source for symbolism and was a pre-established iconographic language for the idea of revolu-

tion. Ultimately, we did not want the brand to feel too serious or militant, so we incorporated slightly humorous, exaggerated illustrations and bold color palettes for balance.

ment. It is usually easier to find things that you want to change rather than praise, but I have always liked the overall feel of the Eugene Porter can and character illustration.

How did Oliver’s illustrations shape the packaging layout?

In general, what draws you to branding and packaging?

Oliver’s illustrational style lends a consistent look to each design without becoming stale over time. His cross-hatching approach incorporates a raw and detailed element that provides a necessary contrast to the bold flat colors used in many of the labels.

I think it is just the opportunity to be creative and solve a problem—to be able to put your stamp on something while having a tangible influence on the overall direction of a company or product. Every brand has different challenges, and that is what keeps design interesting and fresh. It is awesome to meet great people like the folks at Revolution Brewing and help them extend their passion for beer to others while growing a new company. a

Do you have a favorite beer or can/bottle?

It is hard to have a favorite when you are so close to the brand and packaging develop-

“In order to communicate the theme of revolution, we drew inspiration from Russian Constructivist propaganda.”

Images courtesy of Ian Law

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The Informer

HOTEL SPOTLIGHT

Mar/Apr 2014

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STAY HERE!

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3. Four Seasons Sultanahmet Istanbul, Turkey

You’d never guess that this luxurious hotel was originally constructed as a prison in 1918. It was a home for thieves, murderers, and political dissidents for most of the 20th Century before opening as a 65-room boutique hotel in 1996. The prisoners’ exercise yard is now a landscaped courtyard, former watchtowers now house elevators, and torque-like brass rings decorate the hallways. One inmate’s poignant engraving even has been preserved on one of the marble pillars. Turkey’s rich history is also evoked by ottoman tapestries, antique rugs, and paintings with vibrant geometric motifs that now decorate the lobby and rooms. — Amber Gibson

Five stylish and swanky hotels in exotic and urban environs

1. Rancho Valencia Rancho Santa Fe, California

Come for the near-perfect climate, stay for the high-class luxury and sultry ambiance. After a recently completed $30 million renovation, Rancho Valencia boasts a true outdoor dining experience under a retractable canvas awning and atop a beautiful tiled “carpet” floor at the hotel’s restaurant, Veladora (where a Damien Hirst butterfly art piece splashes a kaleidoscope of color across the wall). But the true highlight of the renovation comes in the form of the Spanish Revival resort’s new yoga pavilion, complete with retractable doors set in the middle of a tranquility pond so the whole structure appears to be floating. Namaste. — Amber Gibson

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4

2. Viceroy New York New York, New York

5. Novotel Times Square

When Viceroy Hotels, a group typically known for its “vacation destination resorts” (Miami, Anguilla, Palm Springs, etc.), opened its 13th property in New York City’s Midtown last fall, the brand opted to initiate an entirely new, location-focused approach to the hotel’s design.

New York, New York

The result? A spectacularly grand, marble-slabbed lobby that makes Midtown feel like a destination again, while upstairs, the faintly nautical-feeling suites decked out in iroko wood and rich, cognachued leather come together to lend a cool, casual elegance to a place that feels as though it’s been there for years—without having lost a hint of its luster. — Laura Neilson

Images courtesy of the hotels featured

Celebrate the new year every day at the Novotel’s new North American flagship, whose futuristic design pays homage to Times Square’s pop-culture significance as New Year’s Eve host. At the entryway, an LED wall and ceiling installation flashes different colors and lights throughout the day, inspired by the ball drop, while the reception area’s lines and facets represent a shattered version of the Times Square ball. Additionally, a 5,700-squarefoot restaurant terrace that wraps around the hotel looks straight into the heart of Times Square, and strobes that mimic flashbulbs make the hotel impossible to miss, even in the center of the most hectic area of Manhattan. And if the New York style of celebrating a new year isn’t your thing, floor-to-ceiling video art in the lobby lounge reflects NYE rituals worldwide. — Amber Gibson

4. The Algonquin St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada

This historic hotel’s $30 million renovation aimed to preserve and celebrate local history while upgrading to luxurious, contemporary amenities. Modern design elements mark this improvement, like the crafted black millwork bar inset with leather, horsehair, and crocodile square tiles that seamlessly weaves into the building, which first opened as a hotel in 1889. The lobby is flanked by two nine-foot-tall LED lit bubble-glass screens with imprinted imagery of antique alcohol bottles that separate seating areas and encourage guests to linger—something we’d happily do in this swanky Canadian establishment. — Amber Gibson

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Mar/Apr 2014

IN THE DETAILS Two architects / interior designers describe their projects and processes, one inspiring feature at a time By Jill McDonnell

Mar/Apr 2014

CURTIS & WINDHAM ARCHITECTS

SCHAUB & SROTE ARCHITECTS

Walking through the town of Seaside, Florida, feels like stepping back into a simpler time—one that Bill Curtis, founding principal at Curtis & Windham Architects, likens to visiting Mayberry.

When tasked with creating the look and feel of a 100-year-old castle while also accommodating the modern-day needs of a family, David Schaub, principal at Schaub & Srote Architects, broke out the royal treatment. A gold-painted dining room ceiling with gothic arches, handcarved stone lions that sit alongside the gas-burning fireplace, and a grand staircase built from wood and wrapped in marble all add opulence to what has been dubbed “Manoir sur le Lac,” or “Mansion on the Lake.”

He lucked out when found the last lot on Seaside Avenue for his Houstonbased clients, who had vacationed in Seaside for more than a quarter century—but adhering to Seaside’s fabled building codes, while also bringing the client’s personality to bear in both build and design, proved challenging. “We had to find the contrast within the rules,” Curtis says. He accomplished this by building the two-story-high porch required by Seaside’s codes, then carved an elliptical room-like space out of its midsection. The clients and Curtis also were heavily influenced by coastal architecture, which is apparent in the exterior shingle pattern, horizontal boards applied to the interior walls, turned porch columns, and the rounded towers bracketing the back porch. Vintage and nautical-themed lights located throughout the home also evoke that coastal-house feeling.

The designs for this stunning home placed an onus on the general contractor—particularly with its mandatory twostory porch—but O.B. Laurent Construction was up for the job. “The curves and movement in the wood-frame construction are what made this project so unique,” says co-owner Beau Laurent, “as well as the clever use of land— creating a private courtyard in a neighborhood not known for privacy.” Left: The home’s spiral staircase is just one of many highlights, also embodying the wavy curves of its architecture and exterior paneling. Right: From the white-and-blue color scheme to decorations, books, pillows, framed photos, and a wooden bar—down to a compass painted on a bathroom wall—the Seaside Avenue home incorporates its nautical theme with every last detail. The powder room merges the home’s coastal influence, the couple’s personality, and the new beach roots that they are laying down— featuring a painted map that points to their home in Houston, to where their child attends college in Scotland, and to other places significant to the couple.

Photos by Paul Hester

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DESIGN BUREAU

“This family of four wanted to feel like they could live in this home but entertain a lot too,” Schaub says, “as the house is equipped to handle groups of 200–250.” The main public spaces of this St. Louis home are done in a neutral color palette, and real woods were used in construction. The master and guest bedrooms have bi-fold doors to take in the expansive views, and the grand salon has floor-to-ceiling windows that are 20 feet high, allowing for an uninterrupted look at the pool and the lake. It’s fit for a king yet made for a family—sounds royally resplendent to us.

Wrapped in marble and built out of wood, the home’s grand spiral staircase is a work of art unto itself.

Left: “What makes Manoir Sur Le Lac unique is that they used genuine carriage doors,” says Scott Rees, marketing director of Real Carriage Doors, whose products utilize heritage timber-frame principles. “And it just brings the whole project together and really gives a sense of luxury and authenticity.” These particular doors feature several custom design elements, including 2.25-inch-thick Honduran mahogany, arches with truly divided lites, and solid-wood braces all through the front and back of the door. Rees also offers a perceptionaltering take on the doors: “Most people enter their home through their garage, so shouldn’t garage doors be treated with the same pomp as a front entry door?”

Right: High above the dining room’s chandeliers, Gothic arches and a gold-painted ceiling create a royal aesthetic.

Images courtesy of Schaub & Srote Architects

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“There’s an opportunity to create with community-minded colleagues. Detroit isn’t Disneyland. I like that about Detroit, and it’s what brings people to the city.” technology. A local startup, iRule, just won “Control Product of the Year” at the Consumer Electronics show in January, Lawrence Tech University is opening up a design center in Midtown this year, and according to the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, jobs in the creative sector of the city are expected to grow by 11.9% between 2010 and 2018.

DESIGN IN DETROIT: A NEW FRONTIER? With cheap rent, flourishing startups, and the opportunity to reshape a city, Motown presents opportunities for the right young designers By Patrick Sisson

Many things conspired to bring 23-year-old designer Lyse Cook to live and work in Detroit last June. She cops to having drunk the Kool-Aid—she’s heard the stories about “the Brooklyn of her generation,” the chance to make her mark in the Wild West atmosphere of a rebuilding metropolis. Someone in love with architecture, and the life and death of the American city, couldn’t pick a better place. Photo courtesy of Quicken Loans

“I’m excited to see what’s happening in the next five years,” she says, “and I’m excited to be around for it. Think of a pot boiling: Detroit is really hot, but it hasn’t boiled yet.” Cook has found a welcoming environment—“people are so much warmer here than they are in Portland,” her hometown—and a promising job situation. The BYU graduate was accepted into Challenge Detroit, an urban-development and leadership program. She currently works four days a week as a graphic designer and marketing coordinator for Sachse Construction downtown, then spends the rest of her time working for many of the city’s myriad nonprofits (she recently finished a project about bike parking). Excitement and potential come up dozens of times in our conversation—“I already feel like part of the change”—and her experience isn’t unique. Developments are

conspiring to make Motown appealing to Cook’s peers, even as the reality of Detroit’s financial situation persists. The Detroit Renaissance story is being written by the new businesses in Corktown and Midtown—a new Whole Foods and the slick, design-forward retail outlet from hyped local watch- and leather-goods-maker Shinola seem out of step with the narrative of a decaying, bankrupt city. That previously mentioned web of nonprofits and community development projects like Eastern Market After Dark, as well as the influx of startups on Woodward and in the Madison building, are energizing the city’s entrepreneurs. Jim Xiao, an analyst at Detroit Venture Partners—a $60 million fund investing in the city’s tech scene—says that the Madison building already boasts 20 companies after opening in late 2011, and he sees increased opportunity for auto-related

“It’s good to be a designer here if you’re scrappy and looking to experiment,” says Matthew Piper, community coordinator at the Green Garage, a Midtown co-working space dedicated to supporting sustainable businesses. “If you show up, will you have a job? Likely not. The economy is still a mess. We’re climbing out of a mess [that was] decades in the making. You’ll have to make a job. But there’s an opportunity to create with community-minded colleagues. Detroit isn’t Disneyland. I like that about Detroit, and it’s what brings people to the city.” The change in job prospects for creatives is substantial from where it was just a few years ago, according to Kevin Skinner, director of design at Doner, a Detroit-based advertising firm. The city doesn’t have the pull of New York City, but it’s becoming more viable for designers and commercial creatives looking for a career, especially millennials looking for a place to freelance and experiment. The ad industry has diversified, breaking dependency on the Big Three, and it’s “open head-hunting season,” Skinner says. It’s a stark contrast to when he graduated from the city’s College of Creative Studies two decades ago and felt like it was a ghost town.

“I have never seen this town like this,” he says. “It’s a legitimate rebirth. It’s remarkable to me. It’s like seeing behind a magic trick.” Skinner’s firm can point to some iconic campaigns— Timex’s “Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking” and Tootsie Roll’s “How Many Licks?” spot—indicating a rich past, but he says that it’s boom time now. Purse strings are open and clients are shopping, providing a trickledown effect of more full- and part-time creatives looking for employment and a way to support their own projects.

After opening in late 2011, the Madison Theatre Building boasted full occupancy by June of 2012, full of startups, tech firms, and big names such as Twitter and StubHub.

“Those who see what matters are setting up shop right here,” he says. That includes one of his latest hires, Ellen Rutt, a 24-year-old freelance graphic designer and painter who makes surrealistic collages of geometric shapes and bold colors. The employment climate synced perfectly with her goals, and the energy in town, and the art scene, blew her away. “I didn’t want to work for a company right away,” she says, talking about the thought process behind moving to Detroit. “I wanted to freelance and balance graphic design and art projects. If you let go of some of what’s ‘expected’ of you in the design world, and are interested in creative thinking, design, and art, you can make incredible things happen here.” Rutt has been able to make it work, displaying her work in spots like the Red Bull House of Art near the Eastern Market, and pulling together freelance work. Startups in town may not have the Photos courtesy of Quicken Loans

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biggest budgets, and since the volume of opportunity and people is smaller than a place like New York, you have to “make it for yourself.” But she’s always looking outward towards other markets and outof-town clients. The freedom and cheap overhead ($300 a month rent split between five friends) allows her to chase creative pursuits in the DIY art scene. (According to Naomi Beasley at D:hive, a community organization that helps people settle and find work in Detroit, rent can vary: Midtown apartments start at $450, a multibedroom house in Corktown might run $900, and cheaper rents are available in areas like Brightmoor and Palmer Park.) “You can absolutely live as a freelancer here,” Skinner says. “I have plenty of friends who have never had office jobs. Everyone my age is always talking about millennials, and the entitlement thing can be baffling. But Ellen has punched her way into the gallery and street-art world.” Designer and Detroit native Anthony Huddleston, 24, speaks of a similar transformation happening to the city during his 20s. When he left to attend the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2007, downtown was relaSlowly but surely, Detroit is offering new opportunities for young designers—recovering from more than a decade (2000–2010) of the metro area losing a staggering 49% of its 25–29-yearolds.

Photos courtesy of Quicken Loans

Mar/Apr 2014

tively slow compared to now. Considering that the metro area lost 17.6% of its 20–24-yearolds, and a staggering 49% of its 25–29-years-olds, between 2000 and 2010, according to Census Bureau information, it’s not surprising that Detroit may have seemed less appealing to a high-school graduate. By October of 2012, the difference was massive—there were new offices downtown, new opportunities made it possible to make a living in his hometown, and events like the Detroit Design Festival had kicked off. Huddleston feels that the city remains in a developmental phase, but that his talents can be put to better use in his hometown, where all the infrastructure isn’t in place. There are new companies in dire need of designers, he says, as well as established firms—the auto companies, the web of firms supporting Quicken Loans, the film industry, and others—looking for the same talent. It was slow going at first, and entrepreneurship can be harder in this environment, but now Huddleston’s portfolio, ranging from work for the regional chamber of commerce to branding for the Untitled Bottega art space, speaks to that variety of work. “I think Detroit is headed in the

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According to the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, jobs in the creative sector of the city are expected to grow by 11.9% between 2010 and 2018.

right direction,” he says, “but there’s more that we can do in terms of pushing design as an integral part of what Detroit is.” There’s also more that can be done to make design integral to lifting up all of Detroit, not just the parts that some say are gentrifying. One thing upon which all these young designers agreed was that the story of Detroit’s resurgence didn’t begin or end with creative concerns. Basic public safety and public transportation require massive investment and improvement—snowplows didn’t cover the outlying neighborhoods during the recent January blizzards, for example, and a city government struggling to address basic concerns, includ-

ing dangerously slow police-response times, is a huge concern. “The places that are doing well are getting better, and the places that are doing poorly are staying the same,” says 23-year-old Dylan Box, designer and founder of socialdesign firm Wedge Detroit. Box’s eclectic resume—he works as a designer for review site Stik.com, helped open Untitled Bottega, and organized the Hopscotch Project, which turned four miles of city streets into a massive public art project—partially explains his holistic view of the city and its future. He points to a much-cited report about economic development

in the greater downtown area, 7.2 square miles, while pointing out that the rest of the 142-square-mile metropolis isn’t getting enough attention. People need to come in and work with the myriad neighborhood groups to help solve some of the city’s vexing issues, Box says, and designers need to work with instead of for someone. “There are a thousand different things that have caused the situation we’re in, and we’ll need a thousand situations,” he says. It’s a common refrain from Detroit residents, who all seem to have a minor in urban planning, based on their impassioned discussions and debates about the city’s future. Design, and an influx of young designers, certainly can help shape and improve that future. But it doesn’t always need to be the focus. In many ways, Dylan’s story—a Michigan native, moving in from the area to follow job prospects, getting involved in social design and giving back to the city—should

be the feel-good non-story of a burgeoning Detroit. “Everyone comes to Detroit, looks at the Packard Plant and the train station…[I’m] kind of sick of the same reporting,” he says. “I’ll be happy when the reporting on Detroit is like any other city. I moved here because there was a job. Once there are more pieces like that, it’ll be a good thing.” Lyse Cook sees that future in the distance, with more opportunities for millennial designers and those interested in the impact of design. And people are coming to the state: Census Bureau data showed that Michigan’s total population has increased for the second year in a row, and new research, like the United Van Lines migration study, showed as many people moving in as moving out. When she debated the move, Cook’s dad asked her if she was sure that she wanted to go to Detroit, but now she’s convinced. “People get pretty romantic pretty quick about Detroit,” she

“I have never seen [Detroit] like this. It’s a legitimate rebirth. It’s remarkable to me. It’s like seeing behind a magic trick.”

says. “I am. I’m a total romantic; it’s hard not to be optimistic.” The architecture, biking to work, the chance to do design that makes an impact—add cheap booze and rent, Cook says, and she’d tell any 20-something that “we’re ready for you.” But, like a true romantic, she also was struck by a painting. Cook saw Nocturne in Black and Gold – The Falling Rocket at one of her new favorite spots, the Detroit Institute of Art—itself becoming a symbol for the city, as its esteemed collection may be auctioned off as part of emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to stave off a pending bankruptcy. Though the composition—a cloudy block of black and grey, a surrealist depiction of fireworks over an industrial park, with bright splatters of gold against the night sky—is bleak at first, it’s also an easy symbolic stand-in for what many young designers feel about life in Detroit: sparks of energy and the excitement of a blank slate. a Photo courtesy of Quicken Loans

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Sculpture / Cliff Garten Studio

Landscape / MHLA Inc.

Interiors / Splice Design

A Denver Crime Lab sculpture is inspired by matching evidence to suspects, p42

A backyard oasis adds tranquility and beauty to a Toronto home, p44

Jazz, traveling, and the African dispora influence an eatery, p46

Design Thinking

THE ADJAYE EFFECT World-renowned architect David Adjaye designs Proenza Schouler’s first retail space in New York—an Uptown spot with a Downtown twist mradu@raduarchitects.com 212.691.1711 www.raduarchitects.com

104 W 27th Street, New York, NY, 10001

BY AMANDA KOELLNER

Photo by Ed Reeve, editphoto.net

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Mar/Apr 2014

Design Thinking

DESIGN BUREAU

The design of the flagship Proenza Schouler store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side reflects the upscale clothing it houses: luxurious yet raw. Its floor is timber-lined from ground to ceiling with porous spots that uncover a brick exterior for a highbrow industrial feel.

“In building the flagship Proenza Schouler store on Madison Avenue, Apogee Construction was most drawn to the details, from its wood-lattice tunnel to the triangular “screen/stair,” which pulls visitors through the volume of the space. “I think it is a spectacular visual project that allows you to feel the tactical presence of material as you flow through the retail space,” says Apogee CEO Thomas Calamari, “making it a full sensory experience rather than just the standard visual element.”

Surrounded by trendy boutiques and upscale, international chain stores, the Proenza Schouler store on Greene Street in New York’s SoHo neighborhood makes sense. A little less logical? The high-fashion brand’s flagship location found on the Upper East Side’s more stiff Madison Avenue. To ensure a successful design of that first brick-andmortar location on Madison, Proenza Schouler founders Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez (who named their brand after their respective mothers’ maiden names) enlisted Adjaye Associates, whose founder happens to Photos by Dean Kaufman, deankaufman.com

be one of the most influential architects on the planet. Despite his busy schedule (he’s currently working on The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC), Adjaye sat down to tell us about this high-fashion venture.

This was the first retail space for Proenza Schouler. What was it like to give a fashion line its first brickand-mortar home?

From the outset, this has been an incredibly exciting project in terms of creative collaboration with Jack and Lazaro. We shared an enthusiasm for experimentation, and as a designer, I was allowed to try out ideas for new materials and forms that are a testing ground for larger, civic projects. How do you feel that the store embodies the brand?

The concept was for the fabric of the building to literally

absorb the clothes so that it becomes part of the same narrative. I tried to create an immersive environment that is luxurious yet raw and establishes a dialogue with the larger context of the city. Like the brand, there is perfectly detailed craftsmanship together with a fresh, youthful energy. What inspired you while working on this project?

I was inspired predominantly by the brand and also the aspiration to create something fresh and different in terms of the retail typology. The geometric preoccupations of the collections are very evident in the triangular cutouts of the screens. I

was also inspired by the idea of luxury combined with wear-ability, which is key to the brand. The materials are therefore industrial yet highly refined and beautiful. Take us through the space. What materials did you use on the store?

The ground floor is timber-lined from floor to ceiling, with porous sections that expose the brick exterior. The stairs are flecked concrete, which continues upstairs, and the screens are created from blackened steel. How does the store fit within its surroundings? It’s been de-

scribed as much more “downtown” than its Madison Avenue home.

The transitional space at the entrance is a very deliberate device to encourage a moment of suspension—a reprieve—as you leave the city and enter the shop. I wanted to define the space separately from Madison Avenue, yet to establish a dialogue with it so that it is a very conscious transition. I like to think that it has the potential to redefine Uptown rather than embody Downtown. Your résumé is quite extensive, and you’ve lived and worked all over the world. How do

you bring these experiences to your work?

My experiences in living in different places have certainly shaped my appreciation of space. Very early on, I came into contact with different ways of living in space and a highly eclectic spatial appreciation. The relationship between modern and ancient is very present in my work, as is the negotiation between different social and cultural contexts. That is intrinsic to my approach toward design, which always seeks to be highly sensitive to the cultural framework of different peoples. You’re also working on the Smithsonian

National Museum of African American History and Culture. Can you tell us anything about that project?

It is an extraordinary honor. It is a hugely important building, and I feel very excited to be leading the design team. The concept rests on three cornerstones: the “corona” shape and the form of the building; the relationship of the building to the landscape and the context of the monumental Washington Mall; and the bronze-colored filigree envelope that will create an intricate and very beautiful system of light, shade, and views both into and out of the building. a

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Design Thinking

+ cliff garten studio

Mar/Apr 2014

cg@cliffgartenstudio.com 1315 preston way venice, ca 90291 t. 310.392.2060

FUNCTION TAKES FABULOUS FORM

cliffgartenstudio.com

Named to reflect its many abilities, boutique manufacturing firm Mash Studios designs retail spaces, work environments, and high-end furniture that takes industrial design to the next level Mash Studios has designed KidRobot stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and, most recently, Miami. The company incorporates custom-built cabinets, fixtures, flooring, and singage throughout the stores, and each location is designed with features unique to their city and neighborhood.

Industrial design is all about solving problems. For Mash Studios in Los Angeles, it’s about solving problems beautifully. Specializing in furniture design and manufacturing, the multidisciplinary firm has worked on a variety of projects that push the creative envelope, including creating riveting retail spaces for toy retailer KidRobot, designing sleek residential furniture for CB2, and tailoring office environments for companies like Google. Image courtesy of Mash Studios

Started as a “mash” of different designers, architects, interior designers, and graphic designers, Mash Studios was founded in 2002 by principal Bernard Brucha. With a degree in industrial design from the University of Kansas and several years under his belt working in furniture design, product design, and architecture in New York, Brucha decided to move west to start his own studio. “I always had visions of these pieces I wanted to design,” he says. “Like any

other young designer, usually you have these ideas, so you build a couple pieces, make some prototypes, show some photos around. And basically, it didn’t seem like anyone was interested in picking up work—they seemed a little closed-minded. I knew what I had was good, so I started producing some pieces, putting them out into the world, and seeing what happened.” Among those pieces was the LAX series, a highly utilitarian furniture system based

on simple, clean materials— solid English walnut with a sliding aluminum cover. “One of the things we do is distill everything else out,” Brucha says, “so it is completely free of anything unnecessary, has just minimal hardware, and a couple small details that make it special.” As one of the first named designers for CB2, Mash Studios collaborates with the modern furniture company every few seasons, focusing most recently CONTINUED g

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Design Thinking

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The LAX Series is designed with all aspects of home living in mind: beds, desks, shelving and entertainment units, coffee tables, and dining sets. Built with the brand’s philosophy that promotes calm and reductive living, this platform bed covers both comfort and practicality.

on designing casegoods like the Shop Chest series, an industrialinspired three-drawer lacquer chest without hardware. In addition to designing sleek and streamlined furniture, Mash designs office environments for tech companies with unconventional spaces such as Yelp, Pinterest, Facebook, Uber, and Twitter. “These companies are redesigning the way they

(CONTINUED)

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work,” Brucha says. “It’s no longer ‘give a person a desk in a big space and eventually something will come out.’ Their employees are working differently; there’s a different type of collaboration going on. They’re trying to address the needs of kids who came out of school and do everything on a laptop. The major furniture manufacturers weren’t able to address those needs, so we’re working on

creating breakout spaces and relaxed environments where employees can think more creatively.” As a boutique manufacturing group, Mash recently opened its own factory to address smaller jobs: “Not truly craft-of-workshop based, but not megalithic-factory based either,” Brucha says. “We’re something in between.” This micro-manufacturing rep-

resents a shift in production trends. “We spent the last 100 years trying to come up with these concepts of huge production—how can we make a million chairs? Now manufacturing technology allows us to create products that are a little bit more designed for specific users. It doesn’t have to be designed for the masses anymore.” a Images courtesy of Mash Studios

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Design Thinking

Mar/Apr 2014

At eye level, the Bullet and Suspect sculptures at the Denver Crime Lab allow the viewer to see through the pieces. But when looking up or down, depending on the viewer’s angle, the plates compress, causing the sculptures to lose their transparency and unveil their full forms.

Sculpture Spotlight

The Art of Crime

  

Two arresting, illuminated sculptures for the Denver Crime Lab are inspired by matching evidence to suspects

W W W . M A R K H A R T L E Y . C A

DEFTONES

DROPKICK MURPHYS

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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN

BUTCH WALKER’S MOTORBIKES

LEARN TO SCREAM MODERN ROCK-’N’-ROLL CULTURE

BY SHARON MCHUGH

What might a crime-scene investigation look like as a work of art? For the answer, you’ll want to visit the Denver Police Crime Laboratory in Denver, Colorado. Suspended from the ceiling of the building’s soaring atrium are two enormous sculptures that speak to the work that happens in the lab’s inner sanctum. Aptly titled Bullet and Suspect, the dynamic works—designed by Cliff Garten of the eponymous studio based in Venice, California—take inspiration from the pairing of evidence to unsolved crimes. “Everything they do at the lab involves match-

ISSUE

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ing,” Garten says, “from the matching of DNA in digital files to the matching of physical evidence like footprints to shoes.” Made of hundreds of lasercut brushed-aluminum plates, the visually arresting sculptures—Bullet references ballistics while Suspect, composed of two inverted strands of spiraling material, alludes to DNA strands—are among the latest in Garten’s portfolio to utilize the visceral effects of light and color. Garten, now with 50-plus largescale artworks to his name, has increasingly created public installations that involve the use of sunlight

and LEDs. (A similar piece called Blue Eclipse hangs in the rotunda entry in the Palo Alto VA Mental Health Center, where a suspended group of “elliptoids” reflect a soothing commixture of blue and green light, itself affected by skylights above.) Because they’re assembled out of so many individual layers, Bullet and Suspect appear differently depending on the viewer’s location—either see-through at eye level or as full entities from above or below. Again, natural and LED light interact, this time creating a range of changing yet always complementary colors, be they red and

blue, yellow and violet, and so on. The 40-foot-long Suspect, in fact, is visible through the building’s glass façade, making it available to views from the street. For these pieces, Garten had unprecedented access to the lab. And in lab director Greggory Laberge, he had an enthusiastic supporter— who immediately saw the potential in Garten’s work to address the buildings program with the sculpture. “He understood the relationship of the piece to the architecture and to the work they do at lab,” Garten says. In many ways, it was just like the lab’s work: finding another perfect match. aAA

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BACK ON NEWSSTANDS: WINTER 2014


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Mar/Apr 2014

Mar/Apr 2014

GARDEN GETAWAY For 35 years, Mark Hartley, principal of MHLA Inc., has strived to incorporate landscape design as “an essential part of the dialogue we have with the Earth we live on.” For this project, he was tasked with making his clients feel like they were not just looking at their surrounding wooded ravine but as though they were in it.

BY JILL MCDONNELL

Principal Mark Hartley found himself with several challenges, considering that the Toronto home was located on a wooded ravine. “Our clients wanted to feel Photos by Alexander Wood

like they were in the ravine, not just looking at it,” he says. Hartley also wanted to juxtapose this setting with the modernity of the house that was being built. He accomplished this by replicating materials used in the home’s design, such as Irish limestone, into flagstone on the terraces. To further preserve the natural beauty of the location, Hartley protected the large, existing trees on the property and underplanted with native plant material suitable to the shady ravine. In addition to the lower ravine gardens, Hartley also created a private office garden on one side of the house that

was planted with a grove of native birch trees. “Our planting design first started with the perimeter,” Hartley says, “both to give our clients as much privacy as possible and mimic the rest of the ravine and streetscape, and to soften the view of the house.” He then added a variety of plants that provide color and texture in the gardens throughout the year, even in winter. The wonderland-like feeling does not end when the sun sets. Hartley used the large trees as an opportunity to hold discreet fixtures that light the ravine and the

DESIGN BUREAU

With heritage trees relecting in its water, the infinity pool serves as a link between the upper and lower gardens. It sits below the home’s main floor and above its basement for a perfectly tranquil backyard centerpiece.

Creating a backyard oasis in Toronto

Though the phrase “exotic oasis” might conjure up a sandy beach in a faraway locale, it’s also possible to achieve such serenity in a spot much closer to home: your backyard. MHLA Inc., a Toronto-based landscapearchitecture and gardendesign consultancy, had this image in mind when its clients charged the firm with creating a series of gardens that would serve as a refuge from a hectic city, and an entertaining space for family and friends.

Design Thinking

terraces, thus recreating the effect of moonlighting. His firm often tries to minimize light pollution by using down lighting and always hiding the light source from the public. The pièce de résistance of the entire garden is the infinity pool, which sits below the main floor and above the basement—designed to reflect the magnificent heritage trees and link the upper and lower gardens. We know one thing for certain: the poet who espoused that paradise was lost would definitely change his tune after encountering this place. a

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Design Thinking

Mar/Apr 2014

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Restaurant Spotlight

Global Palate, Earthy Palette A Harlem restaurant’s design inspired by jazz, world travels, and the African diaspora Inspiration often starts with the client. In the case of The Cecil restaurant in Harlem, it started with executive chef and restaurateur Alexander Smalls, who sought to create New York City’s first Afro-Asian-American brasserie. Inspired by his travels, explorations, and study of the African diaspora, Smalls tasked this design to Estudio Sarah Garcia in the Dominican Republic, with Splice Design as architect of record in New York City. Photo by Lucy Schaeffer, lucyschaeffer.com

And though global cuisine and world travels were major influences in the restaurant design, so too was music, says Splice founding principal Tonja Adair. As a sister restaurant to the revived jazz club Minton’s, The Cecil also drew some of its inspiration from the genre, specifically the Louis Armstrong song “A Kiss to Build a Dream On”—whose title is boldly displayed in metal letters over the Elitis Masai wallcovering. As your eye focuses on the walls, figures seem to emerge and disappear,

leading to the bar’s focal point: mesh sculptural couples embracing in “a kiss to build a dream on.” Conceived by Garcia, the sculptures by artist Eric Boyer combine mesh with reflective burnished-gold hues to create a series of embracing figures that are anonymous and dreamlike. “Like a lens bringing images in and out of focus,” Adair says, “the wire mesh material allows you to see the figures and see through them. The mesh texture also CONTINUED g is found in

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“Mesh has a delicate quality but also one of depth where you can perceive multiple things at once—as if through a dream.” Crafting the focal point of The Cecil restaurant had serendipitous roots for owner/sculptor Eric Boyer of Boyer Mesh—who, for the sculptures that adorn the back of the bar, was drawn to wire mesh for “its undulating sensuality, the translucency that allows for such contrasts of light and dark, and the moiré patterns that can be exploited in simple spherical forms.”

the Donghia drapery, banquette upholstery, and ottomans by Creation Baumann. “Mesh has a delicate quality,” Adair says, “but also one of depth where you can perceive multiple things at once—as if through a dream.”

(CONTINUED)

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In the main restaurant space, a portrait by French painter and illustrator Jérôme Lagar-

rigue embodies a striking woman who appears to be watching over the restaurant experience. Lighting subtly embraces and enhances all of the materials in the project. The bar area is accompanied with gold-accented pendants by Tom Dixon, recalling brass cooking pots and traditional water vessels of India. Glass and mesh pendants by Arteri-

ors provide a warm glow. The bar and lounge areas also mix 1940s noir with a sampling of modern patterns and textures, drawing inspiration from the culinary fare and the travels from which the tastes are derived. The warm earth tones in the furniture, wallcoverings, and artwork in the main restaurant space enhance the

aromas and mystery of the cuisine, according to Adair. The color palette contains smoky dark-brown and black hues mixed and contrasting with earth tones with pops of red. The colors and textures work together to suggest a contemporary, welcoming, and sophisticated place for patrons to enjoy globally inspired cuisine that’s right at home in New York. a Photo by Lucy Schaeffer, lucyschaeffer.com

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MILAN FURNITURE FAIR PREVIEW

With nearly 300,000 attendees expected this April, the Salone del Mobile defends its crown as the biggest furniture fair on the planet. We speak with eight of the best Italian design houses showing at this year’s event about Italy’s reign over the design world, the challenges facing their industry, and the unmatched Salone experience.

MilanoMagnifico Milano n no BY AMANDA KOELLNER AND CHRIS FORCE

Back in 1961, a small union of furniture manufacturers launched Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile to promote the exportation of Italian furniture. Just as the nation had ascended over its competitors to take the design throne, the Salone too morphed into the undisputed global champion of furniture fairs. To put the sheer size of the event into perspective, this year’s Salone is expected to bring in at least 290,000 attendees who will collectively help the Lombardy region generate €200 million ($277 million) during the week of the Salone. Meanwhile, Chicago’s NeoCon, dubbed North America’s largest design exposition, will gather 40,000 guests, and New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair should draw in 25,000 people. And although the CLAUDIO LUTI eight design houses we CEO of Kartell & President of COSMIT interviewed on the following pages are among the most prestigious and influential in the industry, you won’t find their work at NeoCon or ICFF—though the Salone is an event that they would not miss. Italian design is an incestuous, esteemed world that rarely allows creatives from other countries to compete. Italy certainly succeeds where America falls short—not only in designing cutting-edge products but also in crafting them within its borders. “The Italian way of manufacturing is to try to give new innovation every year, to invest, and to work with the best designers from everywhere,” says Claudio Luti, president of the Salone’s organizing company, COSMIT (Comitato Organizzatore del Salone del Mobile Italiano) and CEO of Kartell, one of Italy’s flagship furniture groups.

Chair: Wallace by Jean-Marie Massaud for Poliform. Lamp: Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp by Michele De Lucci for Artemide, courtesy of Lightology. Claudio Luti portrait by Francesco Brigida, francescobrigida.allyou.net

Luti’s design history is rooted in both fashion and furniture, as he spent a decade as the managing director of Gianni Versace. In 1988, he acquired Kartell, known for its clever plastic designs, and helped the brand achieve even greater worldwide success. As the millennium turned, Luti’s collaboration with French designer Philippe Starck proved Kartell’s ability to make huge technological strides in

the design world, as the iconic 2002 Louis Ghost Chair was developed by a single injection-molded polycarbonate in an eco-friendly, recyclable plastic—the first of its kind. The relationship between Luti and Starck also speaks to the promiscuous nature of the design world. Although Starck’s collaborations with Kartell are plentiful, the designer also works with the likes of Flos, Cassina, and Dedon, among others, something rarely seen and often forbidden in fashion. “What I can do with my company is try to take the best creativity from Philippe because I prefer to work with clever designers, and they can work with other companies as well,” Luti says. “It’s different in fashion, because, for example, when I worked for Versace, he made 100 percent of his collection, and I took care of the business, but there was no integration. Now I work on a project from beginning to end, and it’s a totally different approach.” That attention to detail seeps into the overall Italian way of manufacturing, where there’s a true pride in doing everything in house. Take Gessi, for example, whose “Made in Gessi” production process calls for everything, from the cardboard boxes to the catalogs, to be made within the walls of its “Dream Factory” found on the sprawling grounds of Gessi Park. (Turn to page 62 to read more about how well their employees have it and how green their practices are.) This is the type of company that reigns supreme in Italian design, and the type that will triumph among the work of more than 2,500 of the world’s best creative companies at this year’s Salone. The eight seasoned design houses featured here will both compete with and inspire one another as thousands flock to breathe in the work they will unveil. As COSMIT says, “Milan, and Milan alone, dictates the trends!”


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Milano Magnifico

Poliform

JEAN-MARIE MASSAUD MASSAUD, Designer

In Jean-Marie Massaud’s world, the lines between working and dreaming are continuously blurred. This is a man who proposed a whale-shaped fly flying hotel dubbed “Manned Cloud” and designed an electric concept car for Toyota made largely of recycled materials and bamboo. At 47 years old, he co-owns Studio Massaud with architect Daniel Pouzet, and his life’s work thus far spans industrial design, architecture, technological innovation, and, of course, furniture design.

WHY WE LIKE POLIFORM Gamut-spanning design that works for every room in your home.

At last year’s Salone, Massaud unveiled the Bristol sofa system for Poliform, rooted in timelessness and elegant easy living, along with the Ipanema Poltrona armchair and bed, both based on the archetypal idea of a light wooden-frame structure, leather strips, and a duvet. Lastly, the sleek Seattle leather chair, which Massaud describes as sharp, elegant, and comfortable, rounded out his exhibition at the 2013 fair. Massaud has attended the Salone every year since 1993, and despite his opinion that the fair has become too big to truly enjoy, the designer still finds himself curious and eager to annually scope out fresh ideas from his fellow designers. And although he kept mum about what we can expect from him at this year’s fair during our interview, he did reveal that the Salone will see him launching new products with Poliform, a family-run, Italian luxury brand with global operations in 70 countries. The brand began as a small artisan shop back in 1942 and established itself as a major player in the design world in the 1970s. Today, Poliform offers custom-made cabinetry for closets, bookcases, and kitchens, as well as high-end living-room and bedroom furntiure, which falls right in Massaud’s wheelhouse.

Portrait by Pierre Monetta, pierremonetta.com Facing page, top: Ventura armchair by JeanMarie Massaud Facing page, bottom: Carmel armchair by JeanMarie Massaud

How do you think Milan stays so relevant in this industry? Milano is still a fertile place because of the local culture and the flexible network of companies. But these companies are not so big, and sometimes fragile to face the new stakes and challenges of a global world. Today, innovation with a powerful industrial and distributional support is the way to lead a field where the good design is copied by Chinese producers. How is your working relationship with different brands? Can you elaborate on your collaboration process with Poliform? I began working in this field with Cappellini and Cassina. But it’s interesting to create very close relationships with company owners in order to design not just products but also strategy. With Poliform, I work very closely with Mr. Alberto Spinelli, who has a clear feeling of what he wants to accomplish. With confidence and vision, we are able to accomplish the right work together. It’s more relevant and comfortable to work this way, but because in design the processes are longer than in fashion, designers often need to work with many companies.

How would you describe the Salone experience?

Have you experienced issues with your work being copied?

The Salone is more than itself. One week a year, all of Milano and its citizens are celebrating design everywhere within the city. It’s a popular communion around creation, exhibitions, and partying. The Salone is also the most important event in the world concerning contemporary home furniture.

Yes, many times. The last product was the MDF flow chair, which sold at one-fifth of the price. But really, this is the result of success. We need to concentrate on qualitative growth, which is the only way to fight against quantitative growth, for better results and a virtuous circle.

“The Salone is the most important event in the world concerning contemporary home furniture.”

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Milano Magnifico

Cappellini GIULIO CAPPELLINI, Owner

After 40 years of attending the Salone, Giulio Cappellini is a veteran of the world’s biggest design fair. And despite decades of attendance, he still finds it an inspiring challenge to innovate, do better, and submit only the best products. “It’s a real exam,” he says. “And good competition is an incentive for us to do even better.”

His company works with an A-list group of collaborators (with the likes of Tom Dixon, Piero Lissoni, and Marcel Wanders barely scratching the surface of its designer roster) to design and manufacture nearly every type of furniture: cabinets and bookshelves, tables, sofas and armchairs, beds, and carpets. Here he shares with us thoughts on Milan and the past and future of Cappellini at the Salone. How would you describe the city of Milan? Milan is always reconfirming itself as the world capital of design, a center where we show and produce artifacts drawn from the biggest international designers. The city, in addition to the fair, is increasingly involved in the design week with events that absorb everyone and everything.

WHY WE LIKE CAPPELLINI A-list furniture designers, including Tom Dixon and Marcel Wanders.

Facing page: Dalia armchair by Marcel Wanders This page: Candy Shelf by Sylvain Willenz

How was the Salone for Cappellini last year? Obviously, when you show many products, you get immediate positive feedback like we got with our Dalia chair by Marcel Wanders. Other items need more time to be understood. Such was the case with our Candy Shelf by Sylvain Willenz, which will be resubmitted this year. What can we expect from Cappellini at the Salone this year? This year we’ll present a number of new collections. Some reconfirm established collaborations with designers like Jasper Morrison and Nendo; others open new partnerships, such as one with Sebastian Herkner. Cappellini will also present re-editions of beautiful pieces by Shiro Kuramata and new colors, finishes, and fabrics for its current collection.

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Boffi ROBERTO GAVAZZI, CEO

Despite Boffi’s standing as one of the largest names in kitchens and baths worldwide, and the fact that it was among the Salone’s exhibitors every year from its inception until 1994, the brand no longer participates in the actual fair. Rather, CEO Roberto Gavazzi opts to unveil Boffi’s annual new products at its flagship Milan showroom during the week’s festivities. Gavazzi has attended the fair each year since 1989, when he joined Boffi as managing director, and despite a few reservations about the ever-increasing size of the event, he finds that its quality and charm are simply unmatched.

Milano Magnifico

Gavazzi also is rife with pride for his country and the work produced there, as he says that the Italian way of manufacturing is one of the country’s greatest assets that cannot be replicated. “Creativity, taste, high-end production quality, reasonable business size, and international appeal are all areas that Italy does well,” Gavazzi says. “The quality of the entrepreneurs and their intuition, combined with a passion and capacity to take risks, is quite unique as compared to any other country worldwide.” What products did Boffi reveal during last year’s Salone? Our main focus was the use of new surface materials such as aluminum, glass, stones, and new-wood options, treated in a special way. We integrated these novelties with a new concept of presentation of our display spaces, organized in warm and comfortable rooms, where we could efficiently and emotionally communicate our willingness to be a unique and complete solution provider for kitchen and bathroom spaces.

WHY WE LIKE BOFFI Modern production processes + traditional handcrafting for a sophisticated end product.

Facing page: Aprile kitchen in stainless steel by Piero Lissoni

What do you feel are the best aspects of the Salone? What do you see as some of the negatives, if any? I like the energy and the creative sensations that the show communicates through an incredible availability of beautiful displays. It’s also very interesting to see the mix between the fair presentation—more institutional and organized—and the shows in town, which are more casual and sometimes quite spectacular in the unexpected performanc-

es. I do not like when the city becomes too chaotic, and I am also quite worried by the exaggerated increase of presentations that are gradually lowering the average quality and creating too much dilution on the positive feelings that one can get out of the Salone. What inspires you about the fair and seeing the work of your peers and competitors? It’s extremely enriching to visit the Salone presentations, and not only the ones of companies related to our sector of activity. In general, the whole show is able to transmit a concentration of inspirations for the present and the future of our industry. Inspiration is not only about products but about materials, colors, display solutions, lights, technical solutions, company strategies, and more. It’s a mix of very precious sensations that are in the air, and one has to be able to catch them as much as possible, but for his own experience and reflections on the future. What can we expect from Boffi during this year’s Salone? This year we are celebrating our 80th anniversary! We’ll introduce a completely new concept of the kitchen that will turn around a new structural solution, using different materials as compared to a traditional kitchen. It will be designed by a new member of our team of creative minds. This will be a great, and hopefully a quite interesting, surprise.

“Inspiration is not only about products but about materials, colors, display solutions, lights, technical solutions, company strategies, and more.”

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Cassina GIANLUCA ARMENTO, Brand Director

“It’s like the Olympics, where you have to prepar prepare to meet, discuss, and be judged on a worldwide level in just one week.”

Since 1927, Cassina’s architects and designers—including the likes of Mario Bellini, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Philippe Starck—have used their diverse sensibilities, styles, and creative spirits to craft some of the most influential Italian furniture of the past 87 years.

WHY WE LIKE CASSINA Pioneered serial production while offering exclusive designer collaborations.

At last year’s Salone, Cassina debuted Starck’s MyWorld sofa system, designed for flexibility in both work and leisure. The brand also unveiled a contemporary tribute to the lounge chair, Patrick Norguet’s P22, and Luca Nichetto’s Motek chair, which uses the innovative technique of pressure-molding felt—a characteristic of the car industry—to create a sleek and experimental design. We spoke with the company’s brand director, who will journey to Milan for his fifth Salone this year, to hear his opinions on Italian design and investigate what we can expect from Cassina come April 8. For someone who hasn’t been, how would you describe the Salone experience? I’d like to borrow a quote from Giulio Cappellini on this—it’s like a Christmas miracle for the design world: surprising and astonishing, like when the kids wake up and see all of their presents and dreams under the tree. What do you most like and dislike about the fair? I like working on the whole process of presenting something new. It’s like the Olympics, where you have to prepare to meet, discuss, and be judged on a worldwide level in just one week—always trying to do your best, if not better. I don’t like the fact that there’s not enough time. It’s such a marvelous moment; it’s like traveling to 60 countries in one week. I’d like to dedicate more time to everyone.

Facing page: P22 armchair by Patrick Norguet

How does the Italian way of design and manufacturing set the country apart from the rest of the world? Furniture design is still considered a unique patrimony to Italy. This is particularly thanks to the Italian companies that have always been ready to invest in innovation and experimentation and to challenge talented international designers and architects. Even in the 1950s, Cassina was investigating new production techniques, materials, and styles, which have resulted in the collection’s great icons. For change to exist, uncertain exploration has to be carried out, and the Italian companies are brave in the way they take this approach. What can we expect from Cassina at this year’s Salone? We will be showing the Cassina SimonCollezione at the Salone del Mobile after last summer’s acquisition of the historical Italian furniture design brand Simon, founded by Dino Gavina and Maria Simoncini. This meeting tells the industrial story of two companies and two pioneering entrepreneurs united today by an experimental approach and the expression of the relationship between culture and production. SimonCollezione, now part of the Cassina I Contemporanei Collection, brings together renowned names such as Carlo Scarpa, Marcel Breuer, and Kazuhide Takahama. We will also be presenting a new collection, which also includes new faces for Cassina. However, I cannot reveal more than this.

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Dedon DANIEL POUZET, Designer

A defining moment in Daniel Pouzet’s career came when he met Philippe Starck in the mid-’90s, and it was with that iconic French designer that he first attended the Salone in 1997. As an independent designer, Pouzet develops projects all over the world that span architecture, interiors, industrial design, illustrations, and furniture. He’s created several pieces for the Dedon collection and collaborated with Jean-Marie Massaud on the outdoorfurniture brand’s island resort in the Philippines.

WHY WE LIKE DEDON The company’s dream-like outdoor furniture (shown across). Google “Dedon Island.”

Facing page: Swingrest by Daniel Pouzet

Pouzet showed pieces that he developed for the resort at last year’s Salone, including a version of the Swingrest in pink ombré that was consequently special-ordered by pop star Shakira. “I think that fading color scheme created a subtly surreal, almost dreamlike experience of the existing product,” he says. “Dreamlike experience” actually is an apt descriptor for Dedon as a brand. Formed in a hospital bed in Munich in 1990, the company got its start after soccer player Bobby Dekeyser decided his life’s true dream was to be an entrepreneur while recovering from a soccer-related injury. The company has grown from a team of three to a team of more than 3,000 in the past 20 years, and today, Dedon can be found in more than 80 countries. Here Pouzet shares thoughts on Italian design, what he’ll be showing at this year’s fair, and why he loves the Salone, despite its gift of “heavy legs at the end of each day.” What makes Italian design so special? Italy is on the top with regards to technology, and at the same time, it’s an artisan’s country. Most of the larger Italian companies are still family-owned businesses—a fact that’s characteristic of the Italian industry. The interest in being involved in the industry grows from one generation to another, and from my point of view, Italian companies are exceptionally open to any challenging ideas. And Italian design tends to be really international, as most of the greatest designers have created masterpieces

with Italian companies. How do you think Milan stays at the center of this industry? I think it’s a question of tradition. Milan’s fair was and still is the place to be with regards to design. There is simply no other competitor to this fair. The Salone del Mobile is not restricted to the fair grounds, to the exhibition space itself. There are events and smaller exhibitions everywhere in Milan, and the whole city takes part in this event. Everyone is completely immersed in the world of furniture during this event; you can breathe it. For me, there’s no better place to present or launch my ideas and creations. What can we expect from you for Dedon at this year’s Salone? I’ve always been fascinated by hanging elements and the feeling of having your head in the sky without really touching the ground. I always want to play with furniture and add a kinetic dimension, as well as create furniture pieces that have stories to tell that make you feel like you would want to spend hours inside of them. So, at this year’s Salone, I’ll present some very exciting, new pieces of the Dedon Swingrest collection: armchairs and two-seaters— both on the ground or floating, with and without canopies, and rounded out by floating tables. It’s a very innovative concept: a “floating living room” so to say.

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Made in Milan

“Today technology has provided us with new tools that allow us to develop a better relationship with the objects and to maximize the individual’s sense of wellbeing within the environment.”

Gessi GIANLUCA GESSI, CEO

Along with the help of his father, Umberto, Gianluca Gessi founded his name-bearing company in a small workshop in 1992. With a focus on the design and production of exclusive furnishings, objects for the kitchen and bathroom, and wellness shower systems, that small company rapidly expanded into an Italian empire. Today the brand’s oasis-like compound, Gessi Park, spans a mind-blowing 8.6 million square feet and combines technology, sustainable architecture, and landscape with a focus on the aesthetical impact that the factory has on its surroundings as well as the adoption of cutting-edge green practices.

WHY WE LIKE GESSI Their focus on reducing consumption and minimizing environmental impact.

During the 2013 Salone, the Gessi Underground Experience—a multi-sensory event unveiled in the construction site, 65 feet underground, of the new Spazio Gessi Milano showroom—was the talk of the town, eventually winning a prize at the European Best Event Awards. “It was built as a metaphor of the inner path that everyone has to take to gain back contact with the most profound part of oneself,” Gessi says. Although he couldn’t reveal much about what audacious plans the company might have for 2014, we can’t wait to see what Gessi’s cooking up this year. How would you describe the Salone? During this week, you breathe internationalism and modernity. The [spread] of trends, culture, and technologies from around the world offers a global vision of research on style and forecasts on the new needs and pleasures of the contemporary home dwelling. The Salone is the week in which Milan makes its usual aplomb sparkle, and every corner of the city is dedicated to design. Gessi has an excellent reputation for how well your employees are treated. Why is this an important aspect of your company? Our concept of an oasis-like industrial park was borne from the desire to create a work environment where people can enjoy a sense of wellbeing. If you do a quick count, you’ll realize that between the ages of 20 and 60, a person spends 60 percent of their active time working. If the work takes place in an oasis, it’s much more serene and pleasurable. A satisfied person produces great results and great products.

Facing page: Goccia spout and washbasin by Prospero Rasulo

Gessi also boasts high levels of technology that allow for a low environ-

mental impact. Why do you think that sustainable design is important? In today’s world, designs cannot just be based on aesthetics, ergonomics, functionality, and the ability to manufacture the product. Rather, today’s designs must take social values and concerns into account: the environment, energy resources, and new ways of living, as well as new individual and collective needs. Today technology has provided us with new tools that allow us to develop a better relationship with the objects and to maximize the individual’s sense of wellbeing within the environment. What can we expect from Gessi at this year’s Salone? This year Gessi will present at both the Salone with a large space inside the fair’s bathroom section and at Fuori Salone with a special setting of the gigantic Gessi Milano space in the heart of the fashion district. I cannot reveal much because Gessi has a long tradition of surprising exploits at each fair, and I don’t want to spoil the wow effect. I can say that we’ll launch two new collections that, within their design and styling, go in two opposite directions. One is very contemporary, setting a new standard in decorative plumbing, as it is very architectural in its elements and design to embody our concept of functional art for living everyday life to the fullest. The other is our tribute to classic forms, a pure expression of elegance that interprets a timeless style through the designer lens of Gessi. Both collections come complete with brassware, sanitary ware, accessories, basins, wellness shower fixtures, and baths, according to our concept of a signature total look for the bathroom.

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Poltrona Frau

ROBERTO ARCHETTI, Brand Director

After 25 years of attending the Salone, Roberto Archetti’s biggest issue with the event is that it seems to never end. “Once one edition comes to a close, we have to start working on the following one!” he says. Despite the exhaustion that the cyclic nature of the Salone breeds, Archetti thrives on the team-building spirit and finds himself driven by the curiosity to see what both competitors and non-competitors bring to the fair.

Poltrona Frau was first registered as a trademark back in 1912, long before Archetti came aboard. And despite the company’s German-sounding name, the Turin-based brand has taken the “Made in Italy” mentality and become an international brand with its chairs that are both modern and contemporary. Last year, the brand presented a balance between new products, such as JeanMarie Massaud’s GranTorino sofa and Roberto Lazzeroni’s Mamy Blue armchair, and reeditions, such as the Letizia, a classic armchair revived from the 1950s. Archetti would reveal next to nothing of the brand’s plans for this year’s booth but guaranteed further collaborations with both Massaud and Lazzeroni. When did you first attend the Salone?

WHY WE LIKE POLTRONA FRAU Their artistically designed luxury chairs, which appear in high-end vehicles as well as the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

It was a very long time ago! The Salone del Mobile 2014 will be my 26th time. But every time is still as the first—the same enthusiasm, the same expectation about the appreciation of the collections, and the same very hard work to get everything done in time. The only difference is that nowadays there is much more competition than in the past, and the general approach toward the market and the clients is profesmore structured and profes sional. The Salone represents a final result of the teamwork: product innovation, product developments, creativity, and sales. The Salone is our top event of the year, and the work starts one year before. What is it like to experi experience the Salone? It’s a great opportunity to have an overview on the

latest international design. It’s about new trends and challenges for the future. It’s also an amazing concentration of creativity and know-how. But it’s a very democratic event. At the same presentation, one could easily meet the big and established renowned designers, as well as the younger ones—the talents of the future, entrepreneurs, and common people. How does Italy stay ahead of the rest of the design world? Italian furniture entrepreneurs, such as Giò Ponti, Franco Albini, and Achille Castiglioni, were pioneers for Italian design in the 1950s. The development of a new product involves the investment of a lot of resources, human and financial. This means that companies have risked and still risk their own capital and reputation to achieve the best possible results in terms of innovation, research, attention to details, and new materials. Italian entrepreneurs work with this spirit. Have you experienced issues with others copying the work of your company? Copycats are a real problem, though in my opinion, design-addicted people would never buy a copycat because they appreciate the high quality of materials, attention to detail, handwork, innovation, and, most of all, the possibility to have a custom-made product. I think that there are new and old markets that need to be educated about design and authenticity. This is the only way to cope with counterfeiting.

This page: Mamy Blue armchair by Roberto Lazzeroni Facing page: Letizia armchair by Roberto Lazzeroni

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Dada ANDREA MOLTENI, Owner

Considering that his family runs the Molteni Group, an 80-year-old institution comprised of Molteni & C, Unifor, Citterio, and Dada, Andrea Molteni has attended the Salone for as long as he can remember. “I was probably carried there as a baby,” he says. He’s been actively involved in the fair for more than 15 years, and while he studied architecture, he helped design the Dada exhibition stand. This year, the Molteni Group will present new designs for both Molteni & C and Dada, and for the latter, he says we can expect an update on the brand’s most successful kitchen models, the Vela.

Having been immersed in the design community for his entire life, Molteni has a perspective that is steeped in history, and his knowledge of Milan is plentiful. “It’s a city where it’s possible to find almost any kind of material manufacturer, from wood specialists to glass companies to metal fabricators and aluminum specialists in a very small area,” he says. “The knowhow is incredibly high.” Dada was founded by the Garavaglia brothers in 1937 and joined the Molteni Group in 1979. In 2007, the brand partnered with Giorgio Armani to create a new generation of kitchen furnishings called Armani/Dada, which served as the main focus for the company at last year’s fair.

How would you describe the Salone experience? For a first-time visitor, it can be a little bit daunting. The size of the fair grounds, the dimensions of the stands, the number of exhibitors, and the huge crowds make for an incredible scene. But there are so many things to see and experience both at the fairgrounds and in the city with all the most important design brands showing their excellence. For whoever is passionate about design, art, or architecture, it’s surely an event that can’t be missed.

“For whoever is passionate about design, art, or architecture, it’s surely an event that can’t be missed.”

WHY WE LIKE DADA Collaborating with avantgarde fashion house Armani has resulted in exquisite luxury kitchens.

Facing page: Tivalì kitchen box by Dante Bonuccelli

Tell me about the last time Dada showed at the Salone. Last year, Dada’s presentation was focused mainly on two new products: one was the updated version of an iconic piece, the Banco

model kitchen, which is composed of an aluminum structural element with cabinets that hang from it. The second product that we presented was the latest kitchen borne from our collaboration with the Armani Group, the exclusive Slide, which has elegant design and stunning marble sliding elements that reveal the cooking area. What’s Milan like outside of the actual fair? Does Dada have anything special planned in that regard? We always have side activities in the city center, the now famous Fuori Salone, which translates to “outside salone,” which livens up the whole city during the days and evenings of the Salone with happenings and exhibitions in showrooms, art galleries, and temporary spaces. This year, Dada will present its new products both at the Salone and at our showroom in downtown Milano, where we will host our guests during the evening’s events.

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Mar/Apr 2014

Eye Candy

Heavy Connections Sports, history, and cast stone unite in one mind-opening design BY LESLEY STANLEY / PHOTOS BY TIM HURSLEY

These overhead skylights in stone flood their interiors with natural light, but they also change the feel of the materials and conditions of the space, creating different moods depending on the time of the day and year.


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Eye Candy

Mar/Apr 2014

Mar/Apr 2014

C

reating a space that honors both historical artifacts and notable sports figures may seem like an unlikely pairing, but for principle architect Trey Trahan of New Orleans-based Trahan Architects, an unexplored interconnection drove the design behind the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum.

“In some ways, the success of athletes and sports teams are a result of history in the culture,” Trahan says. “The more we explored those relationships, we investigated how to weave these two together and connect them.” Located on the riverfront in historic downtown Natchitoches, the 28,000-squarefoot facility’s blueprint is rooted in the area’s rich culture. The exterior’s cladded copper paneling system, which controls ventilation and natural light, is indicative of cypress shutters found on traditional Southern plantation homes. The entryway features a stunning, curved, and flawy pathway made up of 1,100 digitally milled cast-stone panels—which Trahan says is evocative of 18th Century

bousillage, a malleable infill mixture of clay, horsehair, and moss. “We’re always looking for ways to innovate or create structure that is optimistic about the future and also connects physically and emotionally to many things of our past,” he says. Ultimately, Trahan hopes that the sleek, modern design helps visitors connect not only to exhibits but to themselves. “I’m hopeful of the shape in that space and its effect on how we feel as individuals,” he says. “Some people are reluctant to touch the wall, but I hope over time that they feel more comfortable engaging and embracing the stone—and that as they feel more comfortable with the building, they begin to let themselves go, and it challenges them to see themselves differently.”a

Don’t be surprised to see past sporting highlights projected onto the cast stone’s smooth and fluid surface. Not only is the wall an architectural property, but it is also used as a canvas for exhibits featuring film footage. “History is dynamic and always changing and evolving,” Trahan says. “The wall not only shapes the space, but it’s made further authentic by projecting onto it. There is always this reciprocal relationship and dialogue between the wall and footage.”

Talk about a sizable task: weighing anywhere between five and seven tons, each piece of cast stone was individually conceptualized, designed, and milled, ultimately creating the foyer’s cohesive design. “It was like creating over 1,000 pieces of one sculpture,” Trahan says. “We wanted to bring to the state and community a space that was new, fresh, and hopefully sculpted, as in something that the soft body felt comfortable yet different in.”

Eye Candy

DESIGN BUREAU

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DESIGN BUREAU

Mar/Apr 2014

Alterstudio

ARCHITECTS & ARTISANS

Finding Beauty in the Ruins

X

avier Nuez finds beauty where others

avert their eyes. Seeking solace—and confronted with the distinct possibility of living on the streets 20 years ago—he did what any photographer might do: he turned his camera toward reality.

“I was shooting a lot at night, and I walked down an area just to be alone,” he says. “I ended up where there was no one—at the end of a dark alley at two in the morning.” And an art form was born. Since then, Nuez has been taking 10to 60-minute exposures with his Hasselblad and printing out rich, color-drenched eight-by-ten-foot images of urban alleys from across the United States. He

calls the series Alleys and Ruins. “I already had an appreciation for run-down areas,” Nuez says. “Everything there is not what you expect; there’s no ordered stuff like in the front of the building. There’s chaos in the back.” His images of Detroit, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles are particularly arresting, mostly because he’s able to find beauty and drama in abandoned and

BY J. MICHAEL WELTON

vandalized ugliness. He’s inspired by the street photography of Robert Frank and HenriCartier Bresson—and by their ability to photograph scenes as they unfolded before them. “I’m trying to draw out the drama of these places, some of them rich in history,” Nuez says. “I light them up in a very theatrical way and view them as a theater set. I want people to imagine all the people who’ve come and gone there, and I always leave an area where you can step into the image, so the viewer can become part of the scene.” He choreographs each shot carefully, lining up its exposure with his camera on a tripod while he walks around, sculpt-

J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. He also edits and publishes an online design magazine at architectsandartisans.com, where portions of this column originally appeared.

ing the lighting. Attired in a dark hoodie, he disappears in the long exposure. And there are added benefits to his outfit: “The black hoodie kind of doubles as a mugger deterrent,” he says. “If you could see the kinds of places I’m shooting, you’d see that there are lots of close encounters with gangs and people pointing guns at me.”

Daniel Cavazos

Photographer Xavier Nuez turns urban chaos into works of art

But Nuez doesn’t do it for the adrenaline rush; in fact, he’s trying to achieve just the opposite. “I go to these places because I find them peaceful,” he says. “The sound of the city drops to a low murmur—and you have to be very quiet and still.” And respect an oasis that others might miss. a

Chris Perez

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Mar/Apr 2014

ARCHITECTURE ARCHITECTURE Innovative Spaces Shaping Global Design available now at wearedesignbureau.com

DESIGN BUREAU

BUREAU OF ERGONOMICS

What’s the Future of Travel Apps? Our out-of-town excursions are aided by applications, but they need to take entire trips into account, says Dr. Rob Tannen

T

here’s a rapidly growing market

of apps that are designed to help you travel, whether by plane, train, or automobile.

One area of focus is driving safety. Though safe-driving apps might sound like an oxymoron, app developers are taking both active and passive approaches. On the active side, apps like DriveScribe monitor your driving performance and verbally coach you with real-time warnings and feedback about road conditions. On the passive side, Samsung recently announced technology that would hold phone calls and texts when the vehicle is in motion. If you travel by plane, you may have used an assortment of apps—one for your airline, another for your hotel, another for a rental car. Unfortunately, most apps treat your trip as a series of unrelated events. A few apps, like TripIt, consolidate this information but rely on a laundry list of notifications—without giving the complete picture. The next generation of travel apps should better integrate your information and visualize your entire trip from

start to finish. Working with my colleagues at Intuitive Company in Philadelphia, we envisioned a next-generation app concept that represents your entire travel experience. Named RoundTrip, the app consolidates all of the disparate pieces of information around travel and displays them as a continuous flow from point of departure to destination and back again. The trip is broken down into a sequence of tasks—from packing, getting to the airport, checking in, waiting (lots of that), getting to the hotel, etc. The app pulls in a range of data—from weather, traffic, and flight delays—as well as services such as taxi, airline, hotel, and restaurant reservations. Travel apps are slowly but surely becoming all-encompassing. As such, their future should be about whether to present (or, for safety, hold back) the user with the right information at the right time.a

Have a question for Dr. Rob? e-mail: letters@wearedesignbureau.com

DESIGN BUREAU SPECIAL EDITION

Dr. Rob Tannen is director, design research and strategy, at Intuitive Company. You can follow him on Twitter @robtannen.

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DESIGN BUREAU

IMAGE, STYLE & DESIGN

The Importance of Style During a Voyage The Massaud Lounge with Ottoman– by Jean-Marie Massaud

It may seem counterintuitive, but setting ourselves apart can create new and lasting connections BY STEVEN FISCHER

Part work. Part refuge. Designed for comfort and connecting with technology, the Massaud Lounge with ottoman is an alternative destination to work, contemplate or relax. Bag by Fischer Voyage, 100% American construction and components, handcrafted in the American Midwest. Available at Harrods and FischerVoyage.com. Price available upon request.

E

mbarking upon a voyage satisfies an

age-old need—to better understand the world around us and to engage with new cultures. And it doesn’t have to be an epic journey to lend discoveries; all our travels allow that to happen.

When we embark upon a voyage, we naturally interact with new groups of people and different societal practices. That is in part what provides the joy of travel. And how we engage with others is

coalesse.com

influenced by our personal style as expressed through clothes and luggage to a level that they aren’t when we remain at home. When we are away from our home environment, others are going

to make immediate judgments about us. Though many travel professionals encourage a style of dress that doesn’t bring attention to oneself, those who heed that advice are missing a great opportunity to engage with people in an entirely new way—and to provide the very stimulus that they were hoping for when they embarked upon the voyage. As a personal example, I recently traveled from Chicago to London with the Prairie bag that I produce.

While waiting to check in at the hotel, the person behind me asked about the bag, and within an hour we were enjoying a drink together at the bar. That conversation would have been unlikely had I not chosen to travel with a piece that distinguishes me from others. Distinguishing ourselves actually draws others to us. And an important component of personal style is that it’s a reflection of ourselves—it allows us to connect to others in a more deep and meaningful way. a

Steven Fischer is creator of Fischer Voyage and director of Image, Style & Design Studio. Find more information at fischervoyage.com and imagestyledesign.com. Photos by Doug Human.

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THIS ISSUE’S BEST ALBUMS MOGWAI

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If Mogwai has hidden the picturesque aspects of its sound behind a wall of emotional distance in the past, the Scottish quintet has increasingly allowed for a direct connection to the music. For several lengthy passages on Rave Tapes, the band refrains from intruding on the mood of gentle brooding that it creates via swells of mild guitar distortion. Live drums commingle seamlessly

with electronic beats, and Vangelis-esque retro-futurism melds with subdued math-rock angularity in one of the band’s most technical displays to date. Like latter-day Tortoise, Mogwai appears to be growing less concerned with post-rock gesturing and more with direct statements. Even at its most abrasive or angular, Rave Tapes captures a band no longer averse to wearing beauty on its sleeve. It’s no small feat that Mogwai has been able to “mature” without losing its penchant for novelty or its ability to challenge the audience. [SRK]

PHANTOGRAM

JUNIUS

HELMS ALEE

Voices (Republic)

Days of the Fallen Sun (Prosthetic)

Sleepwalking Sailors (Sargent House)

02/ Debuting in 2009 to critical and industry

03/ With four long tracks, each with a shorter,

04/ From day one, rock group Helms Alee has

acclaim, electro-pop duo Phantogram is back with its long-awaited second LP (which follows a handful of well-received EPs). And appropriately for a record titled Voices, the vocal content stands out in a big way. Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel each have powerful voices, and they’re the focus here. Opener “Nothing but Trouble” fades into a simple beat over a distorted melody before Barthel takes over, driving the majority of the track with her breathy vocals. Carter takes “Never Going Home” to an unexpectedly bright place, making the title a paean. Stylistically, the band also branches out further on Voices, integrating moments of garage rock and classic balladry—making one of the best pop records of the year so far. [LE]

ambient introductory track, Junius’s new EP takes the form of an apocalyptic message. Maybe it’s a warning, or maybe it’s just science fiction. Either way, it’s gorgeous, disturbing, and damnfine post-rock/metal. As mentioned, each of the four songs is preceded by a short moment of orchestral or ambient noise. These, thematically, set the tone for the following track: “(Meditations)” leads into “The Time of Perfect Virtue,” which holds back (for Junius, anyway) while “(The Purge)” builds into the violent and gang-vocal heavy “Battle in the Sky.” Short and apocalyptic, Days is the perfect soundtrack for all your burning, post-apocalyptic hell-scape needs. [LE]

messed with expectations. A cursory search of its name assigns every genre from sludge to posthardcore to doom. All that’s really important to know is that it capital-R rocks. And on new album Sleepwalking Sailors, it proves it once again. Opening with the ponderously heav y “Pleasure Center,” Sailors checks all the boxes: astounding riffs, powerhouse drumming from Hozoji Margullis, and haunting vocal switches between guitarist Ben Verellen, bassist Dana James, and Margullis. That’s not to say that this is redundant; no record featuring a truly beautiful track with the macabre title “Fetus Carcass” can be anything but special. [LE]

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Rave Tapes (Sub Pop)

Design can inform or clarify. Transform an experience or persuade

DESIGN BUREAU

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05

07

DAVIDGE

††† (CROSSES)

THE UNSEMBLE

Slo Light (The End)

† (Sumerian)

s/t (Ipecac)

05/ Best known as Massive Attack’s producer

06/ Chino Moreno long has displayed his affinity

and primary collaborator since 1996, Neil Davidge has carved out a rich musical portfolio. For his debut solo album, Davidge veers away from the expansive character of his production work and also steers clear of the orchestrations of his Halo 4 soundtrack. Instead, he and his supporting cast of guest vocalists make as if headed down Kraftwerk’s Autobahn. Davidge’s spare, thumping electronica propels the music forward as it makes space for a different singer to shine on almost every tune. A bevy of thick accents gives the album a refreshingly British flavor. [SRK]

for melodic singing in his main gig as front-man of Deftones, but with Crosses he explores his mellow side without inhibition. Essentially a repackaging of the two EPs and singles that Crosses already has released, this full-length nonetheless benefits from a new, more coherent song order. Principal songwriters Chuck Doom and Shaun Lopez supply Moreno with gauzy drapes of sound—quietly insistent beats, soft touches of glitch, chilly digitized atmospheres—for him to channel his inner Sade. Moreno plays his own alter-ego here, a lounge singer making himself at home in a sinister, art-damaged universe. [SRK]

07/ It’s only natural that a trio consisting of members of The Jesus Lizard, Einstürzende Neubauten, and The Silver Jews would take liberties with genre. But this debut album by The Unsemble—Duane Denison, Alexander Hacke, and Brian Kotzur—subverts expectations in myriad ways. Denison, Hacke, and Kotzur practically throw the vocabularies of their other bands out the window for a powerful statement in ambience and texture. At times, the trio even ventures into a kind of jazz shadow world. Most surprisingly, The Unsemble chooses to challenge its audience at low volumes, proving in distinct and compelling ways that space is the new volume. [SRK]

[LE] Lincoln Eddy [SRK] Saby Reyes-Kulkarni

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DESIGN TALENT FRESH ON THE MARKET

FOR HIRE: Robyn Boehler This young talent describes her design style as systematic, logical, and sophisticated and is seeking the adrenaline rush that a gig at a magazine in the Big Apple would provide. More specifically, she’s looking for a company she can believe in and trust with a team that works well together and has fun doing it. We’re a little biased because she was our intern, but that also means we can wholeheartedly vouch for her drive and stellar skills.

gentner

What type of design work is your specialty? I’ve primarily focused on print work, particularly publication design. I really enjoyed information design and realized it was important for me as a designer to fully understand all angles of the project I’m working on. Logic is an essential part of my process, and above all, I want my work to be functional. Publication design has been a great outlet for this, and my internships thus far have given me great experience. Although print has a special place in my heart, I do enjoy the precision involved in coding and some web design from time to time. Who are some of your influences? There’s always a ton of new designers that I look to, but the classics are Alexey Brodovitch, Josef Müller-Brockmann, and the oddball Edward Tufte. Describe your aesthetic. A lot of my aesthetic has roots in the Bauhaus, with a charming twist. Functionality is of utmost importance to me, along with material choices and presentation. I love letterpress, so design that has a physical quality catches my eye, especially with a pop of color. What’s the best thing you learned in school? That process can be interesting, and showcasing it is important. How we as designers make decisions isn’t always as simple as it may seem. Talking about your work is so important in order to explain your idea. It’s also useful for me to look other places for inspiration, usually to furniture, object design, or architecture. Why should someone give you a job? I’m determined and perfectionistic, and I always give my full effort to anything I do. I’m not your typical designer, and my logical background makes for design that is beautiful and functional. Plus I laugh at everything, and I like to make the work environment fun.

RESUME SNAPSHOT: Robyn Boehler EDUCATION The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, 2014

WORK EXPERIENCE ALARM Press Design Intern, 2013 Fferrone Design Designer Intern, 2013

gentnerdesign.com

FOR HIRE

Mar/Apr 2014

FURNITURE

DESIGN BUREAU

FROM TOP: Boehler’s “Hidden Object” project, hand cut and formed with only two- and three-ply paper and bookmaking glue, intended to hide an object within a larger distinct shape; the “Numbers” device, made of mahogany cubes that the user manipulates to form numbers.

Robyn Likes: Surprising people, Alan Alda, cheese, Airplane!, eccentric notebooks, giggling to myself, alignment, building/ making things, The Sims, cotton paper

Steracle Press Apprenticeship, 2013

Robyn Dislikes: Waking up, pants, flying insects, slow drivers, crooked things, clutter, decaf coffee (why bother?), animal prints, pickled fish, pastels

Wanna hire Robyn? Check out her website: robynboehler.com

Pewter coffee table

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Design Bureau Issue 26  

The Milan Preview Issue 2014

Design Bureau Issue 26  

The Milan Preview Issue 2014

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