Nº116 MAY — JUN 2017
THE GREAT INDOORS
EU €19.95 IT €14.95 CHF 30 UK £14 US $19.95 CA $29.50 AU $28.99 JP ¥3,570 KR WON 40,000
Raglan by Piergiorgio Cazzaniga
Courtesy of Studio Dirk Vander Kooij
102 29 27 OBJECTS 28 20 STANDOUT CHAIRS 34 20 ICONIC LIGHTS
20 creatives defining tomorrow
20 strategies for today’s interiors
Iñigo Rizo-Patron C.
42 OMA 51 RANDOM STUDIO 57 SABINE MARCELIS 57 SELFRIDGES 59 PAMELA ROSENKRANZ 64 KONSTANTIN GRCIC 64 AĒSOP 67 PATRICIA URQUIOLA 68 OFFICE KGDVS 76 UNIVERSAL EVERYTHING 80 YVES BÉHAR 80 NIKE 83 CIGUË 86 JO NAGASAKA 89 SNØHETTA 92 X+LIVING 100 PERNILLA OHRSTEDT 102 OLAFUR ELIASSON 105 EL EQUIPO CREATIVO 106 CHEUNGVOGL
177 FRAME LAB Future
From real-time object-hacking to responsive space: we go beyond the conventional scope of design to find 20 visions that frame the future
203 REPORTS Furniture 204 INNOVATION Design brands with fresh approaches 210 MOOOI Let them entertain you 214 GOODS TO GO New furniture directions
224 STOCKHOLM DESIGN WEEK Scandinavia speaks out 230 HANS BOODT Tailor-made mannequins 232 EUROSHOP Retail makes moves 238 GENESIS MANNEQUINS Printing people Courtesy of Kinnarps
240 IN NUMBERS Frame in facts and figures
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For editorial inquiries, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call +31 20 4233 717 (ext 923). Editor in chief Robert Thiemann – RT Managing editor Tracey Ingram – TI Editor Floor Kuitert – FK Research editor Anouk Haegens – AH Contributing editor Alexandra Onderwater – AO Editorial intern Michaela Cavanagh – MC Copy editors InOtherWords (D’Laine Camp, Donna de Vries-Hermansader) Design director Barbara Iwanicka Graphic designers Zoe Bar-Pereg Cathelijn Kruunenberg Creative consultant Alvin Chan Translation InOtherWords (Donna de VriesHermansader) Contributors to this issue Izabela Anna – IA Sam Gaskin – SG Will Georgi – WG Daniel Golling – DG Harry den Hartog – HdH Evan Jehl – EJ Gili Merin – GM Shonquis Moreno – SM Maria Elena Oberti – MEO Jonathan Openshaw – JO Jill Diane Pope – JDP Bradley Quinn – BQ Anna Sansom – AS Jane Szita – JS Masaaki Takahashi – MT Lauren Teague – LT Jelte Timmer – JT Katya Tylevich – KT Suzanne Wales – SW Cover Creative direction Alvin Chan Concept and photography Studio Qiu Yang Set design Sarah-Jane Hoffmann Assistants Rob Bowler, Klemen Ilovar, Noortje Knulst and Eden Hawkins Lithography Edward de Nijs Printing Grafisch Bedrijf Tuijtel Hardinxveld-Giessendam
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‘René Magritte’s surrealist paintings inspired the composition for this cover of Frame. Materials found in architecture, design and interiors play off against each other, enhancing their natural characters’ QIU YANG, COVER PHOTOGRAPHER
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On the basis of famous paintings that incorporate architecture, space and interior, Studio Qiu Yang created settings using materials that are typically found in modern interior design and architecture. This issue’s cover image is the third in a series.
E X PLO R E O U R C U R AT E D A RT S H OW. W H AT ? M I L A N O F U O R I SA LO N E L A PO ST E R I A A PR I L 4 – 9 CO PE N H AG E N 3 DAYS O F D ES I G N J U N E 1– 3 BAS E L / L AU F E N A RC H I T ECT U R E D U R I N G A RT J U N E 1 5 –1 8
Happy Birthday to Me
In 1997, we published the first issue of Frame. It was just the two of us, and we had a vision. Well-designed spaces make for better living. They contribute to our happiness and in all probability to healthier minds and bodies. Underlining those ideas was our mission to raise interior design to a higher level. Twenty years later, it’s clear that the profession has undergone an enormous evolution. If architects create spaces, then interior designers mediate between a space and its occupants, enabling us to use interiors for working, learning, shopping, relaxing, living. The designer uses a broad spectrum of tools, methods and approaches – including objects, light, colour and technology – to obtain the desired result. So what’s new? The most important change that’s taken place can be captured in a single – now overused – word: ‘experience’. It’s not enough for a space to be simply functional and attractive. It must draw us into a memorable experience. As users of the space, we’re expected to feel a certain
sensation, preferably with all five of our senses. The kind of experience that a space provides is in the hands of the client, whether it be a commercial outfit, a non-profit organization, a private party or a multinational. Clients want interiors that communicate their core values, that tell their stories, that convey who they are and what they stand for. A good example is the ecoeatery/café done in warm earth tones and fitted out with secondhand furniture, vintage lamps and plants. When megastar Drake puts on a show, however, what you see is an amazing spectacle of light effects and orbs overhead moving to the music in flashes of shifting colour. In both cases, the interior designer expresses the DNA – the identity – of his client. He tells a story with objects, materials, technology, light and colour. And because we’re living in a world of increasing extremes, the drama and perfection of that story are intensifying, too. Compare the interior of a Zara store from five years ago (you can still find them) with a newer version.
Replacing the sea of light and the somewhat disorderly clothing displays that marked the previous generation of stores are directional spots and framed displays. The new Zara looks more elegant, more exclusive. In the 20 years of our existence, we’ve tried to capture the spirit of the times while imagining the future and sharing what we see with our readers. This jubilee issue follows in the footsteps of its forerunners. We’re presenting 20 designers and brands – from household names to emerging talents – that we expect to lead the way in spatial design in the years to come. We’re showing 20 projects that represent 20 strategies for designing spaces. And finally, we’re revealing 20 visions of the future – 20 seeds meant to motivate the following generation of creatives. I know, it’s a lot to take in at once. That’s another constant in 20 years of Frame. Nevertheless, enjoy and be inspired. ROBERT THIEMANN Editor in chief
An icon celebrating its 25th anniversary Campus by HOPE Stockholm
Original design by Johannes Foersom & Peter Hiort-Lorenzen LAMMHULTS.SE
GILI MERIN is an architect, photographer and journalist based in London. She studied architecture at the UdK Berlin, Waseda University in Tokyo, the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem and is currently completing her dissertation at the department of History and Critical Thinking of the Architectural Association (AA) in London. Her varied professional training took place at COBE Berlin, the Venice Architecture Biennale, ArchDaily in Santiago, Chile as well as OMA/AMO Rotterdam. She interviewed the firm’s youngest partner, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, for our list of 20 ‘reinventors’ in this issue’s Portraits section.
With ten years of experience working with clients from independent record labels to multinationals, from artistic commissions to global brand launches, German photographer THOMAS EBERWEIN runs Thomas Traum, a studio that creates still and moving images using an explorative digital approach, with the aim of finding new and novel applications for the use of modern technology in design and art. Clients include Kenzo, Hunter, Christopher Raeburn, Uniqlo, Issey Miyake, Chanel and Moncler. For this issue’s Frame Lab, Thomas Traum explored how augmented reality can transform spatial experiences.
‘Ippo was extremely insightful and articulate; I am always astonished by the scope of work undertaken by AMO, its simultaneous breadth and depth’ GILI MERIN
With a degree in interior architecture from Northumbria University, LAUREN TEAGUE is a contributor to both Frame and Mark magazines. Her specialism is writing about interior adaptations of existing buildings, with a particular interest in the reuse of historical architecture. She will soon undertake a Master’s degree at Bartlett School of Architecture focused on this field. In this issue, you can read why she thinks the concept behind the Aēsop stores is inspirational to designers.
An urban designer and critic, HARRY DEN HARTOG founded his own studio ‘Urban Language’ in 2004 in Rotterdam, after working more than ten years for several Dutch urban planning and architecture firms. After regular visits to Asia, he set up base in Shanghai in 2008 where he later became a faculty member at Tongji University and lectures urban design and housing. A frequent participant or organizer in debates and exhibits by various organizations in Europe and in Asia, he also regularly writes essays and papers, and produced two books, including Shanghai New Towns: Searching for Community and Identity in a Sprawling Metropolis (2010, 010 Publishers). For our 20th anniversary issue, he spoke to the founder of design studio X+Living about design – and cats.
A laboratory for emergent synthetic form, ZEITGUISED has been on the forefront of fusing contemporary algorithmic processes with lateral physical design since 2001. Known for the poetry of inanimate and artificial objects, Zeitguised’s commercial branch Foam Studio offers high-end visual design services. Employing the entire scope of digital means, Zeitguised finds unseen shapes and seduces them into being. Some can be bought from their online walk-in workshop for exquisite realities. For the Frame Lab, they visualized how materials can become tools for communication.
BETTELUX SHAPE The new design concept in an open steel frame. Made from high-grade steel/enamel with a 30 year warranty. Design: Tesseraux + Partner
THE SPIRIT OF PROJECT
SLIDING DOORS SOHO, SHELF EOS DESIGN G.BAVUSO
CHAIR Konstantin Grcic LIGHT Bertjan Pot
20 standout CHAIRS 20 iconic LIGHTS
20 YEARS, 20 CHAIRS Standout chairs that sit tight in modern design history Maarten van Houten
SMOKE CHAIR Maarten Baas — Moooi 2002 Although setting your furniture on fire might not sound like the best idea, in 2002 Baas came up with an innovative example that gave a new meaning to the principle of ‘deconstruct, reconstruct’. Originally his graduation project, the Smoke Chair fired off his career.
THE ARMCHAIR OF THOUSAND EYES the Campana brothers — Fendi 2015 A variation on the Brazilian brothers’ Stuffed Toys collection from 2002 is a cuddly chair for Fendi – created in collaboration with Galleria O. Project Roma – that features over 100 furry monsters. In a world that’s becoming increasingly smaller, spawning mass manufacturing and global trends, the Campanas continue to put their distinctive signature on objects made from scrap and waste products.
CHASSIS Stefan Diez — Wilkhahn 2011
VICTORIA AND ALBERT Ron Arad — Moroso 2000
Highlighting the benefits of cross-disciplinary design, Diez tapped into the automotive industry and applied the space-frame technology – used in manufacturing car bodies – to create an ultralight multipurpose chair.
Like much of Arad’s work, the curvaceous Victoria and Albert finds its origins in the circle. He combined the universal shape with another geometric basic, the square, to achieve a design that is imbued with an irrefutably timeless quality.
FURNITURE – Do we really need another chair? It’s a question that arises at nearly every design fair, yet it fails to dampen our enthusiasm for an annual crop of new ones. Considering the time we spend seated every day – an estimated and astonishing nine hours – the appearance of new chairs shouldn’t come as a surprise. But in the midst of this extreme excess of items
made to support the sedentary lifestyle, which ones have stood the test of time, becoming contemporary icons and ultimately earning a place among the world’s design classics? We selected 20 chairs from the last 20 years that have turned sitting into everything from an art to a science. – FK
Stanley van der Hoeven
PHYSIX Alberto Meda — Vitra 2012
A subtle nod to the Aluminium Group by Eames, the Physix office chair encourages dynamic sitting. With its flexible frame construction, elastic cover and stabilizing mechanism, the chair supports an active posture, which – following the news that sitting is the new smoking – is more urgent than ever.
CHUBBY Dirk Vander Kooij 2012 ‘Precise as toothpaste. Heavy like oak. Colours like pure paint. Designed by a clown.’ It’s Dirk Vander Kooij’s cryptic description of Chubby. Seemingly sculpted from Play-Doh, the chair is actually 3D-printed from reused plastics.
CHAIR ONE Konstantin Grcic — Magis 2004
KINESIT Lievore Altherr Molina — Arper 2014 Task chairs often look like machines. Signalling a tendency towards sleeker, less technical office furniture, Kinesit has an adjustment system for movement, height and lumbar support that is integrated invisibly into the chair’s slender body.
Despite its misleading name, this isn’t Konstantin Grcic’s first (or last) chair. If you manage to design as many chairs as Grcic has, inspiration is bound to come from unexpected places. In this case: a football. Chair One launched a faceted trend that lasted for years.
PAPILIO Naoto Fukasawa — B&B Italia 2008 When a chair is available in as many shapes, sizes and colours as Papilio is, no-one can deny its smashing impact on design history. After conjuring a flurry of butterfly-inspired chairs and ottomans, Fukasawa even came up with a Papilio bed.
Furniture, Countertop & Island: BASALT BLACK Satin Stand NEXT 125 - Living Kitchen 2017, Cologne (Germany). Photography: DĂĄmaso PĂŠrez, Fototec
Sintered Stone. Interior and exterior applications: Cladding, Countertops, Furniture, Flooring, Facades. Resistant to stains, chemicals, extreme temperatures. Light, 100% natural and recyclable. Maximum format, minimum thickness, different finishes. More than 50 selections available. Design, Durability, Versatility, Sustainability.
20 CREATIVES defining tomorrow
Nº 10 DIGITAL CONNECTOR
UNIVERSAL EVERYTHING’s founder and director believes spaces can come alive and react to your presence. Words
IT’S A QUIRK OF THE DIGITAL AGE that as daily life disappears deeper into our screens, our attachment to physical experiences only grows stronger. Rather than dissolving into the ether, it seems that humans are delving even further into the tangible and the tactile. Far from being a Luddite rejection of technological progress, however, many new physical experiences are augmented by seamless digital technology. Spaces become responsive, and the digital becomes embodied. We no longer need a screen to connect with the virtual world: we can just reach out and touch it. ‘Screens can often feel like barriers to interaction,’ says Matt Pyke, founder and director of Universal Everything, an art and design collective with a reputation born of its boundary-busting digital installations. ‘Watching people using their phones in public spaces can be incredibly alienating, but we believe that digital can and should be profoundly connecting.’ For Pyke, the constellation of hardware currently used to access digital information and culture – screen, mouse, keyboard – is just one design solution rather than an inevitable interface. The screen has served its purpose. It can no longer facilitate the seamless experiences that we have come to expect. He wants to reframe our digital experiences: ‘I definitely think there’s already a blurring between the physical and digital. We’re moving away from everybody staring
Staged for Microsoft in San Francisco, Infinity Room was an immersive installation exploring the power of big data.
at these tiny rectangles in their hands to people actually stepping into the screen, where the content surrounds them. And what’s even more interesting is that this type of media can be aware of you, of your movements or your voice. Spaces can come alive and react to your presence.’ The enquiry into the nature of human presence in the digital world was well demonstrated in the aptly named Presence, an art installation that saw Universal Everything collaborate with choreographer Benjamin Millepied and the LA Dance
‘We use technology only to make experiences even more powerful’
Project. It debuted in 2013 at London’s Science Museum. Visitors entered a darkened room encircled by a continuous digital screen on which projections of humanoid figures cavorted. Instead of filming the dancers with conventional equipment, Pyke and his team used motion-capture to record them in multiple dimensions before translating their movements into digital abstractions. ‘The aim was to translate the figures into something painterly, so you could still feel the human presence but couldn’t read it directly.’ He speaks of tension between the abstract and the figurative that still allowed viewers to ‘perceive the soul of the dancer within the digital form’. Unsurprisingly, such powerful experiences have proved a hit with brands seeking new ways to connect with consumers. A similar approach to the one used for Presence appeared again in Flyknit (2013), an installation made for Nike. This time, infrared sensors translated nearby human motion in real time, generating a digital doppelgänger that mirrored the visitor’s every move. Other brand solutions include a set design for MCM x Christopher Raeburn’s S/S 2017 runway, where models encased in an amphitheatre of fine gauze marched amid projections of extreme weather patterns: tornados morphed into typhoons in front of the audience’s eyes. ‘Whether we’re working on a selfinitiated project or a brand commission, the process is always the same,’ says Pyke. »
‘It has to start and end with the human experience. We use technology only to amplify that experience – to make it even more powerful. The challenge posed by any form of emerging tech is to make sure you’re not seduced by the novelty of it; otherwise, you’re at risk of just creating a product demo. For me, technology is at its most successful when you forget it’s there – no-one wants to see tech showing off.’ When proposing immersive and responsive spatial designs – and suggesting that they represent the future of digital interaction – it’s vital to mention the amount of money it takes to execute them properly. Berlin-based producer and curator Joana Seguro knows this more than most, having commissioned pieces from the likes of Ryoji Ikeda and Carsten Nicolai for The Vinyl Factory in London, worked with institutions such as the Barbican and the V&A, and collaborated with an array of brands, from BMW to Google. Clients, she says, are beginning to refrain from ‘meddling too much with the integrity of a piece’. Seguro prefers self-initiated work, which ‘tends to be more successful than work that responds to a brief’. A requirement for future success is ‘making sure there are independent cultural spaces for this type of work, as well as brand commissions’. She’s unequivocal about giving
Universal Everything combined radial architecture, large-scale video, atmospheric lighting and holographic illusions to present the MCM x Christopher Raeburn S/S 2017 collection.
the spatial experience a leading position in the future of digital creativity. ‘We’re just too desensitized to the screen. We use it for multitasking and snacking on information. It’s quite a shallow engagement, and it’s not good for creating those moments of deeper focus and connection.’ ‘I believe in the power of physical experience to stimulate the senses,’ says the CMO of Hyundai Motor Company, Wonhong Cho, who’s called on Universal Everything for major projects such as Running Man (2015). ‘The harmonious use of the digital and physical experience helps people to embrace our brand with all their senses. In today’s rapidly changing media environment, brands must be ready to provide experiences that suit their customers’ lifestyles, and this means creating and leading new cultural movements. Expectations are higher than ever before and getting higher every day. Brands must be far more active.’ After the tumultuous year that was 2016, many social commentators speculated that digital technology (especially social media) is increasing estrangement rather than driving connection. We seem to exist in a digital filter bubble, cosseted in an echo chamber of opinion and outrage, that insulates us from our surroundings. Although digital technology has opened up a new
universe of information and access, the next challenge, it seems, is to stay connected with, rather than to become alienated from, each other and the physical world around us. Universal Everything envisions a bold future for spatial design, but as sensory technology improves, new experiences are only going to become more profound. ‘Much of our sensory tech today relies on line of sight, but we exist in a sea of invisible waves that can pass through solid objects and be used as new interfaces,’ says Fadel Adib, assistant professor at MIT, where he leads the Signal Kinetics research group. ‘In the future, our built environments will be able to use these waves to constantly monitor not just our movements but our health and emotional state too. Our built environment will be able to redesign itself constantly to fit our changing needs.’ No clear future awaits spatial design. It’s a tabula rasa, and there lies the appeal for Universal Everything. Pyke sees ‘so many interactions taking place – between digital and physical, designer and audience, technology and architecture – that it’s impossible to control the outcome. You can set a few basic rules, but when the process takes hold, it just grows from there. It’s a bit like training a wild animal.’ ● universaleverything.com
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20 STRATEGIES for today’s interiors
10 — Showrooms promote EXPERIENCES OVER PRODUCTS ‘Inspiring light-switch showroom’ sounds like an oxymoron. But by focusing on what its products can do rather than on how they look, Simon delivers just that.
BARCELONA – Can you control smart home technology with a flick of a switch? If we’re to believe Simon, a leading Spanish manufacturer of light switches, the answer is yes. To showcase a new range of digital Wi-Fienabled switches and interfaces, the company converted its old factory into a futuristic showroom that offers an immersive experience comparable to that of an art installation. Simon handed the project to Catalan designer Antoni Arola, a man who appreciates the transformative power and potential of light and lighting systems. (Corso, one of Arola’s better-known pieces, is a Rothko-style wall lamp.) The industrial nature of the new showroom, with its scuffed concrete floors and metal rafters shabby with peeling paint, remains intact. It fits right into Barcelona’s El Poblenou neighbourhood, where a swath of small factories includes many that have been converted into creative studios. Arola set up an open-sided auditorium and café with the use of cleverly positioned pine benches and boxes, and contrived a more conventional display area for the company’s product range. Occupying about a third of the overall space is an experiential exhibition formed by freestanding partitions, both curved and angular. ‘The idea was to make something very interactive and surprising,’ says Arola. ‘It was meant to last about six months, but the reaction has been so good they decided to keep it.’ »
The exhibition is divided into three sections. In each, Simon’s push-button switches mounted on pedestals activate directional floor lighting, doors and special effects. The first area is a curved hallway that engulfs visitors in gradations of varyingly coloured light à la Carlos Cruz Diez’s Chromosaturation (Frame 93, p. 103). The uncomplicated yet transformative atmosphere achieved relies on light hubs placed at floor level inside the gap between two curved partition walls. One wall is made of PVC, which diffuses light and colour to produces a soft warm glow. The second section proposes the idea of a rain shower in an indoor environment, calling to mind Random International’s travelling Rain Room (Frame 90, p. 31). Upon entering a completely blacked-out room with a shallow pool, visitors are handed transparent umbrellas. Switches control the intensity of drops released from a closed sprinkler system that simulates a rain cycle – from a light shower to a downpour – with the help of a strobe light. In area three, a home cinema features a montage of video clips projected onto the walls. Arola selected each piece of cinematic footage for its comment on technology and the evolution of the switch, from Kubrick’s smooth-talking antagonist Hal to Chaplin’s comical run-ins with automation. ‘As you can see,’ says Arola, ‘we didn’t invent anything new. In fact, all the technology used in the installation is really rather simple.’ The designer believes the merit of the space lies in its flexibility. ‘It was created in part to celebrate Simon’s 100th anniversary. Most companies would have ordered something more fixed and luxurious for such an occasion.’ His project underlines the attraction of a streamlined approach to controlling technology and hints at liberation from the tyranny of the remote control. – SW estudiantoniarola.com
‘We didn’t invent anything new. All the technology used is rather simple’
Gradations of illumination and colour in Simon’s showroom echo Carlos Cruz Diez’s Chromosaturation.
11 — Shop interiors MATCH THE MERCHANDISE
BEIJING – Sometimes the obvious solution is the best fit. Taking into consideration that the function of Poppee – a store in Beijing’s Sanlitun area – is the presentation and sale of jewellery handcrafted by various independent makers, the designers at Atelier Tree based their concept on individual boxes that pop out from their surroundings like gemstones on a gold band. The separate display cases are the studio’s way of ‘showing respect to every work of art’. More importantly, however, they unify an array of assorted pieces and, in so doing, ‘strengthen the visual image of the collective store’. The boxes hover beneath a suspended metal grid that the designers refer to as the ‘golden cloud’. Variations in the grid’s depth alter the passage of light from above, allowing customers to detect fluctuations in illumination and shadow, while catching flashes of light meeting metal – moments that heighten the jewellery metaphor in the modest 32-m2 space. ‘When visitors walk into the store, they encounter ambiguity in both its volume and its borders, as the cloud continually produces new visual forms,’ says Casen Chiong, founding partner and chief architect of Atelier Tree. ‘Shifts prompted by light and time constantly change the visitor’s experience.’ – TI ateliertree.com
Atelier Tree forges a Chinese jewellery store that reflects the gems within.
16 — THEATRICALITY takes the lead
Forty-four courses served over three hours: RCR gives Albert Adrià’s Enigma a worthy setting for a dramatic experience.
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Science invariably gets the credit for generating transformations in society. If scientists sow the seeds from which design grows, what better brains to pick for ideas that might motivate designers on the brink of building our future? We make a humble attempt by celebrating our 20 years with 20 FORWARD-LOOKING VISIONS.
VISION Nº 4
Forget the screen: AUGMENTED PHYSICAL EXPERIENCES are shaping the next interface
TECHNOLOGY – Try googling ‘a magazine is an iPad that doesn’t work’, and you’ll come across a video from 2011 that has almost five million views. The clip shows a toddler attempting to pinch, swipe and zoom in on a copy of Marie Claire magazine, seemingly transferring behaviour learned from touchscreens onto the physical world. It’s been only ten years since the launch of the iPhone and five since the advent of the iPad, but the logic of the touchscreen interface has already transformed our relationship with digital media. Last year saw a tipping point in new interfaces, most notably augmented reality (AR), with the appearance of a global phenomenon: Pokémon Go. Seamless digital overlay in physical space opens up the possibility of gestural controls that no longer rely on screens, keyboards, mice or touchpads. Much was made of Apple quietly expanding its 3D user-interface patents back in 2015, which carried the implication that Apple wanted to ‘own’ the rights to physical gestures such as fist-bumps, waves or hugs. These so-called gestural interfaces could completely transform the way we experience our physical surroundings. ‘Interfaces are made by humans for humans, and the innate logic behind the digital interface is human logic that’s based on the limited technological means available at the time,’ says Ivan Poupyrev, technical program lead at Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) division.
For Poupyrev and his team, the way we currently interact with digital information is not inevitable. All interfaces are just tools, and although the screen has been a very useful tool, better interactions may be on the horizon. ‘Technologies such as VR allow us to materialize and externalize our thoughts and imagination,’ says Poupyrev. ‘We’re able to experience the technology with the full gamut of our senses while sharing it with others. Augmented physical experiences allow us to perceive digital reflections of things that we imagine through the use of touch, force, temperature and so on. It drastically increases the sense of realism.’ Illustrating the idea and its potential is Project Soli, a result of work done by Google’s ATAP. This tiny radar sensor helps to translate gestures into digital signals, enabling the user to interact with a device by simply moving his hand. The core concept is nothing new; after all, products like Microsoft’s Kinect and Leap Motion have been on the market for some time. Project Soli is a dramatic improvement in terms of accuracy and sensitivity, however. The ATAP team is currently demonstrating how Soli can be used in smart watches, but they are also working with Harman’s JBL speakers to develop products that can be operated by gestures at a distance. Their research has huge implications for the connected home, as well as the potential to transform activities of all sorts, from retail to culture. — JO
VISION Nº 5
THEATRE in store Retail will become a synthesis of hospitality, sales, entertainment, education and even GAMING experiences, says consumer futurist William Higham. Merchandising began precisely as a way to show off stock using stock, but the importance of stock is diminishing, becoming not just superfluous but onerous. ‘Retail space needs to be organized around INTERACTION AND EXPERIENCE – dare I say “theatre” – and designed around the shopper, not the stock,’ says Higham. ‘You can have fewer items in store and more stylish displays that positively impact shoppers’ moods and put more focus on sensations like sound and scent.’ — SM
VISION Nº 6
Responsive materials Berlin-based Zeitguised foresees materials worn close to the body acting as powerful tools for communication. ‘Futuristic shape-shifting materials enable the wearer to get in intimate contact with someone remote.’ @zeitguised
Mind and matter merge in Zeitguised’s futuristic proposal for ‘autoerotic communication’ by means of a digital skin that functions as a personal interface.
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Furniture Designers call for FLEXIBILITY AND ESCAPISM. Brands are betting on innovation. Scandinavia speaks out at STOCKHOLM DESIGN WEEK. Plus: retail makes moves and mannequins go tailor-made during EUROSHOP. Discover whatâ€™s driving the business of design.
The Entertainers MARCEL WANDERS explains how MOOOI’s new tagline, ‘A Life Extraordinary’, manifests in everything that the brand touches. Words
‘Every so often we take a look at the entire company. What is our vision, and what are our values? There’s nothing wrong with the old tagline, “An Unexpected Welcome”, but why not simply change for change’s sake? While “An Unexpected Welcome” was about a first encounter, about design, “A Life Extraordinary” is about you. It has less to do with one object; the whole experience is extraordinary. It’s holistic. We’re more of a brand than we were three or four years ago. We used to be a company with designs; now we’re a company with collections. As things evolve, the overarching concept is to be extraordinary and surprising. That doesn’t mean that every moment you open your eyes you’re going to be astonished. And that’s a good thing.’
interested in the quality of design – design that speaks of something we care about, something relevant today. A lot of beautiful things out there say nothing about today’s world. It’s our task to find a way to connect to the quality of design and to educate and entertain others. We try to find designers who can help us do this. We want to work with people who have their own voice – a voice embedded in who they are. People who do something others don’t necessarily do.’
How Moooi is this product?
‘I’m the first to say, let’s study history and expand on it for today. I don’t like it when things from the past keep on going and lose their relevance. At Moooi we use the past to show our respect for it; we don’t keep doing things the way they’ve always been done.’ ‘In the end, it’s about finding great design. It’s sometimes difficult, but that’s the core of what we do. Moooi is a platform that allows a designer’s work to shine. Because – well, I would hope – it holds a certain quality of communication and execution. I hope we do that well, and in such a way that respects the designs while not putting them on an austere minimalistic pedestal.’ ‘A lot of the products we’re showing in Milan make you look at the object in a different way. Luca Nichetto is closely connected to the Venetian area. The way he translated the idea of a boat into the Canal chair is quite remarkable. »
‘If you have a party full of A types – screaming, demanding attention, being amazing – it’s going to be a horrible event. If you have only B players, it’s going to be very boring. You need both. Moooi’s always had quiet pieces, but they play a different role in life. Just like my Monday mornings are different to my Friday evenings – not worse, just different.’ ‘A lot of our products have the capacity to be more or less present. Say you want a pink, orange and red sofa. The best thing to do is to go for a really quiet form. If the shape and the colour are crazy, it doesn’t work. In “A Life Extraordinary”, not everything is extraordinary. That would be “A Life Extraordinary” on steroids. You don’t want that.’
Yes, we’ll make it for you
‘We’re not a furniture company or a lighting company. We’re a design company, which means the only thing we need to do is to follow designers. If we ask the right people, our part of the job is done. We don’t tell them we need a sofa or a lamp with this or that amount of lux. We ask them what we have to do to make their product a reality.’ ‘The design world is becoming so big and so ubiquitous that it’s beginning to have its own inherent boredom. There’s so much design that a lot of it is irrelevant – not because it’s bad, but because it’s everywhere. It’s so democratic that there’s no excellence. Everybody tells the same stories. Design could grow and lose importance at the same time, ultimately becoming generic. That’s kind of what I see happening. We can only hope for a group of people truly
At Moooi, Marcel Wanders has a threefold role: owner, artistic director and product designer.
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Moooi’s series of ‘visual haiku’ shows how products work together in settings.
I think it’s a super interesting idea to design an archetypal chair that’s so nearly the archetype of a boat. It’s a beautiful thing – especially because Nichetto’s made it work so well. Imagine a set of these chairs around a table, as if they’re in a harbour. They could live in bars, in restaurants, in your home – it’s a world unknown. We want to work more with this idea in the future. Think of the colours, the lines, names on the hull. What’s on the backs of today’s chairs? Nothing. But transplanting ideas from the nautical world to the world of chairs could lead to a new culture.’
Let’s not punch them in the face; let’s punch them in the face so hard that they’ll remember it for a year
to be themselves. I imagine that at some point the space we’ve been using in Milan will be difficult to reuse. Every year we consider moving to another spot, but the space is so great.’ ‘I hope we can give people something that makes them feel good. You want them to discover the unexpected somewhere, but not everywhere. Maybe it’s in a detail. We have to show ourselves in a moving world – with a moving design sensitivity – that reflects today. It’s like making a portrait of yourself every year. You don’t completely change, but you’re never the same.’ ‘Since the brand’s beginning, we’ve understood that a small company can’t be at all the shows – Stockholm, London, Cologne. It’s not even about the money; we simply don’t have the manpower. We knew we had to go to the place where everyone who’s in the business will be. And let’s not punch them in the face; let’s punch them in the face so hard that they’ll remember it for a year. That’s where photography
‘We go way back with Maarten Baas. We basically picked him out of design school and have loved working with him ever since. Now was a good moment to reconnect and to do something very different, something with another part of his language – a kind of broken imperfect world that’s unmistakably Maarten. Because of our long-standing relationship, if he wants to do Something Like This, a monumental sculptural sofa, we’ll do it. We had fun producing his Turbo tables. The products aren’t what you’d expect from other companies, but they fit with Moooi’s DNA.’ ‘Luna Piena, a product from our own studio, uses LEDs, a young technology that still provides so many opportunities for the renewal and reinvention of archetypes. One form that keeps cropping up is the disc. When you illuminate a disc-shaped lamp from the sides, the whole thing glows. It’s a nice typology, but you can do it differently. Most designers working with LEDs focus on dissolving the idea of multiple points of light. A disc-shaped lamp becomes flat. That’s not bad, but it’s really boring. If you create a surface that makes light dance, you suddenly get something extra for free. Your movement makes it come to life. All the lamps are visible, but they fracture into one big sparkle.’
The big Salone show
‘It’s always a challenge to offer the unexpected to people who are expecting something, as they are in Milan. But that’s our goal. That said, if we’d really do something unexpected on all levels, people wouldn’t even show up. We would be in a strange place with a different name, and we’d be doing . . . vegetables. You need to be a recognizable brand. And you want to be new, to reinvent yourself. To excite people. To show a different side of yourself, not of someone else. I’d say 80 per cent of our collection doesn’t change. Our DNA doesn’t change either, but we do try to put a fresh perspective on it.’ ‘Our brand vocabulary and philosophy allow us to work with emotion. Quite a few companies have a very restricted language. It’s harder for them to be surprising if they still want
Luca Nichetto channelled his personal association with Venetian waterways into the Canal chair. Moooi wants to push the link between boats and furniture even further in the future.
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helps. To remember a show, people need to recall the atmosphere. But it’s difficult to explain afterwards. People who’ve been to our shows can talk about the photography and relive the whole experience. They feel it; they’re back in a flash.’
The scoop on shoots
‘Photography has always been part of Moooi’s DNA. When we saw the big space [in Zona Tortona, Milan], we knew we could create a furniture show and a photography exhibition simultaneously. That hasn’t changed, so visitors won’t be surprised about that part. But the content will surprise people.’ ‘The imagery has to be very different each year. We want the wow factor. We first worked with Erwin Olaf, a logical choice, as we’d collaborated with him before. Erwin is all about people. The beauty lies in colourfulness, diversity, the human side, sense of scale. Massimo Listri is the opposite. His imagery shows almost only architecture, but not beautiful, shiny and new as we’re accustomed to seeing it. It’s silent, inaccessible, from different eras – a world unlike Moooi. We asked Rahi Rezvani when we wanted to do black-and-white portraits. The following year photos made by Rebecca Bathory reflected the breakdown of the world. There was a lot of terrorism going on. The soundtrack was Portuguese fado. It was painful, broken.’ ‘The photography this year is a bit of an introduction to something we’ll show next year, but it’s too early to say much about that. We’re highlighting something the world doesn’t see. Levon Biss’s intricate insect portraits aren’t just fantastic photography. They also play with scale in an extreme way. Besides their obvious positive traits – very surprising and tactile – the images use a delicate and odd language that’s not about design but fits with Moooi.’
Milan versus the market
‘The way we show products in Milan has a homey connotation, yet a lot of our designs are used in commercial settings:
Moooi reconnected with Maarten Baas to create Something Like This, a sculptural sofa, and the Turbo range of tables – products Wanders says ‘you wouldn’t expect from other companies’.
hotels, restaurants, lobbies. To help people understand the duality, we’ve been searching for a way to tell the story without being too boring, incomplete or explanatory. That’s the challenge.’ ‘We’re innovating the idea of a corporate lobby to make it look like a home. But it’s difficult to show people a setting that looks like it belongs in a private residence and tell them it’s a lobby. You can do that in a lobby but not in a presentation. You could allude to it, but they might not get it, and if you present it in a more obvious way, it’s no longer what you wanted to show. We’ve made a step in the right direction this year, but we need to assess how we can do it better. We make it, we study, we learn and we take the next step.’
Luna Piena, a design by Wanders, rethinks the archetypal flat disc associated with luminaires. ‘If you use a surface to make light dance,’ he says, ‘you suddenly get something extra for free.’
‘In other parts of the world, we try to be less rigorous than other brands with our visual look and feel. By definition, each of our showrooms has its own quality and possibilities because of size, setting, city and locals. But we do try to embed a sense of the Milan-fair flavour into each showroom. We want to bring a good part of that to the world. We might make a setup at the fair and think about how we could use it in a store. And vice versa. But maybe not. We keep our eyes open, and we don’t have many rules. Moooi is too small for that. We need to invent as we go along. I never thought about it this way before, but we’re such a young company, and all this is still kind of new to us. At some point – when we know how to do it – we might have rules. But right now we don’t know. We just do.’ ● moooi.com
REST, RELAX, RETREAT In anxious times like these, relaxation is increasingly important, and designers are fetishizing the daybed and lounge chair. Rediscovering the classics, they are even reinventing the posture of rest. Putting your feet up is acquiring a whole new significance.
Designed by Assaf Israel for Joynout, Daydream reminds us that the best ideas come not from slaving away at a task, but from moments of idle reverie. In fact, Israel hit on the form of Daydream by doing exactly that: ‘I had a vision of a fragile-looking object, with a strong feel of hovering,’ he says. Covered in dreamy pastel Kvadrat fabrics, the finished result offers a welcome space for mental and physical relaxation – converting even the most hardened workaholic into a daydream believer.
Lounge for Life
Lim + Lu’s Mass series is the last word in lounging, featuring a reconfigurable sofa, a daybed and a pull-out bed. Originally conceived as part of the design duo’s own apartment, the collection playfully contrasts bases of seemingly dense brass blocks with upholstery in light pastel colours. Constructed in stainless steel with a polished brass finish, each piece is available in a variety of fabric options. limandlu.com
A Classic in Comfort Continuing its enthusiastic exploration of the archives of the great Gio Ponti, Molteni&C revives the Italian maestro’s D.156.3 chair, originally created for Altamira’s New York store. Combining comfort with classic good looks, Ponti’s elegant 1950s design features an ergonomic backrest, consisting of criss-crossed
elastic straps, that supports soft cushions. The new version boasts a solid natural or black semi-matte lacquered frame and is available in a choice of three textiles and three leathers from the Molteni&C collection. molteni.it
91% of adult Australians feel stress in at least one important area of their lives. Almost 50% feel very stressed about one part of their life
Moroso’s Josephine (designed by Gordon Guillaumier) abandons straight lines and sharp angles for feminized curves, softening hard edges and lending a warm, welcoming air to any space. moroso.it
Could new postures result in greater relaxation in these fear-inducing times? Parenthesis – written as ( ) – by Zu-Studio explores an unusual body position, which the designers claim reduces anxiety and boosts circulation and health. An inclined platform rather than a daybed or lounger, Parenthesis puts its user into a new body position that the design office has labelled ‘re-lying’. zu-studio.com
Courtesy Nya Nordiska Textiles GmbH
Sleep on It
Whether it’s an unexpected guest stopover, or a quick 40 winks to recharge the batteries, the daybed is seldom anybody’s first choice for a comfy place to sleep. Pulpo aims to change that with a stylish daybed design from Sebastian Herkner. Pallet boasts an upholstered oak frame and jute straps. Its 80-mm-thick mattress and matching pillow come in a choice of upholstery in a total of 42 colours. pulpoproducts.com
Framing the Future 50+ represents the number of countries in which Frame is available for purchase
Since itâ€™s our 20TH ANNIVERSARY, we give you some key figures about . . . us.
men founded Frame in 1997. Now 16 females and 9 males work in-house
foosball games have been played within the walls of our office since the table arrived in 2008
1 pink room sits at the centre of the Frame Publishers office
office moves have occurred over the past 20 years
nationalities currently work on magazines, books, digital content, consultancy and events
pages were included in the first issue. This one has 240