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Nº122 MAY — JUN 2018

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Design + Performance and Legendary Performance Fabrics are trademarks and Sunbrella is a registered trademark of Glen Raven, Inc.




Sofas Cala by Doshi Levien Club Chair Roll by Patricia Urquiola


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Outdoor Alchemy is the pursuit of a smooth relationship between nature and living spaces. In this philosophy, Maestro is the top project: the opportunity to choose between two types of coverage - sliding canvas or adjustable blades - makes it uniquely versatile. Performance, aesthetics and thinking outside the box: this is Corradi’s interpretation of outdoor space.


Contents 68



High-tech health aids, design for the blind, architectural fashion for Prada


Chef Alessandro Borghese’s material of choice


Four creatives rethink tourism


Antoine Doyen


61 PORTRAITS 62 NAOTO FUKASAWA Outsider’s perspective 68 MATHIEU LEHANNEUR ‘I’m not much of a socialite’ 71

SPACON & X Redesigning spatial consumption 77 MAARTEN BAAS Getting (a) retrospective

Combining culture with commerce

Hans Bærholm

85 CARLOS CRUZ-DIEZ Immersed in colour



Courtesy of Studio Chris Kabel





30 categories, 32 winners




161 FRAME LAB 2018 The Next Space

177 REPORTS Furniture

Classics make a comeback; functionality meets flexibility


Adapting to the outdoors


Still Scandinavian


UM Project’s Patch in facts and figures

Arne Jennard

Shao Feng








Frame is published six times a year by Frame Publishers Luchtvaartstraat 4 NL-1059 CA Amsterdam frameweb.com

EDITORIAL For editorial inquiries, please e-mail frame@frameweb.com or call +31 20 4233 717 (ext 921). Editor in chief Robert Thiemann – RT Managing editor Tracey Ingram – TI Editor Floor Kuitert – FK Research editor Anouk Haegens – AH Editorial intern Kirsten Geekie – KG Copy editors InOtherWords (D’Laine Camp, Donna de Vries-Hermansader, Jesse van der Hoeven) Design director Barbara Iwanicka Graphic designer Zoe Bar-Pereg Translation InOtherWords (Donna de VriesHermansader, Maria van Tol) Contributors to this issue Kanae Hasegawa – KH David Keuning – DK Jessica-Christin Hametner – JCH Sofia Lekka Angelopoulou – SLA Shonquis Moreno – SM Alexandra Onderwater – AO Anna Sansom – AS Alexandra Margaret Servie – AMS Jane Szita – JS Cover Concept and photography Thomas Brown Set design Andrew Stellitano Retouching Recom Farmhouse Assistants Will Bunce, Tom Skinner Lithography Edward de Nijs Printing Grafisch Bedrijf Tuijtel Hardinxveld-Giessendam


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‘Photography can be a wasteful business, but the contents of all the cans on this issue’s cover were either donated to food banks or turned into amazing corn bread, corn curry and corn fritters. We never want to eat corn again’ THOMAS BROWN AND ANDREW STELLITANO, COVER ARTISTS

Sara Breveglieri sb@frameweb.com T +39 3394 37 39 51 Bookstore distributors Frame is available at sales points worldwide. Please see frameweb.com/ magazines/where-to-buy. Frame (USPS No: 019-372) is published bimonthly by Frame Publishers NL and distributed in the USA by Asendia USA, 17B South Middlesex Ave., Monroe, NJ 08831. Periodicals postage paid at New Brunswick, NJ, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: send address changes to Frame, 701C Ashland Ave., Folcroft, PA 19032. ISSN FRAME: 1388-4239 © 2018 Frame Publishers and authors

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To round off their series of four covers designed to explore materiality and space, photographer Thomas Brown and set designer Andrew Stellitano chose food packaging as their medium. Stacked to form primary shapes, the tins create an intriguing landscape.



More Than a Mag NOT JUST THE umpteenth design competition. A promise we made before launching the Frame Awards last year. In the meantime, the results are in. The first edition of the awards culminated in February, when we presented 32 prizes to an extremely international gathering of creative talent. All the winners are in this issue, along with reactions from our esteemed jury of industry leaders. The conclusions we’ve drawn from the winning work provide a basis for their cautious extrapolation into the future. So far, nothing particularly earthshaking. And yet I don’t mind sticking my neck out to say that the Frame Awards represent more than just another prize festival. Our ambitions go far beyond the ordinary. We started Frame magazine as a platform for interior design. The need to do so emerged from the knowledge that, at the end of the 20th century, interior design was seen as a second-rate profession. Interior designers had trouble explaining – to their mothers, their neighbours, even their clients – what made their occupation special. Lo and behold, we heard precisely the same story from the first winner of the Frame Lifetime Achievement Award – no-one less than Sevil Peach – when she spoke to the audience after receiving her prize. Yes, the situation has improved, but the

interior-design industry is still fighting for recognition. We want the Frame Awards to be a force in the achievement of that recognition – an instrument for reaching a broad and diverse public. Our belief that we’re headed in the right direction was boosted when the European Council of Interior Architects immediately gave its full support to our initiative. But that’s not the end of our aspirations. We want to play a leading role in elevating the industry to a higher level. It’s why we enhanced the Frame Awards with Frame Lab, an exciting two-day event that combined the best of a conference, a fair and an exhibition. In close collaboration with Germany’s Interior Business Association, Frame Lab assembled almost 1,000 designers, makers and users in an inspiring environment. Talks, discussions, workshops and a hackathon produced a wide range of remarkable stories and insights. The innovative objects, materials and technologies contributed by young designers, start-ups and established companies stimulated further exploration and reflection. And equally important: visitors made new connections and renewed contacts with old friends. Writing this, I’m reminded of all the super feedback we got. It won’t come as a surprise that our plans for the future include the continuation of both the Frame Awards and Frame Lab. What began as a magazine more than 20 years ago has experienced a gradual but grand evolution, becoming a multimedia platform for innovation and excellence in interior design. So watch this space. Expect Frame Awards and Frame Lab to continue in print, online, in Amsterdam or even at a place near you. ROBERT THIEMANN Editor in chief



‘Frame Lab featured an interesting compilation of exhibitors. Their presentations in the circular space of the iconic Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam provided me with interesting perspectives for the photography’ EWOUT HUIBERS, PHOTOGRAPHER

Originally from the UK, JANE SZITA is a journalist, writer and editor who has lived in Amsterdam since arriving in the city to work for Electric Word magazine, the forerunner of Wired. Focusing on the world of culture in its broadest sense, she covers design, art, architecture, travel, science, technology and more – for a wide variety of media, with credits in such prestigious publications as The Sunday Times, Vogue UK, Conde Nast Traveller, Wired, Dwell and Travel & Leisure. Szita has written and edited several books, among which Malkit Shoshan’s award-winning Atlas of the Conflict. She is the cofounder of creative collective Creatures of Content. For this issue, she interviewed Muuto's CEO and head of design (see page 188).

Based in Amsterdam, DAVID KEUNING obtained an MSc in architecture from Delft University of Technology, a postgraduate degree in journalism from Rotterdam’s Erasmus University, and a PhD in architecture history from the VU Amsterdam. After gaining work experience at an architecture firm, he realized that writing was more than a hobby. In addition to authoring numerous books, he’s had work published in various newspapers and magazines, including Mark, Frame, Het Parool, NRC Handelsblad and Het Financiële Dagblad. When not tied to a computer screen, Keuning likes to sing, sail and sleep. For this issue, he contributed to coverage of the Frame Awards.

After completing his studies in photography in Belgium, Dutchman EWOUT HUIBERS worked for several years in the Eindhoven area before setting up his own photography studio at the turn of the century. A major part of his portfolio consists of interior-design and architecture projects. Huibers’ graphic style and singular approach to his subjects determine the impact of his work. Clients vary from household magazines, building companies and property developers to architects and interior designers. His images of Frame Lab, an event that took place at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek, are on pages 161-174.

Journalist JESSICA-CHRISTIN HAMETNER has a passion for scouting new creative talents and a keen interest in exploring the future of design. She began her career with an internship at Wallpaper*, to which she continues to contribute stories. Hametner’s work has appeared in publications accessed worldwide, such as digital magazines The Spaces and We Heart and Canadianbased Nuvo. At present, Hametner divides her time between Copenhagen and London. You can find the report of her visit with the founders of multidisciplinary studio Spacon & X on page 71.

Courtesy of Kevin Chiam

HEALTH AIDS go high-tech. INCLUSIVE ITEMS enable the blind. ARCHITECTS join the ranks of Prada’s fashion designers. Discover new directions in the world of products.



HI-TECH HEALTH AIDS record user data – and respond accordingly TECHNOLOGY – The growing global interest in wellness has instigated the development of health-related items that monitor the user’s physical condition every second of the day. Activity trackers, such as the popular Fitbit, gave rise to a more holistic approach to fitness,

defining it as ‘the sum of life’ and not just time spent at the gym. Today’s wellness aids continue this line of thought and address a diversity of bodily functions – from sleep to brain elasticity – while promising to enhance our overall wellbeing. – FK

Courtesy of Fuseproject

Developed by FUSEPROJECT in collaboration with L’ORÉAL’s Technology Incubator, UV Sense combines nail art with cutting-edge technology. Making skin-health data accessible to consumers, the tiny battery-free UV wearable – designed to be attached to the thumbnail – contains a sensor, a capacitor and an antenna. Information collected by the device is transferred directly to an accompanying mobile app that displays the user’s exposure to ultraviolet radiation. fuseproject.com loreal.com

Now this is living Showroom Fast Via Arnoldo Bellini 9A 25077 Roè Volciano, Brescia - Italy +39 0365 820522 fastinfo@fastspa.com fastspa.com

HI-TECH HEALTH AIDS Courtesy of Nokia


Addressing the quality of shuteye as a critical part of a healthy lifestyle, NOKIA developed Nokia Sleep, which tracks slumber patterns and responds to them by adjusting lighting and temperature in the bedroom. A Wi-Fienabled pad placed under the mattress can be linked to smart home devices, including Nokia’s Health Mate app, to provide the user with personalized sleep data. The ultimate goal: to enable a more restorative sleep rhythm. health.nokia.com

Halo Sport, a headset produced by HALO NEUROSCIENCE, uses brain stimulation – or ‘neuropriming’ – to improve muscle memory and, ultimately, to boost cerebral plasticity when activated before and during trainings. Electrical signals pass through soft foam pads to incite the motor cortex, the area of the brain responsible for muscle movement, making it easier to recollect and carry out repetitive exercise routines. Boutique gym chain Equinox introduced the technology in its advanced personal-training programme, for the purpose of achieving elasticity of body and brain.

Courtesy of Halo Neuroscience





INCLUSIVE DESIGNS that transmit haptic cues are a boon to the visually disabled TOOLS – Ours is a visual world. From the built environment to the products and technology we engage with daily, everything around us is designed, more often than not, with vision as a given and aimed at pleasing the eye. However, for a large part of the population dealing with blindness or visual impairments – no fewer than 250 million people worldwide – good-looking products are of little or no use. To overcome

the physical and mental barriers that hinder their lives – and to feel included – visually challenged people need products that provide them with sensory feedback and tactile cues. Designers responding to their requirements try to stimulate the remaining senses with the help of assistive technology or analogue methods. The goal is to balance a pleasing aesthetic with a functional and easily accessible design. – SLA

EMILIOS FARRINGTON-ARNAS is the name behind Maptic, a collection of wearable ‘modules’ – think of jewellery – that comprise a navigation system for the blind which is free of the stigma associated with many assistive devices. A visual sensor detects obstacles in the ‘visual’ field and employs feedback units to transmit them as vibrations felt by the user. The London-based designer also developed an app with a navigation system that uses periodic vibrations to direct users to specific locations. emilios.co.uk





For most of us, facial expressions play an important role in our communication with others. After losing his sight, designer SIMON DOGGER developed the Emotion Whisperer, a tool that substitutes haptic signals for the visual signals of body language. A pair of camera glasses captures images of the person talking to you, and an emotion-recognition app translates specific emotions into a variety of vibrations that can be detected through a small, hand-held device. simondogger.nl






Folks, a collection of kitchen tools for the blind, aids the preparation and cooking of food, eventually boosting the user’s confidence as well. KEVIN CHIAM refers to his five products – a knife, a chopping board, a stove ring, a pot lid and a teaspoon – as an analogue system of ‘tactile guides’ that make use of the sensory strengths of the blind. kevinchiam.com

Presented at this year’s Domotex, Blindsight is a series of Braille-like coded symbols. When added to a floor surface, they provide the blind with guidance and independence. Working with a blind woman, NINA DÜWEL came up with a tactile navigation system that indicates facilities such as toilets, lifts and escalators. Users can ‘read’ the raised symbols with their canes and follow arrows, dots and/or stripes to reach their desired destinations.


Leaders across the globe have made LEED the most widely used green building program in the world. Leave your legacy today.

Photo Credit: offset.com/photos/322195



Circular|Versatile|Comfortable|Sun Protection


ULM by Ramรณn Esteve



Courtesy of Prada

Prada invites architects and product designers to VENTURE INTO FASHION

FASHION – The worlds of fashion and (interior) architecture regularly collide on the pages of Frame. From retail environments and catwalk configurations to the occasional branded exhibition, today’s spatial designs are often the work of established designers and architects. The clothes that form the focal point of such settings are rarely ‘touched’, however, by anyone other than the high-fashion couturiers who are, in turn, increasingly applying building techniques and industrial materials to the garments they ‘construct’. Iris van Herpen, for example, uses a 3D printer to make dresses, while aerospace materials currently inform performance wear.

Perhaps the biggest advocate of a more crossdisciplinary approach to fashion is Italian label PRADA, whose go-to guy is none other than architect REM KOOLHAAS, cofounder of OMA. Previous commissions by Koolhaas and OMA for the fashion house include art institute Fondazione Prada and temporary pavilion Prada Transformer. AMO, the research branch of OMA, crafted a series of catwalks for the brand. Expanding the collaboration, Prada asked Koolhaas to contribute to its A/W 2018 menswear show and collection. As part of the Prada Invites project, he joined Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, and Herzog & de Meuron to create apparel and accessories

made from Prada’s signature utilitarian black nylon. The goal was to shift the focus to the industrial side of the brand’s multifaceted identity. Koolhaas came up with a frontpack that targets the contemporary urban citizen and once more demonstrates the power of interdisciplinary collaboration. – FK prada.com oma.com



True blue or phony baloney – can AN IMITATION outshine the real deal? SURFACES – From fake leather with the look and feel of real animal skin to laminates that resemble hardwood and quarried stone, man-made simulations of natural materials are everywhere. Scarcity, moral issues and costs are behind the production of sustainable and convincing alternatives that are used for a plethora of purposes. Most counterfeits are out to mimic an original material in detail, but – in the same way that many people question the paradoxical concept of ‘vegetarian meat’ –

it’s fair to ask why newly developed synthetic substitutes aimed at product and interior design would want to mock what’s already on the market. A new generation of designers is playing with consumers’ perceptions and expectations of materials whose surfaces have the visual features of one thing and the physical characteristics of another. No less deceptive but more surprising, the projects shown here set a new standard for mimicry in design. – FK

Courtesy of Alpi

Different from conventional veneers, those produced by Alpi are made by pressing thin sheets of various tree species into blocks that reveal an ‘artificial’ woodgrain pattern when sliced. The patterns can be influenced by dyeing, sequencing or bending the sheets prior to the application of pressure. KENGO KUMA used such techniques in his two intriguing collections of veneer for Alpi: Maritime Pine and Japanese Cedar. kkaa.co.jp

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement nº 717497.

BetteLux Oval Couture Steel can wear anything

Design: Tesseraux+Partner www.bette.de

Courtesy of Studio Chris Kabel


By means of water transfer printing, CHRIS KABEL covered a small collection of containers with images by photographer Mathijs Labadie. Kabel purposely misaligned some of the shadows and textures on the polyamide prints with the shapes of the products that carry them, thus creating a ‘deceitful game’ between surface and form. Aptly named the Faux Series, the pieces offer an alternative to standard product finishes. chriskabel.com






It might look rigid and heavy, but ONNO ADRIAANSE’s Foamed is a storage system that turns out to be soft and flexible on closer inspection. What might be perceived as painted wood or even concrete is actually foam plastic, which yields to the touch when nudged or squeezed. Glass shelves fit easily into the construction of what the maker calls a ‘basic grid’. onnoadriaanse.nl




JORGE PENADÉS combines leather offcuts and bone glue in his Structural Skin, a material that bears a strong resemblance to chipboard. In his solo show at Madrid’s Machado-Muñoz gallery, Penadés presented Poli-Piel, a collection of furniture and lamps featuring Structural Skin, along with thick leather straps and buckles. jorgepenades.com


FLAG BRONZE FINISH. Stainless Steel AISI 316 L Design Natalino Malasorti Made in Italy





Chef Alessandro Borghese serves up sintered surroundings for Milan diners. Words

ALEX SERVIE AND FLOOR KUITERT ACCORDING TO Italian chef Alessandro Borghese, cooking is the new rock’n’roll. He believes an accomplished performance is essential to success in both the culinary and the music industries. In his line of work, moreover, he knows that an accomplished performance is not limited to the preparation of food. ‘The restaurant and what goes into it need to reflect the high standards of the cuisine,’ he says. His words underline the proportionate balance between the meticulous

design of his restaurant and the exquisitely prepared dishes he serves. A good example of the harmony he creates is evident in Borghese’s latest restaurant, which opened its doors in Milan last year. The interior of Il Lusso della Semplicità (Italian for ‘the luxury of simplicity’) features a wide variety of sintered surfaces in marble, wood, metal and granite textures. ‘During the design of the restaurant, I was looking for a material that would adapt to the various facets of my personality: rock, eclectic and innovative,’ says

For the interior of his new restaurant in Milan, Alessandro Borghese wanted a material that distinguishes itself from the surfaces commonly used in catering.

Borghese. ‘I wanted a cladding with a unique character, one that distinguishes itself from the materials commonly used in catering.’ Borghese opted for Neolith, a product manufactured by Spanish surface specialist TheSize. It wasn’t only the expressiveness of the material that attracted him. He also admired its durability and resistance to heavy use, two qualities that result from sinterization, a process during which Neolith’s minerals and other raw materials are exposed to extremely high pressure and high temperatures. Neolith’s suitability for use in restaurants had already became clear at Barcelona’s Enigma restaurant (Frame 116, p. 158). Designed by architecture firm RCR, the interior of Albert Adrià’s gastronomic project is covered in the cladding company’s high-performance slabs, from floor to cooker hood. The interior of Il Lusso della Semplicità is another Neolith success. Designed in collaboration with architect Alfredo Canelli, the restaurant – with a floor area of 700 m2 – features an impressive 900 m2 of Neolith surfaces. Profuse appli-

Guido Antonelli


Neolith Nero Zimbabwe, which has the appearance of granite, covers the floors of the restaurant, while the marble-like Calacatta Silk features on staircases.

cation of the products makes the space a dynamic composition of colours and textures. Although each room has a distinct identity, Neolith provides a consistent aesthetic throughout. Large slabs in granite-like Nero Zimbabwe combine with strips of woodtextured La Bohème for the floors, while Calacatta surfaces extend over counters and rest-room walls. For the kitchen floor, Borghese and Canelli chose the industriallooking Iron Corten, which contrasts nicely with appliances finished in stainless steel. Thanks to the fact that Neolith materials are impervious to odours, stains and scratches, Borghese can plate food directly on the surfaces, which he uses for tapasstyle dishes and bread. ‘The possibilities for working with oils, vegetables, fruits, fish and meat straight on Neolith’s products, without having them affect the taste of the dishes, is amazing,’ he says. It seems that designers of hospitality venues have a growing appetite for stone surfaces that mimic natural materials while also meeting the requirements of commercial kitchen architecture. In line

The restaurant and what goes into it need to reflect the high standards of the cuisine

with Borghese’s passion for rock concerts, he wants his restaurant interiors to offer a multisensory experience. ‘We created an environment that makes guests feel pampered and at ease, an atmosphere that stimulates the mind, triggers the discovery of our beautiful finishes and materials, and – most of all – prepares the stomach for the “journey” of my cuisine. Cooking is an act of love. I want to convey an emotion and to surprise those who come to visit me.’ At Il Lusso della Semplicità , Borghese achieves his goals in a restaurant that evokes the atmosphere of the golden age of 1930s transatlantic cruise liners – an ambience that recalls Borghese’s first job, which was on a cruise ship. The sintered stone used throughout the space amplifies the chef’s colourful, dynamic and fast-paced approach to cooking, while encapsulating the cosmopolitan location of the restaurant. He ends our conversation by emphasizing that Neolith is ‘a material suitable for the kitchen and for the food’. ● neolith.com

White stuff: Naima Annoni, Enrica Caiello, Riccardo Piovesan, Maria Cristina Ziviani Brera - Accademia Belle Arti


in collaboration with



show management

Promos srl


Soomi Park and Owen Wells

DESIGN FOR FUTURE TOURISM In the lead-up to each issue, Frame challenges emerging designers to answer a topical question with a future-forward concept. The tourism industry is one the world’s fastest-growing economic sectors. An article shared on World Economic Forum’s website reported a figure of nearly 1.2 billion international tourists in 2015, compared with 25 million in 1950. The number is expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. What will travel look like by then? What will tourists need? We commissioned four makers to conceptualize a product, space or service to cater to this growing group.




Nº 1

In the Fast Lane

BAS VAN DE POEL aims to streamline international travel with an automated border-control system.

Can you describe what a visitor will experience when passing through Border Control 2030? I’ve collaborated with Studio Brasch to design a beautiful and welcoming spatial experience. Currently, entering a foreign country is often an unwelcoming process. After a tiring journey, travellers need to stand in line for a long time at the border – usually in a poorly designed environment – only to show their passports. The Orwellian future will not appear Orwellian; it will feel inviting and pleasant. With Border Control 2030, travellers approaching the border are identified by AI-enhanced cameras that use facial recognition as well as gait signatures, which discern the unique pattern of an individual’s body movements. If your Global Citizen Score complies, you’re welcome to enter the country. What determines a person’s Global Citizen Score? Things like consumption patterns, political and religious beliefs, and financial transactions influence your rating. People with low ratings are prevented from entering the country. They may even lose the right to travel entirely. By 2030, freedom of movement won’t really be free, because every time you cross the border, your fundamental human rights are at stake. How do you think people will respond to a system that’s fully tech-controlled? Automated border controls will create a seamless, pleasantly impersonal travel experience. No longer will we need to queue for hours,

waiting to feel intimidated or discriminated against by an official. Crossing the border will be as easy as unlocking your iPhone with Face ID. Travellers with high citizen scores will love the hyper-efficient protocol of this type of tech-controlled system. What would need to change to make your concept a reality? The technology required to automate border controls is already available. It won’t take long until the traditional passport will become obsolete as things like AI, facial recognition and body-movement tracking become increasingly more sophisticated. Where does privacy come in? In 12 years from now, privacy will most likely be a thing of the past. The only concern for travellers will be getting from point A to point B in the most efficient and secure way. Any remaining privacy or ethical issues will be eliminated by the friendly design of all visible technology. – TI basvandepoel.com

Creative strategist at Ikea’s futureliving lab, Space10, BAS VAN DE POEL has a forward-looking focus that makes him a welcome addition to ‘The Challenge’. Studio Brasch

What motivated your approach to the topic of future tourism? BAS VAN DE POEL: I wanted to spark a conversation about the large-scale surveillance and data collection practised by corporations and governments today, and about how such activities could soon involve a Global Citizen Score – a universal system that rates an individual’s worthiness – which could affect everything from getting a loan to crossing a country’s border.


Bas van de Poel rethinks the poorly designed environments that travellers encounter when crossing international borders.



Nº 2

Rose-Tinted Glasses SOOMI PARK’s reality-altering travel kits question our reliance on technology.

Her understanding of the critical role played by design and emerging technologies in navigating our fast-changing society gained SOOMI PARK a spot in ‘The Challenge’.

What did you design? With a set of holiday photos from the not-too-distant future, I’ve illustrated the use of new travel kits that could help to mitigate this divide. Between Dreamy and Dreary includes colour-correction glasses, directional coordination boots and a sound-touch glove. I’m not suggesting a solution. I’m just asking: what is reality? Is virtual tourism increasing our enjoyment of physical travel, or is it leading to greater disappointment in the end? »

Soomi Park and Owen Wells

Your idea considers the role of virtual reality in tourism . . . SOOMI PARK: My concept – Between Dreamy and Dreary – focuses on the gap between expectations and reality. I believe this divide has increased thanks to advanced technologies such as virtual reality and 4K promotional videos of attractions, which offer extremely lifelike experiences of tourist destinations. People can check out potential holiday spots before they visit, but what actually awaits them often differs from their expectations. What seemed dreamy can be rather dreary in reality. The sky seems less blue; activities are less exciting.




Can you describe your concept-development process? While I was shaping my ideas, my partner told me that he occasionally has coordination issues. His feet keep bumping into things around him – and into each other. I jokingly told him it’s because he spends too much time working at a screen and playing video games. But then I had to ask myself whether our everyday lives have become affected by virtual experiences without our even knowing it. I thought it would be interesting to apply advanced virtual-reality technologies to our human perception of the world we live in. How do the different elements work? The glasses allow people to correct the colour and tone of the present, adjusting what they see to suit their preferences – somewhat like Instagram’s filter function. People can still

explore a location in person, but they won’t feel disappointed if it differs from its virtual representation. One of the difficulties caused by postVR might be finding a sense of space, which is why I included directional coordination in the form of boots that indicate a user’s path by signalling left and right at each step. They also feature bumpers to protect the feet from possible incoordination. When the bumpers are activated, the boots can store relevant data. Users could monitor the information to help improve their sensory coordination skills in real space. People need help to recognize where they are and what they see in a physical environment, and my concept aids them by stimulating the sense of touch. The soundtouch glove can channel the unique properties of a material, food or drink to generate

Soomi Park’s travel kits – which comprise colour-correction glasses, directional coordination boots and a sound-touch glove – play at the intersection of the virtual and the real.

sound, which urges wearers to use their sense of touch. The multisensory experience of an actual space also helps users to remember moments more vividly after their travels. Technology is also allowing people to discover images posted by other people – travellers who were at the same location during the same time as they were. Do you think people will still take their own holiday snaps in the future? Yes, I think that no matter how far technology goes, people will still take and share holiday images. I believe we take photos not merely to capture something visually but to ensure that we don’t lose the emotional memory that goes with it. Personal images can act as a medium for confirming that the experience existed. – TI soomipark.com

Aula multipurpose chair: sculptural, graceful, stackable.

Wilkhahn headquarters, Bad MĂźnder. Designed by Herbert Hirche. Completed in 1959. Aula multipurpose chair. Designed by Wolfgang C. R. Mezger. Launched in 2017.

design made in germany


Nuez by Patricia Urquiola + Reverse by Piergiorgio Cazzaniga




Nº 3

Dropping In A series of prefab capsules by FOSBURY ARCHITECTURE transform vacant buildings into habitable environments.

What were your first thoughts when given the theme Design for Future Tourism? GIACOMO ARDESIO: The sharing economy has impacted the tourism industry radically. Airbnb, the most popular home-sharing platform, is present in more than 200 cities worldwide and has roughly 150 million users. Since it began in 2008, during the financial crisis, the platform has disrupted the hospitality industry, transforming underused apartments into global – somewhat diffused – hotels. So what do you and your team suggest? We’re proposing a strategy to enhance tourism on home-sharing platforms by inserting a series of one-of-a-kind artefacts. These elements would counteract the homogeniza-

FOSBURY ARCHITECTURE – comprising Claudia Mainardi, Giacomo Ardesio, Veronica Caprino, Nicola Campri and Alessandro Bonizzoni – received a place in ‘The Challenge’ because of its interest in city-specific concerns.

tion of interiors – a phenomenon defined by journalist Kyle Chayka as ‘AirSpace’ – that’s being fostered by the sharing economy. Our interventions are not merely functional. They provide infrastructure to existing interiors and create a new spatial condition around domestic rituals. Situated somewhere between furniture and room, object and space, they challenge their surroundings and generate new patterns of occupation in dwellings. You’ve been researching this topic for a while . . . correct? We’re working on something we call Environments of Resistance for Social Individuals. It’s part of an ongoing research project, Ganzfeld, and a more site-specific »



Fosbury Architecture illustrates its interpretation of an ideal domestic intervention in which some of the dwellings are supported by prefab capsules.

materialization, Kabinet. The latter is a costeffective prefab capsule that can adapt to any spatial situation. It’s a basic infrastructure for reactivating vacant spaces. For ‘The Challenge’, we added a new environment to the series. Like Kabinet, Ivo is a prefab capsule – a sort of room within a room. We see it as a micro-housing unit that can be inserted into existing dwellings. It could provide either an extra cot or a framework for making vacant nonresidential spaces suitable as accommodation for tourists. Ivo is composed of a quasi-triangular central zone covered by a domelike shell that

contains a bed. Basic services – shower, toilet, sink – are attached to this core with a hinge system that allows for different configurations. How will Ivo interact with its environment? Thanks to Ivo’s scale and physical presence, it will inevitably affect the area around it. The unit will play a central role in the organization of the dwelling and the arrangement of other furniture in the space. It could also be customized or decorated according to the owner’s specific tastes or to the local aesthetic.

Your research mentions that ‘taking part in the sharing economy obligates us to reconsider what is truly essential in order to survive’. What do you consider to be essential? Today, when everything is a commodity, the boundaries of our private sphere are being challenged and are tending to dissolve. Privacy has become a luxury. Our project is designed to enable the coexistence of homeowners and tourists while preserving intimacy for both. – TI fosburyarchitecture.com

Illustration by Siri Carlén












Nº 4

Eat Your Mind Out

Diners can munch on memories with ERIKA MARTHINS’ multisensorial experience.

A response to our current snap-and-store behaviour with personal photos, Memory Pearl reconstructs a past experience through taste, sight, touch, smell and sound.

What do you think future tourists will be looking for? ERIKA MARTHINS: They’ll want new types of experiences. Today we store most of our lives in the cloud as digital memories. We no longer choose which memories to save; we save everything, simply because it’s possible. In the future we’ll store not only images and sounds but also flavours and smells. What if we could feel and taste our past as well? Which is where your concept comes in . . . Yes, I propose the idea of eating our memories. Memory Pearl is an immersive multisensorial experience that engages all of the user’s senses. Can you describe an encounter with Memory Pearl? Imagine a personalized restaurant that serves up your own memories. It would be an individualized interactive event that allows you to dive into your consciousness and relive a precise moment. While looking into the pearl, you can recall visuals. Sound vibra-

ÉCAL graduate ERIKA MARTHINS incorporates the playful use of technology and interaction in her designs – a factor that led to her selection for ‘The Challenge’.

tions are heard with the help of an electronic fork, which also offers an explosion of smell and taste as the utensil touches the tongue. Was there a personal reason for focusing on this topic? Memories have always fascinated me, particularly in this day and age. They have such an influence on our daily lives, and a lot of our decision-making is often – subconsciously – based on memories. I find it interesting that today everyone – including me – is documenting every detail of their

lives and storing it either very publicly online or on a hard drive that’s never again accessed. I’ve been documenting my life through photos since the age of 14, and now, after ten years, it’s become a mass of data that’s difficult to handle. What if we could all dive into our stored and forgotten memories and become tourists of our own past minds? Eating is often a communal activity. How does your concept deal with the idea of collective versus individual experiences? It could be a precious and novel affair to go to a restaurant and experience the Memory Pearl with loved ones. The concept enables you to share an emotional event from the past with others, allowing them to appreciate how you felt at that precise moment. Everyone would respond to your memory differently, of course, but sharing a strong experience strengthens the bond between individuals. That’s what I think travel is all about: connecting with people on a deeper level. – TI erikamarthins.com


IN TOUCH Shifting focus from products to people, Area-17 rethinks the IRIS CERAMICA and FMG showroom as a place for clients to bond with the brand. Words


The showroom’s clubhouse – a hub for social interaction – is separated from the exhibition areas by adjustable louvres.

‘THE SHOWROOM is no longer an environment used only to display products, but a place that embodies a brand’s personality and values,’ says Francesco Scanu, architect and partner at Area-17. ‘It is a powerful means to engage clients in a long-term relationship – more personal than commercial.’ Tasked with the revamp of the Iris Ceramica and FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti showroom in Fiorano Modenese, Italy, the Florence-based architecture and interior-design firm created a space that supports social interaction while showcasing the potential of both brands’ products. Scanu and fellow Area-17 partner Federico Gigetti offer an in-depth explanation of the project. What was Iris Ceramica Group looking for when you were asked to redesign its showroom? FRANCESCO SCANU: A space in which to house two of the company’s brands: Iris Ceramica and FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti. It had to have a strong and distinctive visual identity. They wanted a space that would provide new ways of establishing


Maurizio Picci


Area-17’s custom-designed furniture for the Iris Ceramica and FMG showroom further underscores the potential of the brands’ products.

meaningful connections with their clients. That’s why we focused on the creation of strong relational and reception areas. Our strategy was to strengthen Iris Ceramica and FMG through client-brand relationships. How does this become evident in the layout of the new showroom? FEDERICO GIGETTI: The core of the showroom is the clubhouse, which is both separate and accessible. Conceived as a social and functional junction at the heart of the exhibition areas, it connects directly to the entrance, while uniting reception, lounge bar, meeting area, technical services and offices. Adjustable louvres on the clubhouse wall can be opened to reveal the display areas. Functionally and conceptually, social interaction is at the centre of the project. What’s the role of a physical showroom in our increasingly digital world? FS: Although virtual experience is overcoming the physical realm in many ways, when it comes to surface materials, nothing beats touching and experiencing the real thing. And while there are countless virtual and physical sources of product information, the showroom is the place for a face-to-face meeting of a brand and its customers. How are you rethinking the configuration of the showroom? FG: We are shifting attention from the product to the people. This doesn’t mean we’re underestimating the

The products generate the space that contains them

product display, of course, but the presentation of a company’s brand offering has to be engaging – in ways that are rewarding for everyone involved. The Iris Ceramica and FMG showroom gave us endless opportunities for interpreting the brands’ high-quality porcelain products and applying them to residential, commercial and industrial architecture. As a result, the tiles and panels generate the space that contains them: from architectural shell and movable partitions to furnishings. The products are presented in real spaces that suggest places to meet and explore, while touching, trying and gathering inspiration. Real spaces? FS: The materials are exhibited as a part of real environments – from bathroom to dining area – that highlight a product’s potential applications. Casa FMG, for example, is a section that features

thematic settings and evocative full-scale mood boards. Behind sliding walls in the architectural display area is FMG’s large-slab MaxFine collection. Our firm is working on the brand’s exterior products as well. The façade provides even more possibilities for showcasing surface materials. Area-17 has also designed temporary stands for Iris Ceramica Group. How does your permanent showroom differ? FG: We began designing the Group’s stands for Cersaie [Italy] and Coverings [USA] in 2016. We’re currently working on a stand design for the Salone del Mobile 2018 in Milan. We believe a trade-fair stand should be in sync with the brand’s showrooms. A comparison of stands and showrooms discloses a big difference in consumer engagement – in terms of both time and attention. To be effective, a stand demands a carefully curated selection of products. Last year’s Cersaie presentation coincided with the opening of the renovated showroom. The fair was the perfect occasion for introducing a highly synergic approach to design. Enhancing the link between the two places were full-height videos projected on the walls of the stand. They displayed the showroom’s interiors, virtually eradicating the distance between the two physical spaces. ● irisceramica.com irisfmg.com area-17.com

Salone Internazionale del Mobile Milan, April 17−22, 2018 Hall 10 | Stand B19-C28 www.pedrali.it

Ronald Smits

CARLOS CRUZ-DIEZ makes colour an event. MAARTEN BAAS traces his career-making moves. NAOTO FUKASAWA reconsiders the presence of products. Meet the people. Get their perspectives.



Background Check

Only while working in the United States did NAOTO FUKASAWA become aware of his Japanese roots. Words








NAOTO grounds, I felt the need to know more about who I am myself and about what Japanese designers can contribute to the world. I spent many hours learning about Zen, the tea culture and the aesthetic concept of iki. I also studied the work of Japanese designers like Isamu Noguchi, Issey Miyake and Shiro Kuramata.’

NAOTO FUKASAWA: ‘In 1989 I left Japan for the United States, after working as an in-house designer for Seiko Epson. I was attracted by the working environment of ID TWO (now IDEO), a design company in San Francisco that I first read about in a magazine. The firm was very progressive. In the 1980s, it was already involved in interaction design and had engineers and designers working hand in hand. Their office was really impressive. I’m convinced that good working environments play a significant role in producing beautiful items. Nowadays, many companies embrace this approach and make sure their offices are attractive, but in the ’80s that was rare.’ ‘Back then, it was a revelation to discover that the project comes first and that a staff of designers would be appointed only after a goal is established. Companies like Apple were formed on this basis, and they proved how a project-centred organization can bring about significant design. This was very different from how most Japanese manufacturers worked at the time. In Japan, the organization came first. Working in a fixed configuration, the staff was expected to initiate new projects. I suppose a project-centred approach is similar to making films, where talents are gathered from different fields each time a new film is made.’ ‘Only when I was in the States did I realize that Japanese aesthetics and mentality are different from those in the West. Working among designers from diverse cultural back-

‘After working in the States for more than seven years, I felt it was time to return to Japan. Having gained a certain recognition in the States, I started to feel conscious of becoming famous in Japan. I was rumoured to be this “Japanese designer working overseas”. This type of acknowledgement wasn’t necessarily rewarding. I wanted to be recognized simply as a designer, not as a Japanese designer who is successful in the States.’ ‘Living in the States allowed me to appreciate Europe’s design culture as well. I admire the European way of cultivating strong and lasting relationships between designer and manufacturer. It takes a long time to establish such a relationship. However, once a designer becomes part of a company’s family, the relationship will generally last.’ ‘Being in Silicon Valley in the 1990s was crucial for my career. Technology changed the way home appliances look. Until then, computers and other appliances had to be rather voluminous, in order to accommodate all necessary mechanisms. Technological advancement in the ’90s allowed appliances to become smaller. Apple led the way. In the future, objects will almost disappear.’ ‘Physical objects will become less prominent as they become more compact. What matters is an object’s relation to its surroundings. Users look for atmospheric pleasure; »

‘I was obsessed with my design, but I now realize that people aren’t interested in my work’


Artemide, B&B Italia, Lamy, Magis and Thonet are among the clients in Naoto Fukasawa’s portfolio. He is a member of the Muji advisory board, and chairman of The Japan Folk Crafts Museum.




Naoto Fukasawa 1956 Born in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan 1979 Graduates from Tama Art University and starts working for watch manufacturer Seiko 1989 Starts working for ID TWO (now IDEO) in the United States 1998 Establishes IDEO Japan 2003 Founds Naoto Fukasawa Design 2007 Receives the title of Royal Designer for Industry from the British Royal Society of Arts

‘With objects becoming increasingly smaller and occupying less space, my role as a designer is to think about design in relation to its surroundings. The relationship between the object and its surroundings – the ambience – is just as important as its shape.’ ‘Fifteen years ago I founded my own company, Naoto Fukasawa Design. Currently, I have a staff that varies in size from eight to 11 designers. I encourage my staff to become independent and to start their own offices at some point. I like to follow the way that filmmakers approach their work. I ask my designers to help me out on projects I’m responsible for, aside from the projects they’re doing on their own.’

‘In the future, objects will almost disappear’

an object’s user experience can win consumers’ hearts. That’s why my focus nowadays is more about rendering a certain atmosphere.’ ‘I try to give objects a shape that many people can feel empathy towards. When I started as a designer, I was always trying to find a way to legitimize my work. I was obsessed with my design, but I now realize that people aren’t interested in my work. I am not an artist. As a designer, I need to look around and observe how and in what settings people use items like teakettles and chairs. Observing the many ways that people use objects helps me to figure out the common aspects of human behaviour.’

‘When commissioned to make a design, I used to propose several ideas to my client, even if I preferred one idea above the others. Once a client chose the idea that I felt least confident about. Obviously, the project didn’t go smoothly. What I learned from the experience is that, generally speaking, only one idea truly matches a client’s brief. From then on, I presented the idea I felt was best. If the client isn’t convinced, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the project. I try to find common ground between the client’s objectives and my understanding of the project.’ ● naotofukasawa.com

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First presented during AD Intérieurs 2017, Lehanneur’s Le Passage mirror is now part of the designer’s product collection.

Side to Side



Something as simple as crossing the Seine holds significance in the daily life of MATHIEU LEHANNEUR. Words




MATHIEU LEHANNEUR: I rise at 7 a.m. and wake up my 12-year-old son and eight-yearold daughter. It’s the loveliest thing to do, and I make sure they have a nice start to the day. I prepare breakfast for them but have only coffee myself. About 15 minutes after getting up, I consult my e-mails to see what’s in store for the day. Then I take my daughter from our home in Montparnasse to her school in SaintGermain-des-Prés by motorcycle before going to work. Crossing the Seine from the Left to the Right Bank – something that tourists get all dreamy about – is also enjoyable for Parisians. For me, the river is a symbolic border between my private and professional lives. 8:20 a.m. I arrive at my studio [a centrally located Haussmann-style building] and spend nearly all morning sitting at my desk, pacing around like a caged lion or relaxing on the sofa with my eyes shut. Closing my eyes helps me to imagine the dimensions, temperature and softness of a project. My team has a studio above mine; both spaces are 110 m2. Mornings are calm moments that offer time to reflect on the technical, creative and conceptual aspects of the 25 to 35 assignments I’m usually working on. I spend five to ten minutes on each project, injecting it with a seed or a vitamin to make it grow. I get the impression that I work like chess player Garry Kasparov, moving pieces around. It never feels laborious, though, and I never have a blank sheet of paper in front of me. When I return to a project the next day, things develop more quickly and the game continues. I draw by hand with a pencil, as I find it much faster than using a computer. 1:00-2:00 p.m. Two days out of three, I end up not having lunch. I always think later, later, later – while the hours fly by. Sometimes I don’t eat until the evening. If I’m really hungry, I go downstairs and buy a sandwich. By early afternoon I’ve had enough solitude – any more and I’d go crazy. I head upstairs to see my nine employees, taking a seat at each workstation

to review their progress. When I gesticulate to indicate something about a project, I often hear Stop! – at which point someone will measure the dimensions between my hands. Members of the staff have been working for me from one to six years. It takes time for them to get to know me and to interpret my gestures, which are a form of sign language. 3 p.m. Yesterday we looked at samples of materials for the Air France first-class lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport. I’m designing a bar in the middle of the lounge, and we’re determining the final details. At four o’clock we had a meeting about the second prototype of the foldable electric bicycle we’re making with Voltitude. [Lehanneur is a partner at the Swiss company.] The product is due to be launched in early 2019. It’s very technical, with 180 individual pieces to design. Unlike most bicycles, where 80 per cent of the design is standard, we’re treating ours like a luxury Swiss watch, creating each component to be long-lasting and beautiful. I’m also working on the refurbishment of the Grand Palais in Paris. It will be one of the sites for the 2024 Olympic Games, so the project needs to be ready in time. 5 p.m. I’m more likely to take phone calls in the afternoon, but luckily my studio manager handles most of the communication. Meet-

ings with clients often take place in my studio; if not, I hop on my motorcycle. I travel a lot. Recently I went to Brazil to discuss interior-design projects; to New York, where I designed the Maison Kitsuné store; and to Shenzhen in China, which is home to telecom company Huawei – I’m the brand’s artistic director. When I’m in Paris, I try to spend as much time as possible at my studio. 8:00-8:30 p.m. I leave the office. I might go to the opening of an exhibition or out for dinner, but otherwise I’ll cross the Seine and head home. I’m not much of a socialite; I concentrate better when I’m alone. I don’t cook – I’m completely rubbish in the kitchen. Every week I buy several art and architecture books, as well as some old titles. In the evening, I open publications that arrived that day and peruse them, nourishing myself for the next day. Evenings also give me a chance to talk with clients in the US or Brazil, and to spend precious moments with my wife. Midnight-12:30 a.m. I go to bed and fall asleep immediately. Right now I’m happy and satisfied, because I’m doing what I want and have the freedom to work on many projects of different scales. ● Lehanneur’s bar for the Air France first-class lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport will open this summer mathieulehanneur.fr






Make, Connect, Share

Collectivity, dynamism and adaptability define SPACON & X, a studio that’s out to redesign the way we consume space. Words








Hans Bærholm


Wouter van der Star

Spacon & X added a Nordic touch to Japanese dining at Copenhagen’s Slurp Ramen Bar, a restaurant that is housed in a former butchery. The interior combines brass, coloured concrete and charred larch (shō sugi ban).

SVEND Danish painter Franciska Clausen’s colourful geometric shapes inspired Spacon & X’s design for the Copenhagen location of eyewear brand Ace & Tate.

‘ARE WE SCALE-LESS or are we actually into scale?’ Posing the question is architect Malene Hvidt of Copenhagen-based firm Spacon & X (short for ‘spatial conversion and cross-functionalism’). She and I are having coffee with the company’s founders, architect Nikoline Dyrup Carlsen and scenographic and advertising producer Svend Jacob Pedersen. As demonstrated by its name and this open-plan office – carefully arranged into separate zones – Spacon & X is a multidisciplinary studio. ‘We’ve realized we’re both,’ says Hvidt, answering her own question. ‘We work on a wide range of scales. We aim to create flexible spaces that, no matter the size, seamlessly adapt to varying activities and requirements.’ Inspired by a culture of reinvention, the 20-strong team is associated with the ‘maker movement’, a group that is fuelled by the desire for communal connection and a higher quality of living. Jacob Pedersen explains in more detail: ‘We design an entire ecosystem around a product, one that’s not limited to scale. We find a concept, a story and an identity, moving smoothly from one scale to another.’ All of Spacon & X’s projects have one quality in common – a focus on people. ‘It’s about thinking from the inside out,’ says

Hvidt. Dyrup Carlsen adds that ‘concentrating only on aesthetics can lead to issues being compromised’ and emphasizes that a multidisciplinary approach – ‘collaborating with others, like cabinet-makers’ – gives rise to a broader, more holistic result. It is the shift away from aesthetics and towards people that enables the team to solve larger social issues. As loneliness and a lack of affordable housing affect more individuals than ever before, how can we best adapt to our fast-paced, ever-changing lives and find effective solutions? ‘We ask ourselves,’ says Hvidt, ‘what loneliness is, for people of all ages. How can we reshape buildings to solve the problems involved?’ Jacob Pedersen points out the growth of urban areas, which in turn spurs the development of the sharing society. ‘How can we facilitate these transitions,’ he asks, ‘and challenge the business world to respond and adapt?’ Take co-living as an example, a way of life that is advocated as well as criticized. While some see it as an answer to loneliness, others argue that millennials are drawn to co-living for economic rather than social reasons. Whether shared-living typologies are a passing reaction or a long-term solution to the problem at hand remains open to discussion. Jacob Pedersen sees the trend »



‘Luxury is defined by accessibility and inclusivity’

Hans Bærholm



OPPOSITE As part of its ongoing collaboration with fashion brand Wood Wood, Spacon & X conceived a reusable trade-fair stand that represents a mood board of building materials.

in a somewhat more positive light: ‘Co-living is both a reaction and a long-term solution. When I envision urban life in the future, I picture the privileged part of society benefiting from co-living opportunities.’ Spacon & X’s scheme for Filmlageret – a 3,100-m2 housing project currently under construction in Copenhagen – illustrates the team’s passion for co-living. The renovation project, which occupies a former storage facility used by Denmark’s film industry, espouses ‘living with a purpose’ and ‘a sense of community’ for its target group: students and young families. Private units are kept relatively small in order to highlight shared spaces, such as a kitchen, reading nooks, cinema, balcony, roof terrace and garden. What differentiates Filmlageret from similar projects is that it’s more than a standard student accommodation. Rather than offering short-term housing, it will form the foundation of a genuine community that can evolve for years to come, giving young adults both responsibility and a sense of empowerment as they become active makers of their own environment. ‘I grew up in the 1970s in a co-living space here in Copenhagen,’ says Dyrup Carlsen. ‘I like to think of Filmlageret as a passion-driven venture that prompts residents to be part of a community and part of something more. It’s a move from passive to active.’ Jacob Pedersen says that ‘luxury is about having access to things rather than owning them. Co-living and co-working environments support the use of sustainable circulatory systems and shared resources.’ One power drill, for instance, can serve the needs of many. Along with co-living, co-working is flourishing across the world. Projects such as The New Work Project in Brooklyn and Menu Space in Copenhagen are replacing outdated forms of living and working with settings that suit our increasingly nomadic and digitized lifestyles. In 2015 Spacon & X converted a 1,000-m2 building in Copenhagen’s meatpacking district into Space10, a hub for exploring future living conditions. Designed for Ikea, the facility has a crossfunctional interior – comprising offices, laboratories, exhibition spaces and event areas – that is characterized by fluidity, efficiency and instant adaptability. ‘Space10 is changeable and dynamic,’ says Hvidt. ‘We used honest raw materials in an open-plan design that allows employees to immerse themselves in

At the Frame Awards, Spacon & X received three People’s Choice Awards: Emerging Designer of the Year and prizes for innovation and sustainability.

their individual tasks and, at the same time, to experience an atmosphere of co-working.’ Retail is in motion, too. With dynamism and flexibility in high demand, the retail space is expanding its repertoire, tapping equally into culture and community. ‘Retail is moving from product to experience. We conjure experiences by activating the senses, adding tactility and introducing storytelling,’ says Jacob Pedersen. Last year he and his team designed a playful 150-m2 Ace & Tate outlet in Copenhagen. Finding inspiration in the work of Franciska Clausen, a Danish painter famed for her colourful geometric shapes, they turned the eyewear brand’s showroom into a journey through Clausen’s artistic universe. A number of small stands invite customers to sample products, and a deep-blue vision-testing alcove, while private, also connects shoppers to their surroundings. Despite the positive attributes and versatility of Spacon & X’s projects, building cross-functional, people-focused spaces can be testing. Jacob Pedersen comments on

‘local regulations that continue to present a challenge’. Although many laws do not permit co-living, he says the studio is putting up a fight, ‘because we don’t want to downgrade. We want to upgrade. Some people want to keep Copenhagen a heterogenetic city, even though 36 family types already make up its urban fabric.’ Spacon & X believes that every surface and volume can serve more than one purpose. By redesigning the spaces we inhabit, the studio aims to optimize them and make them suitable to support multiple functions and activities. The ultimate goal: to provide better ways of living and working in an urban context, where shortage of space is a key issue. ‘By rethinking the way we currently consume space, we can develop optimized, sustainable solutions for an improved urban life,’ says Dyrup Carlsen. ‘Today, luxury is defined by accessibility and inclusivity. Tomorrow, we can add collectivity to that list.’ ● spaconandx.com


From the moment he graduated, MAARTEN BAAS has been making milestones – steps that have culminated in a revealing retrospective. Words



About Time




A CAFÉ IN THE CENTRE OF UTRECHT. Next to the window, a local lad in a rust-brown T-shirt and grey cotton jacket reads the morning paper. A brown hat rests on the windowsill. The first thing that pops to mind is Baas Is in Town, the name of the bold and freaky solo exhibition that Maarten Baas presented in Milan in 2014, a show that marked his wacky comeback after a five-year absence. It was the last time I’d seen the Dutch designer in person. Not much seems to have changed. Same look, same relaxed attitude, maybe a few more wrinkles, but age does that to all of us. Baas turned 40 in February. To many of us, 40 is a milestone or simply a moment of reflection, but for others it’s the start of an existential crisis involving the big who-what-why of bygone decades. Shrugging his shoulders when the portentous turning point is mentioned, Baas seems to have let his midlife crisis slip by without a thought. Why would he fall prey to doubt? Since graduating from DAE in 2002, he’s been taking one giant step after the other, apparently without getting ahead of himself or hurrying to reach the next phase of his career. Bas Princen


2002 SMOKE

Maarten van Houten

Baas epitomizes the saying ‘no smoke without fire’. Smoke, his DAE graduation project, was immediately one of the most significant steps in his career. Baas presented the Smoke furniture collection for Moooi in Milan in 2003, and design entrepreneur Murray Moss subsequently whisked him to New York for a solo show, which enjoyed unparalleled success. Suddenly design enthusiasts from all over the world had an eye on him. ‘A bizarre period,’ he says. ‘Almost overnight I had to replace my student digs with a serious studio and a staff. While still living in a student hostel – because I didn’t have time to move – I was treated like a star everywhere I went. The Moss contract was a godsend. He became a kind of mentor, helping me both creatively and businesswise.’ Smoke was not a fluke. It gave Baas the opportunity to meet the right people and remains today a popular project that, were he to have a run of bad luck, he can

Baas’s DAE graduation project, Smoke, became an overnight success – and its popularity remains strong.

continue on his own. Typically Baas, Smoke demonstrates the designer’s theatrical approach and his imperfect, handmade aesthetic. Rejecting intricate moulds and complicated procedures, he based the collection on design classics that he burnt and finished with transparent epoxy. Smoke taught Baas a critical lesson: the importance of rousing a spontaneous reaction in the viewer. ‘I saw how people reacted instantly to a product. At the academy, it was all about the concept, but in Milan I saw visitors take one look at Smoke and say Wow, what a great chair. And they hadn’t even realized it was burnt, much less noticed the beauty of its imperfection. If the first impression hits home, details don’t matter very much.’ »





A huge financial investment that paid off, Clay kept Baas from being pigeonholed as ‘the kid with the charcoaled furniture’.


The instant success of Smoke and the many commissions that followed took Baas to Bas den Herder, his production partner until recently. Little by little, they felt the need for something completely different, which turned out to be Clay, a furniture collection of wobbly-looking objects made out of clay and available in a rainbow of colours. He introduced the collection in Milan in 2006. Clay was the exact opposite of the slick items presented by the design titans of the day. ‘I felt hugely vulnerable, but I also knew that Clay was a collection I had to make. I’d sunk all my money and energy into those pieces. It was everything or nothing.’ The project’s success proved that his gut feeling hadn’t let him down. ‘Clay’s design language – playful, colourful, imaginative – denoted a sharp turn to the left of Smoke’s dark, ready-made, classic look, but there were similarities as well. The pieces were handmade, irregular, personal and pseudo-imperfect. I saw Clay as the ideal successor to Smoke, in terms of both form and concept. Clay represented the growth of a new plant on burnt soil, and it extended my oeuvre. I suddenly stopped being ‘the kid with the charcoaled furniture’. Meanwhile, Studio Baas Den Herder comprised ten people, which Baas believes is the best size for his design team. It led to a more structured production process, and, as with Smoke, the demand for customized Clay pieces grew steadily. ‘Like Smoke, Clay was more of a language and a technique than a single design. It gave me the space I needed to make customized Clay installations, tables, chairs, lamps and other objects – all over the world.’

Courtesy of Maarten Baas

‘I’d sunk all my money and energy into Clay. It was everything or nothing’

Real Time led to acclaim in both the design and art worlds. Baas was named Designer of the Year following its presentation in Milan, and the project was purchased by the Rijksmuseum.


Thijs Wolzak



‘I’ve always felt more like an artist than an industrial designer. I like to operate at the interface of design, art and theatre.’ Baas creates narratives using the design object as a medium. Design is the language he speaks. He uses design in the same way that another artist uses a brush or a camera. Functionality is less relevant to him, yet everything works as it should. Real Time, his grandfather clock from 2009, is not only a 12-hour performance but also a timepiece that actually works. ‘Real Time was the best combination of everything I wanted to show. Its presentation in Milan – including the live actor that

moved the hands of the clock forward in real time – was an ideal expression of my ideas. I was named Designer of the Year in 2009, an award that strengthened my position in the design world.’ Again, Baas had faced a completely new challenge, learning to make film recordings that spanned 12 hours. ‘I went from burnt-wood expert to clay-furniture expert to 12-hour-long film expert.’ Certainly not easy, because, as he explains: ‘At the time, suitable hardware and software for recordings of that length did not exist – no recorders, no players, no stock editing options.’

Profits from Smoke and Clay gave Baas the financial basis he needed to invest in Real Time. ‘The strength of the concept is the fact that it really works. That silly hand-drawn line doesn’t add anything to the idea, but it does make the visual statement stronger. Equally important is the smooth forward motion of the hand. The Rijksmuseum’s immediate interest – and subsequent purchase – opened even more doors into the global art world. My work now drew the attention of museums, gallery owners and collectors.’ »



2011-2013 After 2010, the year in which Baas’s minimal presentation in Milan was merely an app – the Analog Digital Clock (The newest Maarten Baas for only 99 ct) – the designer was conspicuously absent for five years, a period of economic malaise. ‘It’s obvious that I follow the fluctuations of the time. I’m not one for swimming against the current.’ Did he do nothing at all? Of course not. He kept busy filling orders for pieces from his existing collections. That period, he says, was just as important as the years before. It showed who he is, as a person and a designer. In addition to filling orders, he used the drought to make a number of playful videos that show an introverted Maarten. Visitors to Hide & Seek – an exhibition that opens at the Design Museum in Ghent, Belgium, on 18 May – will discover these ‘self-portraits’ among an abundance of old and new pieces from his oeuvre.

‘I’ve thought about becoming a set designer’


Scenography has been an ongoing theme in nearly all his work. ‘I’ve thought about becoming a set designer,’ he says. Underlying Maarten Baas Makes Time – a fusion of creative disciplines and trendsetting talents – was Baas’s attempt to conjure an environment. Design played a key role in the ‘experience’, which included top chef Sergio Herman and ace photographer and film director Anton Corbijn. ‘That was not a money-making project, even though we sold every cover at €200 per person.’

Baas solidified his set-design ambitions with Makes Time, a collaboration with Sergio Herman and Anton Corbijn.


Marten de Leeuw


2017-2018 HIDE & SEEK

Baas keeps a keen eye on the financial side of his business. Making beautiful things is good; making beautiful things that sell is better. His Real Time performance clock is a prime example. ‘My financial goals often go hand in hand with my conceptual goals, and everything came together in the Hide & Seek retrospective. In that space [the exhibition first appeared at the Groninger Museum], I understood why things were next to each other.’ If he had said yes to every opportunity that came his way throughout the past 15 years, we probably wouldn’t be sitting here today. Maarten Baas would have become an international celebrity, with no time for small talk. He sometimes wonders whether he’s done the right thing and usually concludes

Hide & Seek – which first appeared at the Groninger Museum in 2017 – marks the culmination of the designer’s financial and conceptual goals. ‘Making beautiful things is good; making beautiful things that sell is better.’

that he has. After all, what you do and what you choose to do make you the person you are. And being true to yourself can go a long way. He was more than willing to operate under the radar for a couple of years and to make a comeback when he felt the time was ripe. When I call him a pragmatist, he doesn’t protest – but he does find the word annoying. Years ago he told a reporter from a leading Dutch newspaper that he ‘had to learn to keep one leg in the mainstream’. ‘That’s still true in a way,’ he says, ‘but at the same time I think: bah. Do you know that poster by Anthony Burrill: I Like It. What Is It? That’s me all over.’ ●

Nick Bookelaar

Baas will release the Something Like This sofa for Moooi during Milan Design Week (see page 186) maartenbaas.com

Floor Covering: Grand Carpet Sand Design Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Grande, The Large Size

Human Design For more than eighty years we have used technology and innovation to design ceramic tiles that people want. Real design always arises from the ones who experience it marazzi.it


At the age of 94, CARLOS CRUZ-DIEZ is still using the ephemeral nature of light to transform colour into an event. Words



Do You See What I See?




Museo Würth La Rioja / Rafael Lafuente © ADAGP, Paris, 2018

Chromosaturation, 1965/2017 was part of both All is Motion, an exhibition at Museo Würth La Rioja in Agoncillo, Spain, that closed in April 2018 (above) and Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969, a 2017 exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum (right).

CARLOS CARLOS CRUZ-DIEZ is often associated with the kinetic-art movement, owing to the sense of motion in his installations and intriguing Physichromies. Yet this classification belies the 94-year-old artist’s singular objective: to transform our experience of colour into a participative event that is dependent on changing light. Born in Venezuela and now living in Paris, he expresses this philosophy – which has underscored his work since the 1960s – through Chromosaturation, a series of spatial installations bathed in colour. The artist’s children established the Cruz-Diez Art Foundation (hosted by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) and the city of Caracas in Venezuela named a museum after him: Museo de la Estampa y del Diseño Carlos Cruz-Diez.

Your Chromosaturation installations are about bringing art into the public space and exploring the phenomenon of colour through light. What inspired you? CARLOS CRUZ-DIEZ: The Bauhaus talked about the integration of art into everyday life – and especially in architecture – but nobody had gone through with it until architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva designed the Ciudad Universitaria in Caracas [the main campus of the Central University of Venezuela, built between 1940 and 1960]. This inspired me, because I believe that art is about social engagement – that artists work for people. Everywhere, art was exhausted; everybody was doing the same painting, whether it be abstract, philosophical or lyrical. When I came to Paris in 1955 to see the »

Palm Springs Art Museum / Lance Gerber © ADAGP, Paris, 2018




‘My challenge is to show you a reality where there is no past or future’

Born in Venezuela and now living in Paris, Cruz-Diez has been exploring the phenomenon of colour through light since the 1960s.


Salon de Mai exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne, I thought it could have been a solo show because the paintings all looked alike. I realized that I needed to find new ways to integrate elements into my work – ideas outside the domain of painting – and I focused on colour, because it was neglected by artists. It was considered anecdotal and decorative. I thought that working with colour could lead to meaningful experiences, like how an August sunset in Venezuela can turn everything orange for a few seconds. Colour is not something to be applied to a surface with a brush; it needs to be brought into the space. It took me many years of experience, research and failure to create works such as the Chromosaturation installations, which allow light to evolve like an event. The first time you presented a Chromosaturation was in Grenoble in 1968, followed closely by the Odéon crossroads in Paris. How has the public’s response to your work changed? Because people didn’t encounter any drawings or objects in Grenoble, only

a coloured empty space, they thought there was nothing to see. Then the City of Paris invited me to exhibit a Chromosaturation wherever I wanted. I chose the Odéon crossroads because people from diverse social backgrounds circulated there. But visitors who took part in a survey said it was a bourgeois experience and an elitist manipulation of the environment. I’ve made 134 Chromosaturations so far. Today, people understand that something is happening – a discourse that reveals a space materialized by colour – and they stay to discover the piece. They realize that it’s a participative event rather than something more contemplative, like a painting. How do you approach the site-specificity of a Chromosaturation? Every solution is different, because every location is unpredictable. First, I study the space to see what colouration it already possesses. The answer lies in creating a harmonious relationship between the integrated work of art and its context and in having it be coherent


with the whole environment. All my works change in relation to the light and the time of day. I try to make the situation as legible as possible so that colour can be perceived in time and space. How have technological developments changed your way of working? Initially, I tried using electric light bulbs. Later I switched to a type of lamp that offered more nuances. Today I use LEDs. I’ve always been attentive to everything that industry and technology can offer to allow me to express myself. The result, not the materials, is what catches my interest. When I started, everything was in my head. Only after weeks of work could I see whether the result was satisfying. Now, thanks to the computer, I can more or less see what the final result will be in advance. What have you learned during your many decades of working with colour? Dealing with colour inevitably leads to surprises because of the impact of light. Even if I can »

Cruz-Diez has produced a sizable series of Physichromies, structures whose colours appear to change in response to the position of the viewer and the level of surrounding light. Physichromie 1858 is pictured.



Atelier Cruz-Diez Paris © ADAGP, Paris, 2018

‘Additive Color Environment has become a symbol of the Venezuelan diaspora,’ says Cruz-Diez of the 1974 work he made for Simón Bolívar International Airport.

anticipate what will happen, I always discover new information. Take the Physichromie on the wall behind me, for instance. How you perceive its colours depends on your movements and the surrounding light – the way the light strikes the work alters everything. What you see from your position is different from what I perceive from mine. My challenge is to show you a reality that has no past or future – a piece that exists in a perpetual present. One of the fundamental conditions of art is to provoke astonishment. My works are about triggering something that’s different from what you experience when viewing a traditional painting. Which work makes you proudest? Additive Color Environment [1974] – in the main hall of Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía, Venezuela – has become a symbol of the Venezuelan diaspora. Every day thousands of people are photographed as they move along the colourful walkway or make selfies that include the architectural interven-

tion. Young people dedicate letters and poems to the piece. It has become an extraordinary reference of identity. I observe with sorrow the young talents that leave the country and the photographs of their farewells – with my work as a backdrop – as witnessed by countless messages and photographs on social networks. I only hope that these images prompt a reunion in the near future, when they return to their beloved country. What are you working on now? I have exhibitions coming up in Germany, Russia and France. As artist Marcel Duchamp said, ‘What’s most difficult for an artist is the first 75 years.’ [Laughs.] During my career, I’ve contributed art to planes, boats – even a high-speed train. Now there’s a much wider audience for my work than ever before. ● You can see a site-specific intervention by Carlos CruzDiez at The Other Trans-Atlantic, open until 9 May 2018 at Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art cruz-diez.com


chips lounge chair designed by Lucie Koldova CZ




Taking a curatorial approach to its core values, Spanish bathroom giant ROCA combines culture with commerce in six – soon to be seven – Roca Galleries worldwide. Words


AT FIRST, it’s raining all around. The walls have darkened under a percussive rain that lashes the air, courses down windowpanes and forms puddles on a nearby table. Suddenly, the water hardens into an icy armature; you can hear the squeaking tug of the contraction as it freezes over glass, encloses you, cracks. As shards of ice fall away amid the tinkle of broken glass, windows turn back into walls and you find yourself inside the Roca Gallery in Barcelona, where the weather outside is fine. Barcelona was the first of six, soon to be seven, international Galleries opened by Spanish bathroom brand Roca since 2009. Roca Galleries are a fresh approach to the showroom format, combining culture with commerce in highly adaptable spaces made by celebrated local architects and animated by a busy programme of events, lectures, exhibitions and workshops. The showroom areas


Filled with a video wall, audiovisual installations and interactive tables, Roca Barcelona was the first Roca Gallery to be opened by the Spanish bathroom brand.

display only premium products, novelties and collaborative designs that reflect trends and innovations. ‘The Galleries are a new concept of evolved showrooms,’ says Xavier Torras, Roca’s brand-communication director. ‘The only similarity with a showroom is that some products are displayed.’ Roca Galleries are a long-term investment in reaching more people more deeply on topics important to their lives. In these spaces, Roca’s branding efforts are producing edifying, inspiring – even activist-orientated – cultural epicentres. The curatorial approach to the brand resolves multiple needs, not least of which a broader exchange of ideas. ‘We thought that having some emblematic spaces to discuss architecture and design and other issues related to our values – sustainability, technology and innovation – could be a good way of making a contribution to society and having closer contact with professionals

in this sector,’ Torras says, ‘through one unique proposal – inside a series of unique buildings.’ Momentum, the rainstorm that turned to ice, was inside the Roca Barcelona Gallery, a design by Barcelona-based OAB (Borja, Lucía and Carlos Ferrater) that features an inventively laminated glass-strip façade. The Roca Madrid Gallery is the work of another time-honoured Spanish office: Madrid’s Estudio Lamela. The Roca London Gallery – by the late, great Zaha Hadid – looks like both flowing water and the bridge under which it might flow. Inspiration for the design came from channels and tunnels eroded over eons by running water. In Beijing, Ma Yansong of local outfit Mad Architects, known for a utopian philosophy that links the man-made with the natural, created a façade covered in double-height pivoting glass panels and interior walls clad

in floor-to-ceiling screens whose imagery is visible from the street. Soon, Paulista Fernanda Marques will complete the Roca São Paulo Gallery. (Gallery interiors in Lisbon and Shanghai were designed by Spain’s Estudio Ferruz Decoradors and Francesc Rifé Studio, respectively.) ‘Each Gallery has its own personality, based on the architect’s signature, but there are common elements in all of them, like the large audiovisual screens,’ says Torras. During the film Rituals, which won a Golden Lion at the Cannes Film Festival, life-size projections on a 10-x-3-m screen document the forgettable daily details of our hidden bathroom lives – bathing a child, getting ready for work, dancing while drying one’s hair – as viewers watched from the ‘other’ side of the mirror. Occasionally, the mirror ‘steamed up’ and was wiped clear interactively, based on the motion of the viewer. »


The sculptural interior of Roca London Gallery bears the signature of architect Zaha Hadid. Highlighting the showroom area are products that reflect trends and innovations.


Technology-infused installations at Roca Madrid – the work of local firm Estudio de Arquitectura Lamela – make for engaging brand experiences.

Rituals is visible through each Gallery’s façade, underscoring the brand’s invitation to the public, whether people are consumers of products, culture or both. Roca Galleries are not for rent; like-minded architects or institutions can take over a space free of charge to organize an event or a show, or to teach a master class. Commercial entities may be asked to make a donation to Roca’s We Are Water Foundation, which promotes awareness of and debate on activism that targets the planet’s limited water resources. One of the exhibitions celebrating Roca’s 100th anniversary last year demonstrated how the brand’s products have changed over the last century. But most are displays of art and design that isn’t always Open to the cities in which they are located, Roca Galleries host lectures and exhibitions involving architecture, design and matters such as sustainability, technology and innovation.

Roca’s. Visitors to a Gallery might stumble upon a presentation of colour photography featuring New York architecture by Francesc Català-Roca – or the sculptures and illustrations of Eduardo Chillida in a two-storeyhigh room slathered in matte black, the colour favoured by Chillida himself. ‘Some of the latest events have included a series devoted to female architects, curated by the director of the Pritzker Prize and dean of the IE School of Architecture,’ Torras says, ‘and another series on IoT in architecture. We organized a meeting with 25 deans from major international design schools, who discussed how design contributes to the improvement of the planet and society.’ Roca works with a wide range of curators, from the Photographic Social Vision Foundation and designer Hector Serrano to Doctors Without Borders and the Cervantes Institute. There have been exhibitions about mid-century Barcelonan architecture and the influence of biomimicry on design. Gallery exhibitions often relate to sustainability, if not outright activism, like the screening of documentary shorts exploring ecological catastrophes like the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska; the toxic disappearance of the large, teeming Aral Sea and the subsequent suffering of the communities that depended on it; and the struggle of African women to collect clean water each day. Documentaries, debates, lectures, round tables, exhibitions, workshops, classes, one-day competitions for the design of


The only similarity with a showroom is that some products are displayed a water-saving bathroom product: ‘We have hosted over 1,500 events so far,’ Torras says, ‘and the Galleries have been visited by more than 400,000 people. I believe they have really changed the perception of the brand among professionals and the general public.’ Now, almost ten years on, Roca will soon launch an online platform, making Gallery content accessible to a much larger audience. ‘The Galleries, seen as spaces for physical debates, generate a large amount of interesting content that can be transferred to the internet. But this is not an e-commerce platform,’ Torras warns. ‘It is, rather, a space of reflection, of debate – an extension of our Gallery philosophy to a virtual environment.’ ● rocagallery.com (launches in June) roca.com


CERAMICS OF ITALY. ITALIANS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. It’s Italians who make the difference. Like Roberto, Giordano, Loretta and Davide who work hard every day to ensure that Italian ceramics are the finest in the world. Only the very best manufacturers of Italian ceramic tiles, sanitaryware and tableware are entitled to use the Ceramics of Italy logo which certifies Italian quality, design and style. Always ask for Ceramics of Italy to be sure of the highest levels of excellence in world ceramics.


The Ceramics of Italy trademark is promoted by Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian Association of Ceramics, and is owned by Edi.Cer. S.p.A. the organizer of Cersaie (International exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings - Bologna, September 24-28, 2018 - www.cersaie.it).

On a mission to promote spatial excellence, the first FRAME AWARDS identified and honoured the world’s best interiors and designers in 30 categories. The winning projects show where the industry is heading.


TOP TIER The 32 winners of the first Frame Awards show what’s happening in interior design today. Words


DESTINATIONS BASED ON simple, lucid concepts. Sometimes pushing the boundaries of a typology, sometimes merely well executed and as site-specific as possible. With an eye for detail, yet without superfluous forms or materials. It’s this combination of qualities that the 32 winners of the first Frame Awards have in common – designers of interiors from Chengdu to Montreal, designers who work alone or for big agencies, designers of temporary installations or permanent spaces. We wanted our mission to promote spatial excellence to come to life – to have the Frame Awards set the industry standard. And because we believe that extraordinary, meaningful interiors can be made only through the collaborative efforts of a visionary client, a talented designer, and outstanding fabricators and builders, we brought these stakeholders together in a jury of global industry leaders (see adjacent list). When our call went out for projects to be considered for the competition, we received almost 900 entries from 50 countries. We feel justified in our conclusion that the Frame Awards 2018 are a clear indication of what’s happening in interior design today. One word pops to mind: maturity. The jury saw few excesses and experiments. Today’s interior designers know exactly what instruments they need to open up spaces and make them accessible in a coherent manner. At the same time, our winners smoothly inject the client’s DNA into their assignments. They manage to turn a place into a destination. Integrating a project into the local culture and the surrounding community comes naturally to them. They see digital technology as a way to enrich the user experience and not as a goal in itself. And, yes, you can have too much of a good thing – too many ideas, too many materials, shapes and colours. Zooming in on the Retail category, we note that the jury went for bold yet sophisticated experiences that transform stores into destinations. Digital technology plays a crucial role in only one winning design, but overall it’s sheer imagination, paired with

impeccable execution, that makes for a successful retail store. In the Hospitality category, the jury picked projects with a strong couleur locale or ones that offer genre-bending experiences. The Cinema of the Year, for instance, is worth a visit in itself, whereas not long ago people went to the cinema to see the movie that was playing. Winners in the Work category confirm that North American tech businesses are leading the way in office design, thanks to their approach to workplace environments. In the past, clients in search of the perfect office often went berserk in their desire to draw exuberance and creativity into a giant playground filled with swings and slides. Nowadays, the main objective is to provide employees with different environments for different kinds of work: alone or in teams, with a focus on creation or execution, designed to stimulate activity or to encourage relaxation. Perhaps the jury’s preference for a single, strong concept is most evident in the Show category. Not very surprising when you stop to consider that most of these shortlived interiors are cobbled together with a limited number of resources and have only a brief moment to impress visitors. Winners in the final category, Institution, reveal the makers’ aim to give the designs in this sector – interiors often associated with an impersonal atmosphere – a more human, hands-on touch. I’m inclined to say that a touch of humanity aptly describes the underlying theme that surfaces after reviewing the Frame Awards 2018: the ego-driven ambition of designers and clients to stamp their signatures on the buildings and interiors they complete is gradually making place for work that represents a more altruistic attitude. Sounds like a great idea for next year: a move towards human-centric interior design. The Frame Awards are endorsed by the European Council of Interior Architects (ECIA) frameawards.com

Jury Members FR AME AWARDS 2018


MATTEO B R E S SANIN Chair – Nespresso Global Retail Channel Manager

MI CH E L E FU H S BMW Head of Premium Retail Experience

PI E T E R KO O L Design Strategist and Creative Director


I N D I A MA HDAVI India Mahdavi Architecture and Design Founder

VLAST I MI L SPE LDA Pernod Ricard Ideation and Strategy Director

CLAUDI O FE LTRI N Arper President and CEO

J O N AGASA KA Schemata Architects Founder

PATR ICI A URQUI OLA Patricia Urquiola Founder

FRE DE RI QUE KE UNI NG Spaces Creative Director and Cofounder

FLO R I AN E D E SA INT- P IER R E Floriane de Saint Pierre & Associés President and Founder

LIR AN WI ZMAN Europe Hotels Private Collection Chairman and Founder



AD D E HOND Chair – Starbucks VP Store Design and Concepts EMEA


JE AN-P IE R R E GR E FF HEAD – Genève Director


ANJA DIR K S Chair – European Council of Interior Architects President

MARK GUTJAHR Chair – BASF Head of Design Europe

CL IVE W IL K INS O N Clive Wilkinson Architects Founder

R A MON BE I J E N Chair – CBRE Workplace Strategies and Design Creative Director

ALE XANDRE DE BE TAK Bureau Betak Founder

CAR LO R AT T I MIT Senseable City Lab Director

JAI M E HAYON Hayon Studio Founder

B EN VAN BE RKE L UNStudio Founder and Principal Architect

UWE R. BRÜCKNE R Atelier Brückner Founder and Creative Director

CO R IE N P O MP E Global Lead Future Lab | Material Innovation Philips Design

G L E N N P U SHELB ERG Yabu Pushelberg Cofounder

R IC HA R D HYWE L E VANS Studio RHE Founder

MI KE HUGHE S Universal Everything Creative Director

The chairs of each jury judged the Executional and Societal Awards nominees.



Alun Callender

Frame founder and director Robert Thiemann praised Sevil Peach as ‘the brains behind today’s humanized workplaces’.




Lifetime Achievement Award

Ariel Huber


Peach’s interior design for the ground floor of Vitra’s Birsfelden headquarters is an example of the dynamic, often informal office spaces that define her career.

‘INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE has always been a second-rate profession. We want to change that.’ Frame founder and director Robert Thiemann spoke those words during his introduction to the first Frame Awards. His thoughts were reinforced by Sevil Peach, as she collected her Lifetime Achievement Award. ‘Our value as place- and space-makers is not understood in the same way as that of other design disciplines – such as architecture and product design,’ she said. ‘But just as a well-thought-out master plan can help shape a good city, carefully considered interiors can help shape a good building. Sadly, the stereotypical view of interior design is still reduced to a matter of curtains and cushions.’ The lack of appreciation afforded to the interior designer’s profession has been a recurring hurdle throughout her career. But it’s a hurdle she has overcome, as exemplified

by her prizewinning portfolio of successful projects. ‘Sevil Peach may well be the brains behind today’s humanized workplaces,’ said Thiemann, underpinning the choice of the London-based Turkish designer for this prestigious award. ‘Long before companies were using such terms as informal breakout spaces, responsive environments, transparency and adaptive workstations, Peach’s studio, which she established with architect Gary Turnbull in 1994, was delivering the goods to the likes of Barclays and Vitra.’ Peach isn’t one to ‘embellish’ the story of her professional journey. One of the life-determining and career-defining factors she described is worryingly topical at a time when Twitter streams are filled with #metoo: being a woman in an industry dominated by men and coping with the struggle for recognition and acceptance that goes with it. ‘The

construction industry once found any female presence on site a joke, and the success of a woman rising through the ranks was undermined by chauvinistic comments,’ she said. Current developments, however, have left her feeling positive: ‘I now see waves of change. I hear people calling time’s up on inequality and sexism in the workplace. I welcome these calls, because as a designer particularly passionate about workplaces, I know a happy and productive workplace is also an equal, inclusive and safe one.’ – FK sevilpeach.co.uk


Staking her claim as a multi-genre designer after gaining worldwide attention with Zhongshuge bookstores, Li Xiang applied her entertainmentmeets-functionality approach to a retail, research and office space for Powerlong.



Shao Feng


Designer of the Year X+LIVING

WE FIRST ENCOUNTERED X+Living’s otherworldly interiors in 2016, when a spectacle of shape, colour and light appeared in the form of Zhongshuge bookstore in Hangzhou (Frame 112, p. 142). This was a place that screamed print is not dead! It turned the humble bookshop into a destination – a place you’d be eager to visit regardless of what it sells. Since then, X+Living – founded in Shanghai by Li Xiang – has delivered a string of similarly striking spaces; more whimsical bookstores for Frame Awards Client of the Year Zhongshuge (see p. 106), a female-focused department store, and a carnivalesque café where children play while parents dine are among them. Proving herself to be no onetrick pony, Xiang gives each project its own signature by approaching it from a consumer’s perspective. ‘We determine the client’s target group and what they want and then provide a design that perfectly combines visual entertainment and functionality.’

When featured as one of ‘20 Creatives Defining Tomorrow’ in Frame 116, Xiang called her approach to design ‘more architectural and holistic than that of most of my colleagues. China’s traditionally schooled interior designers treat walls, ceilings and furniture as separate elements, whereas I aim for a total experience.’ Stretching the imagination (and the spaces she overhauls, through the recurring use of mirrors), Xiang pushes the boundaries while showing just enough restraint to steer clear of sensory overload. When asked about her future plans, Xiang sees ‘projects such as bookstores at our core, because culture is a very important part of a city’s history’. She believes that ‘clients will start paying more attention to the uniqueness of spatial design. For us, the challenge is to continually offer new ideas to our clients instead of recycling old ones.’ – TI xl-muse.com


Peter Tijhuis



Emerging Designer of the Year SPACE ENCOUNTERS

The ‘sales arena’ of software developer Lightspeed’s Amsterdam office is furnished with pieces from the Boring Collection, the series that first caught Frame’s attention in Milan.

M. Hofmans

Space Encounters’ portfolio includes residential, commercial and office interiors – projects designed by partners Joost Baks, Stijn de Weerd, Gijs Baks and Remi Versteeg.


IT MAY SOUND CONTRADICTORY, but Amsterdam-based architecture firm Space Encounters first caught Frame’s attention with the Boring Collection, presented at Milan Design Week 2016. Developed for furniture brand Lensvelt, the archetypal pieces that make up Boring are intended to claim no attention at all, but to ‘draw the eye to the thing that actually matters: office life itself’. Since the confrontation in Milan, the outfit’s portfolio has continued to grow – as evidenced by both residential and commercial interiors – but it’s still Space Encounters’ office designs that keep us coming back for more. Rethinking the workplace landscape in a myriad of ways, partners Gijs Baks, Stijn de Weerd, Joost Baks and Remi Versteeg have churned out awe-inspiring projects such as a plant-infused office-cum-showroom for

pushchair brand Joolz (Frame 117, p. 95) and a tech-fuelled, prizewinning interior for Sony Entertainment Amsterdam (Frame 119, p. 156). ‘The relationship between work and leisure time has undergone a seismic shift. Unless you have a face-to-face meeting with colleagues or clients, there’s no real reason to go to the office,’ says Versteeg. ‘What’s more, the human body isn’t made for climate-controlled rooms, which makes me wonder whether today’s generic office environment is at all adequate for the current demand.’ In the opinion of the architects at Space Encounters, offices should fulfil a wide range of requirements – offering not only practical and technical services, but also leisure amenities that encourage relaxation. ‘Nobody knows what the future will look like,’ says De Weerd, ‘and that’s why we

anticipate change and integrate flexibility into all our designs.’ After the team received the Emerging Designer of the Year Award, Joost Baks stressed the fact that ‘as an architecture office’, they ‘were most proud of winning an award for interior design.’ He called the blurred borders that separate design disciplines a sign of the times. ‘We see no difference – and no hierarchy – between architecture and interior architecture. We approach a project as a holistic entity that has to be right as a whole – all components relating to one another in harmony. We don’t believe in defining disciplines. The project as a whole transcends any such definition.’ – FK space-encounters.eu


IT WAS 2013. Online shopping was still launching an attack on bricks-and-mortar retail. Priorities were changing. With an endless stream of social media in the palm of your hand, who had time to read an e-book, let alone a physical one? Despite this shaky scenario, teacher-turned-publisher Jin Hao decided to replace his 20 small outlets in Shanghai with a pièce de résistance. He opened the first spectacular Zhongshuge bookstore in 2013. Yes, the new

establishment sold books, but Hao wanted it to be so much more. Together with Frame Awards Designer of the Year X+Living (see p. 102), he envisioned the emporium as an art gallery – one in which the atmosphere is as exhilarating as the content. Overturning stereotypes critical of bookstores, Zhongshuge – now a chain of destinations – reunites readers with print in physical spaces. While he’s not a philanthropist – the stores do need to make

a profit – Hao feels that even if browsers don’t purchase anything, they should still be inspired by their surroundings. Three Zhongshuge interiors graced the pages of Frame in 2017 – each temple of books as radical as the next. And the fact that Hao has enlisted other designers, such as Wutopia Lab, is proof that it’s not only X+Living's influence at play in the dramatic results. – TI




Jin Hao (right) has worked with different designers to achieve equally impressive results for Zhongshuge bookstores. Wutopia Lab’s interior in Suzhou is pictured.




Derek Hudson

India Mahdavi’s Red Valentino boutique in London was lauded for its ‘clarity of design’ and its ‘timeless and fresh’ aesthetic.


Single-Brand Store of the Year

LONDON / TOKYO – The jury was deadlocked when faced with the nominees for Single-Brand Store of the Year. The only solution? A tie. The accolade is shared by India Mahdavi’s Red Valentino boutique in London’s Sloane Street and L’Officine Universelle Buly’s first Tokyo store, a project by owner Ramdane Touhami. Jury members praised Mahdavi’s ‘clarity of design’, as well as her store’s ‘timeless and fresh’ aesthetic. Velvet and other plush materials play a leading role in the

Paris-based designer’s evocation of a dreamlike state of mind, complete with full-moon mirrors. Using softness and sweetness as keywords, Mahdavi paints a theatrical picture of the Red Valentino muse as romantic, feminine and eccentric. Surrealism led the way in Touhami’s winning project, noted for its ‘boldness, craftsmanship and community-creating approach’. To portray the store’s paradoxical nature – its roots in 19th-century France and its representation in 21st-century Japan

– Touhami split the Daikanyama space in two. One side recalls a Parisian past, with woodwork crafted by a French carpenter using traditional techniques, while the other imagines a clinical concrete-rich pharmacy of the future. Uniting two stories meant uniting two cultures: French and Japanese craftspeople worked side by side on the project. – TI buly1803.com india-mahdavi.com

Kozo Takayama



The jury commended L’Officine Universelle Buly by Ramdane Touhami for its ‘boldness, craftsmanship and community-creating approach’.

Courtesy of Cheungvogl


Shao Feng

X+Living’s Zhongshuge bookstore in Chengdu was noted for its ‘human’ qualities and ‘cultural engagement’. Zhongshuge also won Client of the Year (see p. 106).




SAINT PETERSBURG / CHENGDU –Like its Single-Brand-Store counterpart, the category of Multi-Brand Store of the Year is dominated by two designs: Au Pont Rouge by Cheungvogl and Zhongshuge bookstore by X+Living. Cheungvogl updated the Saint Petersburg department store by replacing stock-filled floors with a clean exhibition space, complete with a robotic system that delivers merchandise to checkout points within the 110-year-old building’s bones. This move to make the logistics visible was one of the reasons the jury picked the project, along with Au Pont Rouge’s ‘radical contrast, consistency and innovation’. Cheungvogl also included a spa, treatment areas and – in a bid to merge offline and online – a Selfie Room. Trumping the injection of technology into the space,

Making the logistics of the space visible, Cheungvogl imbued the historical Au Pont Rouge department store with ‘radical contrast, consistency and innovation’.


however, was the designers’ desire to return the department store to its former role as a social catalyst. As the future of the typology comes into question, Au Pont Rouge will discover whether offering shoppers a powerful physical experience is what it needs to survive in a digital age. Likewise, X+Living (see p. 102) creates a retail destination rather than a place to simply purchase goods. For Zhongshuge bookstore in Chengdu, the designer tells the story of the historical Chinese city through elements within the space. Bamboo-inspired bookshelves are a ‘Zhongshuge specific’ shape, while mirrored ceilings amplify the lecture hall and children’s zone. The jury was drawn to the project’s ‘human’ qualities, as well as to its ‘cultural engagement’. – TI cheungvogl.com xl-muse.com

Team Peter Stigter





AMSTERDAM – Noman Studio’s candycoloured pop-up shop took the top spot in its retail category. Introduced in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, the project for Esprit x Opening Ceremony offers a new spin on flat-packed furniture. The Dutch designers folded sheets of Pyrasied Xtreme Acrylic – think origami – and cut out strips, squares and rectangles to make displays that provide a variety of presentation options. The jury first commented on the project’s ‘cleanness’, an attribute bolstered largely by the use of one main material. Other high points included its ‘modularity’,

the fact that it’s ‘easy to mount’ (a definite bonus for a pop-up shop) and the design’s production process, which generated little waste. The store was described as ‘subtle yet present’, a quality the designers had in mind during the pop-up’s realization. Changing tactics after seeing the space, Noman developed its initial idea – a Plexiglas box in the centre of the room – by cutting and flipping the walls of the box until functional display units appeared. Dotted throughout the room, the translucent displays almost seemed to float. – TI noman-studio.com


Noman’s pop-up store for Esprit x Opening Ceremony received praise for its ‘cleanness’ and ‘modularity’, as well as for its easy assembly and reduced-waste production.


LONDON – YourStudio’s étalage for London’s Topshop marked the launch of the brand’s summer swimwear campaign. Providing what the jury called a ‘strong engaging experience’ and a ‘blend of showroom and window’, Topshop Splash responded to customer insights gathered by the designers prior to starting the project. Data revealed that more than ever before, Topshop’s clientele are prioritizing experiences over transactions. The journey began with a swimmingpool scene in the shop windows, an effect

created with moulded resin sheets that, when teamed with lighting, appeared to sparkle like water on a sunny day. The theme continued in-store, with a 65-m-long water slide snaking its way through merchandise before terminating at the window display. Programmable LEDs along the tunnel’s length mimicked running water and simulated the slide in use, while the scents and sounds of summer – wafts of coconut and sunscreen, along with an audio stream of flowing water, seagulls and bathers splashing – engaged the senses.

Customers could go a step further on the engagement scale by physically taking a seat in the store window. Here, at the top of a slide seemingly shooting straight out of Topshop and onto the street, visitors donned VR headsets and took a ‘ride’ down Oxford and Regent Streets and beyond, eventually arriving at a tropical island. – TI weareyourstudio.com




Courtesy of YourStudio and Topshop UK

A ‘blend of showroom and window’, Topshop Splash by YourStudio yielded a ‘strong engaging experience’.






Dylan Perrenoud

‘It’s an amazing idea that stretches the imagination,’ was jury member Glenn Pushelberg’s reaction to pop-up bar Shelter.

GENEVA – It may be an overused term, but ‘innovative’ does describe a forward-thinking approach – which is why it was one of the criteria for the Frame Award nominees. The Hospitality jury found what they were looking for in Shelter, an inflatable bar by Daniel Zamarbide of Bureau, together with Leopold Banchini. ‘Fresh and new’, remarked the panel. The pop-up (or in this case ‘blowup’) phenomenon is nothing new, of course, as proved by a spate of temporary restaurants, shops and the like that have cropped up across the globe in recent years. Creating a temporary environment to house an event – which is already an ephemeral occasion – is almost a no-brainer. Not only does it fit the concept; in some cases it can actually heighten it.

Through their work, Zamarbide and Banchini search for ‘intense moments of architecture and design’, says Zamarbide. Such moments ‘intensify the gathering of a temporary community’ simply because they do not last, a fact that ‘gives the experience a particular taste. Shelter in Geneva was a one-night project – like a one-night stand,’ he says. ‘The space was dark, ungraspable, curved.’ The entire structure, as well as the furniture within it, was constructed from PVC membrane. When the party is over, the whole thing can be deflated and shipped off to another site. Jury member Glenn Pushelberg of Yabu Pushelburg was particularly enthusiastic: ‘It’s an amazing idea that stretches the imagination. Fantastic.’ – TI bureau.ac leopoldbanchini.com



Brooke Holm


Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera took home gold for its ‘interesting use of materials’ and its ‘balance of femininity and masculinity – of rough and smooth’.



DUBAI – When the team at Alexander & Co. saw the shape and scale of Dubai Opera – a soaring boat-shaped building with barely a straight line in sight and the site of their new project, a restaurant for Sydney-based chef Sean Connolly – one thing was immediately clear. They had to work with the irregularity of the architecture. Drawing from the Australian and New Zealand influences present in Connolly’s cuisine, the architects moulded an ocean of opulence. The jury commended both Alexander & Co.’s ‘interesting use of materials’ and its ‘balance of femininity and masculinity –

of rough and smooth’. The sea-inspired palette includes coral colours and pearlescent finishes – an oyster reference that carries through to the ceiling tiles, which echo the smooth underside of an oyster shell. Much of the fit-out is bespoke – another factor in the jury’s decision – with contributions by local artists. Alongside Tracey Deep’s suspended floral structures that feature native flora, Jacqui Fink’s merinowool sculpture hangs from the ceiling like skeins of seaweed floating beneath the ocean’s surface. – TI alexanderand.co



Emiliano Hotel was lauded for its ‘strong Brazilian identity’ and ‘integration of architecture, interiors and furniture’.





Fernando Guerra

RIO DE JANEIRO – ‘Local’ is the word on everyone’s lips when it comes to today’s trailblazing hospitality venues, so it’s no surprise that the winning hotel – Emiliano by Studio Arthur Casas with Oppenheim Architecture in Rio de Janeiro – plays to its Brazilian backdrop. What the jury described as a ‘strong Brazilian identity’ shines both outside and in, from the façade’s customized skinlike surface – a perforated motif that’s typical of the nation’s architecture – to an interior steeped in Brazilian modernism.

Jury members also complimented the ‘integration of architecture, interiors and furniture’. Studio Arthur Casas based Emiliano Hotel’s spaces on a work of art by Roberto Burle Marx that hangs in the lobby and furnished them with pieces by notable Brazilian designers from past and present; a Sergio Rodrigues sits alongside a Paola Lenti. Local materials – including cane, wood, white Paraná marble, granite and stone – complete the picture. – TI arthurcasas.com



Jonathan Leijonhufvud



GUANGZHOU – The studio behind the Cinema of the Year had been decided long before the prize-giving ceremony. No one could match the might of One Plus Partnership, whose otherworldly theatres claimed all five nominations in this division of the hospitality competition. Jinyi Cinemas in Guangzhou rose above all others, with jury members likening the project to an art installation. ‘There’s an integrated set of ideas,’ they noted. ‘It’s inspiring and creates a fantasy.’

Each of One Plus Partnership’s cinemas takes its cues from an aspect of filmmaking. For Jinyi, Virginia Lung and Ajax Law went extremely abstract, looking to the galaxy for inspiration. ‘A meteor shower is a short-lived yet beautiful astronomical occurrence,’ says Law. ‘The design pays tribute to filmmakers and reminds the audience of the years of hard work behind each relatively short film.’ One Plus Partnership captured the motion associated with the celestial event through

rectangular aluminium volumes that dive diagonally from the ceiling. As observed by the jury, the designers iterated the oblique angle by incorporating slanted forms into such other details as signage and tiles. Each of Jinyi’s movie theatres takes the meteor-shower theme in a slightly different direction. In one, seats are replaced by beds that invite the audience to lie back and stargaze before the projector rolls. – TI onepluspartnership.com


‘There’s an integrated set of ideas,’ remarked the jury. ‘It’s inspiring and creates a fantasy.’



Helenio Barbetta

Creating more than a typical gym, Storage Associati arrived at what the jury deemed a ‘varied yet complete’ design for Ceresio 7.


Health Club of the Year


MILAN – ‘It takes the ideas beyond the typical gym,’ expressed the jury when justifying the choice of Ceresio 7 as Health Club of the Year. Indeed, the project – which includes a spa and treatment rooms – is not your average sweat centre. No tired exercise equipment crammed together like cans on a supermarket shelf. No mirror-clad walls to please the iron-pumping parade. Storage Associati’s pared-back approach to the space – an addition to fashion brand Dsquared2’s Milanese headquarters – produced an alliance of brutalism and luxury. Concealing all mechanical systems, the designers removed non-loadbearing walls to achieve a sense of spaciousness. Into this cavern they introduced materials such as Ceppo Lombardo stone, black rubber flooring and teal-tinted glass. All furniture – lamps, desks, chairs, benches – is custom-made, and fitness equipment was tailored to the project, resulting in what the jury called a ‘varied yet complete’ design. – TI storageassociati.com




The jury was drawn to NeueHouse Hollywood’s reinterpretation of the co-working typology, as well as to the project’s ‘flexibility and beautiful execution’.

Emily Andrews




LOS ANGELES – ‘In a new typology of coworking, this project expands its programme to include live-performance spaces.’ That’s just one of the reasons the jury selected NeueHouse Hollywood over its rivals. The Los Angeles-based project – a collaboration between Rockwell Group and NeueHouse Studio – was also applauded for is ‘flexibility and beautiful execution’. Housed within a landmarked 1930s building, NeueHouse Hollywood puts a

luxury spin on the home-comforts aesthetic. Following the sensitive restoration of existing elements, such as curved walls and porthole windows, the 9,000-m2 interior was fitted out like a collector’s cave filled with ‘souvenirs’ from fictitious ‘exotic travels’. As noted by the jury, flexibility forms the crux of the concept. Library desks double as communal task and dining tables, a boardroom moonlights as a private dining room, and the ‘Spanish steps’ offer an

alternative workspace-cum-amphitheatre. Individual rooms further facilitate adaptability: movable walls transform a four-person studio into a space fit for ten. ‘NeueHouse Hollywood allows for noise and a bit of chaos,’ concluded the jury. ‘And it’s not greedy with space for people working.’ – TI rockwellgroup.com neuehouse.com


ACDF Architecture was singled out for its artistic approach to Lightspeed 2, where sculptural cubes ‘create neighbourhoods of colour’.





Adrien Williams

MONTREAL – Lightspeed’s Montreal workspace marries old and new – a reference to both its location in a 19th-century railway hotel and its inhabitants, a thriving tech business. After designing the first phase of the software company’s headquarters, ACDF Architecture was called in to realize a new home for the product-development teams. The jury remarked that ‘the concept is crystal clear and applied well throughout the project’. That concept involves the definition of team zones within an open-plan layout by means of shadow-like shards of colour that spread over walls and floor. Within its designated area, a group has its own desks,

meeting room and socializing space. The designers refer to the result as an ‘archipelago that encourages gatherings to take place in between spaces, while the surrounding pastel walls double as whiteboards for impromptu meetings’. Jury members appreciated the ‘imaginative’ approach. ‘The cubes generate art pieces and create neighbourhoods of colour.’ Other comments referred to a ‘transformative space’ with ‘good wayfinding’, while highlighting the project’s ‘interesting use of materials’, such as glossy epoxy resin and gypsum, which are ‘beautifully applied’. – TI acdf.ca


Jasper Sanidad/544 Media





‘There’s transparency between departments,’ noted the jury when discussing Assembly Design Studio’s ATG Center for Uber. ‘You sit at your desk and see the product. It’s visually inclusive.’

PITTSBURGH – Assembly Design Studio cottoned on to a growing trend in office design – and jury members tasked with the work category approved: ‘There’s transparency between departments. You sit at your desk and see the product. It’s visually inclusive.’ The project is Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) Center in Pittsburgh, a lab-like environment in which the transportation network company researches

and develops its ideas. The jury was drawn to both the idea of transparency and the realization of the concept, emphasizing that ‘the lamination of views plays well with the art’. Also highlighted was the ‘choice of materials’, as well as the ‘combination of warmth and high-end design’. Using the location – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, aka Steel City – as inspiration, Assembly complemented the stark white showroom space with

industrial-look aesthetics: weathered Cortensteel frames, glass passages and floors made from local hardwoods. The jury appreciated the level of detail in the 7,450-m2 space: ‘The lighting is beautifully done – there are no visible sources.’ – TI assembly-design.com






Kudos from the jury included a compliment for Bombardi’s successful attempt to ‘broaden the potential of cooking’.

Luca Privitera

VERBANIA – Cooking classes are rarely found in elementary schools, but cooking is a subject that’s taken quite seriously at the Maria Peron School in Verbania, a village at the foot of the Italian Alps, northwest of Milan. Francesco Bombardi’s ‘cooking lab’ for kids is equipped with every safety measure imaginable, because open fire and many kitchen appliances pose a danger to small children. The Italian architect provided LABolla with an electric mill, a thermoformer, fermentation cells, a hydroponic garden, a distiller and digital devices – all of which can be used to teach pupils everything they need to know about cultivating vegetables and using them in the preparation of food. Bombardi believes it’s important to teach children to grow and cook vegetables. ‘Kitchens are amazing labs, suitable for every school,’ he says. ‘By cooking, you can learn about history, geography, mathematics and physics. Preparing recipes from different cultures together allows children to find a universal language, with a strong message of inclusion.’ The jury was delighted at the sight of this cheerful, optimistic project. ‘Bombardi makes cooking playful and interactive, a veritable discovery process. The design broadens the potential of cooking: it brings in basic materials and integrates them with elements of research and learning.’ Some members of the jury imagined themselves attending his classes. ‘I would love to cook in this lab,’ said Corien Pompe of Philips Design. – DK francescobombardi.it




Healthcare Centre of the Year

OLDHAM – Architect Alex de Rijke of DRMM lost his girlfriend, Lucy Steed-Fassett, to cancer. Her death is one reason why his design for Maggie’s Centre in Oldham, a town in Greater Manchester, England, is near to his heart. ‘In hospital architecture, where clinical, institutionalized environments and management procedures can make patients feel dispirited and disempowered,’ he says, ‘cancer patients feel desperate and therefore hand over control of their lives too easily to medical processes. Their time is precious, yet huge amounts are wasted waiting hours in hospitals, on steel and plastic furniture in rooms without daylight, contemplating vending machines and mortality.’ De Rijke took a radically different approach to Maggie’s Centre Oldham. The homelike building, which resembles a modernist villa, is an ‘engineered timber and glass construction’ that features American tulipwood, a fast-growing deciduous wood of the genus Magnolia. The material was used for the centre’s cross-laminated hardwood frame, its thermally modified façade cladding and its furniture. The soft appearance of timber contributes to a patient-friendly environment. De Rijke paid as much attention to the occupants’ requirements as possible, ‘from the effect of light levels and colour on skin made sensitive from radiotherapy’ to details like wooden rather than metal door handles, which help prevent ‘the neuropathy of fingers made painful by chemotherapy’. The jury admired De Rijke’s ‘personal engagement with the material’ and a ‘total experience well thought through’. The design ‘supports the users’ experience, while showing sensitivity to their needs. The materials – wood for everything from floors to door handles – are carefully chosen. The design takes into consideration the family factor, focuses on the interior rather than the outdoors and integrates environmental consciousness.’ – DK drmm.co.uk

Alex de Rijke



‘The design takes into consideration the family factor. It focuses on the interior rather than the outdoors and integrates environmental consciousness.’


‘The architects crossed borders by using European-inspired architecture,’ said the jury. ‘They made a bold statement with a long-lasting expression.’




Government Interior of the Year NEW SHANGHAI THEATRE BY NERI&HU

SHANGHAI – Built in the 1930s, the Shanghai Theatre became state property in 1958, when it was placed under the cultural administration of the city’s Xuhui district. The building went on to fulfil various functions, including that of a supermarket, before closing its doors in 2011. Last year Chinese architecture firm Neri&Hu converted it once again, returning the building – still in the hands of the government – to its original role. The architects left the large auditorium intact but gave the entrance area a brand-new appearance. Lyndon Neri and Rosanna Hu’s dramatic design begins with a façade that folds inward, contributing to a public area that connects the street with the foyer. Overhead is a massive stone-clad volume that offers shelter

to visitors entering the foyer – a high, rather sacred space illuminated by daylight from above. Vertical bronze louvres form the walls. ‘The architects crossed borders by using European-inspired architecture,’ said the jury. ‘They made a bold statement with a long-lasting expression.’ The jury also praised the ‘solid use of genuine material’ and appreciated the difference between day and night. During the day, ‘a solid block of concrete hovers above the entrance. At night, it lights up and exerts a magical mood that draws in the visitors.’ As a tasteful example of how to connect the old and the new, the project ‘includes the past and embraces today, but misses the future’. – DK neriandhu.com

Pedro Pegenaute


The jury was intrigued by Annual Arca’s ‘aura of permanence’, a quality not typically associated with trade-fair stands.




Pablo Da Ronco


MEXICO CITY – Annual Arca was originally on show at Expo CIHAC in Mexico City, the Latin American construction industry’s largest fair. The project saw ten prominent Mexican architects and designers – Héctor Esrawe, Manuel Cervantes, Mauricio Rocha, Javier Sánchez, Javier Claverie, Rafael Rivera, Jorge Arvizu, Ignacio Del Río, Emmanuel Ramírez and Diego Ricalde – unite to explore the origins of marble. At the beginning of 2017, the team travelled to central Italy to visit Carrara, a city known for its white and blue-grey marble. The aim was to learn about the heritage and processes surrounding the ubiquitous material before translating

that knowledge into a trade-fair stand for the group’s clients, Mármoles Arca and The Woodshop. ‘The clients gave us complete freedom in developing the stand,’ says Esrawe, director of Esrawe Studio. ‘The brief was based largely on the values of Mármoles Arca and the goal of having closer contact with architects, whom our clients wanted to approach with the right language. It wasn’t about showing a catalogue and samples, but about starting a dialogue to discuss possibilities.’ The architects reproduced a single mass of Oxford-grey granite more than 400 times. Despite the uniformity of the stones, lighting effects seemingly imbued

each sculpted form with a different tone. The jury found that the result ‘created strong usage and an astonishing space’. Another of the group’s objectives was to question the short-lifespan-tomassive-investment ratio associated with such fairs. Unlike many expo presentations, Annual Arca was given an afterlife as a public sculpture. An installation that was initially nomadic, says Esrawe, ‘eventually found a permanent home in a public park’. Jury members recognized this quality in the project, drawing attention to its ‘aura of permanence’. – TI marmolesarca.com.mx

Mike Bink



Exhibition of the Year MASTER OF LIGHT BY STUDIO OTW

ALKMAAR – ‘Simple dramatic theatre’ is what the jury had to say about Master of Light, a temporary exhibition of Emanuel de Witte’s work at Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar in the Netherlands. Studio OTW conceptualized the space around De Witte’s passion for painting church interiors and his focus on the warmth and animation of light. Crafting an abstract chapel inside the museum gallery, Studio OTW gave illumination the principal role. Grouped together on walls, De Witte’s works were displayed beneath light projections masquerading as church windows. Theatermachine brought the illusion to life, producing a 30-minute projection loop that played out across the gallery floor. Tree branches appeared to sway in an imaginary wind, and clouds momentarily obscured ‘daylight’. As time passed, shadows stretched out as if the sun was beginning to set, eventually disappearing as darkness fell. ‘Visitors literally stepped into the artist’s beloved subject matter,’ commented the jury, calling the exhibition ‘immediately immersive’. – TI studio-otw.com



‘Visitors literally stepped into the artist’s beloved subject matter,’ said the jury about Master of Light, an exhibition of paintings by Emanuel de Witte.





LONDON – Ugly Lies the Bone, a play by Lindsey Ferrentino shown at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton in London, was current in both content and execution. The play centres on a US war veteran who returns from Afghanistan with debilitating burns and undergoes virtual-reality therapy. Setdesign extraordinaire Es Devlin transformed the tale into a bowl-shaped stage, which served as both the protagonist’s escape and her prison. Scenes switched between the epic imagery unfolding within her headset and the claustrophobic reality of domestic life. The jury complimented Devlin’s ‘combination of real and virtual sets to create a holistic seamless performance’. Members called the concept ‘smart and innovative: a contemporary vision with layers of narrative’. – TI esdevlin.com


The jury complimented Devlin’s ‘combination of real and virtual sets to create a holistic seamless performance’ for Ugly Lies the Bone.



Faruk Pinjo

The jury appreciated the ‘extremely simple, strong statement’ formulated with the use of a single colour for each space.



DORNBIRN – The Dornbirn exhibition centre rose to the west of the small Austrian city in the mid-1970s. When the time came to give the buildings a makeover, Dietrich Untertrifaller Architects began by designing a master plan. The next step was a competition for the renovation of four exhibition halls on the west side of the central axis. The proposal selected was submitted by Marte.Marte Architects. In their design, brothers Bernhard and Stefan Marte united the four buildings by filling the open spaces between them with new reception areas and circulation

systems. The result was a single huge building 170 m long and nearly 70 m wide – covered in black corrugated panelling. New entrances between the existing halls are marked by enormous elliptical openings that reveal a monochromatic red interior resembling the exposed organs of a living creature. Black returns in the walls and ceilings of the halls themselves to complete a powerful image composed of few resources – in the words of the jury, an ‘extremely simple, strong statement’ formulated with the use of a single colour for each space. – DK marte-marte.com



The jury delighted in the ‘drama, control, and simplicity’ of the lighting design.



Best Use of Light


Dirk Weiblen

SHANGHAI – Jian Li Ju Theatre is not your everyday playhouse. Visitors to the Shanghai venue are also the performers. Prior to the show, they’re given a time, a location and a number. After entering the building, they descend a dark stairwell to the basement and take a seat in a white waiting room lined with benches. When numbers appear on the floor in front of the dressing rooms facing them, each ‘actor’ goes into the room indicated by his or her number, dons the costume hanging there, and proceeds to a blue antechamber for stage instructions. After the performance, the actors depart through a hall of mirrors. More Design Office took the cinematographic expression of film noir as its point of departure. The sequence of monochromatic spaces features a striking contrast of light and colour, creating the effect of screenshots on a reel of film. The architects, who mention Bernard Tschumi’s 1976 Screenplays project as a source of inspiration, say that the overall result is meant to evoke ‘a 1950s Hollywood melodrama’. The jury recognized the architects’ intentions. ‘With limited resources, they produced a great journey using light’, a fusion of ‘drama, control and simplicity’. – DK moredesignoffice.com



‘We love the link to the heritage of the brand, reapplied.’

SINGAPORE – After Singaporean studio Produce designed a shop-in-shop for furniture manufacturer Herman Miller in 2012 – an outlet in interior-concept store Xtra – both Xtra and the Herman Miller shop moved to a new location. Once more, Produce stepped in to create a new interior for the latter, this time on Singapore’s Marina Square. Here, too, Produce dipped into the archives of the American maker of office furniture and home furnishings. The search revealed two core elements: Eames

moulded-plywood chairs and ergonomic office chairs that adapt to the form of the human body. With these pieces in mind, Produce studied how tailors use tapered tucks – or darts – to shape a garment to the curves of their clients. The designers applied the technique to the perforated plywood framework that dominates the retail interior. The use of darts allowed them to bend the material into the desired shape. By experimenting with darts of different widths, they managed to vary the contours

of their structure and, ultimately, to design a three-dimensional creation for which CAD software determined the width of each dart. The result is an impressive double-curved plywood ‘envelope’ that references both the Eames chairs and Herman Miller’s ergonomic office chairs. The project impressed the jury. ‘We love the link to the heritage of the brand, reapplied,’ was one reaction, along with ‘great use of technology’. – DK produce.com.sg


Edward Hendricks


Best Use of Material PRODUCE WORKSHOP




Best Use of Digital Technology TABEGAMI SAMA BY MOMENT FACTORY

TOKYO – ‘Great storytelling and excellent use of technology’, the jury said of Tabegami Sama, a temporary exhibition about Japan’s food culture that occupied an abandoned building in Tokyo business district Nihonbashi. Together with Sony Music Communications Japan, Moment Factory designed and executed four installations that told the story of washoku, which means ‘food of Japan’. The Valley invited visitors to explore the environment where rice grows. In this exhibition space, visitors interacted with natural elements while searching for Uka, a fox hiding within the landscape. The 4 Ways

installation focused on four ways to prepare food: boiling, grilling, steaming and frying. Each method was represented by a geometric shape that responded to visitors’ body movements. Sanctuary highlighted the essential ingredients of Japanese cuisine, such as sake, dashi and fermented foods. And Dialogue visualized the connection between rice and the land where it’s cultivated. Guests were invited to compose their own landscapes by shaping rice in a large bowl. The designers, who used various digital techniques, explained a number of hurdles and fine points of their design: ‘For

the four rooms, we had to come up with custom sensor rigs to adapt to the low ceilings and be able to provide the most reactive and robust experience. We used 2D laser scanners to create touch-sensitive surfaces and employed ten depth cameras. The latter were used to track visitors’ silhouettes, their touch gestures and their interaction with the rice bowl in the last room.’ – DK momentfactory.com


Courtesy of Moment Factory

The jury report on Tabegami Sama included the words ‘great storytelling and excellent use of technology’.




‘A traditional technique applied in a very contemporary way’ was the overall judgment.




Courtesy of Jut Group

TAIPEI – Taiwanese property developer Jut Group asked MVRDV to design the interior of the auditorium that serves its head office in Taipei. It was not the first collaboration between the two parties. Some ten years ago, the architects realized a temporary Museum of Tomorrow for the Jut Foundation for Arts and Architecture, a cultural institute affiliated with the property developer.

The 2017 project saw Argentinian textile artist Alexandra Kehayoglou cover the walls and floors of the 240-m2 auditorium with a work made from green yarn. The piece is the result of a laborious hand-tufting process that successfully mimics elements of nature, such as grass and moss. It took Kehayoglou over a year to complete. She used remnants from her family’s carpet factory in Buenos Aires.

MVRDV cofounder Winy Maas calls her contribution ‘a green dreamscape’. The jury was smitten by this work of art. ‘A traditional technique applied in a very contemporary way’ was the overall judgment.– DK mvrdv.com



Filip Dujardin

‘Designing by borrowing materials shows good thinking about a new style.’



EINDHOVEN – For the first edition of the World Design Event, a feature of Dutch Design Week 2017, Bureau SLA and Overtreders W designed and realized a temporary pavilion made completely from recyclable materials borrowed from suppliers, manufacturers and residents of Eindhoven. To return the materials to their owners undamaged, the architects used no screws, adhesives, drills or saws. The frame was composed of timber beams in standard lengths, supplied by wholesaler Stiho; concrete piles; and, tying the lot together, strong steel straps that rely on friction to do their job. Windows, doors and roof were also made with recycled building

materials. Façades were clad in plastic shingles retrieved from household rubbish. Erected in October, People’s Pavilion greeted visitors for nine days before being dismantled at the beginning of November. As promised, the materials were returned to their owners intact. During its short life, the pavilion appealed to viewers’ imaginations. It combined a strong design language with new ways of working and intelligent building techniques. An enthusiastic jury gave the project high marks: ‘Designing by borrowing materials shows good thinking about a new style.’ – DK bureausla.nl overtreders-w.nl






CAPE TOWN – Innovation can be manifested spatially, technically, visually, socially – and the list goes on. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa, exhibits several types of innovation. Housed in a former silo, the museum is the result of a collaboration between German entrepreneur Jochen Zeitz and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a private company that redeveloped Cape Town’s harbour area into the commercially successful destination it is today. The nearly 80-year-old grain silo that dominates the area had been in disuse since 2001, but a clear-cut occasion for repurposing the building was a long time coming, owing to its enormous size and complex construction. The situation changed when Zeitz – an ardent collector of African art – and V&A

joined forces and resolved to establish a museum. The Royal Portfolio, a luxury hotel chain, obtained the rights to convert part of the tower into a hotel. British architect Thomas Heatherwick took responsibility for the design of the project. Heatherwick’s main intervention, visible only in the interior, is both radical and brilliant. From a dense grid of 42 cylindrical shafts, each 5.5 m in diameter, he carved a cathedral-like space that is illuminated with daylight entering from above. This is not the first silo to be repurposed, but it’s the first to be reused in such an innovative way. The jury agreed: ‘The architect created an interior out of silos that were never meant as an interior. The result is an impressive inside-out feeling.’ – DK heatherwick.com

‘The architect created an interior out of silos that were never meant as an interior.’

Iwan Baan




Ben Rahn/A-Frame

The jury was impressed by the ‘inclusion of a specific target group’.



TORONTO – Homeless youth are a vulnerable group, especially in big cities. In Toronto, youth organization Eva’s set up a housing project for people from 16 to 24 years of age. Called Eva’s Phoenix, it offers homeless youngsters a place to live for a year. The project at 60 Brant Street is the work of LGA Architectural Partners, which renovated two listed buildings from the 1930s. The architects lined both sides of an interior street – covered in a glazed roof that provides the space with daylight – with ten townhouses that accommodate a total of 50 residents. Each townhouse consists of a communal living and kitchen area on the ground floor

and five brightly coloured private bedrooms on the floor above, as well as two shared bathrooms. The interior street is the main get-together area. Rooms for working and meeting are at the top level, directly beneath the glass roof. Additional facilities include a shared teaching kitchen on the ground floor and, in the basement, a commercial print shop, both of which give occupants an opportunity to train in a working environment. The jury was impressed by the ‘inclusion of a specific target group, which makes this project special and unique’. – DK lga-ap.com






The large-format surface Dekton opens a new world of possibilities for design and architecture projects. Dekton offers multiple possibilities of colors and finishes in thicknesses of 8, 12 and 20 mm. Indoor or outdoor, Dekton shows an outstanding resistance and durability to make your projects unlimited.

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Held in Amsterdam in conjunction with Frame Awards, FRAME LAB: THE NEXT SPACE explored the future of spaces through the eyes of international designers, established furniture brands and up-and-coming creatives.

The Next Space Words



How to give stores an air of showmanship? Can spaces heal us? Will we live in 3D-printed houses? These were among the questions posed during two days of immersive talks, multisensorial exhibitions and workshops at FRAME LAB: THE NEXT SPACE. Held on 21 and 22 February at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek in conjunction with FRAME AWARDS – complete with live judging and a prizegiving ceremony – the event explored the future of spaces through the eyes of international designers, established furniture brands and up-and-coming creatives. The exhibition space examined the future of spatial design from diverse angles: ME, WE, WORLD and WELLNESS. Ongoing themes within the industry, these four categories became a platform for scrutinizing design on both an individual and a global scale – from customization and personalization to collaboration, inclusiveness and future-proofing. Despite the breadth of content, overarching themes emerged. Humancentric spaces that prioritize individual experiences will gain importance, and while technology will play a more dominant role in our future surroundings, it shouldn’t feel that

way. Technology should be more integrated into our environments, helping to develop spaces that are more immersive and interactive. And Hans Vermeulen, cofounder of Dus Architects, is convinced that we will eventually live in 3D-printed houses. FRAME LAB: THE NEXT SPACE was developed in partnership with the INTERIOR BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (IBA). The German organization represents the officefurnishing industry and addresses key factors in the design of workspaces. To help employers conceive an ideal environment, IBA advises on everything from furniture and lighting to the use of integrated technology. ‘As a representative of the internationally operating office-andcontract-furnishing sector, and as the conceptual sponsor of Orgatec, the leading trade fair for today’s working culture, IBA must think beyond the current state of interior design and the established format of industry events,’ says Thomas Jünger, general manager of IBA. Frame Lab, he says, is going in the right direction. frameawards.com/frame-lab

IBA will present a lecture and a workshop area at Orgatec in Cologne (23-27 October 2018). This year’s theme, Culture@Work, explores today’s nomadic workforce




The notion of ‘luxury’ is changing. No longer defined by money, pricey possessions and comfort, the word is becoming more synonymous with time and personal attention. From tailormade experiences to objects that put the consumer in the driver’s seat, customization is strengthening the connection between product and user.


High-tech prints on high-resolution photographic fabric: Wallstyle.com’s products can be fitted with integrated LED backlighting to create displays with greater depth and detail. wallstyle.com



Lidian van Megen

Floor tiles are transformed into television screens with ASB LumiFlex. The product by ASB GlassFloor can be used for anything from stages that transform beneath a performer’s feet to illuminated basketball courts with sensor technology that eliminates the need for referees.



S 4.0 is Interstuhl’s answer to too much time spent sitting, often in a rigid and ergonomically incorrect position. Developed with Garmin, the app brings movement to the workplace by giving feedback on the user’s sitting habits, suggesting exercises and reminding individuals to adjust their posture. interstuhl.com


Komt Goed – Dutch for ‘everything will be okay’ – is a kit-of-parts-style furniture project by Jasmijn Muskens. Components can be combined in multiple ways to make various pieces, leaving the end result in the hands of the user. Tossing objects from around the house into the mix makes for a truly personal product. jasmijnmuskens.com


Alice Bleton aims to counteract today’s indoor-orientated society with a series of rooftop pods. Offering a chance to both escape from and reconnect with the city, Bleton’s Monade Capsules are inspired by spaceships, submarines and bunkers. Propped atop soaring urbanscapes, they provide invaluable me-time and a new perspective on the surrounding environment. alicebleton.com


Made to Measure AECTUAL rejects standardization in architecture in favour of custom-made solutions. Cofounder Hedwig Heinsman explains her company’s strategy.


What’s the thinking behind Aectual? HEDWIG HEINSMAN (Aectual): Our aim is to make one-of-a-kind architecture and production accessible to a global public by means of XL 3D printing, to offer architects new tools that break with standardization, and to be part of a circular, zero-waste economy. How does it work? Aectual offers digital made-to-measure building products. By combining software tools developed inhouse with our XL 3D print robotics, we can provide a fully automated supply chain, from design to production, which allows us to fill any number of on-demand bespoke orders. What makes ultra-personalized consumer products so attractive? Consumers as well as corporate clients like to see something of themselves or their brands in their homes or workplaces. Made-to-measure products show the attention paid to a project and thus reflect the value given to the user. Aectual’s products make a space personal and a perfect match for the user.

HEDWIG HEINSMAN is Aectual’s cofounder and chief creative officer.

Is there a big demand from architects and interior architects for tailor-made solutions? Absolutely. Many of the architects who opt for Aectual Floors want to design their own patterns. Generally speaking, architects and designers are limited to standard sizes. It’s difficult to realize attractive detailing when all these sizes don’t dovetail with one another. Our tailor-made products eliminate that problem. We’re also seeing the importance that designers place on Aectual’s reduction of waste and our use of fewer materials. Can you pinpoint some of the applications that Aectual has in mind? Our recently launched Aectual Floors combine 3D-printed bioplastic patterns and a bio-based terrazzo infill. We can 3D-print any design imaginable on very large areas, and every square metre can be unique. We also offer 3D-printed façade elements and 3D-printed moulds for concrete products, like one-off stairways. What is the designer’s role in the creation of a sustainable future? The designer’s role is crucial. Designers show us what’s possible. They’re constantly in search of innovation, in an attempt to build a more beautiful world. How do you think digital technologies like 3D printing are going to continue personalizing future architecture? In terms of architecture, the streetscape will become more diverse and more adaptive. Buildings will change in line with changing demands. New sources of materials will appear – think of places that lease building materials rather than selling them.

Aectual uses 3D printing to make sustainable, customized, patterned floors made from bio-binder terrazzo.

What about the future of Aectual? We’re working hard to make Aectual a global platform for and by diverse designers – a platform with a multifaceted character and a wide range of building products suitable for 3D printing. We want Aectual to be a destination that’s instantly accessible to everyone involved in the building industry – including architects, designers, consumers, contractors and developers – and that links these parties to one another as well. – FK aectual.com



Co-working and co-living: two terms that have recently entered the modern vernacular. That’s because the phenomena are linked to young professionals. Known as Generation Rent, they choose convenience and experience over acquisition and investment. How can design support collaboration and connection in the sharing economy?


Flexibility and customization are keywords in König + Neurath’s Standby Office 2.0. The mobile ergonomic workstation goes beyond standard adjustment ranges and includes lighting and acoustic screens, the latter of which can be reversed to switch between collaborative and individual tasks. A mechanism enables the system to be folded and packed away when not in use. koenig-neurath.de




In an effort to foster open dialogue in the workplace, many companies are fitting out breakout spaces with lounge furniture. Though well-intentioned, the approach often leads to the use of ergonomically unsuitable products. Sedus is out to solve the problem with Se:Works, a home-inspired furniture series that supports both relaxation and productivity. sedus.com



Konstantin Grcic’s Stool-Tool for Vitra satisfies the need for multifunctional furniture in the workplace. Comprising two levels, the stackable product invites users to define its function. One surface can become a chair, for instance, while the other serves as a table. vitra.com


German digital agency Exozet’s VR Design Multi Tool allows for accurate rendering of objects and environments before they are created in real life. The technology has far-reaching implications for designers, opening up an entirely new channel for communication and interaction with clients and colleagues. exozet.com



Conceptualized by Space10, together with Anton & Irene, online platform One Shared House 2030 asked visitors to apply for a co-living space potentially available in 12 years’ time.

Fair Share? Responding to the ever-increasing population of cities, SPACE10 held a survey to discover people’s ideas on co-living.

gain an insight into people’s ideas on co-living. Do they want to live together? What are they willing to share – and what not? Ultimately, such information can help us make better design decisions when it comes to creating the shared living spaces of tomorrow.

CARLA CAMMILLA HJORT is the director of Space10, the research and innovation lab of furniture giant Ikea. SIMON CASPERSEN is the lab’s communications director.

Why did you decide to focus on the topic of co-living at Ikea’s future-living lab, Space10? CARLA CAMMILLA HJORT: Research shows that that by 2030 nearly 70 per cent of the global population will live in urban areas, while almost two billion people won’t have access to adequate and affordable housing. Ikea could play a key role in the design of high-quality, sustainable, affordable homes. Co-living spaces are a potential solution to today’s rapid urbanization. For Ikea’s One Shared House 2030 project, we set out to

Why do you believe there’s a growing interest in sharing? SIMON CASPERSEN: Sharing can make life more affordable, but thrift is not the only factor. Sharing allows us to forge new relationships, and it promotes a collaborative ‘we’-based culture over a ‘me’-based culture. I think a lot of people long for a sense of community these days. I also believe attitudes towards ownership are shifting. More and more people share, trade, borrow and rent everything – from their homes and clothing to their furniture and vehicles – and think in terms of passing on resources instead of generating waste. What are people’s main reasons for coliving? SC: Some simply seek a cheaper rent, while others look for perks they couldn’t otherwise afford, but most people live together because they wish to be part of a community. Although more people than ever are living as singles, they don’t necessarily want to be alone.

CCH: We live closer to one another than ever before, but we don’t feel closer. Loneliness is a growing issue in urban areas. Aren’t there enough co-living options out there already? CCH: Yes, but most of today’s co-living facilities cater for students and young professionals. Certain demographics are just ‘forgotten’. Our society is not designed for older generations with a second life, for example. SC: It turns out most respondents to our survey would like to live in tightknit communities composed of four to ten people – nothing like the current co-living spaces that offer hundreds of bedrooms and huge common areas. The only exception to those who ticked off ‘four to ten’ were couples with children, who have a preference for a group of ten to 25 people, a number presumably based on sharing responsibility for the kids. Any other remarkable outcomes? CCH: The majority of participants like the idea of living with people of different backgrounds and ages. SC: I had to smile when I read that the biggest concerns of people over 60 are arguments and other people’s messes. – FK space10.io antonandirene.com



With concerns such as displacement, pollution and inclusion/ exclusion in the spotlight, societal and environmental issues are on the minds of many – including designers. Holding up a mirror to the situation, creatives are using their innovative nous to prompt others to sit up and pay attention.


Delving into both sustainability and wellbeing, Wilkhahn manufactures furniture such as PrintStool One by Thorsten Franck – a dynamic seat made from renewable and fully biodegradable printing material. Produced using 3D print technology, the body of the stool features intricate sculptural patterns; Franck refers to its ‘waffle texture’ and to an efficient ‘minimum of material’. wilkhahn.com


Biophilia – an innate love for the natural world – can be hard to grasp within an urban environment filled with technology and industrial architecture. Carpet-tile brand Interface harnesses this fundamental relationship through sustainable flooring inspired by the outdoors. David Oakey’s Human Connections Collection, for example, resembles urban meeting places. interface.com


The New Raw employs 3D printing to shorten material cycles, creating sustainable and locally produced public furniture. The XXX bench is generated from plastic waste sourced from households in the Dutch city of Amsterdam. According to the studio, 125 kg of CO2 emissions and 100 litres of oil are saved by using recycled rather than new plastic. thenewraw.org




With science and innovation at its core, chemical company BASF has a future-facing focus on sustainability. The organization’s Designfabrik® team specializes in materials consultancy, transforming customers’ ideas into satisfying solutions. The fruits of these collaborations are applied to such fields as furniture, footwear and mobility. basf.com


STU D I O K L ARENBEEK & DRO S A LGA E LAB Who, in the midst of all the excitement of 3D printers, has stopped to consider the environmental implications of the filament required to fuel them? In a project commissioned by Atelier Luma, Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros of Studio Klarenbeek & Dros are challenging production waste by converting living algae into bioplastic. Using 3D printers, the duo transforms the resulting material into a series of attractive vessels. ericklarenbeek.com maartjedros.nl


Wellsun’s Lumiduct solar panels address a critical contradiction within modern architecture. Seeking to be sustainable while meeting contemporary standards, architects have gravitated towards the unobstructed natural light and spaciousness afforded by glass façades. Lumiduct reconciles the aesthetic advantages of glass and the inherent problems associated with constant sun exposure, converting 99 per cent of direct sunlight into usable energy in the process. wellsun.nl


Winds of Change


JÓLAN VAN DER WIEL and BENTHEM CROUWEL ARCHITECTS join forces to examine how natural phenomena can serve the built environment.

What led to the establishment of research lab Forces for Architecture? JÓLAN VAN DER WIEL: We got to talking at an exhibition where I was presenting my magnetically formed stools. In the Gravity Series, I ‘manipulate’ the phenomenon of gravity. MARTEN WASSMANN (Benthem Crouwel Architects): Together we set up a lab and called it Forces for Architecture. We wanted to explore the feasibility of having natural forces contribute to buildings ordinarily designed to protect us from the forces of nature. Instead of resisting such forces, would it be possible to use them to our advantage in interactive architecture? What goes on in your lab? JW: We began by studying nature’s forces very analytically. We used our findings to create materials. We took a very interdisciplinary approach, collaborating with a scientist, for instance, who was developing self-growing buildings for Delft University of Technology and with an artist who works with glass, a material that can be liquid or solid. What can natural forces mean for architecture? MW: Both architects and furniture designers have to deal with magnetism and gravity. We can sit on a stool only when the forces around us work properly. In studying extreme situations, we discover how architec-

One outcome of the Forces for Architecture lab is Lightwaves, an installation composed of thousands of LEDs that mimic the behaviour of ocean-dwelling bioluminescent organisms by reacting to wind rather than water.

ture can make better use of such forces. One example is a building whose skin imitates the colours of nature as they change with the seasons. Perhaps more controversial is the possibility of simulating a natural phenomenon such as an earthquake to open up new design opportunities. Lightwaves is one result of Forces for Architecture. How does it work? JW: Lightwaves is a curtain of LEDs that reacts to wind. The installation can be activated only by the input of natural energy. It’s a phenomenon that appears in nature all the time – think of how wind fans fire and how breaking waves produce sea sparkles. We liked the idea of combining the natural phenomenon of wind with artificial light. Does a project like Lightwaves hold promise for other, more functional applications? MW: As of now, we see mainly artistic applications for a project like Lightwaves, but that doesn’t stop us from fantasizing about practical uses. Our aim is to make environments livable in ways that never existed before. With the exception of flags, almost nothing in a city shows how hard the wind is blowing. You have semi-dynamic illuminated advertising on building façades, of course, but it’s all computer-programmed. We want to let nature do the work. Imagine, for instance,

façades with a crystalline structure that changes when it’s activated by the wind. JW: With new techniques, we can visualize forces that are usually invisible. It’s the overlap between primeval forces and new technologies that excites us. MW: Our goal is a world in which materials, buildings and environments become part of – and work together with – Mother Nature. – FK forcesforarchitecture.com benthemcrouwel.com jolanvanderwiel.com

MARTEN WASSMANN (right) is a partner at Benthem Crouwel Architects. The firm established research lab Forces for Architecture with JÓLAN VAN DER WIEL in 2015.



While some fitness fanatics are out to shrink in size, the wellness economy itself is swelling exponentially. It’s safe to say that health-related spaces, products and services are not only here to stay but are penetrating every layer of our daily lives – on a global scale. The trend is invading every possible genre, from retail and hospitality to work and leisure. Wellth is the new wealth.

Julica Morlok’s anthropomorphic Virtual Materiality series confronts the thoughtless relationship we’ve adopted with the chairs and sofas we use every day. To achieve a skinlike feel, the designer covered foam structures with a translucent stretch latex. Responding with anything from fascination to repulsion, visitors are invited to reconsider their interactions with the seating objects – and with chairs in general. julicamorlok.com

Femke Rijerman, courtesy of Design Academy Eindhoven



Many people are drawn to the flexibility and facilities offered by co-working spaces. Such environments, however, rarely address the health issues caused by sedentary office jobs. Asana, a series of tools developed by Mirjam de Bruijn, is designed to prevent and alleviate these problems by improving posture, strengthening muscles and stimulating blood flow. mirjamdebruijn.com




Understanding that no two bodies are identical, Haworth Design Studio and Ito Design play to diversity. Thanks to ergonomics that take effect regardless of size or posture, Fern moves with, rather than against, its user. Though the chair’s backrest may appear simple, it conceals sophisticated science, engineering and innovation. haworth.com

ZU -STU D IO ( )

Named to indicate the object’s intervention in the running sentence of daily life, ( ) by Zu-Studio asks us to take a moment to enjoy a physical and temporal space in the midst of a stressful existence. Putting the body into a posture that the studio terms ‘re-lying’, ( ) replicates antigravity positions to improve circulation, respiration and digestion. zu-studio.com


At Eat Well Seated, visitors experience a new kind of food-and-wine pairing. Focusing on marrying good design and gastronomy, Andreu World presented an environment equipped with Patricia Urquiola’s Nuez chairs and its Reverse Conference table, ‘served’ alongside Spanish delicacies. andreuworld.com




Light Therapy By combining spatial design with audiovisual technology, NICK VERSTAND creates meditative otherworldly environments.

NICK VERSTAND investigates human behaviour and perception through light and sound.

As an artist, you use audiovisual installations to investigate human behaviour and perception. What’s the backstory? NICK VERSTAND: I’ve moved in a variety of scenes. I was trained as a musician before getting into art and design. Currently, I’m creating environments in which people get together and forget for a moment that they normally inhabit other worlds. It’s all about breaking social boundaries. That’s the ‘human behaviour’ side of my work. The perception side has to do with a personal exploration of my senses and how they work. How do I perceive light, space and sound? I want to make others aware of sensory experiences. Light is a medium found in much of your work. Why are you so interested in light? Because light has a quality that’s both immaterial and material. You can touch it – but not really. I’m excited by the resulting optical illusion. I see light as a symbol of something that disappears in an instant, but it’s still perceptible. Light has an almost spiritual quality. Besides, it’s a challenging material to work with – volatile and hard to control. You have to invent techniques for bending light and for making it behave as you want it to. What kinds of techniques? For Esper, my contribution to Frame Lab, we used a laser and a fog machine. Pulses of light ricocheting

off the artificial mist made what looked like a curtain of light, which divided the space visually but intangibly. Together with Naivi, we developed custom software for the laser that allows us to make organic ‘animations’. Much of your work has an almost hypnotic character. What are you trying to achieve? We live in a time of extreme sensory overload. If you walk through the city holding a smartphone, you’re already exposed to intense stimuli. With my work, I offer a refuge – a relaxing escape from the chaos. I use light and sound to reach the visitor’s subconscious mind and, in doing so, to alter his mental state. Space for rest and contemplation is becoming more and more important in our hectic lives. Where would you like to install your meditative works? In busy places like airports, which steer passengers from one point to another like cattle. I think the airport could provide a much more positive and humane experience with the introduction of rooms for quietude that incorporate light and sound. I can also envision a mobile app aimed at visitors to Times Square, for instance. I’m also getting back into the music scene. Exhibitions don’t give me a chance to respond directly to the dynamic of an audience, to play to the changing energy of the public. Soon I’ll be combining my spatial installations with live performances. In your opinion, can technology play a role in our wellbeing? Technology ought to be a medium, not a goal in itself. We’re too focused on technology. Once in a while, we need to take a step back. I build installations with technology, but the ultimate aim is to move beyond technology. Technology is something outside ourselves, and what I’m trying to do is to take people inside themselves. To do that, we conceal all the technology. What’s left is an intuitive experience. – FK nickverstand.com

Verstand collaborated with Naivi, Salvador Breed and Poul Holleman to create Esper. Pulses of light in sync with a soundscape produce a hypnotic space that has a calming effect on the senses.

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Manufacturers set their sights on CIRCULARITY. CLASSICS enjoy a revival in Copenhagen. The living room extends into the OUTDOORS. Discover what’s driving the business of design.




A rapid rise in reissues and reinterpretations marks a REVIVAL OF FURNITURE CLASSICS.

Furniture manufacturers across the world are diving into their archives in search of lost treasures. At the forefront of this development was Italian company Cassina, which revived designs by Le Corbusier as long ago as 1964. When furniture giant Ikea jumped on the bandwagon in 2014, reintroducing products from the 1950s to the 1970s with its Årgång collection, the trend found new footing. Chances to buy a cheaper replica of a classic decreased in 2016, however, when new EU regulations extended the copyright on furniture from 25 to 70 years after the death of the designer in question. Nevertheless, a growing interest in retro design among consumers is prompting interior designers to honour the history of the spaces they refurbish. The desired result is an overall ambience of timelessness. – FK

Tasked with the renovation of Palace – a 1950s restaurant in Helsinki – Note Design Studio referenced bygone days with new teak-veneered walls and custom-designed trolleys.

The Collette armchair or ‘bergère’ – designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti – takes its cue from ‘the iconic period of mid-century elegance’.

In creating the Capri Lounge for Andreu World, Piergiorgio Cazzaniga drew inspiration from ‘great classic lounge chairs’ that combine comfort and ergonomics.



Carlos Teixeira

Joachim Wichmann

Solo – Neri&Hu’s solid-wood furniture series for De La Espada – comprises a modern interpretation of the Eames Shell chair, a bed, a desk, a cabinet and a vitrine.

There is a growing interest in retro design among consumers


Commissioned in 1952 to design a piece for the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s new office in New York City, Arne Jacobsen made the Society Table. It belongs to the collection of Carl Hansen & Søn, which also includes Poul Kjærholm’s PK1 chair from 1955, in steel and wicker.

Space Copenhagen is in charge of the renovation of Copenhagen’s Radisson Royal Blu Hotel, a venue steeped in history. Originally known as the SAS Royal Hotel, it was designed by Danish architect Arne Jacobson. To realize the update while respecting the building’s past, Space Copenhagen explored the hotel’s archives, where they discovered that many of Jacobson’s designs – among which the Egg, the Swan and the Drop chairs – were purpose-made for the location. In close collaboration with Danish brand Fritz Hansen, the design studio revitalized a number of vintage pieces using new upholstery fabrics from the Kvadrat/Raf Simons collection. Jacobsen’s Pot lounge chair from 1959 (top), also designed for the SAS Royal, is currently enjoying a relaunch courtesy of Fritz Hansen. Together with &Tradition, Space Copenhagen crafted Loafer (above), a chair whose classic silhouette and semicircular form fit perfectly into the renovated interior.



ROOM SERVICE Con Nikolovski

Lounging is no longer restricted to hotel lobbies, as HOME FURNISHINGS GET MORE COMFY all the time.

Design agency Hecker Guthrie partitioned Schiavello’s Melbourne showroom into more residentially scaled spaces to create a convivial atmosphere.

For professionals with a poor balance between ‘at work’ and ‘at home’, leisure time is becoming a luxury. As a result, more and more business hotels are wearing the trappings of domesticity, while private residences – and the occasional office – are starting to adopt the amenities of a hotel. In response to such developments, furniture manufacturers are integrating ideas borrowed from the hospitality scene into seating based on the kind of comfort provided by posh hotel lobbies. – FK

Courtesy of Four Seasons at Burj Alshaya

The generously padded Marla range – designed by Birgit Hoffmann and Christoph Kahleyss for Freifrau – adds an air of comfort to any area of the home.

Part of the Poliform collection, Emmanuel Gallina’s Jane series proves that a sense of ease and intimacy can also be achieved with smaller seating solutions.

Armchairs designed by Antonio Citterio for Flexform – Guscioalto Soft and Feel Good Soft – complement the hall and lounge of the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya, a destination that serves both the business world and the city’s social elite.



ALL OUT KETTAL’s creative director, Antonio Navarro, explains how the company’s Cala range is responding to shifts in the outdoor-furniture market. Words

FLOOR KUITERT What tendencies do you see in the outdoorfurniture sector? ANTONIO NAVARRO: A few years ago, outdoor furniture was synonymous with camping equipment or urban street furniture. It had few similarities with the more sophisticated furniture designed for indoor use. Today, differences between the two are decreasing. Clients ask for comfort and good looks in both indoor and outdoor furniture. Manufacturers, including Kettal, need to address their requests by developing new products and fabrics suitable for the outdoors but reminiscent of home furnishings. How does your Cala range reflect the current market demand? It’s a clear example. The classic 1970s Emmanuelle armchair, which inspired Doshi Levien’s design for the first Cala product, was initially made of natural fibres [rattan], which are beautiful but not resistant to all weather conditions. In developing the shapes of the new pieces, we needed to respect the soul of the original chair while elaborating on the design. We used a new type of woven cord chosen to match the colours and warmth of the natural fibres. In bringing the product up to modern standards, we aimed for a balance of design, comfort and performance.

Salva López

How do you select materials for outdoor furniture? They have to be stronger and more technically advanced than those used indoors.

Kettal’s production processes are craft-intensive. Manual work is used for everything from creating structural components to applying finishes.

Differences between indoor and outdoor furniture are decreasing, as exemplified by Doshi Levien’s Cala range for Kettal, which features soft cushions and newly developed woven cord.

Not all woods, fabrics and metals – such as aluminium and stainless steel – have the right properties. In developing fabrics for the outdoors, you have to take into account extreme situations – heavy rainfall, snow, sun and air pollution. Outdoor materials ought to withstand the climates of both Abu Dhabi and Norway. Not even half of the existing materials used for furniture meet these requirements. We at Kettal, along with our clients, need better materials and more high-end finishes. In our renewed plant in Bellvei, close to Barcelona, we have a lab where extreme weather conditions are simulated to test the ten-year sustainability of outdoor products. At Kettal’s new production plant, much of the work is done manually instead of mechanically. Why is that? We have a long tradition in Bellvei. It’s where the company started, so it’s part of our emotional heritage.

When we decided to build new production facilities instead of expanding the older ones, we vowed to remain true to our values. We’ve always done a lot of the work by hand, and we wanted to continue to do so. It’s part of our DNA. 85 per cent of our products are handmade, which allows us to use certain techniques that wouldn’t be possible with an automated production line. A manufacturing process that depends for a large part on human labour stimulates the local economy. Many of our employees are from families that have worked with us for generations. The human factor is very important for Kettal. ● kettal.com



OPEN AIR The outdoor-furniture market has the potential to SUPPORT HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES.

Nardi’s lightweight monobloc Bit, a stackable chair designed by Raffaello Galiotto, is made from batch-dyed, anti-UV fibreglass resin.

Despite studies that show the positive effects of vitamin D – a benefit of sunshine – on physical and mental health, most of us are indoor creatures. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends a staggering 93 per cent of the day inside buildings and vehicles. A countermovement led by the millennials is based on smaller homes and a need to exchange four walls for the rewards of outdoor spaces. As members of this generation earn more – and have more to spend – companies, including manufacturers of outdoor furniture, are responding to their lifestyles. Market-research firm Fact.MR confirms this finding, reporting that between 2017 and 2026 ‘the global outdoor garden furniture market is estimated to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4 per cent in terms of value’. On the basis of volume, it is estimated to reach 14,622,000 units towards the end of 2026. – FK Riccardo Urnato

Ramon Esteve’s circular Ulm daybed for Vondom combines comfort with functionality. A swivel feature allows Ulm to be rotated.

A revision of an iconic Corradi product, Pergotenda® Millenium® Celeb – to which students at Turin’s Istituto d'Arte Applicata e Design contributed ideas – facilitates an outdoor extension of the living room.


Headed by architect and designer Sara Romero, Diabla – GandiaBlasco’s new brand – rethinks the way we enjoy outdoor living. Valentina is Diabla’s playful range of upholstered seating.

An addition to KE’s Gennius Range, Isola 3 is a pergola with a lowered-arch shape. Options such as side curtains and LED lighting make the product highly customizable.

Millennials have the need to exchange four walls for the rewards of outdoor spaces

Lievore Altherr’s painted aluminium Moai tables for Fast evoke the image of a tree spreading its roots in the ground.

A padded seat, soft cushions and an enveloping woven shell describe a sofa from the Bay collection, designed by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia. The sofa transports the comfort of indoor furniture to the outdoors.




FULL CIRCLE Responsive manufacturers promote SUSTAINABILITY in the furniture industry.

‘Circular Economy Opportunities in the Furniture Sector’, a report commissioned by the European Environmental Bureau and produced by Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd, states that ‘10 million tonnes of furniture are discarded by businesses and consumers in EU Member States each year, the majority of which is destined for either landfill or incineration’. The 2017 study was intended to trigger a debate on circularity in the furniture industry, a discussion involving

an increasing awareness of the sector’s impact on the environment and subsequent heightened concerns. It was meant to prompt manufacturers to investigate everything from their supply chains to the sustainability, longevity and recyclability of their end products. At this year’s Stockholm Design Week, Kinnarps announced its Better Effect Index, described as ‘the first comprehensive sustainability tool on the market’, which allows consumers to make better choices in an easier way. The tool rates products in six areas, from their effect on the climate to their social accountability. Ultimately, Kinnarps would like to see the algorithm adopted by a variety of industries worldwide. – FK

Exploring new ways to reuse consumer and industrial waste, Emeco puts environmentally responsible resources into its products. Jasper Morrison’s 1 Inch collection is composed of reclaimed wood, recycled plastic and aluminium.

Stockholm-based Massproductions is a proponent of using industrial production to make responsible, sustainable furniture. The company’s Rose Chair, a design by founding partner Chris Martin, is made to stand the test of time, both functionally and aesthetically.



As part of the Scrap Life Project, Spreng & Sonntag and Studio Stabil used the by-product of an Italian company’s injection-moulding process to create a series of stools – of which no two are alike.

Besides reducing factory waste, Ton achieves sustainability with products designed to last a lifetime, such as Michal Riabič’s solid-wood Chop table with fold-out sections.

Michelle Mantel

10 million tonnes of furniture are discarded by businesses and consumers in EU Member States each year Arne Jennard

Ecobirdy turns discarded plastic toys into furniture for kids. The brand also developed a school programme to get children excited about the circular economy.



FLEX EFFECTS Modularity has become a buzzword of modern design. Today’s spaces have to respond and adapt to the needs of their users, while accommodating a variety of activities. Furnishings are an important tool in achieving this goal. Easy to move and to assemble, changeable in shape, today’s multipurpose furniture is the epitome of functionality and flexibility. – FK

Dario Tettamanzi

DYNAMIC DESIGN SOLUTIONS add flexibility to working, learning and living environments.

At Sky Italia’s renovated Milan office, Pedrali products contribute to a mix of workspaces. The Modus collection enhances private corners suitable for informal meetings, and a central brainstorming area is furnished with an Arki-Table and Grace chairs.

Designed by Maarten Baas for Moooi, modular sofa system Something Like This Sofa is made up of blocks in uneven organic shapes that reflect the designer’s love for sketchy drawings.

Lammhult’s study of modern, activity-based workplaces and environments led to designer Anya Sebton’s Add Cable Table, which features power sockets and USB ports that make it a breeze to recharge electronic devices.

Improving workflow for professional designers is the web-based Gibam Composit Configurator. The Italian retail systems manufacturer’s platform allows users to optimize their time with an instrument that incorporates selection, composition, price analysis and more. Shop-fitting systems can be ordered online.



Rimadesio extends Giuseppe Bavuso’s modular table system, Manta, with round and boat-shaped models. Aluminium bases can be combined with tabletops in materials that include glass, wood and marble.

Students from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts came up with ergonomic furniture for primary schools, including squishy foam stools and transformable pieces. Their Classroom project lets children wriggle and squirm without losing focus.

Ron Gilad extends his modular Teorema series for Molteni&C with a storage unit whose drawers rotate 45 degrees.


NEW PERSPECTIVE What does MUUTO’s purchase by US-based Knoll mean for a company that adheres strictly to its Scandinavian roots? Words


Unfold Pendant Lamp by Form Us With Love welcomes additional colours.



Inspired by industrial storage, Thomas Bentzen’s Enfold Sideboard sees punched and bent-steel sheets wrapped around solid-wood panels.

WITH A NAME derived from muutos, the Finnish word for ‘perspective’, and its roots in the glory days of Scandi design, Danish brand Muuto has grown explosively since its birth in 2006, thanks to a combination of high quality and a stylishly contemporary take on modernism. Following its acquisition by Knoll, which aims to double the size of the Copenhagen-based company, what should Muuto fans expect? CEO Anders Cleemann and design director Christian Grosen Rasmussen offer an insight into Muuto’s expectations. You’re now part of Knoll. Will life ever be the same again? ANDERS CLEEMANN: It’s business as usual for us. Knoll doesn’t want us to change. We’ll keep our own separate identity and way of working. After all, they acquired us because of our success, which they want us to continue. Knoll stands for luxury, whereas Muuto is affordable luxury. Knoll sees how fast the affordable-luxury market is growing, so we’re an ideal strategic acquisition. We’ve always had a private-equity partner, and now we have a permanent one. It’s a great fit for us. Knoll is an icon in our industry with a real vision. And, of course, they are the US experts. Are you saying that Muuto is poised to take the American market by storm? AC: Currently about 20 per cent of our sales are in the US, and we have our own team in place there, so we have a good foundation. However, it’s a huge market and our visibility is relatively low. The hope is that Knoll will hugely increase our speed of penetration

with its market knowledge and network of dealers and interior designers. We want to increase the accessibility of the Muuto brand. Our ambition is to be truly global, and Knoll believes we have huge potential in the American market. It’s been an amazing journey to get to this point in just 11 years. AC: We think so. I joined the company a year after it was founded, in 2007. It was me, our founders – Kristian [Byrge] and Peter [Bonnén] – and a few other people. We ran things from a co-working space in Copenhagen. Today, we have employees spread across the world. CHRISTIAN GROSEN RASMUSSEN: When I joined three years ago, I was employee number 52. We now have about 150 staff. How has Muuto avoided the pitfalls of rapid growth? AC: By not taking risks. It can be tempting to follow market trends, but we’ve always been true to our vision: bringing new and modern perspectives to the Scandinavian design tradition. You have to be aware of what you’re doing and stick to it the whole way through. It’s about making deliberate choices. We have two channels: wholesale and retail. We made the deliberate choice to not open our own stores. These kinds of decisions reduce your risk. CGR: We’re also just as passionate about business as we are about design. At Muuto, there’s a really close dialogue between the two. You need to have a holistic approach. No matter how good you are at design, you need to factor in the commercial stuff at an early stage. »

Independent designers add fresh blood to our brand

Mattias Ståhlbom’s E27 Pendant Lamp contemporizes with four new colours: clay brown, burgundy, beige green (pictured) and pale blue.



It can be tempting to follow market trends, but we’ve always been true to our vision

Augmenting the Workshop collection is Cecilie Manz’s coffee table (foreground), which pays homage to Danish design tradition through its craftsmanship and detailing.



Anderssen & Voll’s Outline series – a comfort-focused collection characterized by clean lines and architectural elements – gains a corner sofa, a three-and-a-half seater (pictured opposite) and a pouf.

Marketing plays a role, too – right? AC: We’re dedicated to social media, especially Instagram. We have half a million followers – an impressive number for our position in the industry. Everything is done in-house by our social-media team. We put a lot of energy into it. We want to share our ideas and our aesthetic – in part, by creating dialogues with members of our target group around the world. Stateside, what concrete plans do you have so far? AC: In June, we’ll have a big exhibit at the NeoCon fair in Chicago to emphasize our focus on the American market. We have specific plans for increasing awareness – and plenty of people to tell our story. Our goal is the contract market, but residential is also important. In Milan we’re seeing new Muuto products by Thomas Bentzen, Cecilie Manz and Studio Tolvanen, all of whom are independent designers. With a strong brand like yours, why not use in-house creatives? CGR: In a way, it’s easier to have in-house designers. They know the brand, and we can increase our innovation speed. However, we believe it’s better to use independent people so our brand can benefit from different interpretations of Muuto’s design values. What’s more, some designers are good in one category – sofas, say – while others excel at something else. This way, we get a more interesting product range. Independent designers add fresh blood to our brand. Sometimes we want to break the rules or to be challenged.

How do you safeguard your brand values? CGR: Working with external designers helps, as it forces us to be aware of who we are. Our brand is based on the heritage of the golden age of Danish modernism and its values: quality, craftsmanship, functionality and democracy. We want to stand on the shoulders of the greats but, at the same time, to add a new perspective and to write new chapters. We’re not a fashion brand; we want a lasting aesthetic. People should keep our furniture for many years. We spend time with our designers prior to the brief – getting to know how they work before we collaborate. We have to be aligned from the beginning. Then it’s an iterative process: they propose something; we give feedback. The result has to accord with both Muuto’s design values and the personality of the designer in question. The Muuto aesthetic has become pretty pervasive. Do cheap copies bother you? AC: Last year we had to remove 450 copy products from Alibaba. We’re aware of the problems that imitations pose to our brand and are doing everything we can to tackle the issue. Copies and adaptations confirm what we’re doing, though. They’re a sign that we’re successful. Our products are manufactured in Europe, so we can deliver the quality we want. We have no ambition to be a cheap brand. We want to be affordable, and in the end it’s all about the cost-value ratio. When a customer buys a product, they should feel that they’re getting a great experience for the

price. Marketing, packaging and the like are all part of that. Will we ever see a Muuto store – or even a hotel? AC: It’s definitely possible. There will never be hundreds of retail stores, but maybe down the road we’ll do a concept store that invites people to experience Muuto unfiltered. What’s the brand’s vision for the future? AC: To be the global leader in affordable luxury. We already have a strong position. Maybe we’re already there – we try to focus on our own work without looking at our competitors too often. Finally: any tips for the wannabe design brands out there? CGR: Don’t focus just on design; be equally passionate about the commercial side. AC: Understand that to be successful in business you need to understand business. You have to sit down and think: in which area of the market do I want to be best? You have to try to be unique. Always ask yourself, how can I differentiate myself? How do I stand out? It’s not rocket science. The world doesn’t need lots of new products; it needs brand stories that make sense. ● Muuto is launching nine new products during Milan Design Week in April muuto.com




Leading the Charge UM PROJECT’S PATCH furniture collection doubles as a grid of mini power stations, distributing solar energy throughout a space. Words



additional functions – light, motion and sound – are possible


metres of cloth-wrapped electrical cord are used in the configuration on show at Ventura Future


pieces – including a solar-panel unit, to which all other elements are connected – comprise the current Patch micro grid

solar-panel positions assume optimal tilt angles for all seasons of the year

is the minimum number of elements – the solar-panel unit and one functional object – required to operate Patch

hours is how long it takes for Patch to recharge

Francis Dzikowski/Otto

This year, Patch is part of Ventura Future in Milan (17-22 April) and Wanted Design in New York City (17-21 May) umproject.com



MOOOI P RE S E N T S T H E M USE UM O F E XT I N CT A N I M A L S S A LONE D E L M O B I L E M I L A N , V I A SAVO N A 5 6 17 - 2 2 A PR I L 2 0 18 Moooi Amsterdam · Westerstraat 187 · 1015 MA Amsterdam Moooi London · 23 Great Titchfield Street · London, W1W 7PA Moooi New York · 36 East 31st Street · New York, NY 10016 Moooi Stockholm · Norr Mälarstrand 26 · 112 20 Stockholm Moooi Tokyo · Three F 6-11-1 Minami Aoyama · Minato-ku, Tokyo moooi.com

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Frame #122 - May/Jun 2018  

Analysing the winners of this year’s Frame Awards, the May/Jun issue of Frame reports how stores have become destinations, shows are achievi...

Frame #122 - May/Jun 2018  

Analysing the winners of this year’s Frame Awards, the May/Jun issue of Frame reports how stores have become destinations, shows are achievi...