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Defining modern architecture and construction

Modern Design is Everywhere As this and every issue of Modern Design cleverly illustrate, modern design is everywhere. Modern fashion is going green, combining an environmental conscience with cutting-edge design. Car design is introducing eco-friendly materials and solar panels integrated within hot, modern designs. Modern art is continuing to push the boundaries of design, expressing new points of view on our current world situation. Pyrotechnics are getting into more challenging designs that push the frontiers of firework design with aesthetic beauty and technology. Modern music is evolving, taking greater risks and combining more influences to create new and Michael Earle, CEO of Diseño unexpected sounds. Even current politics is getting in on Earle, is an American who the act as the American political machines design new ways grew up in Spain. He studied of fooling the public, while artists and creative minds create architecture at the Boston protest art along the way. (In the interest of full disclosure, we Architectural Center where support Obama.) he later became Professor of This month we profile Mecanoo, a Dutch architectural practice Architecture before returning that has fought for good design over the years, combining to Spain in 2002 to set up strong ideas, sustainability and dynamic detailing into what his company. Specialising in should be considered as one of the great firms practicing contemporary design and build, today. We will become more familiar with them in the coming Diseño Earle has grown into an months as they continue developing large municipal projects international practice. A multiin Córdoba and Málaga. These projects manage the pressure cultural team of more than 150 and complexity of collaborating with local governments work on projects for private and without losing the rigour of good design. The new Palace of commercial clients at various Justice building in Córdoba takes the traditional Andalusian locations around the world, architecture of the city and abstracts it to create an intriguing including Dubai, Cape Verde, and gorgeous structure that reminds us somehow of Brazil, Ukraine and, of course, the Moorish origins of the provincial capital. Mecanoo is here in Spain. becoming more and more in demand as they become more widely known, and are accomplishing great things both in competitions and in commissioned work. We celebrate their spirit and achievement. With all the problems in the world today – financial, environmental, racial and cultural – we celebrate what modern design and powerful ideas can do to make our planet a better place. With new ways of thinking, new ways of coming together and new approaches towards improving our world, we can all get through the current mess and together create a fitter, healthier, stronger and finer Earth – for all its inhabitants. Modern Design is also available online at For any questions or comments about Modern Design Magazine, I can be contacted at



MODERN DESIGN november 2008


Editorial letter by Michael Earle, Modern Design Editor

Issue 17 Cover November 2008 Obama Hope Poster Image courtesy of Shepard Fairey (Article on page 54)




Número de Depósito Legal MU-1869/2007

Michael Earle

Solicitud de marca 2.757.011 C.I.F. B.92579937 Printing Gráficas Jomagar All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Modern Design Magazine © 2008

Modern design editor managing director Trisha Miller Art & Design Rolando Sánchez Bouza Features Writers Carolyn Melián Dave Vickers

................................ ADVERTISING Iain Fenwick

No Advertorials At Modern Design Magazine we’re passionate about researching, producing and publishing articles about the cutting-edge design and innovative technology that are changing the way we live, and to share that passion with our readers. We are totally committed to disseminating honest, unbiased information and will remain true to our readers and our principles by never compromising journalistic integrity. That’s why, although we don’t want to ruffle any feathers, our policy is and always will be not to publish advertorials and we stand resolutely by that decision.

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Defining modern architecture and construction

Joanne Stewart used her nod, sent in some constructive comments about Modern Design Magazine and bagged herself a Blackberry, many congratulations to her and thanks to you all for the comments last month, better luck next time. As for Joanne, why did you do it? That dynamite little pocket-office is never going to give you a moment’s peace – mind you, the games are top notch.






MODERN DESIGN november 2008

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Defining modern architecture and construction

Contents november 08 12.


mecanoo Architecten



SPIN DOCTOR; Pivotal Design Concept


A DEGREE OF LATITUDE; Mecanoo Architecten


ON TOP OF THE WORLD; Kezhma Island Dubai by Dise単o Earle


HUMANITARIAN HOUSING; The Flatpack Home with Panache

Issue 17

evgeny kiselev digital illustration


ART 30.

ABSTRACT KING; Evgeny Kiselev, Digital Illustrator Extraordinaire


IN THE FRAME; Art Forum Berlin


THINK AGAIN; Art Under the Microscope (Pages 25, 41, 61, 83)


campaign art: the battle for the white house




AGENDA; Unmissable Events on the Social Calendar


CAMPAIGNING ART; The Battle for The White House




A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK; Amy Hunting Carves a Career

green fashion: couture with a conscience



GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK; Couture with a Conscience

amy hunting eco design



MODERN DESIGN november 2008

our shopping selection









Contents november 08 GASTRONOMY 62.

Issue 17

high flying cuisine

HIGH FLYING CUISINE; Austria’s Hippest Hangout



ALL FIRED UP; Hot Hearths, Cool Design

PEOPLE & PLACES 28. COMMUTER CRYPT; Fast-tracking Canadian Culture

coolest fireplaces



MUSIC 74. CUTTING IT AT 65; Seasick Steve

lotus eco-elise

77. EAR TO THE GROUND; MD’s Music Mix



ROCKET SCIENCE; The Mad World of Pyrotechnics








COOL COASTAL LIVING; MD’s Exclusive Property Section

books & cinema latest releases



MODERN DESIGN november 2008

the mad world of pyrotechnics


Words: dave vickers and Carolyn Melián

Flying penguins seen in South America Witnesses to the final moments of a spectacular rescue plan were left rubbing their eyes in disbelief last month. A large group of Magellanic Penguins were led astray by a school of tasty anchovies and lost their bearings hundreds of miles north of their usual feeding grounds. Animal welfare activists decided to book the birds a charter to get them home, and millions of years of evolution were wiped out in an instant by sending the flightless birds airborne once more in a C-130 Hercules military plane. With conditions not much better than certain other ticketless airlines, it was understandable that the birds were more than willing to disembark, and so they did in droves to onlookers’ amazement at a safe location in southern Brazil. Though the 1500 mile flight was considered slightly traumatic for the birds, at least they were spared the peril of a stopover at Terminal 5. ..............................................................................................................

Stationery design “Stapler” museum condemned The MBM practice of Oriol Bohigas – mainly responsible for the resounding success of Barcelona’s spectacular architectural transformation circa late 20th century – has finally fallen foul of the Catalan people. His proposal for a new design museum at the heart of the city has been given a profound thumbs-down by Barcelona residents. The designsensitive city sent the proposal to the gallows complaining of its imposing stature and aggressive and intimidating form. The final insult was a bulky overhanging upper section that has now been accurately dubbed La Grapadora (the stapler). We think it looks a bit like a super-tanker control deck, but no matter, the people have spoken, the design is sunk and MBM have some making up to do. Just goes to show, you’re only as good as your last design. 12

MODERN DESIGN november 2008


Surf’s Up

Lehman’s terms Wall Street artist petitions Lurking behind a recession there’s always a success story, and Brooklyn-based artist Geoffrey Raymond is getting seriously popular. The 54-year-old artist has been painting portraits of Wall Street figures for years, but in the wake of all the recent financial fiascos he’s kindly given the public a chance to participate in his work, and vent some credit-crunch angst at the same time. Raymond posted a portrait of investment bank CEO Richard Fuld outside the Manhattan HQ of Lehman Brothers and urged the passing public to sign his work. After a short time the portrait was rendered unrecognisable, signed from edge to edge by a very bemused New York Public. “Blood suckers,” read one comment and “See you in the soup kitchen,” another. Lehman employees were asked to sign in green ink and the anger flowed. The portrait, the latest in a new special financial-flop series by Raymond is now called “The Annotated Fuld” and should fetch a fair dollar or two in its own right.

Mental healthcare turns to architecture If you want to get a really close (and decidedly lengthy) insight into Britain’s latest and greatest cutting-edge design and architecture, you might want to get yourself sectioned. Birmingham now plays host to a groundbreaking £70 million hospital development designed by healthcare architects Nightingale Associates. The designers have managed to encapsulate a safe and therapeutic environment by flooding the building with natural light and utilising a successful blend of privacy and dignity for patients. Artwork and exposure to beautiful landscape scenery (in Birmingham?) helps create a natural comfort zone and the bright uplifting interior displays a great understanding of special patient needs combined with flexibility in design. Finally, it looks like the spectre of the towering Victorian asylum can now be laid to rest.


Brummy beacon

It’s certainly aboriginal… Sydney harbourside redevelopment breaks ground By the year 2020 you’ll be able to harangue a kangaroo in Barangaroo, if you so desire. The three companies vying for the opportunity to develop Sydney’s new harbourside headland park and urban waterfront are Lend Lease and Westpac Corporation; Brookfield Multiplex; and Mirvac Projects, Leighton Projects, Nakheel PJSC and Macquarie Property Development and Finance. This is the first stage in actual commencement of the development, so it is now officially off the ground. The winning applicant will need the expertise and resources to deliver 220,000 square metres of commercial space at the southern end of the site, a new harbour cove and public open space and a benchmark sustainable precinct. As for the name… a state-wide naming competition generated 1,600 entries – and the winner – Barangaroo; an obvious choice.


Blinkin’ clever Ocular mouse responds to eye movements An ocular mouse developed in Manaus - at the heart of the Brazilian rainforest - is opening up the internet and business world to tetraplegics and those who have either been born without their upper limbs or who have had them amputated. Comprising five sensors placed on the forehead and temples the neat little gadget captures the user’s eye movements which are then transmitted to the computer via a small modem, while the ‘enter’ function is achieved simply by blinking. Invented by Manoel Cardoso, a professor at the Federal University of the Amazonas and developed with the support of Brazil’s Feitoza Foundation, the ocular mouse is about to go into mass production. Costing less than 100 dollars apiece, they will distributed free of charge throughout the country to anyone in need of one. MODERN DESIGN november 2008


Taxpayers foot the slaughter bill How would you like to know about your part in killing up to 40,000 innocent bulls a year? “Not me,” we can hear you protesting, but news is news and I’m afraid we have to take you where you just don’t wanna go sometimes. The European Union is spending around 30-million a year on funding Spanish bullfights and the powers that be in Iberia are urging the EU to recognise bullfighting as part of Europe’s cultural heritage. Currently therefore, our diligent little taxpaying digits have been stained with bloodmoney and it needs to stop. Blood sports should be permanently relegated to history – especially when funding like this makes a pure mockery of current EU animal welfare laws.


Bully for them

Big brother gets personal Airport security goes all futuristic Next time you fly, forget x-rays scanning your hand luggage, that’s just a rubbish idea. Surely mind reading technology would fair much better – think it’s a joke? Sorry it isn’t, the thought police have hit it big time with Malintent, an x-ray for your mind. By scanning brain activity patterns Malintent can tell if you are up to no good, especially if you harbour any intention of harming your fellow passengers. By reading your thoughts and studying facial muscular activity, Malintent’s developer (Mr Burns... it’s true) believes his system has opened a technological window into the psyche, the apparent goal of which is “to restore a sense of freedom.” Now there’s an oxymoron if I ever saw one, domesticate that little device and I’ll be in relationship Guantanamo for life and twenty.


Acid bath Bay of Naples is an ominous crystal ball Looking into the future has become far too easy of late, not least of all by means of a very telling aquatic barometer. Scientists have found large amounts of volcanic CO2 gas bubbling up from the seabed around the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples. The seas manage to sponge up 25-million tons of carbon dioxide daily; it’s a process as old as the hills but one that has been working overtime since the beginning of man’s climate abuse. The unfortunate result of this frantic natural clean-up operation is a phenomenon known as ocean acidification, but it looks like things are getting out of hand. The oceans are now 30% more acidic than they were at the start of the industrial revolution, a change three times greater and one hundred times faster than at any other time in the last 20–million years. Scientists will use the acid-saturated seas around Ischia to investigate the effect of what may happen to our oceans in the coming decades. 14

MODERN DESIGN november 2008








architecture . r o t i . v a t o r



Rotor Home Colani Rotor House > by Hanse Haus We all know why we’re here by now, to scrutinise how design and architecture are evolving, but no one mentioned revolving did they? Luigi Colani is a designer with a pretty radical view on the future, well, radical enough to take a permutation of the naff ‘n’ nasty revolving bed from the 1970’s and turn it into a functional space-saving device of the future. Luigi’s ambitious spin on the revolving bed becomes a rotating living platform that converts the tiny Rotor House into a very adequate functional living space. His multi-dimensional solution to future urban overcrowding is certainly a revolution; in fact three revolutions will deliver all the essential living areas a small home could offer. With a total footprint requirement of just 6x6 metres, the relatively compact living area can be complemented by either an appended kitchen, bathroom or a bedroom – but never two at the same time of course. The space saving is enormous, a genuine domestic Tardisian philosophy, packed to the roof with unexpected ergonomic functionality. Apart from the space saving, the advantages are glaringly obvious – especially with a dinner date on the premises. Imagine rustling up an arousing menu, things have gone down well but the conversation just isn’t flowing in the required direction. It’s so simple; just hit the button and all the dirty dishes disappear behind the wall leaving only the alluring backdrop of your plumped-up boudoir. Surely an audible message in itself, saving all those awkward moments and clumsy pick-up lines for another day - unless of course she asks to brush her teeth – that could kill the moment. Yes with every up side, there’s a down, and it does seem that jumping into the shower while your partner has a lie-in could cause some friction, considering they’d have to be revolved behind a wall to give you access to the wet room. Ah well, for such a pivotal design concept, it’d be a small price to pay, especially considering how popular owning a revolving room could Words: dave vickers make you in the first place.

There’s only so much you can pack into a Studio right? Not in designer luigi Colani’s compact world; according to him, a 6x6 living space is now enough to provide all the home from home comforts you could imagine.




The seductive Rotor room in Boudoir mode…

Canadian Red Cedar woodpanelling lines the outside.

At the push of a button, the wet room is revealed.


> Inside dimensions


> walls

premanufactered “HANSE HAUS“ wall, d = 21 cm with horizontal profiled boards, made of oil treated, Canadian red cedar wood

> diameter of the rotor > weight of the rotor > drive of the rotor

3.75 m approx. 800 kg electric motor, approx. 370 Watt, chain wheel drive


MODERN DESIGN november 2008



architecture . e c o . a e s t h e t i c i s m



Going Dutch

“With its low-lying topography intersected with rivers and waterways, I see buildings as mountains: Dutch Mountains. So at Mecanoo, we throw ourselves into thinking up buildings that do not want to be a building but a landscape,” says Francine Houben, its founding partner, creative director and lead architect. Combining the virtues of aesthetics, originality and sustainability, it’s a concept that’s winning the Delft-based firm an ever-increasing number of major competitions and awards from around the globe. Words: Carolyn Melián

images: Courtesy of mecanoo architecten

Images: © Christian Richters

Founded in 1980, Mecanoo’s origins lie in the urban renewal of Rotterdam where its first project was the Kruisplein Youth Housing scheme. Traditionally more utilitarian than pleasing to the eye, social housing has rarely scored highly on the aesthetics scale, particularly when we’re talking almost thirty years ago. But not to be daunted, and starting out as they meant to carry on, “May it also be beautiful?” was Houben’s first question. Happily falling on receptive ears, Mecanoo’s designs consequently brought about something of a revolution in terms of public housing developments and having made a name for itself in a typically tough and challenging field, the company was on its way. Schools, parks, residential developments, theatres, libraries, squares, street furniture, highways, skyscrapers and museums have followed, and while beauty is by no means Mecanoo’s sole objective, it is a common thread linking all their

many projects whatever their size, scope, end-use or location. Imprinting its own distinctive hallmark on every assignment it undertakes, Composition, Contrast, Complexity – the title of one of the many books that Houben has written over the years – succinctly sums up the Mecanoo philosophy. “For me, architecture is not a purely intellectual or conceptual game,” she explains. “In the end the result should stir all the senses. It’s all about bringing the separate elements together in a single concept, the

arrangement of form and emotion, creating architecture that is warm and always offers a rich sensory experience.” The lavish use of a diverse array of materials – including wood, copper, concrete, bamboo, brick, pebbles, zinc, stone, vegetation, glass and planes of saturated colour – further add to the eloquence with which her structures express themselves, fluently embedding themselves in the

culture and climate of the cityscapes and landscapes that they inhabit. A DEGREE OF LATITUDE

The first phase of a large-scale master plan encircling the Dutch city of Nijmegen’s Neerbosscheweg district, the FiftyTwoDegrees Business Innovation Centre – the name refers to its precise location: Latitude 52ºN – is an iconic 17-storey tower whose eight lower floors are ten degrees out of plumb so that in profile it leans seductively towards the metropolis as if responding to its vibrant >

> project

Business Innovation Centre FiftyTwoDegrees Nijmegen, Netherlands

> location > client

Ballast Nedam Bouw, Arnhem; ICE Ontwikkeling, Nijmegen

> design > construction > area

2004-2005 2005-2008 70,000m2

MODERN DESIGN november 2008


Library, Delft Technical University A bird’s eye view of the Netherlands’ nerve centre of knowledge and research reveals little more than its conical spire-like rooflight, its footprint treading softly on the lawned surface which doubles as the building’s turf-clad roof. Images: © Christian Richters


MODERN DESIGN november 2008

magnetism. Eighty-six metres tall and standing atop a verdant slope forming the grassed roof of the parking area for 600 cars and a covered Plaza with shops and restaurants, its fusion with the leafy park that surrounds it is almost seamless. Something of an avant-garde take on Pisa’s landmark Leaning Tower, the building’s signature inclined form was achieved by the hybrid construction of steel and concrete, whereby on each intermediate floor the elevation shifts in relation to the cores. The use of prefabricated cladding meanwhile not only significantly shortened construction time to the rate of one floor a week, but also created FiftyTwoDegrees’ hallmark pixellated façade. A multifunctional complex comprising offices, conference halls, theatre, catering facilities, apartments, retail and sports facilities, the building’s interior is every inch as striking and dynamic as it promises to be from outside. A stunning mahogany-clad undulating wall serves as a visual connection subliminally indicating the route through the tower, while each work station within the environmentally sensitive electronic research laboratories and production sites that it houses has individual climate control.


deference to its neighbouring monolithic Brutalist 1960s Lecture Hall, the Delft Technical University’s enticing Library designed by Mecanoo and which won the Steel Building Prize 1998 and Corus Construction Award 2000, unobtrusively burrows its way underground. A bird’s eye view of the Netherlands’ nerve centre of knowledge and research reveals little more than its conical spire-like rooflight. Its footprint treading softly on the lawned surface – which doubles as the building’s turf-clad roof – the cone houses four levels of reading rooms and places of study each flooded with natural daylight. The sweeping glazed façades and grassed roof – pinched up on one side like a sheet of paper to accommodate the columns beneath – and the installation of a geothermal heat exchanger together represent a master class in eco-architecture, sustainably addressing the allimportant issues of thermal and acoustic insulation, as well as natural heating, cooling, solar shading, ventilation and daylighting. Visited by 3,000 students each day and also incorporating an underground temperature- and

humidity-controlled book archive housing a million reference tomes, as well as the university publisher, offices, bookshop, bookbinder and a vault for valuable ancient publications, the Library exemplifies not only cutting-edge aesthetic architecture, but comfort and the ultimate in environmentally-friendly technology, too. SETTING THE SCENE

Hewn from local sandstone and looking for all the world as if it has sprouted from the Spanish soil on which it stands, La Llotja – a landmark theatre and congress centre currently under construction in Lleida, or Lérida, Catalonia’s second city – seems almost to hover above the public square close to the River Segre and with the Seu Vella mountain range providing a dramatic backdrop.

An amalgam of different buildings linked together by sound-insulating foyers, the cantilevered structure provides welcome shade to the outer forecourt designed to accommodate al fresco events, while the colourful roof garden – with its pergolas covered in wisteria, clematis and trailing ivy – is not only an appealing focal point for residents and an informal meeting place for visitors and delegates, but in hot summers also helps to ensure a cool interior. Inside, marble and wooden floors and white plastered walls predominate, >

“Architecture should stir all the senses and is never a purely intellectual, conceptual or visual game”


In stark contrast and perhaps in

> project > location > client

Library, Technical University of Delft Delft, Netherlands ING Real Estate, Den Haag; Technische Universiteit Delft

> design > construction

1993-1995 1996-1998

> area > awards

ca. 15,000m2 Steel Building Prize 1998, Corus Construction Award 2000

MODERN DESIGN november 2008


delectable palette of bright, berryhued tones echoing Lleida’s fame as a fruit-growing region – is reminiscent of an orchard with its dark wood walls from which trees of light emerge. An inland city 150kms northwest of Barcelona, Francine Houben explains that Mecanoo’s intention was to endow the complex with the feeling of an urban beach; a vision summarily achieved by the open-air square with its mellow-toned paving and graceful palm trees swaying gently in the breeze.



The rapid expansion of many of Spain’s cities has all too often resulted in a mish-mash of anonymous housing blocks interspersed with nondescript public squares. So Mecanoo’s intriguing challenge in designing the ancient city of Córdoba’s new Palace of Justice – comprising twenty-six courtrooms, a Forensic Institute, offices, archive, café, car park, prison and a facility for formalising marriage ceremonies – was how best to create a sizeable public building totally at one with the historic Casco Antiguo, but without imitating it.


> project > location > client

Palace of Justice Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain Consejería de Justicia y Administración Pública, Sevilla

> design > construction > area

2006 2008-2011 48,000m2

MODERN DESIGN november 2008

of Project To achieve their objective, the Delft- Namecoveted Cityscape Architectural Gregor based architects opted for a strategy One morning, Awardwhen 2008. of integration through fragmentation;Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself slotting the required volumes and THE BIGGER PICTURE transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on all-essential associated patios into Arguably representing Mecanoo’s his armour-like back, and if he sections taken from the Old Town’s lifted his largest and most ambitious project head a little he could street plan. Córdoba is renowned for see his to date, Taiwan’s National Performing brown belly. its flower-filled patios and centrallyArts Center is to be built at the WeiName of Project placed fountains providing light Wu-Ying Metropolitan Park, formerly One morning, when Gregor and much-needed ventilation to military complex, in the city of Samsa a woke from troubled adjoining rooms during long, sultry dreams,Kaohsiung – a major seaport with a he found himself in Andalusian summers, and in addition transformed population of 1.5 million. Featuring to benefiting the Palace of Justice in a concert hall, opera house, black the very same way, they also give the box and both indoor and open-air building a strong identity reflecting theatres, and with a total capacity the city’s Moorish origins. Córdoba’s of 5,600 seats, the design brief also traditional architecture is also recovered the surrounding 65-hectare interpreted and given a subtle modern park forming an integral part of the twist with the structure’s elegant overall scheme. A logical extension of perforated façades, characterised the theatre complex where building by delicate gossamer-thin filigrees and landscape combine to create a both absorbing the heat and filtering unified whole, the Houben team’s the light, thus demonstrating that plans for the park include meandering sustainability can often be logically paths leading to a botanical garden, as drawn from the history of regional well as a bamboo grove, playground, architecture. tea pavilion and butterfly garden while the coalescence of gentle slopes, plunging valleys and tranquil ORGANIC INSTALLATION pools result in a range of invitingly A 1:4 scaled segment of Mecanoo’s intimate public spaces varying in size, award-winning design for the National scale and proportion. Performing Arts Center in Kaohsiung Taking as its inspiration the giant was the basis for the captivating A centuries-old banyan trees indigenous Piece of Banyan Pavilion, created for to the region, because of the this year’s edition of Milan’s famous Salone del Mobile; a tempting foretaste of Taiwan’s future theatre complex which, with construction due to begin next year has won the

openings in the roof, together with its passageways and open spaces, an almost porous building – cleverly blurring the line between interior and exterior – has been achieved. Partially covered with grass and lush vegetation, the roof is an informal public leisure and recreational space as well as providing the complex with natural efficient cooling. The appealing open-air theatre reminiscent of Ancient Greece is also located on the roof, at the exact point where it sweeps down to touch the ground. THE FUTURE

In the UK, the Houben team are summarily challenging conventional perceptions of mixed rented and owner-occupied housing estates with their Fox Hill development on the outskirts of Sheffield, taking as their inspiration the Peak District’s centuries-old traditional drystone walls and fields of grazing sheep; while just this summer Mecanoo also scooped the prestigious award to design and build Birmingham’s new £193m Library. Increasingly invited to take part in competitions for iconic projects across Europe as well as in the Far East and Asia, like a line of latitude Mecanoo’s aspirations look set to encircle the world. x

> project > location > client

La Llotja Lleida, Spain Centre de Negocis i de Convencions S.A., Lleida

> local architect > design > construction > area

LLAB Architecture, Barcelona 2004-2006 2007-2009 37,500m2

La Llotja, Lleida Seeming almost to hover above the public square, the cantilevered design of the theatre and congress centre provides welcome shade while the colourful roof garden helps ensure a cool interior. Palace of Justice, Córdoba (opposite page) Córdoba’s traditional architecture is re-interpreted and given a subtle modern twist with the structure’s elegant perforated façades, characterised by delicate gossamer-thin filigrees absorbing the heat and filtering the light.

MODERN DESIGN november 2008


A Piece of Banyan Pavilion (above) A foretaste of Taiwan’s future National Performing Arts Center in Kaohsiung, the installation created for Milan’s Salone del Mobile is a 1:4 scaled segment of Mecanoo’s award-winning design. Images: © Andrés Otero.

National Performing Arts Center, Taiwan (above) Inspired by the giant banyan trees indigenous to the region, work on the almost porous building – cleverly blurring the line between interior and exterior – is due to start in 2009.


MODERN DESIGN november 2008

> project

‘A Piece of Banyan’ Pavilion

> location

Salone del Mobile, Università degli Studi, Milan, Italy, 15 April - 1 May 2008

> client

Interni Mondadori, Milan, Italy

> collaborators

Iris Ceramica, Modena, Italy; CWI Lighting Design, Taipei, Taiwan

> dimensions

20 x 3.5 x h 4.3 m

> project

National Performing Arts Center

> location

Wei-Wu-Ying Metropolitan Park, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

> client

Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan HsingHua Lo Architects & Associates, Taipei

> local architect > design > costruction > area > awards

Hsing-Hua Lo Architects & Associates, Taipei 2007-2009 2009-2012 100,000m2 Cityscape Architectural Award 2008


>Fertilizer Photomicrographs. Abstract images through the microscope (Crystal Photomicrography) Photographer: Stefan Eberhard Article on page 85


thin k . U n d e r . e x a m i n a t i o n


architecture . SE a . CHANGE


Kezhma Island Dubai Perfect Equilibrium > By Diseño Earle Architects Where land is at a premium – perhaps never more so than on a diminutive 29,000m2 manmade island floating in the Arabian Gulf and zoned for high density construction – the obvious architectural response is to build tall. But if highrise is the very last thing on a developer’s agenda, then clearly it’s time for an altogether more visionary approach. For Costa del Sol-based architects Diseño Earle, the fundamental objective of their low-rise Kezhma Island Dubai project was all about creating a harmonious balance, maximising the volume of building, yet at the same time ensuring open, totally uninterrupted pool, garden and sea views from each and every one of the 128 spacious apartments, duplexes and water villas; while also providing the exclusive residential development with a broad spectrum of onsite leisure facilities, and at the same time subliminally engendering the atmosphere and laid-back appeal of the Caribbean.

Kezhma Island Dubai has been conceived as a veritable oasis, not only encircled by the ocean but where every corner is pervaded by the gentle sound of running water.

Words: Carolyn Melián

images: Diseño Earle Architects

WHERE IN THE WORLD. Conceived by the ruler of Dubai, His

Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The World – a manmade archipelago of 300 miniature islands and atolls four kilometres offshore and protected by an oval breakwater – has ingeniously created for the Emirate around 230 kilometres of additional shoreline. On The World map, Kezhma Island Dubai lies within the outlying area ‘corresponding’ to Siberia. WATER WRAPPED. In a region where mainland temperatures

often hit 50ºC, The World is caressed by welcome sea breezes. Kezhma Island Dubai meanwhile has been conceived as a veritable oasis, not only encircled by the ocean but where every corner is pervaded by the gentle sound of running water. Each unit has its own private pool, and access is via a footbridge spanning the water channels – perhaps inspired by the ancient Moorish gardens of Andalucía’s renowned Alhambra – while waterfalls tumble down the sleek contemporary façades of the buildings, cascading into the swimming pools and water features beneath.

> project > architect > location

Kezhma Island Dubai Diseño Earle Architects Dubai, UAE

> date > area > materials

2013 28,887m2 Concrete slabs, wood, ceramic, brick

ISLAND LIFE. Adding to the general sense of openness despite the high density construction, a broad boulevard fringed with shade-giving pergolas and tall palms runs through the centre of the complex, with a plaza-style courtyard housing various restaurants. Other high-profile amenities include a marina, beach club and heliport, while the highly covetable water villas – all but hovering just above the surface of the sea on their stilts – each has its own private mooring. SUSTAINABILITY. Sound, environmentally-friendly resources also have an important role within this perfect equilibrium, with water collection and passive cooling systems, as well as solar panels and the use of recyclable materials all playing their part.

MODERN DESIGN november 2008



people . & . places . u n d e r . g r o u n d


Tube Pharaoh museum stop > Mind the gap There will be no excuse for missing ‘Museum stop’ on the Toronto subway from now on. The less-than-appealing former underground station has received a generous overhaul, the likes of which would have adventure-archaeologists literally spinning out. In fact Indiana Jones is the only thing missing from this commuters’ crypt, and it’s not until a train rolls in, instead of a giant stone ball, that you get a clue of where you might be. Architects Diamond and Schmitt have dragged Toronto’s cultural renaissance underground in this dramatic renovation. Five column designs, based on ancient artefacts, are repeated throughout the stop and charged with the intrepid duty of supporting the station’s striking new image. The artefacts provide strong visual clues about activities above ground in the Royal Ontario Museum while representing a diverse section of global ancient history. Firstly, the Ancient Egyptian, ‘Osiris Pilaster’ wouldn’t blink an eye at its subterranean demeanour, the pillar looks right at home here, despite the brushed-steel environment she props up. Commuters are rapidly transported from the depths of Tutankhamen’s Tomb to the plight of Canada’s first nations in the shape of the aptly (and slightly long-windedly) named ‘Wuikinuxv First Nation Bear House Post’ – try saying that on your way home after a few bottles of Moosehead! Words: dave vickers Next, heading away from ‘Tutan’ and ‘totem’ things get images: courtesy of Elizabeth gyde, diamond and schmitt architects slightly easier on the tongue. ‘Toltec Warrior’ holds up

Architects Diamond and Schmitt have dragged Toronto’s cultural renaissance underground in this dramatic renovation where the artefacts provide strong visual clues about activities above ground in the Royal Ontario Museum, while representing a diverse section of global ancient history.

the proceedings for the mysterious gold-clad Mexican civilisations, and subsequently we travel rapidly eastwards to traditional China - but not without making a stop and inspection of the load-bearing genius of the Ancient Greeks, who loved an architectural challenge or two. To cap off the design the architects have updated ceiling lighting and introduced a new monolithic wall finish to help create a pristine, contemporary backdrop. This intrepid re-imagining of the subway platform as a hypostyle-hall is part of a new initiative called ‘Arts on Track’, the Toronto Community Foundation’s commitment to beautifying public spaces in the city. This, the first project of the initiative has electrified the stuffy underground atmosphere and enthused travellers; ticket sales are on the up at the Museum. All in all these fine looking burdened-buttresses make a comprehensive representation of the ancients, while shrewdly inspiring a new pillar of thought among the tired and weary. x MODERN DESIGN november 2008



art . D i g i t a l . d e s i g n


The Promised Land

Russian Illustrator Evgeny Kiselev

He’s a pretty nice guy is Evgeny, in fact to be one so sure of your own place in the digital art world must be warming to say the least. But sure he is, and as if to prove it, his accomplished ever-swelling portfolio shows why this incredibly competitive illustrative art forum is just about ready to crown him king of the abstract.

Words: dave vickers

Evgeny Kiselev Evgeny is 28 years old, a mature digital illustrator inspired by travel and culture. He lives in St. Petersburg and takes regular expeditions eastwards, returning only when his mind is full to the brim with abstract mental images of a vibrant and garishly colourful continent. His works are the result of what ebbs from his trail-trodden psyche.

(Opposite) The Dream Factory From Evgeny’s personal portfolio

MODERN DESIGN november 2008



In his spare time he treads the India trail, occasionally veering off towards South East Asia, but always in search of a cultural catalyst to set his creative juices flowing.


As a bright youngster in St. Petersburg, Evgeny had his sights on a life of journalism, working at an entertainment magazine he found himself in charge of creating colourful front and back issue covers. Realising he wasn’t half bad at his monthly task, he began preparing an impressive tablet of his digital creations. People warmed to his natural ability, a new career conduit opened up for him and he grabbed the opportunity with both very capable hands. To inadvertently find one’s true vocation like this is a blessing, and Evgeny seems to know only too well how lucky he is, but he’s a grafter, these dynamic compositions are seriously technical and take a great deal of effort to layer together. The inspiration 32

MODERN DESIGN november 2008

seems straightforward enough however, and considering Evgeny’s creative palette is as extensive and diverse as his bright and garish colour palette, conception seems like a natural progression. In his spare time he treads the India trail, occasionally veering off towards South East Asia, but always in search of a cultural catalyst to set his creative juices flowing. Interestingly, his work never wanders far from the stimulation of the billion-strong sub-continent, as rich and creamy in cultural depth as a bang lhassi at a Mumbai wedding and as outlandishly colourful as a Punjabi people-carrier, and though complicated in structure, much akin to the inspiration, it just works somehow.

It was in 2004, just after one such tie-dye outing that Evgeny dove deeply into creating abstract vector illustrations, by entering and winning a number of online competitions he gave himself the confidence to quit all other appointments and fully pursue an artistic career. This initial foundation of confidence coupled with the fact that he could finally hush his alarm clock was enough to drive him on and now he just can’t stop. Not that he could if he wanted to; he’s become a very popular figure in the finicky world of digital illustration and things are getting serious. Creating the cover of Computer Arts Magazine is a pretty haughty achievement for a digital designer – considering that’s where most illustrators gain their

Artworks from Evgeny’s personal portfolio. >01. Brazil >02. Wizard >03. Tpon-1 >04. Tpon-2 >05. Muchomory



own personal inspiration – and this monumentous achievement has paved the way for some exciting commissions from a list of famed corporate clientele. Now at the age of 28 Evgeny considers himself a mature designer, his confidence is ever-growing and the need to enter competitions died along with any self-doubt. Like any successful artist he just wants to be himself and it looks like the world is going to let him. As a result his emotional integrity flows easily through his work, occasionally displaying a certain amount of chaos, but more recently concentrated on the more refined composition, purely by spending literally hours on every small >


MODERN DESIGN november 2008






detail. His amazing compilations can take anything between a few hours and a few weeks to create, obviously depending on the complexity of the emotion and of course the level of depth and difficulty. If you question Evgeny about categorising his style he goes scientific; in his eyes, the natural influences forge a kind of Biotech-style, a combination of microbiology and futuristic design, which is all well and good, but there is so much more. The intricate layering of each composition creates stunning depth, a spatial experience capable of carrying the observer way beyond the confines of any 2 dimensional canvas. It’s this unusual illustrative vortex that captures the mind, but the complexity is humane and involvement rests securely within the eye of the beholder. There’s no need to probe too deeply to enjoy one of Evgeny’s compositions, just keep it simple, but if you want to (and if you have time) you can go all the way to Delhi with him, tracking the intricate depth reveals a kind of puzzle, and it’s pretty entertaining stuff.


In the end Evgeny is just a normal humble guy, perhaps an inspiration 34

MODERN DESIGN november 2008

>06. Chocopack Chocolate packaging. Illustration by Evgeny Kiselev, production by Alex Merlinni >07. Wisli; artworks on umbrella canvas

to a generation, but likeable. Talented and hard working he is, but what’s truly remarkable is how his almost photographic memory returns from a long and dusty expedition packed to the brim with imagery. And whereas most of us would take a week off to get our city feet back and then search for a mundane job, he’s found the link; a way to express his observations, a way to lay

down these incredible multi-dimensional experiences and share them with the rest of us. More importantly perhaps, as most of us would agree, these incredible visual travelling journals make him enough cash to carry on following his dream and subsequently voyage to the outer reaches of his promised land. And wouldn’t we all just love an excuse like that. x

Design and illustration by Evgeny Kiselev, production by Zaur Guseynov >08. Green Waistcoat Artwork applied to sleeveless jacket. >09. Pinky Personal artwork. >10. It was a dream Personal artwork.


MODERN DESIGN november 2008





>11. Prostranstvo

>12. Miller Advertising

Intricate dual-tone design from Evgeny’s personal portfolio.

illustration for beer ad campaign in St. Petersburg, Russia. >13. Snickers Advertising Wall design for Adrenalin Skatepark powered by Snickers (BBDO Moscow)


MODERN DESIGN november 2008

Sho ppi ng Words: dave vickers


> Les Paul Exotic Wood Guitars from Gibson

Riff without causing a rift - in the environment at least. The trouble with hardwood is that it looks great, sounds terrific - but is extremely unsustainable. Rockin’ from the rainforest just ain’t cool - you hip? Anyway Gibson have changed all that by introducing a Smartwood line of guitars, all harvested from managed renewable forests and certified by the Rainforest Alliance so you can get on with what’s important – swinging you’re axe - without harming a soul.

Ion out the problems > LightAir IonFlow 50 from Lightair

Orchid Moments

> The Orchid Chair from Silence and Grace

Paying homage to the sixties, we all do it; Silence and Grace have flung the peace-loving decade right in front of our peepers. The Orchid Chair is fluid, seamless and incredibly comfortable. The one-piece moulded epoxy fibreglass shell moulds to the user’s posterior, proving that design from the sixties is even cooler when combined with modern materials and manufacture know-how. And, if that doesn’t sell it, then Silence and Grace pack a free feather-duster in with the Orchid – just to keep things nice ‘n’ pure.

For those who don’t know; “Ionisers is good stuff”, silent little low-voltage fresh air machines that sit in the corner of your living room spewing out oodles of fresh, mountain-like therapeutic air torrents that clean up dust, ciggie smoke, colds, flu and horrible smells. Great as they are, it’s definitely a field where science normally predicts design, so it is great to see the Ionflow 50. With its slick ornamental form and integrated up-light, it’s like a Lava lamp – with an actual use.

Desk Lamp – possibly Flavian dynasty? > Anglepoise Fifty by Anglepoise

If you can’t think of a new revolutionary concept, just take an old one and strip it of all its functionality – don’t you just love this cranky design forum? Anglepoise Fifty is the image of its predecessor - the Anglepoise desk lamp - only it’s frozen at fifty degrees and cast within a polycarbonate backbone sheet. Completely stripped of production complexity, the new lamp is like a fossilised version of its daddy, and becomes strangely compelling to the finicky eye of any office design aficionado. 38

MODERN DESIGN november 2008

Weatherproof LCD monitors

Sunlight, Glare, Rain and Dust are no longer a problem! Enjoy visual entertainment outside with our range of weatherproof LCD screens. Key Features  Available in 42" & 52" format  HD ready (1080i)  Sunlight readable  Water resistant  Oil & dust resistant  IP66 and IP56 ingress rated  Winter mode: -20 to +45 °C  Anti-reflective tempered glass  Anti-corrosive cabinet  Vandal proof screen  Extensive inputs & outputs

Infinite comfort

> E-turn designed by Brodie Neill

As a tribute to the world of 3D design, E-turn is really cool. 3D modellers are constantly trying to make their creations look like part of the real world (less of the virtual and more of the reality) but E-turn makes no such pretences. A sculptural, hand-lacquered fibreglass bench representing pure state-of-the-art continuous-line 3D modelling. A combination of the name and the Moebius-like form make a very strong reference to eternity – which, coincidentally, is also about as long as it takes to become a proficient 3D modeller.

For further information and details of your local supplier call +34 952 493 413

h tt p :/ / w w w. q v sl. c o m European Distributors


> Kitty Litter Boxes by Kitty a go-go

No self-respecting feline should have to make do with a bog standard litter tray when he (or she) could do it in style with this super-dooper moggy-pooper. Easy-peesy to clean and empty, it won’t just give your furry friend some well-deserved privacy but its decorative top housing is so darn cute… and interchangeable, too. Tiddles and Tom just won’t be able to get their paws on it quickly enough. So go on and spoil them a little, you know you want to, and you also know it makes scents!

Custodian of Crunch > The perfect cereal bowl

by Sherwood Forlee As a publication, we do have to remain partial, but of course we understand the importance of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. They are perfect, save one small detail, and the clue is in the name. Crunchy they are, until about 2/3rds of the way through, then the liquid properties of the milk cause a molecular breakdown …blah blah blah… resulting in devastating flakesogginess. The Perfect Cereal Bowl takes this problem head-on. Just allow your flakes to steep in cow juice until they reach optimum consistency – then pull the plug, scoff your brekky and drink the sweet, nutty juice from the milk receptacle below – what a bonus. Website coming soon. 40

MODERN DESIGN november 2008


> Bibliothèque Mikado by Compagnie

Shelf, shelf, shelf – that’s all they ever think about these days – or at least a million permutations on the bog-standard bookcase. I mean, would a ninety degree angle in your house seriously just spoil everything? Saying that, a library like this is in serious danger of becoming a sculptural classic, even if you do wake up every morning to a pile of CDs and books on the floor. We think it’s got to be worth the effort.


>Palamitic Acid Photomicrographs. Abstract images through the microscope (Crystal Photomicrography) Photographer: Stefan Eberhard Article on page 85


thin k . U n d e r . e x a m i n a t i o n


interior . d esign . f i r e . p l a c e





Don’t do it by Hearths Words: dave vickers

Due to certain ‘relaxed’ building regulations of the past, some of the architecture in southern Spain is a touch, shall we say, damp-course proof rather than damp proof. Besides that and despite popular belief, we do also entertain a fairly lengthy chilly period – albeit in stops and starts and of course nothing on a par with northern Europe’s big freeze. Still, the combination means we do need to consider winter warmth; all that beautiful marble underfoot, it’s like living in an ice hotel. So, go wheel your suffocating Calor-Gas heaters and metertwirling “leccy” radiators down to the garage; in true Modern Design style – we’ve got the hearths that count.

Okay, let’s not mess around, things have come on a long way since a flicker in prehistoric man’s mind saw him rubbing sticks and creating the world’s first manmade flame. A fair few millennia later and that same all-essential, life giving, meat cooking, industrial steel melting, energy supplying, oxygen fuelled combustion reaction has become an extremely fashionable item of comfort and home design. Of course, it’s not arrived at this point without some intriguing forms of technological intervention – from simple anti-gravitational convection to the latest eco-smart combustion strategies. So first let’s understand what we are gazing at through the chic flickering cosy moodambience that we’ve managed to harness and bring before your style-hungry peepers. Besides all the standard wood, gas and oil burning solutions, there is so much more these days, and of course, the way


>01. Steel Rocks

>02. The Firestack

>03. Treewall

Yes it does! By Elena Colombo

Rolled & stacked stainless steel funnel. By Elena Colombo

Corten steel panel with acid-etched tree. By Elena Colombo


technology is rapidly moving toward a greener forum, things are getting pretty fuel-bill efficient. Still, try telling that to a pension claimant; they’ll laugh their slippers off at you through 4 layers of woollen scarf and a cardigan. But this isn’t about social ills; this is all about cuttingedge design technology, so apologies to the needy – because we need to get all zoned in and à la mode. These days Masonry Heaters are super efficient, the fire chamber traps gases for much longer than any other conventional design using the fuel more completely and resulting in a much cleaner burn. Masonry Heaters burn different types of fuel including coal, gas and of course wood for that all-important Alpine-winter ambience. Though pretty hefty in design, Masonry Heaters store heat in the fireplace >



>04 The Nest

>05. Branchwall

>06 Fire Cage

Back to nature with cast bronze branches. By Elena Colombo

Stainless steel vertical rods. By Elena Colombo

Curved stainless rods with steel orbs. By Elena Colombo


MODERN DESIGN november 2008


The modern fireplace has truly become the latest must-have original home furnishing, and no state-of-the-art minimalist designer crib should even consider being without one. 07

casing, letting it seep gradually into the chilly surroundings. You’ll be down to your scants in no time at all - and additionally, there’s room within all that mass for an oven or two – so you can bake up a treat while you steep in the warm glow. >

Secondary combustion is also very efficient, but aimed more at sustainability. Usually wood burners; they contain a special refractory liner that burns smoke particles before they reach the chimney outlet. Okay you still need a chimney for convection and for hanging your britches on, but no smoke? That’s really something for the smog-spluttering environment, and a grate start for the homeowner with more than a hint of global culpability. Imagine it - style, warmth and zero(ish) emissions – it’s a design package that should thaw out any surging carbon deficit. Gas and gas log fires are constantly evolving in design and efficiency, and when you require great looks combined 08

>07. Quatro Gold >08. Expresione Red >09. Expresione Black Hang it on the wall; special wall mounted or cavity fitted designs from Planika. >10 Ground Floor White



MODERN DESIGN november 2008

A coffee table with integrated glass cylinder containing a soothing fire.


with plenty of heat, gas is a good choice. Zero clearance models take the design aspect to new levels of versatility and even some fireboxes are gas driven, though providers tend to label these ‘decorative’ rather than ‘ambient’ solutions. Ethanol fires are by far the most effective decorative solution. Denatured ethanol fuel is stored within a stainless steel burner chassis in the fire, and burned off as desired. Not only is this a smokeless, fumeless solution, but the flexibility in design is unsurpassed. By not requiring a utility connection, you can basically fit these dauntingly sexy little units anywhere, and in all shapes and forms. Wall mounted is all the rage and some of these zero clearance models incorporate picture-style frames that can elevate your room to a warming gallery space, dedicated solely to the artistry of combustion. Many fireboxes are of the ethanol strain, and again flexibility allows for huge diversity in design. Some even possess dual functionality in the form of iridescent coffee tables or water features, the sound of tumbling liquid partnering up with the flames for a double hit of tranquillity. Nothing could be better as a focal point than a soothing, sensual firebox, or dare we say fire sculpture (more >


>11. Corello Bronze by Flamerite Fires Remote controlled electrical installation. >12. Vision Double-sided design, toughened glass with surround in a range of colour options. Designer Range by Eco Smart. >13. Kephren by Arkiane Pyramid sculpture using vacuum smoke evacuation from underneath the fire. 12

toward the upper end of the market) that offers 360째 navigation and flickering hypnotics that would keep even Paul McKenna hushed-up, at least until you did your own disappearing act.


Speaking of focal points, the fire has always been that; a place to huddle round, something to aim your furniture at, a kind of Victorian TV set if you like. Only with the coming of the radio/video age have we drifted away, wilfully switching channels toward a more dramatic surround-sound, wide-vision medium. But, with the technological developments, increased safety, sustainability and flexibility in application of the modern fireplace, domestic design is making a solid U-turn. The age-old flame is once more becoming the centre of attention. So as your armchair slowly revolves with the times (away from the domain of the 42-inch plasma) and locks onto a new target, rest assured as you ogle the iridescent glow, you are actually residing at the pinnacle of fashionable living (imagine, all that entertaining comfort and no commercials). The modern fireplace has truly become the latest must-have original home furnishing, and no state-of-the-art minimalist designer crib should even consider being without one. x 13 46

MODERN DESIGN november 2008



>14. Ittala

>15. X-Board

A combination of fire resistant glass and steel, designed by Studio Suppanen.

Natural soapstone finish, steel ventilation shaft and wood storage compartment. Attika by Esteller.


d esign . o ff . c u t s




Crazy Carving

Your design is just a patch on Amy Hunting’s

In harder times design takes a bit of a tumble down the priority list, but it’s not always necessarily a bad thing. Some of the greatest, most time-enduring concepts were knocked up out of necessity from To our delight, these picremnants and bits of stuff lying around the cutting n-mix fixtures and fittings room/workshop floor. Take the patchwork quilt for represent truly accomplished, example or stained glass windows, I even had a well finished and extremely patchwork car once, not recommended truthfully, durable design and but it fulfilled its requirement… manufacture. They flirt with The true cut-and-shut master of domestic design the deconstructive, like a joinery is Amy Hunting, and she’s rightly identified jigsaw would, but totally the current ecological crisis as a depression of sorts. hold their own in the world of To compensate for man’s incessant inclination to use functionality. up vital resources, like the climate is as throw-away as say, a throw-away camera, she has decided to Words: dave vickers offer old discarded chunks of hardwood a second cutting-edge life cycle. It’s a small relief for the planet’s depleted rainforests, and, after hearing about patchwork carpentry and expecting a kind of botched - protruding nail - tree-camp dynamic, a huge relief for us. To our delight, these pic-n-mix fixtures and fittings represent truly accomplished, well finished


>01. Bookshelf on its side >02. The Lamp, Easy Hanging >03. Loaded Bookshelf >04. The Patchwork chair


and extremely durable design and manufacture. They flirt with the deconstructive, like a jigsaw would, but totally hold their own in the real world of functionality. The differing textures each tend to relay a unique story of their own, some identifying the original source of the recycled part, others far too machinelaboured to betray the exact truth. So what are you sitting on, where has it been and why did it end up in Amy’s scrap box? The mystery will never truly unravel, just as the mystery about my cutand-shut Capri never truly came to light. Still, that’s the kind of uniqueness we can well do without, whereas Amy’s candid individuality provides a guaranteed more palatable exclusivity. I mean let’s face it; even in a set of six, we’d have to understand that the word ‘set’ should be used fairly lightly. x


art . IN . THE . F RAME


Off the Wall Art Forum Berlin > Messe Fairground Running from 31 October to 3 November, Art Forum.Berlin – this year celebrating its 13th annual edition – is a potent magnet for established and up-and-coming young artists and contemporary art dealers alike, attracting to the hip German capital more than 120 galleries from over 25 different countries around the world. Launched in 1995, well before London’s Frieze and New York’s Armory Show, Art Forum Berlin epitomises the city’s progressive and hugely vibrant atmosphere which in recent years has led to it becoming a global art centre teeming with energy and creativity as demonstrated partly by the fact that virtually every one of Germany’s prodigious array of talented new artists has made it their home, and partly by the plethora of major exhibitions – many of them premieres - hosted by the metropolis. A veritable treasure trove for collectors and lovers of cutting-edge contemporary art, the galleries taking part – from Europe, the USA, Central and Southern America, Japan and India – have each been selected by an international jury and together represent a stellar line-up of some of the most collectible of avant-garde art around. Save. The mystic and surreal photographs by Finnish artist Susanna Majuri – who together with Ola Kolehmainen and Miklos Gaál forms a part of the Helsinki-school photographic movement and who won the Gras Savoye Photographic Award 2005 in Arles – are like short narrative scenes reminiscent of movie stills of a fascinating story as yet untold. Creating bizarre, odd, or even surrealistic atmospheres and situations for her main characters, her compelling images are ambiguous, leaving the viewer to imagine the bigger picture that lies beyond the frame. Untitled. Working in the meticulous medium of oil on canvas, Stockholmbased painter Magnus Larsson explores the space between traditional portraiture and contemporary imagery, combining a diverse range of elements inspired by traditional portrait painting, fashion images and comics. Indeed, his works have often been compared to the drawing style of the comic book genre although his figures tend to be pared down in terms of context, while conversely in each and every painting he pays greater attention both to skin and clothing. Ungamqhawuli. Words: Carolyn Melián With his affinity for unconventional materials such as ribbons, soap, rubber inner tubes and leather often appearing in his works exploring Xhosa traditions, homosexuality and just about “anything that people find embarrassing in society”, award-winning Nicholas Hlobo was born in Johannesburg in 1975. He’s recently had a solo exhibition at the Boston ICA; currently features on the third Guangzhou Triennial, China (5 September – 9 November 2008); and other showcases this year have been hosted by New York’s Studio Museum and London’s Haunch of Venison. Self-inflictedArt. Cementing her fame and notoriety as the ‘bad’ girl of contemporary art back in 1995, Nicole Eisenman is a New Yorkbased artist whose wittily subversive work often questions issues of gender while turning clichés inside out to create beautifully painted scenes that lure you in before suddenly stopping you dead in your tracks with content that may not be quite as humorous as it initially seemed. x 01

A veritable treasure trove for collectors and lovers of cuttingedge contemporary art, the galleries taking part – from Europe, the USA, Central and South America, Japan and India – have each been selected by an international jury and together represent a stellar line-up of some of the most collectible of avant-garde art around.



>01. Magnus Larsson

>03. Nicole Eisenman

Untitled (Portrait), 2006 57 x 47cm Oil on Canvas. Courtesy of Gregor Podnar, Berlin / Ljubljana.

Self-inflictedArt, 2007 Watercolour And Ink On Paper. Courtesy of Leo Koenig, New York.

>02. Susanna Majuri

>04. Nicholas Hlobo

Save, 2007 90 x 135cm C-Print on Diasec. Edition of 5 + 2 ap. Courtesy of TaiK, Helsinki.

Ungamqhawuli, 2008 155 x 125 x 64cm (excluding ropes) Vinyl, ribbon, fabric, wood, synthetic ropes, pulley, hooks. Performance: Michael Stevenson, 6 March 2008. Courtesy of Michael Stevenson, Cape Town.


MODERN DESIGN november 2008




November>december 2008




Theatre & Music


......................................................................................................................................................................... All information correct at the time of going to press.

LE CORBUSIER: THE ART OF ARCHITECTURE Featuring unique drawings, models, paintings, textiles, furniture, photographs and films, Le Corbusier - The Art of Architecture takes an in-depth look at the architectural projects, interior designs and art of the most influential 20th century architect, revealing the man behind the myth. An exhibition of the Vitra Design Museum in co-operation with the RIBA Trust and the Netherlands Architecture Institute, the showcase is divided into three sections: Contexts, Privacy & Publicity, and Built Art. The Crypt, Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool, UK Through January 18, 2009 ..............................................................................................................................................................................

Heading home after a series of international gigs that last month included Dubai and Brazil, ‘The Modfather’ - credited with having penned a soundtrack to a generation - concludes his world tour with a round-up of venues the length and breadth of the UK as well as stopping off in Dublin. The tour kicks off at K2 in Crawley on November 6 &7, and ends at London’s Carling Academy Brixton on November 24 – 26.


RICHARD SERRA AT THE GAGOSIAN GALLERIES Richard Serra’s first exhibitions in London since Weight and Measure was presented at the Duveen Galleries of the Tate Gallery in 1992, the Gagosian Gallery is showcasing the American sculptor’s three new leviathan steel sculptures at their Britannia Street gallery, together with ‘forged drawings’ – small, geometric forged steel plates with paint stick applied to the surface – while his new works on paper are being exhibited at the Davies Street gallery. Richard Serra: Sculpture Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, London, UK Through December 20 Richard Serra: Drawing Gagosian Gallery, Davies Street, London, UK Through November 22 52

MODERN DESIGN november 2008



WOMAD – LAS PALMAS The World Of Music And Dance Festival returns to Las Palmas for another sensational weekend line-up of fab vibes, arts and dance from around the globe. DJ sessions, workshops for grown-ups and kids, the Global Market and Children’s Procession are all part of the formula – together with a vibrant city, the inviting sands of Playa de las Canteras and the legendary Canary Island sun – that has made Las Palmas one of the most popular WOMAD venues outside the UK. Parque de Santa Catalina, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain November 6 – 9

A joint project by NGOs Global Exchange and Co-Op America, Green Festival events - a forum for ecological balance, a sustainable economy and social justice - take place this month in Washington DC and San Francisco. Featuring how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music, highlights include both The Power Foods and Fair Trade Pavilions. November 8 – 9 >Washington DC, USA November 14 – 16 > San Francisco, CA, USA



SEVILLA EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL The 5th edition of the Sevilla Festival de Cine Europeo opens with the eagerly-awaited Spanish premiere of Italian movie Gomorra, directed by Matteo Garrone, which shocked Cannes and carried off the Grand Jury Prize. Other films enjoying their first outings in Spain include the acclaimed Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino) and director Dany Boon’s chez les Ch’tis, the most successful comedy ever in the history of French cinema. Sevilla, Spain November 7 – 15


ALBERTO GARCÍA-ALIX RETROSPECTIVE One of Spain’s foremost portraiture and still life photographers, De Donde No Se Vuelve is a major Alberto García-Alix retrospective comprising 200 works of varying formats described as a journey through his memory. Awarded Spain’s prestigious National Photography Prize in 1999, his images are often provocative, sensual and personal. An audiovisual work created specifically for this Madrid showcase runs parallel to the exhibition. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain November 5 – February 23, 2009


SAN SEBASTIAN GASTRONOMY CONFERENCE At the 10th Congreso Gastronómico, Spain’s top chefs show off their culinary skills, vie for awards and hold masterclasses where visitors can discover the art of creating pintxos, the Basque Country equivalent of tapas, as well as learning how to prepare gourmet dishes with luxury ingredients such as truffles. But since good food doesn’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg, other more humble highlights include Best Tortilla contests. Palacio de Congresos del Kursaal, San Sebastián, Spain November 24 – 27 MODERN DESIGN november 2008



culture . e l e c t i o n . a r t













Words: dave vickers

The Palin Scream A modernist electoral play on expressionist Edvard Munch’s horror series. Radical artists tend to utilise well-known imagery to draw public scrutiny and force their opinions across. Here the notorious Scream makes a very effective vehicle of opinion with a competent selfexplanatory message.

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Unless you live under the comfort-blanket of a complete media black-out – or in other words you live in a field - then there’s a strong chance that for the last year or so you might have noticed a small election thingy going on across the pond. Now a year is a long time and boy do we just not get it, what seems to be daily entertainment for American folk is just another colossal head-scratcher for the rest of us. But right now, transcending this perplexing editorial time-tunnel that’s governed by a stringent magazine production schedule, you happen to know the answer to it all – and I don’t, and let me tell you “I’m scared!” The story so far, in short. We’ve had

a cuckolded ex-first lady, who most probably doesn’t inhale, running for a candidacy firmly supported by the offending, philandering impeached ex-president. She officially threw in the towel, then that very party made political history by nominating an African American presidential candidate. In an effort to outdo this audacious political manoeuvre, the other party, led by an authentic ex-PoW (with war injuries and all) nominated a gun-wielding, moose huntin’ evangelical woman as vicepresident, who so far let’s face it, has had 56

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a few bumps along the way – not least of all the illegitimate one in her daughter’s belly. “Phew!” Does this sound like a race to the Whitehouse to you - or an episode of Desperate Housewives? The Art. As you can imagine in a situa-

tion like this, and with the modern day internet rampant – full of great aunts and grandmas sending damning email petitions round quicker than they do recipes for pumpkin pie – image is everything. And, even though it’s all over now, it is that imagery that we would like to pursue. Why? Because whoever it may be today, firmly ensconced in The Oval Office at the rickety helm of our volatile planet, you can guarantee they had the best damn team of artists, graphic designers and PR people that a party election budget could buy. So, if you were wondering why a design magazine was poking its nose into stuff best left well alone, before the fact even, then understand that in this day and age, a picture speaks a million-plus words, and just possibly, graphic design and art has never played (nor maybe will it ever play) such an important role in history. The surfer’s vote. 2008, more so than

any other election, has been fought online, and if the Kennedy faction entertained the first presidential campaign

to fully utilise television networks to command a majority, then Obama is the modern day JFK. We need only take a look at the Obama website, a user-friendly interface cleverly disguised as a social networking site – a political Facebook impersonator that has gone down a storm with the electorate. Obama’s web designer – though probably briefed to the verge of insanity – has hit the nail-onthe-head as far as electoral appeal goes, and the ingenuity alone has managed to suffocate McCain’s dowdy attempt at ‘stars and stripes’ patriotic domain-design at a massive rate of four hits to one. The online presence of each opposing party has been perfectly represented by web design; a dusty old-fashioned approach, perhaps leaning toward a more tactile hand-shaking, baby kissing, ‘on the street’ state-visit understanding of confidence boosting; versus a cutting-edge comprehension of the Blackberry generation, the all-important ‘e’ electorate. The McCain camp has turned its back on the internet to some degree, confidently aiming for the older, more stable electorate, but is the internet solely a tool for reaching out to the youth? Considering we use it to buy cars, shop, read the news, learn, cure lonely hearts and trawl over the decades on You Tube, then perhaps that was a mistake – only you know the answer… >

>01.Obama website This social networking impersonator has gone down a treat with the ‘e’ electorate, online is obviously a biggie for the Obama camp. >02.McCain website McCain has turned his back on the surfer to some degree. Looking like a banner for a Hollywood movie, The McCain domain has failed, Online visits are 4:1 in favour of Obama. >03.Democrat Donkey and the Republican Elephant Yes each party has a famous logo, and we can thank cartoonist Thomas Nast for that. In Andrew Jackson’s 1828 election campaign, his opponents called him a jackass and Jackson decided to use the stalwart workhorse image for his party insignia. Nast developed it, and in one of his cartoons (Harpers Weekly, 1874) he depicted the donkey, clothed in a lion’s skin, scaring off other zoological creatures. One of them was an elephant, and that quickly became associated with the Republicans.



>04 Art attack The rather respected New Yorker decided to print a satirical cartoon cover depicting Mr. & Mrs. Obama’s famed victory punch at the Democratic convention. Dubbed the ‘Terrorist Punch’ by Republican radicals, this little joke backfired on the magazine, and though completely unintended, caused a huge controversy. >05 Caricatures Bob Staake’s presidential homage to historical caricaturist Paolo Garretto.

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Merchandise. Another incredible weapon in the party armoury, and something that’d be considered completely tone deaf as far as European election campaigning goes, is merchandise. Both Democrat and Republican have resorted to warring on the gizmo/fashion/baseball-cap front. The Democrat swoops in with blanket ‘T-shirt’ bombing raids, littering the country with cheesy fashion design bordering on the sickening, only to be flanked by a Republican move of equal style audacity. Perhaps a hick bumper-sticker campaign or eco-shopping carriers designed to bag more than just your proverbial groceries. Everyone likely to buy a ‘T’ shirt, badge, mug or bumper-sticker is targeted, from NASCAR freaks to Beagle owners (Beagles for Barack) and Hells Angels to Hockey Moms – no one is safe from the clutches of the political accessory. Whatever the strategy, this political bunk-fight is fairly ingenious, craftily aimed at the correct state-specific demographic and at the same time, a colossal money spinner. Much of this party-paraphernalia is far, far from inexpensive, so while you’re campaigning for the ballot, why not fund the next financial crisis? Barack Obama has raised absolute millions in this way. Action Man, a step too far. Whatever

any of us may think of election memorabilia, nothing at all would be more alien to a Euro election campaign than senator dolls. Across the board, right or wrong, America seems to think it’s socially acceptable to release senator dolls; it’s true! And why stop there, surely there’s a whole market for senator doll accessories; perhaps a mini-moosehead 58

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trophy for the Barbiefied Palin; a scale Guantanamo for her once incarcerated boss; a Tracey Island for the shamed and outgoing Bush doll; a monumental ‘swing’ for Gordon Brown; a Peace Envoy disguise kit for Tony and a mini red carpet for Obama to roll out for himself at Hollywood functions and cocktail parties. These action figures must be the biggest no-no of the century and anyone found in possession of a political dolly should be thoroughly investigated.

The real skill. Again with the web at work, graphic design has made a huge impression on the swayable voting public, and that’s what it’s all about. By creating an image that pops a neuronefuse in the minds of the hesitant, the artist can elucidate emotion, perhaps clarify a burning question, underline pride or even illuminate a fear. A striking image gets under the skin, dragging voters toward a block of text propaganda, or simply training thought >

>06 & 07 Top Designers Top designers - unashamed of their opinions - have jumped on the election bandwagon; like this T-shirt design by Juicy Couture and grocery bag by Mark Jacobs. >08 Knock-on effect Bumper stickers for McCain >09 Barbybaric Political action dolls – are for real!





>10. Hopeless

>11. Cover up

>12. Poster pun

>13 Mosaic Hope

A satirical take on Shepard Fairey’s “HOPE” image.

Esquire get into gear for an Obama victory.

Pro Democratic satirical poster campaign from

Mosaic Hope poster made out of high-resolution images from Flickr.

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subliminally. Designers have cradled the idea of pushing their beliefs forward, using their dexterity to try to manipulate the tentative imagination of millions. The nature of the World Wide Web – and being that most American homes are connected to a terminal - invites the notion of a colossal poster campaign. “AMERICA NEEDS YOU” and millions of desktops suddenly become the welfare office walls, backlit bus-stop panels and domestic billboards of the electorate ‘e’ campaign. It becomes impossible to be unaffected, and coupled with the antics of the candidates, infuriatingly awkward to remain impartial.


In such a short period (even though it seems like an eternity to us) independent designers are smart enough to realise that trying to create a brand new artistic following would be futile, so they dedicate works to the infamous imagery of trends gone by, like Bob Staake’s presidential homage to historical caricaturist Paolo Garretto; the Palin ‘Scream’ – a modernist electoral play on expressionist Edvard Munch’s horror series and a number of obviously Warholesque pop-art entries. It makes for good viewing and holds massive appeal, much more at least than any egotistical artisan trying to impose their own genre on a slightly hypnotised public who care little about the actual message medium, and more about the outcome. Despite the odd purely artistic lunge at an image-hungry electorate, like Shepard Fairey’s “HOPE” contribution to the Barack campaign, a very clear message needs to be conveyed; enter the satire. In the home-straight, the mud slinging last mile of the election, nothing works better than satire to deliver a punchy express-mail message to the masses. Subtlety just doesn’t work in this dog-eat-dog world of propagation (as illustrated by the rigmarole surrounding the faux partiality of the front-cover of The New Yorker) and 9 o’clock watersheds are regularly breeched by badge wearing, mug wielding, banner waving patriots with a grudge to bear. “I’d rather be nailin’ Palin” probably illustrates the full extent of the sludge. Anyone sporting this descriptive little anecdote is most probably a radical, recognising the specific need for a supposedly raunchy female presence in the Oval Office (with her finger on the button obviously). Sure sex sells, but Sarah Palin? Gimme a 60

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break! One guy, in answer to aggressive questioning about his motives for wearing a nailin’ Palin logo, replied; “She’ll be just too damn cute to annoy the communists, they’ll just fall for her charm!” It’s comforting to realise that the delicate equilibrium of planet Earth rests with such a discerning public, I’m sure you’ll agree. So, sex, race, culture, even war injury, it’s all out there to be exploited – and trust us, exploit they do, constructive, negative, occasionally amusing, often nauseating but always clear – satire rules. The strength of the message clearly illustrates that however misguided they may be sometimes; Americans are fully engaged in the entertainment, and like waiting for the climactic outcome of the Superbowl (yet another unfathomable mystery), they totally care. And this is where the USA differs from a much more impartial Europe, the patriotic electorate really does care; about what, it‘s difficult to fathom sometimes, but with ballot turn-out percentages numbering in the 90s compared to current UK turnouts numbering around 38%, there is a lot of persuading to do here. And the designers, well, they are best described as the cheerleaders of the campaigning, an arty dance routine that runs in tandem with the political folly - expertly choreographed to turn the heads of the undecided but crucial minority - that literally number in the millions. So there you have it, the whys and wherefores. A massive chunk of the Northern Hemisphere with a proportionate multi-ethnic, socially diverse population in need of persuasion, it takes some doing and might explain why it all takes so infuriatingly damn long. We’d love to say, “And so it should!” considering the global importance of holding such an office, but unfortunately the futility of the last eight years in that department would lay down the significance of such a statement. And, remaining impartial as a publication is paramount, so, if you now happen to be staring down the barrel of yet another Republican, oil-drenched world constabulary, let’s hope that the USA’s long-suffering controversial health care system stays well enough to keep John McCain hobbling around, at least long enough to see out his term. x


TOO STUPID to understand taxes anyway.”

(McCain, Optima Font)


WARS What I am opposed to is a

dumb war. What I am opposed to is

a rash war.” (Barack Obama, Gotham Font)

>What a font says about a man Much can be told from typography, McCain uses a “flared sans” Optima font. Not quite sans and not quite serif, sort of in between, moderate. The same font was used on the Vietnam memorial – a war responsible for his hero status. Obama’s ‘Gotham’ serifs are sharp, well defined and crisp, a bit like one of his suits. The font promotes a young and hip image, refined but corporate reflecting confident and contemporary ideals.


>Vitamin C Photomicrographs. Abstract images through the microscope (Crystal Photomicrography) Photographer: Stefan Eberhard Article on page 85


thin k . U n d e r . e x a m i n a t i o n


gastronom y . MOVEA B LE . F EAST


01 The hippest hang-out An international hotspot for aviation aficionados and lovers of fine dining. © Helge Kirchberger / Red Bull Photofiles.

Dining on a Higher Plane Whether you’re flying out or heading home, and members of the ‘plane-spotting fraternity aside, if there’s one place you don’t want to hang around in a moment longer than is absolutely necessary, it’s the airport. Unless that is, it’s Salzburg’s W.A. Mozart Airport, where even the most jet-lagged of seasoned travellers will find it hard to tear themselves away. Why? Because Hangar-7 – the iconic 3,700-square metre glass-and-steel ellipsoid that’s not only home to the high-flying Ikarus Restaurant, but is also an aviation museum, working airport, contemporary art gallery and the chicest of bars all rolled into one – is the hippest hang-out in town. Airports and fine dining don’t generally make the most natural of bedfellows. There are exceptions of course. Boston’s Logan International has award-winning chef Todd English’s Bonfire; Sydney’s Qantas Terminal boasts Neil Perry’s legendary First Lounge; and Heathrow T5 passengers can always while away the time in Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food – more Hell’s Airport than Hell’s Kitchen. But irrespective of whether you’re dining on caviar and Chablis or queuing for a soggy sandwich and a Coke, if you’re eating in a terminal eaterie, Words: Carolyn Melián basically it’s because it’s par for the concourse. You’ve checked in your bags, got your boarding


card in your pocket, and there you’re stuck ‘til they call your flight. At Salzburg Airport, on the other hand, many of the visitors won’t even be checking-in. Though they’re embarking on a gastronomic world tour, for Austrian foodies this isn’t the start of their journey, and neither will they be clocking up a single air mile, because their destination is Hangar-7. THE VISION. The brainchild of Dietrich Mateschitz – the man who brought us the Red Bull ® Energy Drink – Hangar-7 was created not only to house the evergrowing collection of historic aircraft belonging to the Flying Bulls display team, and clearly worthy of a more distinguished home than the average hangar with all the inherent design appeal of a shoebox, but also to bring together under one soaring roof, science, technology, art and entertainment.

02 Turbot Prawns with Quinoa Risotto Guest Chef September 2008; Gastón Acurio. © Helge Kirchberger / Red Bull Photofiles.

THE REALITY. Taking almost four years to plan, develop and build – and only a cab-hop from Salzburg Airport’s main terminal – since opening its doors in August 2003 Hangar-7 has become an international hotspot for >



03 Flying high Twin cylindrical towers house two chic bars, offices and the groundbreaking Ikarus Restaurant. © Martin Fuchs / Red Bull Photofiles. MODERN DESIGN june 2008 MODERN DESIGN november 2008

63 63


In 5 years, Hangar-7 has welcomed: >1 million visitors >100,000 Ikarus diners >54 guest chefs contributing 1,000 signature recipes > and hosted 11 art exhibitions 04

aviation aficionados and lovers of fine dining, while well-heeled Austrians regularly fly in for the evening, handily parking their Gulfstreams or Lears on the doorstep.



HangART-7 gallery showcases a changing line-up of contemporary works by up-and-coming artists. Then there’s a trio of the coolest bars including the appropriately named Threesixty which, suspended from the apex of the glass dome and with its transparent floor providing a bird’s eye view of the vintage flying machines parked beneath, is probably the closest you’ll ever get to walking on air. The must-visit hi-tech Mayday, on the other hand, has an ingenious bar counter whose interactive surface means that animations of the Flying Bulls dart niftily between the champagne flutes and highball glasses, transporting from guest to guest ‘for-your-eyes-only’ messages. THE IKARUS CONCEPT. Masterminded by patron Eckart Witzigmann and executive chef Roland Trettl, the groundbreaking Ikarus raison d’être is both audacious and truly original. A culinary tour de force, each month a different award-winning chef chosen from the elite ranks of the international world of gastronomy is invited to do a four-week stint in the kitchen. The sheer enormity of such a project is mind boggling with its intricate planning, organisation, logistics and attention to detail, but if ever there was a duo totally unfazed by the prospect of pulling off the ultimate moveable feast month in, month out, these two professionals are clearly the men for the job. Their credentials speak for themselves. Widely acclaimed for introducing Nouvelle Cuisine into Germany and Austria, Eckart Witzigmann was named Chef of The Century by the prestigious Gault Millau in 1984 and just one year after opening Aubergine – his first restaurant – became the first German chef, and at the time only the third outside France, to


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be awarded three Michelin stars. While Witzigmann has his feet firmly planted on the ground, however, it’s South Tyrolean celebrity chef Roland Trettl – whose legendary Ca’s Puers Restaurant in Mallorca earned him his first Michelin star when he was just 26 – who takes to the skies, travelling the globe for around 120 days each year in search of future Ikarus guest chefs and working with them in their own kitchens before inviting them to showcase their skills at Hangar-7. Conveniently, the Red Bull ‘plane at his beck and call is parked just outside his office. It’s a gastronomic partnership made in heaven. Thanks to them, Austria’s high-flying foodies have the mouth-watering opportunity of experiencing the very finest cuisine from all corners of the globe without having to set foot outside Salzburg, while for overseas travellers visiting the famous city or honing their on piste skills, well, it’s the best reason yet to break with tradition and make sure of arriving at the airport really early for a change. x



IKARUS GUEST CHEF NOVEMBER 2008 Normand Laprise, Toqué! Restaurant, Montreal A gastronomic institution in Montreal where he’s been voted best chef for 15 consecutive years, Laprise’s Toqué! Restaurant boasts 4 stars from the Canadian Culinary Federation in Quebec and 5 diamonds both from the CAA and its American counterpart, the AAA. As a taste of what you can expect, one of his signature dishes created especially for this month’s visit to the Ikarus Restaurant: Princess Scallops marinated in Red Bull and vodka with caviar, strawberries and a lime foam.

IKARUS GUEST CHEFS 04 Walking on air

05 Flying machines

06 Eye candy

The stunning Threesixty Bar. © Daniel Grund / Red Bull Photofiles.

North American B-25J”Mitchell” beneath the 360º Bar. © / Red Bull Photofiles.

HangART-7 – a showcase for contemporary art. © / Red Bull Photofiles.

07 Gastronomic tour de force Roland Trettl and Chef de Cuisine Laurent Audiot. © Joerg Lehmann / Red Bull Photofiles.

08 Cooking up a storm Guest Chef August 2008: Gérard Depardieu. © Helge Kirchberger / Red Bull Photofiles.

DECEMBER 2008 Danyel Couet & Paul Svensson, F12, Stockholm Artistic and deconstructionist, Sweden’s pre-eminent chefs, “dissect the colour and form of their ingredients, reassembling them into surprising new creations.” MODERN DESIGN november 2008



fashion . ETHICAL . CHIC


Green & Gorgeous Conscience on the catwalk

From shapeless shifts, flower-sprigged dirndls and woolly leggings… to must-have runway eco-glam, ethical fashion has come a long, long way since its humble, home-spun beginnings back at the start of the 70s. Never has it been easier to indulge our ongoing love affair with cutting-edge designer labels without renouncing our environmental and social conscience – because so far as ethical Words: carolyn melián haute couture is concerned, green is the new black.

With a higher profile than ever before – just as well considering the sorry state of our ailing planet, and the pitiful wages and dangerous exposure to toxic chemicals endured by textile producers and garment workers in developing countries – ethical fashion includes among its celebrity fan following the likes of movie stars Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Brad Pitt and Leonardo di Caprio, while U2 frontman Bono and wife Ali Hewson went one better by launching their very own Edun label in 2005. >

>Myco Anna Ethical, organic and Fairtrade, all their designs feature 20% – 100% recycled materials. Images: Courtesy of Agnieszka Stalkoper.

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>Noir Giving a little back to the world – haute couture with a conscience. Stylist: Yvonne Sporre. Image: Courtesy of Marc Hom.


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>Junky Styling Waste not, want not sassy design at London Fashion Week 2008. Image: Courtesy of Duncan Bone.

>Bllack Noir Glam gone underground. Street savvy without renouncing environmental and social ideals. Stylist: Mattias Karlsson. Image: Courtesy of Hasse Nielsen.

>Revamp The appropriately named Spring / Summer 2009 Rekindled Love Collection, featuring recycled fabrics. Image: Courtesy of Hugh O’Malley.

Fashion Without Victims Ethical fashion refers to clothing that has been made, worn and passed on in a way that is compassionate to people, animals and the environment, and has to tick at least one of the following boxes: sustainable trade and manufacture; the use of organic materials; the inclusion of vintage or recycled fabrics; and fashion that does not involve cruelty to animals.

> FASHIONING A BETTER PLANET. Last month alone, Paris hosted the 5th edition of its must-visit Ethical Fashion Show held at the Carrousel du Louvre from October 9 – 12, billed as the world’s largest eco-couture showcase and founded in 2004 by Isabelle Quéhé; and on the other side of the English Channel the London College of Fashion - which notably launched its own Centre for Sustainable Fashion earlier this year – hosted the Sustainable Fashion Conference 2008 running from October 27 – 28. The UK, USA, Canada and South Africa are just some of the increasing number of countries where environmentallyfriendly fashion shows now take place annually, while designers from Ghana to Denmark and Canada, and from Mali to Japan and Germany are all bringing an astonishing range of avant-garde creativity and ingenuity to a genre once dismissed by fashionistas as frumpy and dull.

SEWING THE SEEDS. In Britain at least – where most people at the time dressed almost exclusively in clothes made from synthetic fibres which, although they were uncomfortable since they didn’t ‘breathe’, were at least cheap to produce and buy – designer labels Monsoon and Katharine Hamnett were both instrumental in dragging the obstinate world of fashion towards a greener future. Following a period of selling shaggy woollen coats on London’s famous Portobello Road and hand blockprinted clothes from Rajasthan, Peter Simon founded Monsoon, opening his first shop in Knightsbridge’s swanky Beauchamp Place in 1973. His original focus was always on clothes with an ethnic origin from faraway places, including unusual dresses from Afghanistan and countries en route. Chic and oh so cool, it was a look that caught on overnight with high-profile clients such as British actress Jane Seymour leading the way. Accessorize, Monsoon Home,

Monsoon Baby, Monsoon Angels and Monsoon Boy were later launched and today there are more than 500 Monsoon stores around the world. Putting its money where its mouth is the organisation operates in accordance with its own stringent Fairtrade, ethical and environmental policies, supports emerging artists through the Monsoon Art Collection highlighting both indigenous culture and globalisation, and through The Monsoon Accessorize Trust has established a wide range of projects aimed at alleviating poverty in Asia with which it has had long-standing trading relationships. ‘QUEEN OF GREEN’. Katharine

Hamnett achieved stardom as a controversial eco-heroine fashion designer more than 30 years ago, not only dressing Liz Taylor but in 2004 famously sending Naomi Campbell down the catwalk wearing a top bearing the legend ‘Wear a condom’. Named Designer of the Year by the British Fashion Council in 1984, she pioneered organic cotton production in the 1990s – according to the World Health Organisation there are three million poisonings and 20,000 deaths annually from pesticides affecting growers and garment workers – and passionate about Fairtrade and a whole raft of other environmental issues, she owns a farm in Mallorca where she’s currently endeavouring to organise the local community into a fully-functioning organic Co-operative; and sold her London home to finance the online Katharine E Hamnett eco-store. BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS. It was as far back as 1992 that the US media blew the whistle on sweat-shop labour, naming and shaming among others Levi Strauss. Suddenly the world was alerted to the fact that big brands had lost control of their supply lines and that cheap fashion came with a very expensive price-tag in terms >

>Revamp Variations on a sustainable theme. Dress: Fernando Viana. Necklace: Kotomi Yammura. Image: Courtesy of Hugh O’Malley.

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>Monkee Genes The world’s first organic denim jeans approved by the Soil Association. Purple Skinny – model: Abi Plowright. Image: Courtesy of Chris Webb.

of a sustainable environment and fair wages for workers. Eight years later, Naomi Klein’s worldwide best seller No Logo further exposed the uncomfortable truth behind many of the globe’s leading labels. Earlier this year, BBC3’s Blood, Sweat & T-Shirts reality show has gone some way towards communicating the plight of Indian cotton workers for which many high street stores should shoulder their share of the blame, while on sister channel BBC2, Twiggy’s Frock Exchange hosted of course by the 60s most iconic of supermodels, talks up the virtue of swapping clothes as the ultimate eco-friendly way to style.


>Bora Aksu (right) As if by magic, the Londonbased Turkish designer reworks everyday items – quilt covers, tea towels and even ‘granny’ undies – into alluring and ultimately wearable fab little eco-numbers. Image: Courtesy of Ian Gillett. >GoodOne (below) Award-winning sustainable, one-off, edgy designs from handpicked, locally-sourced recycled fabrics. Image: Courtesy of GoodOne.

CUTTING IT. Shwopping (as in

swapping clothes), bamboo and hemp are just a few of the buzz words currently doing the rounds in ethical fashion circles. Environmentallysourced bamboo and hemp are both ecologically sound alternatives to non-organic cotton; growing fast, not requiring much in the way of precious water and needing no chemicals. As a bonus, since hemp is anti-bacterial, it doesn’t require such frequent washing. To name but a few of the seriously cutting-edge designers creating eco-fabulous runway fashions, there’s Lac Et Mel who, in co-operation with the German Branch of the WWF are blazing a trail with their carbon neutral collections which recently went down a storm at Berlin’s MercedesBenz Fashion Week; New York’s Linda Loudermilk; Quebec’s Myco Anna; and South Africa’s Lunar. Talented London-based Mark Liu specialises in zero waste cutting techniques; Junky Styling sources secondhand clothing from Malawi and traditional textiles from the region for their stunning recycled fashions; and Japan’s Aoi turns his skills to crafting beautifullycut coats and dresses made from ancient kimonos. OUT OF AFRICA. Copenhagen-based

Noir – recipients of the Dansk Fashion Award for Ethical Brand of the Year 70

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2008 – have recently created their own cotton brand Illuminati II, the sole purpose of which is to produce the finest fabrics from Africa. Made from Ugandan cotton certified both organic and Fairtrade, and manufactured in Uganda and Europe for onward sale around the globe to leading luxury brands, Noir founder Peter Ingwersen says, “We want to be known as the first brand to bring sophistication and sexiness to corporate social responsibility.” In all links of the value chain, production will take place in accordance with the ILO Conventions and principles of the UN Global Compact, thus ensuring an ethically, socially and environmentally sustainable process from production to end product. The official launch of Illuminati II is scheduled for the end of the year with the first collection of luxury cotton fabrics expected to be available for wholesale in 2009. Noir’s 7th ready-to-wear collection – Spring / Summer 2009 and launched at fashion weeks around the globe – has been described as encapsulating a mélange of metaphors from feathered nymph to glossy rock glam. Their Bllack Noir range, meanwhile, is a diffusion line echoing Noir’s seductive yet sustainable stance on style. Designed to appeal to a younger market, the label is Noir’s rather more price-conscious alternative yet still at the very sharpest end of style and possessing the same irreproachable credentials as its parent group. We’ll leave the last word to up-andcoming young British designer Julia Smith, whose transparent supply routes, clean production and use of fabrics such as hemp silk epitomise the philosophy and essential hallmarks of eco-friendly fashion. Styling herself not as an ethical designer, but merely a designer, she modestly says, “That’s how fashion should be anyway.” And who could possibly argue with that? x


architecture . h u m a n i t a r i a n . b l u e p r i n t





> project

Abōd demonstration site

> location > architect

Soshanguve, South Africa BSB Design

> partners

Blessman Ministries Inc., Barclays Bank, ABSA & Africon






W án













Abod > Making a difference Aesthetically pleasing, structurally sound, durable, functional and simplicity itself to assemble, three of these innovative low-cost Abōd units have already been built at a government test site in Soshanguve, 100kms north of Johannesburg, demonstrating Iowabased BSB Design’s commitment to helping to make the world a better place in which to live. Because as company chairman Doug Sharp points out, “Every family deserves to live in a home designed by an architect”. It’s a noble philosophy and one with which Modern Design Magazine wholeheartedly concurs. >Easy does it An Abod unit can be assembled in less than a day, the only tools necessary - an awl and a screwdriver.


“Worldwide, over 600 million people are living in overcrowded, inadequate and poor-quality housing – slums, squatter settlements, shacks and shanties,” says Sharp, “and it’s our hope that Abōd will allow our firm to give something back to society.” Through a partnership with Blessman Ministries Inc., a US-based charity that has been providing medical care and meeting the basic needs of many African orphans for four years, BSB Design – via its subsidiary Advanced Design Innovation LLC – is a pioneer in the fight to put an end to destitute living conditions and homelessness around the globe. Next spring the first 20 homes to accommodate children who’ve lost their parents to the devastating Aids epidemic in South Africa are due to be constructed by volunteers in the townships of Mokopane and Rustenburg.

or four people. The only tools needed – awl (1); screwdriver (1) – are included. The structure follows the principles of the pleasingly organic curves of the Catenary Arch, lending the units a less rigid and utilitarian feel than the typical box-shape, so that even the basic 16-square metre starter home provides an enhanced sense of open roominess. Comprised primarily of noncombustible materials – an important consideration when homes are clustered closely together and various households are likely to be cooking over an open fire – interchangeable end panels allow for customisation while adding to the Abōd’s inherent versatility. Natural lighting floods in

through the wave-shaped Plexiglas panels; and without the need for a foundation, the homes can adapt to a variety of site conditions. Extensions of the corner arches allow owners to bolt the structure securely into the ground, yet the units can also be easily disassembled for relocation to another site. Economically priced (according to current manufacturing estimates, a new Abōd unit housing a family of six can be built for around $3,500), their high quality and enduring structure give them a useful life of 20-30 years, making them suitable for microfinance home loans for first-time, low income purchasers in economically depressed regions.

Abōds can be connected together in various configurations to provide more spacious accommodation and there’s a wide choice of easily installed upgrade options, including multiple colours and finishes; kitchen, cooking, wardrobe and toilet/shower/bath units; loft and porch extensions; as well as a selection of different floorings and door designs from which to choose. The arch can be expanded to increase the interior living space, and in addition to providing practical, comfortable and far better standards of housing, the concept also adapts well for use in community projects such as schools, play areas, central water sources, open cooking and gathering areas and so on. In recognition of Abōd’s groundbreaking design, the American Institute of Architects have recently granted it their prestigious Small Project Award. x


but ingeniously-designed Abōd arrives flatpack-style in a box measuring 4-ft x 12-ft x 2-ft and can be assembled in less than a day by a group of just three

MODERN DESIGN november 2008



music . a c c i d e n t a l . h e r o


In his book The Human Body, Isaac Asimov related the anecdote about a seasick passenger whom a steward cheerfully assured that nobody ever died from seasickness. The passenger muttered, “Please… it’s only the hope of dying that’s keeping me alive.” In that case you’d think that a sufferer of motion sickness would stay feet firmly fixed on the ground, but for exboxcar hobo Seasick Steve, it just ain’t in his blood. And, perhaps the parallel between the anecdote, and Seasick’s current cardiac affliction, is the only logic behind our office currently overflowing with the bangin’ three-stringed muddy DIY-blues vibe of a man who recently almost took a free ride on the Celestial Express. Words: dave vickers

It’s not like 65-year-old Seasick intended things this way, though he’s always lived on the fringes of some sort of musical vocation, it wasn’t until he had a heart attack five years ago that he decided ‘sitting around and waiting for your calling’ just ain’t the way to go. His long-suffering Norwegian wife, who’d only just settled the man down after spending the last 25 years in 56 different houses across the world, decided it was time to send him on the road once more. ‘A reason to be’ seemed a better option than watching him waste away to sickness, and besides, some rather tenacious

>Seasick ‘bustin’ his cap’ on stage There’s some serious hardship hidden under them whiskers, and Seasick is more than ready to bust a yarn on down to his blues-sodden flock.

Irish music promoters just wouldn’t let go of badgering him to come and do a gig in Dublin. He survived it, played solo to a Guinness-fuelled crowd that went completely wild and then

MODERN DESIGN november 2008



he’s as raw as tekkamaki, and Drummer Friend chucks in the essential wasabi-beat sauce to help sting it all down to a blues-hungry public.

>Trance Wonder Seasick plucks on his famous Three String Trance Wonder, sold to him by a boxcar buddy who made a quick-turnaround illicit profit of 50 bucks. Steve is sore and still singing about it to this day.

So for those who don’t yet know who this accidental blues legend is, let me elucidate. Seasick Steve (definition): A grey-bearded checkyshirt pensioner who entertains thousands of young enlightened blues revellers with his own unique inventory of musical instruments including: 1. The Three String Trance Wonder (definition): A normal guitar bought for $75 in Como, Mississippi from a man named Sherman – who incidentally turns out to be a right tanker – considering he’d bought it for just $25 the day before. The Three String Trance Wonder by definition has only three strings, uniquely tuned by Seasick and amplified by an old Harmony pickup that sits precariously on the body with the aid of a good helping of duct tape. Steve vowed never to add another string so he could conveniently tell the world of how his good friend Sherman ripped him off. It’s made them both very famous indeed. 2. The One String Diddley Bow (definition): A makeshift blues instrument

> shipped


on back to Norway, Sealegs securely in hand. The following weeks paved the way to the current ‘unknown to blues-bourgeoisie’ success story and an ill-advised celebratory trip on a Booze Cruise between Denmark and Sweden, involving a few sips of beer and a resulting seven hours of vomiting, led to his fateful stage identity. Fortunately for him now, he can afford to fly.

MODERN DESIGN november 2008

deriving of a 2-foot length of 4x2 with screws at either end spanning a single, loosely-strung guitar string. The player plucks on the string and uses a slider to fret the tone – which in Steve’s case is an old screwdriver. 3. The ‘MDM’, The Mississippi Drum Machine (definition): A small wooden box for stomping on. Decorated in hobo memorabilia and covered in

carpet, Steve often uses the MDM as his very own play-along DIY rhythm section. After transporting this little lot, on invitation, to an enthused Jules Holland Hootenanny to thump in the New Year 2007 with a live rendition of “Dog House Boogie”, he’s never really looked back. As a new artist, Seasick held lots of appeal and it was definitely time for something different. The public fancied the old bearded blues-man phenomenon and initially eyed him as an accomplished veteran showman, only when the music press followed his true story did his genuine quirkiness launch a frenzied following. His unpretentious approach to writing is pretty quirky too, and the hobo history runs straight and true through his lyrics. His first single Cheap, initially recorded on a four-track tape recorder in his kitchen was so named due to the miniscule costs involved in… running a tape in your kitchen. The new revered album I Started Out With Nothin and I Still Got Most of It Left tells a similar, and not wholly untrue story of where the ever hobohumble Seasick Steve thinks he truly resides. But after winning the MOJO Award for Best Breakthrough Act in 2007 and absolutely stealing the show this summer at festivals such as Glastonbury and ‘T’ in the Park – he is actually far from boxcar broke. It’s heaven to watch, this old boy banging out Gutbucket Blues on his 3-string, and even if he dropped a clinker no one would notice, how could you when there are another 3 whole strings missing? The performance is infallible, hilarious – like a musical Grandpappy bustin’ his favourite yarn down through the generations. Yeah sure he’s a likable old character, but it doesn’t end there; festival Seasick brings on the band – namely the guy he refers to as his drummer friend. Drummer Friend is the Meg of Seasick’s onstage White Stripes setup, and together, like the veritable Rock ‘n’ Roll brother-andsister act - although slightly less

appealing in the looks department – they rock the crowd to sludge thumpin’, 3-string air-guitar blues ecstasy. If you counted Seasick as one of the best raw musicians of the 21st century, you’d be correct, he’s as raw as tekkamaki, and Drummer Friend chucks in the essential wasabi-beat sauce to help sting it all down to a blues-hungry public. Basically, ifn’ you get the chance to witness this pair o’ hobnail hobos bustin’ their caps to a Mississippi mud-slide groove and lyrics from a lifetime of struggle, angst and freight jumpin’, then do it! And that is it really, the reason why Seasick Steve is only now launching into the musical stardom stratosphere, he’s needed his sixty odd years to feel the anguish. Born in Oakland, California, Steve Wold left home at 14 to a lengthy freighttrain-hopping and migrant-working hobo lifestyle, before eventually ‘settling’ in Tennessee, via the UK, Hawaii, Washington State and god only knows where else. It’s been a tough ride, but something he looks back upon with a slightly tonguein-cheek fervour, and that’s what appeals. So, ‘frisking his whiskers’ for a good 3 score and five has been enough to give him the soul-trodden edge to win over crowds with consummate laid-back ease – and that’s what he does best. The musical money machine does the rest, and they’re not wasting any time. This grey old finger-zinger has become one massive rolling freight train of downloads and the ipod expressway is crisscrossing him around the UK and Europe to places he never dreamed of reaching. As for how long this accidental and somewhat unlikely blues-cruise will last, there just ain’t no tellin’, but regarding a couple of heart attacks, don’t let that worry you, it just makes for a good song or two and proof perhaps of our soft spot for the downtrodden underdog, the fact we all love a good story and a great blues lick. x

Music For All Ears

Words: dave vickers

Everything Is Borrowed > The Streets

They never really had to borrow a sound, but The Streets needed a bit of a sweep, so to speak. Still their familiar individuality runs straight and true through a heavily scornful Everything is Borrowed, and like true Chav-kind, they seem to have moved on from the incessant ‘cheap drug’ intake (with chips and drinks) to a more family orientated domain. Obviously, after leaving a wake of angry pram-faces strewn across the Brummy landscape, Bebo is reproducing - and rapping his heart out about the small-print tribulations of settling down. If you need a cynical musical accompaniment to help get you through the credit crunch – this album is it.

Off With Their Heads The Kaiser Chiefs >

Can they ever do anything wrong, except try and call themselves punks? And, as if the last two albums weren’t executed well enough, Mark Ronson grappled the main producers axe handle of Off With Their Heads – and fortunately managed to swing far enough away from all that incessant horn blowing that got him famous. Overplayed as both the Chiefs and Ronson are, they seem to have pulled it off once more, and you’ll be guaranteed to be mudding up your drainpipes and Converse again to next summer’s crafty-northern festival headliners.

Tennessee Pusher > Old Crow Medicine Show

Okay, these days the old deep-southern fiddle sawin’ sound of bluegrass ain’t exactly mainstream, but ever since the backwater Cajun torment of The Deliverance soundtrack, it still makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You either love it or you hate it, and this modern-day take on the genre is sure to drag in a few new revellers while satisfying plenty of bib-and-brace boilersuit diehards. Nashville based (where else) Old Crow Medicine Show will take you right back to sticky summer nights on the wooden veranda, squishin’ cooties and nodding off to Grandpaw’s yarnson-a-loop.

Skeletal Lamping Of Montreal >

Supposedly intellectual psychedelic rockers Of Montreal are headed up by Kevin Barnes, a married white man whose alter ego is a black transsexual named Georgie Fruit… You still here? So, needless to say it’s pretty entertaining stuff, ever so slightly appealing to unemployed University post-grads and - particularly with this musical probe into the glam-rock genre – those who enjoyed the Scissor Sisters, which is a lot of us to some degree. It’s synthesised, thought-provoking electronic depression fuel. Nutty new romantics meet The Sparks at a Ziggy Stardust concert… it can only mean one thing, this week’s mucky Mel B award – and well deserved too.

Appeal to Reason > Rise Against

Rise Against sound like an unusual collaboration of The Soundgarden and Metallica, and needless to say, form a band of pretty hardcore American Punk Rockers. It could be a good move to release Appeal to Reason this month, considering it’s pretty political ‘n’ all. Not the happiest of song subjects, like aggro-folk track “Hero of War,” for instance, based on material that soldiers from Iraq divulged to the sympathetic band. A bit of a kick in the retreating backside for the Bush administration delivered by the steel toecap of some seriously fuzz bustin’ American punk thrash hardcore.

Droppin’ Science Fiction The Mighty Underdogs >

Hip hoppers just love rapping about bad things, you know guns ‘n’ stuff, the cock the hammer bullet in yer brain type of thing - must make ‘em feel all homey - like wearing slippers. Anyway, that makes The Mighty Underdogs a truly accomplished hip hop medley of accomplished Home Boys – and boy do they rock. Droppin’ Science Fiction takes a rappy excursion into hip hop with explosive-hard rock undertones, not dissimilar to RATM, like angry poets with a beatbox and very loud guitars. Heavy subject matter but shoulder bobbing, head bangin’ mayhem will ensue. MODERN DESIGN november 2008


Books&Cinema Words: dave vickers

Bad Science Y08 The Skira Yearbook of World Architecture 2007-2008

Hot, Flat and Crowded

> publisher > author/editor > publisher

> author/editor > publisher


MODERN DESIGN november 2008

Ben Goldacre Fourth Estate

Thomas L. Friedman Farrar, Strauss & Giroux

Luca Molinari Skira

The first-ever architecture yearbook that concentrates on global architecture, Skira presents a detailed insight on over one hundred of the world’s most exciting builds and designs of the last year. Each beautifully illustrated selection is represented in detail and bolstered by interviews and insights from the architects and designers responsible. Many include critiques from well known figures and exciting predictions of what the future holds for architecture. This is a quality must-have product for the aficionado; stylish, informative, sophisticated, and produced to the highest standards.

> author/editor

This book, the sequel to Friedman’s bestseller The world is flat, is a call to action. THE PLANET NEEDS YOU… more than it ever did. This eyeopening report on the effects of climate change, population growth and globalisation shows an exhausted planet unable to keep up with man’s burdensome requirements. But it’s not just all doom and gloom, Friedman’s hands-on frontline research from every corner of the Earth shows how our generation can offer realistic solutions to the malaise. How we could become the true heroes of history and turn an inevitable eco-calamity into the triumphant conquest of the ages. Forget Alexander the Great, it’s us who’ll be robbing the limelight in a millennium or so – nice dream.

An extension of his Bad Science Guardian column, Ben Goldacre takes us on an entertaining literal lab-test of damagingly inaccurate popular science. For instance, the reason you’ll pay twice as much for a certain brand of aspirin when there’s a perfectly sufficient, equally dosed alternative in a less well known packet. More interestingly he attacks certain not-so-qualified bogus biologists like the infamous ‘poo lady’ Gillian Mckeith, whose TV bolstered nutritional nonsense and enematic inspections humiliate tubby folk and bore the brains out of us on a weekly basis. I always wondered how she managed to dish out such evil berry-munching punishment to her victims and manage to look so shoddily undernourished herself. A compelling and shockingly revealing read with plenty of laughs to ease you back into the real world.

Slumdog Millionaire > director > starring

Danny Boyle Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Anil Kapoor

> director > director > starring

The screen adaptation of bestselling novel “Q and A” by Vikas Swarup, the story begins with main character Jamal Malik in the hot seat on India’s version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, trouble is he’s just an orphan from the slums of Mumbai. Even worse for him he’s brilliant at the game and while only one question away from the big prize, they break from filming. That night he’s arrested by a very suspicious police commissioner for cheating – but there was no coughing in the audience – Malik’s perilous life in the slums provided him with all the knowledge he needed and the film takes us through his many encounters of violence and love, each one providing the key to each answer. In the final nail-biting moment when 60 million viewers await the 20-million Rupee question, we find out Malik’s real reason for being there.

Slacker Uprising


Michael Moore

Oliver Stone Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Richard Dreyfuss, Thandie Newton

This should be a fascinating, satirical biography of a man scorned, the surreality of the Bush years and perhaps a lesson for the electorate. W is a biographical take on the life of George W. Bush, his blundering failures at just about everything, past and present, and his fantaisical decision making leading up to the Iraq war. Trouble is Stone made the whole film in 46 days, a bit of a rush to beat the election, and it tells. Not quite bold enough in some ways and not quite as hilarious as it really should be, saved perhaps only by some excellent acting. JFK or Nixon it never will be, but interesting all the same, what with old George handing the keys over this month… Let’s hope he had to change the Born Again key fob.

Okay it’s not exactly cinema, but this freebie from the great informer deserves a slot in the movie section. Available online, the film is an analogy of Moore’s controversial tour of college campuses in 2004. As he rallied in 62 different cities trying to convince young people to vote for John Kerry, his crew followed him, and the result is this uplifting documentary of a man preaching to a long-lost flock who seemed to have forgotten that they represent a giant chunk of the American electorate. Comedy moments come in the form of Moore beating back his detractors who try to halt his crusade on numerous occasions. Moore released the movie insisting it should be free in the hope that America’s youth would embrace the idea once more and go to the ballot.

MODERN DESIGN november 2008


the.latest h Words: dave vickers

must have gadgetry

The Blade eco-tailpipe attachment

Forget pimp my ride, Blade my ride… The Blade attaches easily to your standard car tailpipe, and by regulating your exhaust pulse-profile, cuts CO2 emissions by up to 12%. Same goes for fuel consumption, so all you environmental NIMBYs out there have got a good reason to go green as well. Importantly, as well as regulating engine and fuel efficiency, the Blade acts as a filter, capturing those nasty hydrocarbon particles that tend to clog kiddies’ lungs. One disadvantage, you’ll have to say goodbye to your throbbing chrome-decorative pipe tip – they just don’t fit – so that’s tuning fans and luxury owners out of the fray; freaks!..

Skyros – “loadsamoney!” By Siddharth Kambe

We’ve unearthed an incredible looking entry to the Spark Awards international design competition. The Skyros is an automated aerial camera that flings itself up to about 120 feet, stabilises using gyroscopic rotors and starts snapping. Built-in sensors guide Skyros back down to the user so she won’t go MIA, and then the base unit downloads the incredible bird’s-eye photo sequence. Why? Well there could be a number of reasons, you might not quite have made it home on your Beer Scooter (after a hefty night out) and need to locate it, or perhaps your Google Earth sector is particularly low-res. Whatever it may be, there is no denying that this is sexy design, and we reckon Siddharth will be quids in. (Conceptual Design)


Pipe dream

Commuter Scooter

Toyota Winglet stand-up scooter

Now we can’t pretend that this latest concept from Toyota Motors goes any distance to improving well-being. A good walk is essential for getting the old blood flowing - but as for convenience - we can see this working. The Winglet is light, portable, and needing only an hour on charge, extremely efficient. On-board intelligence adjusts power to correct balance, making things apparently very easy to control. However, surely if this is the direction personal transportation design is going to take then we are on a heading for a serious evolutional change. We fail to see the importance of legs if we are just going to wheelie around every time we see a bit of pavement, and shoes cost a bundle these days.


MODERN DESIGN november 2008

YoYo check it out iYoyo ipod charger by Peter Thuvander

Millions of ipods and iphones need absolute megawatts of electricity, just to run those little widgety things, so charging them up – collectively – is basically an ecological disaster. Consequently we love any design ideas in the human kinetic/solarcharging department. Still, ecocharging can be a touch-and-go forum, some good some bad, but no method is more up and down than the iYoYo charger. Electromagnetic energy generated by complete and utter fun - it sounds like a relishing prospect, unless you’re at a conference or something. ‘Walkin’ the dowg’ and ‘cradles’ just ain’t going to bag you that contract. (Conceptual Design)

Pico boo

Pico Projectors are going to be… massive

Ball of energy

Energy Ball wind turbine by Home Energy

The Energy Ball is a super-efficient, smart looking wind turbine that’ll turn any rooftop into a wind farm. The revolutionary design of Energy Ball takes advantage of a scientific phenomenon known as the Venturi Effect, what that means to you and me is that the merest whisper of a breeze and it’ll spin like mad. Those electricity bills will go plummeting, much to your delight and the joy of poor old Mother Nature who’s taking a right bashing at the minute. At last we have the balls to go green!

They’re here; yes Pico Projectors are a reality and will be coming to a mobile device near you soon. Forget squinting at 3x2-inch videos of your kids or cat being silly on a tiny mobile LED screen. Next time you renew your contract your ‘phone could well contain a mini projector, which in the correct conditions will project a vast image (at least vast in the mobile gadgetry sense) onto any decent flat surface. Toshiba already plan to release a slightly Zippo-esque hundred-gram Pico Projector in 2009… blimey, it’ll smash Maglight into insignificance, now you can watch The Sopranos while trying to find your way home in the dark!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------MODERN DESIGN november 2008



technolog y . B ADDA . B OOM


Fawke Lightning

Entertainment pyrotechnics > Light the blue touch-paper and run What with the old 2-dimensional, static non-video demeanour of the humble printed publication, you won’t open many magazines and find a design article on fireworks. The spectacle of entertainment pyrotechnics is generally reserved for the blackened heavens, a natural blank canvas for those synchronised badda-boom light and sound sky-salsas that make you whoop and holler with delight. Words: dave vickers Anyway, it’s that time of year, so here we go…

It seems that most people love fireworks, save a few devout pet lovers and the odd case of shell-shock – so here it is, a bravely descriptive magazine-style grope into the mad world of pyrotechnics – so if on the 5th you happen to be stuck indoors covering your cat’s ear-drums, you can still enjoy the spectacle, albeit in a touch more literary, felinefriendly manner. Fireworks have been around for centuries, invented around 1200 AD by the Chinese and were originally, perhaps, man’s only answer to his fascination with the stars, which are strangely enough, a phenomenon also forged by an excruciatingly large bang. Anyway, whatever the magnitude, “explosives are pretty hazardous” and making these little merriment-mortars is without doubt a job for the most safety-conscious of pyro-professional - or so you’d think. A several thousand-strong bunch of amateurs known as the Pyrotechnic Guild are currently locked away in garden sheds (and burns units), risking life and limb kindling hopeful knock-ups of the next generation of rockets and starbursts. It sounds like combustible carnage, but all the pioneers - professional and amateur alike - are obsessed with design. It’s this love of the aesthetic of fireworks that forges pyrotechnology forward; first the chemistry involved to create just the right colour (lime green is the next soughtafter colour in the explosive palette); then the ballistics to obtain the optimum trajectory with maximum sky-burst; and now more than ever, the physics involved in patterning. Pattern shelling is a scientific wonder, and you can guarantee that those impressive countdown numbers and outlines that blitzed the Beijing Olympics left a trail of singed sheds and bombed out cellar-labs across the globe. So, the technology behind all this combustible know-how is driven by passion, and it seems the scientists behind it are poised to ‘light the blue touch-paper and run’ from a whole new generation of pattern shelling, musically choreographed mega-displays – the likes never seen before. It’s a very exciting time for entertainment pyrotechnics; the future’s bright – and bloody loud. So next time you end up in an emergency waiting room full of semi-deaf folk with busted ear drums and rows of stiff-necked victims staring at the ceiling – head muscles frozen at optimum pyro-observation angle - please just remember all the scientific know-how, the love, the physics and the sacrifice behind it all. It is little consolation… but fascinating all the same. x


>Sodium Thiosulfate Photomicrographs. Abstract images through the microscope (Crystal Photomicrography) Photographer: Stefan Eberhard Article on page 85


thin k . U n d e r . e x a m i n a t i o n



Microcosmic art

Photomicrographs by Stefan Eberhard Words: dave vickers


>01. Cystine Photomicrographs. Abstract images through the microscope (Crystal Photomicrography). >02. Niacin Crystal Photomicrography. >03. The Artist Research professional and photographer Stefan Eberhard.


Stefan Eberhard has the smallest photographic studio in the world, and we don’t mean a couple of lights and a tripod in the cupboard under the stairs. His photographic domain belongs purely under the microscope, which is where our Think has placed him this month for an artistic examination. Normally when you associate photography with a lab, it’s when you pop into Superdrug to get your holiday snaps done, but Stefan is a Research Professional at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC) at the University of Georgia in Athens. He’s a true life white coat lab researcher whom, while studying the biological functions of cell-wall carbohydrates in plant development realised the potential of an artistic application for his microscopic portraits. These photomicrographic images of the crystalline substances familiar to his work – and perhaps more importantly familiar to us as everyday substances - are painstakingly reproduced. There is a whole long-worded scientific glossary on how this all actually happens, but in relatively simple terms… by using cross-polarising filters, the colourless birefringent crystalline subject material shows its normally invisible capacity to refract light into two separate rays of differing velocity. Subsequently it explodes into blocks of bright colour, thus creating this incredible artistic insight to scientific study and research (imagine the difficult version). So, if you ever wanted to get really close up and personal with fertiliser, or you have a particular affinity with the molecular appearance of Sodium Thiosulfate, then Stefan has made your week. Seriously though, such a crossover between science and art, this colourful fusion of the two disciplines of photography and microscopy is seriously important stuff. And, we find it extremely compelling that once the white coats have finished their indispensable duty of advancing our understanding of the microscopic environment, they can afford us all a bit of eye-widening optical pleasure. x


thin k . U n d e r . e x a m i n a t i o n


motor . h o m e . g r o w n


Hempathy for the devil Lotus’s new Eco-Elise

Words: dave vickers

Speed camera numbers are on the up, so if you need a thrill and you’ve got the odd 40 grand kicking around – the Eco-Elise should provide a few grins on a track day. But will all that green credenza leave you languishing on the grid?

Hybrid schmybrid, forget all that cleaner-than-clean eco-stuff for a minute, just a minute mind; we can’t afford to be promoting the old fossil that is… fossil fuel - can we? Lotus, the sexy “little motor company that can” has gone and done it again; and as if possessing a centre of gravity lower than a squirrel’s undercarriage, handling better than a Swiss airport terminal and a look that turns WAGs to witches isn’t enough they’ve gone and made the Elise all planet-friendly. Anyone who’s driven an Elise will know that even though bits sometimes fly off at high speed, an instant rapport between driver and machine quickly develops to full blown infatuation. In that very same way, many would agree that the hemp plant could procure the same kind of appeal – though


>01. Absolutely no problem in the looks department.


>02. An extremely climateconsiderate cockpit for a speed machine.

(in a certain form) inching toward a much less street-legal methodology. However, both certainly fall under the “don’t knock it ‘til you tried it” category and in no way should anyone recommend the two together. Obviously anyway, Lotus didn’t know the meaning of such cautionary advice and by disobediently amalgamating the two they’ve created a monster… but one that will leave a relatively sensi…ble green trail in its wake. Speaking of green, Lotus disagrees with most manufacturers on where to concentrate all the ecoeffort. Despite the sports category obviously not lending itself well to the electric-hybrid solution, and anyway, electricity not exactly being all that sustainable, they think we’ve gone a bit overkill on simply reducing emissions. Far better they say if the manufacturing processes and materials used in building most cars (which are just as environmentally damaging) could be changed. So, by creating a new Elise – as many of us already know an endearing twitchy 2-seater that’ll wham your serotonin levels into overdrive on a track day and sustain a massive grin on your mush for weeks – they’ve managed to change the whole dynamic of motor manufacture. This badboy grew from the ground, no messin’, the list of body materials

comprises hemp panels, eco-wool, sisal carpets and revolutionary water-based paints. I know, it sounds like stuff you’d use to erect a hippy compound and no doubt if you left one out in the rain for long enough it would biodegrade, but there’s a point to it all. Besides the Gods at Lotus quelling literally tonnes of manufacturing carbon-discharge, the lightweight stature of the car delivers a pounce as yet unknown to the affordable sports-leisure category. An improved Elise S then; it all sounds a bit too good to be true. But wait there’s more; lightweight means fuel-efficient, and this is where the true green credentials reside. So, 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds and 34mpg (pedal to the…petal?), with biodegradable parts and an all new ecoeducational cockpit with fairy-lights signalling fuel efficient gear changing (yes, there’s an off button), this car treads very lightly on the planet (not to mention the roof-integrated solar panels that run the complex electronics system). Obviously, not as lightly as your proverbial Toyota Prius type carriage, but how’s one of them going to sort out your mid-life crunch? And though times have moved on since the good old days of bits flying off your Lotus and breaking up on impact with the tyre wall, at least if it still happens it won’t take too long to say… grow a new wing mirror. Crafted to deliver the ultimate racing high, a sustainable sports breed has finally arrived in the tree-hugging form of Eco-Elise; and it’s now rolling out of a plant near you. x

> project > manufacturer > body style

Eco-Elise ‘S’ Lotus Sustainable 2-seater Sports

> engine > weight

Mid mounted Toyota 2ZZ-GE Straight 4 828 kg

> length > 0-60

3785 mm 5.8 seconds

MODERN DESIGN november 2008


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MODERN DESIGN november 2008

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propert y . s e c t i o n



Villa Vista de Aguila

Villa Vista de Aguila is situated on one of the finest original plots on the prestigious Monte Mayor Golf and Country Club near Marbella. The 900 acre private estate includes a golf course, clubhouse, equestrian centre, tennis club and spa facilities all surrounded by a protected natural biosphere. The position is idyllic and the views breathtaking, overlooking the mountains surrounding Marbella, over the golf course and out to the Mediterranean. The villa of two wings is connected via a triple height atrium where the enormous window frames wide reaching views and creates an impressive entrance. Villa Vista de Aguila is a contemporary take on Balinese styling. The open plan living areas with their high ceilings and huge wooden windows, a unique feature of the house, throw light patterns into each room and enjoy fantastic views.

A living room, a kitchen linked to an open dining area and a Guest Suite are all located at entry level. The first floor comprises the Master Suite with dressing room, bathroom and private lounge plus an additional two bedroom suites. An impressive pergola with inset wood detailing sits with its columns in the infinity pool, linking external with internal. Various terrace areas provide changing views and shade. The basement houses a media room and study also with its own terrace. This villa will provide a modern lifestyle far enough from the crowds to relax but close enough to enjoy fine dining, beach life and local culture, with just a ten minute drive down to the main coastal road.

Build 359 m² on a 2,946 m² plot For more information call Amanda Fisher on +34 951 260 041


Las Olas

Situated in La Panera, an exclusive private development of just 28 individual villas near Estepona, Las Olas sits in a commanding position overlooking the Selwo Wildlife Park. La Panera is a protected area due to its proximity to the park. Extensive glazing affords spectacular panoramic sea views to the South over to Gibraltar and North Africa. The Sierra Bermeja mountains frame views to the West and to the North East the La Concha mountain forms the backdrop to views over Marbella. The unique roofline of the hill-top villa caps an L-shaped series of cubes, which define the living spaces and incorporates solar panels. Electricity generating photovoltaic panels are used as shaded canopies over the glazing. Pivoting decorative wood panels provide adjustable

shade to the outside dining and kitchen area. The villa is surrounded by various terraces and balconies. The impressive entrance to Las Olas is via a cube ´floating on a water bed’, which leads into a double height atrium, from where the openplan living area is accessed. In addition the ground and basement floors comprise a kitchen, media room, games room, guest apartment and plant room. A cantilevered staircase leads to the first floor with three en-suite bedrooms. A modern take on the galleried landing leads you across a bridge to an impressive master suite with a wrap around cantilevered terrace. Las Olas, a unique contemporary villa, is set in stunning countryside but just 2.5kms from the cosmopolitan New Golden Mile.

Build 492 m² on a 2,373 m² plot For more information call Amanda Fisher on +34 951 260 041


Los Canales

Magnificently positioned at the highest point in La Panera sits Los Canales. La Panera is an exclusive private development of just 28 individual villas near Estepona. Protected by its proximity to the Selwo National Park, La Panera is situated amidst beautiful natural countryside just 2.5kms from the cosmopolitan New Golden Mile. Los Canales has the finest position within the development, with superlative 360° views over the Mediterranean to Gibraltar and North Africa, West to the Sierra Bermeja mountains and North East to La Concha and Marbella. A 60 metre drive leads to the front of the villa. Steps bordered by a ‘water canal’ feature lead to the glass fronted entrance. The ‘water canal’ follows the entire rear contour of the villa and at one point passes under a glass wall and through the entrance hall contextualising interior with exterior. The open-plan living areas are defined by a central cube

with fireplace. This level also comprises the kitchen, breakfast area, bar, study/TV room and the dining room, a glazed cube which partly ‘floats’ above the swimming pool at which point the floor is also glazed. A semi-circular staircase leads to the first floor galleried landing with seating area opening out to a balcony. From here a bridge leads to the master suite situated in its own wing. Mostly glazed walls afford the bedroom panoramic views and the entire wall behind the double whirlpool bath is also glazed. The wrap around balcony is cantilevered over the swimming pool. Three further bedroom suites with balconies are in the opposite wing on this level. Numerous additional features also include concealed solar and photovoltaic panels to heat water and provide electricity. Los Canales is an exceptional villa.

Build 500 m² on a 2,733 m² plot For more information call Amanda Fisher on +34 951 260 041


Villa Infinidad

The prestigious Monte Mayor Golf and Country Club, situated near Marbella, is home to Villa Infinidad, located on one of the finest plots. The position is idyllic and the views breathtaking, overlooking the mountains surrounding Marbella, over the golf course and out to the Mediterranean. The 900 acre private estate includes a golf course, clubhouse, equestrian centre, tennis club and spa facilities, all surrounded by a protected natural biosphere. The most unusual feature of this modern villa is the structure housing the main living area which hangs mid-air looking out to sea. The cube’s front wall is fully glazed giving the impression of an ‘infinity room’ compelling you towards the view.

area of the lower level. On this level is the open plan living area and staircase down to the lower level. The heart of this level is the central kitchen which defines the whole space. Two terraced areas with pergolas face East and West catching the morning and evening sun. The infinity pool with adjacent pergola is also on this level. Every room has spectacular views. The lower level comprises an enormous Master Suite with spa bath and dressing room and a further two bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms all accessing a large terrace. Villa Infinidad – an infinite range of possibilities.

Accessing Villa Infinidad is via a bridge suspended over the outside

Build 398 m² on a 3,337 m² plot For more information call Amanda Fisher on +34 951 260 041


The Mirage

State-of-the-art design incorporates sustainability features that reduce the carbon footprint to practically zero, but by no means has the design element of the building been forfeited over ecological function.

The luminous main living area hovers above a ‘mirage’ of water which appears to merge with the swimming pool but is in fact part of the cooling system. Complemented by solar panelling, smart glass technology, geo-thermal heating systems and water management processes, waste and running costs are reduced to an almost selfsufficient level.

Upon approach, a ‘floating’ glass walkway runs to the entrance of a double height glass atrium enjoying stunning 180º views and comprising the main living room, dining room and kitchen, two terraces, swimming pool plus separate guest accommodation situated at the far end of the plot.

Stairs lead down to a lower level housing three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a master suite, TV room, family living room and an en-suite study. This is a strikingly original home packed with a wealth of design and sustainability features epitomising 21st century luxury living.

A highly unique, contemporary villa to be built in La Quinta with fabulous views over the golf course and towards the La Concha mountain.

Build 650 m² on a 3125 m² plot For more information call Amanda Fisher on +34 951 260 041








The sixth element

L ü r s s e n Ya c h t s · Te l . : + 4 9 4 2 1 6 6 0 4 1 6 6 · e m a i l : y a c h t s @ l u r s s e n . c o m · w w w. l u r s s e n . c o m

Modern Design Magazine November 2008  

Featuring: The Race for the Whitehouse Special, Mecanoo Architecten, Eco-Elise Hemp Supercar, Couture Conscience and Must-have Fireplaces.

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