On a hot day in June, a jury convened to review nearly 400 entries to The Architect’s Newspaper‘s first Best of Products competition. Submissions, divided over eight categories, abounded in new materials and exciting technologies, provoking a lively dialogue during the evaluation process.
Colin Brice of Mapos, Barry Goralnick of Barry Goralnick Architects, Harshad Pillai of Fogarty Finger Architecture, and architect Alison Spear generously contributed their considerable expertise and insight to the judging.
While the complete roster of winners can be found in our just-published print edition, AN will be publishing the results daily over the next week. Today’s categories, Finishes + Surfaces and Interiors + Furnishings, evidenced a trend toward dramatic design.
Although the office-as-playground concept still has legs among the creative class of businesses, workplace interiors are showing signs of maturation. While communal desking remains popular, more contract suppliers are developing solutions to the acoustic and storage issues that are symptomatic of what some view as the overly-open office plan.
More than seventy years after their creation, a collection of classic office furniture by Jean Prouvé is being updated and released to the market. Dutch fashion purveyor G-Star, in conjunction with Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra, have developed “Prouvé Raw,” a collection of ten pieces that include chairs, desk and wall lighting, conference tables, and writing desks.
And Rem Koolhaas also plays a role in this revival.
Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Perelman Building, Collab Gallery
2525 Pennsylvania Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Through April 26, 2015
In its new exhibition, Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots, the Philadelphia Museum of Art explores the history of the famous Swiss furniture company from its early licensing partnership with Herman Miller to new collaborations with world-renowned contemporary designers, such as Verner Panton, Antonio Citterio, and Jasper Morrison.
On September 6, 2013, Vitra announced it acquired Artek. The Finnish furniture company was established in 1935 by architect Alvar Aalto, his wife Aino, Maire Gullichsen, and historian Nils-Gustav Hahl to produce furniture that promoted modern living. Over the company’s last 80 years, it has expanded its business to include rights to Ilmari Tapiovaara’s furniture collection and collaborations with renowned designers and artists such as Shigeru Ban, Eero Aarnio, and Enzo Mari.
Artek will continue operations as a separate entity but it is anticipated the purchase will expand the furniture company’s reach further beyond Finland, where contract and residential domestic sales account for 60 percent of its business. “The international dimension, which was a clear goal already in Artek’s founding manifesto of 1935, needed to be revitalized,” said Artek’s CEO Mirkku Kullberg in a statement. “That arena is where we want to be and alliances or ownership arrangements are one way of building the future.” Read More