Patrizia Moroso, art director at Moroso, recently chatted with AN about her impressions of ICFF, working with Patricia Urquiola, and the design house’s plans for New York Design Week.
What are your impressions of ICFF?
It is something very important for the U.S. and for New York. For me, around the fair and outside the pavilions, there’s a lot organized in town. The fair is growing. For example, Milan [Furniture Fair] has become so important these years. In Milano, we have something like 3,000 events around design week but this means that people are excited. Now, New York is becoming something like this. You have so much happening around it. The interest and the dialogue between the institutions and the companies and firms can carry on in and around the fair.
As Design Week descended upon New York City, AN sat down with Francesca Molteni, project manager for the Furniture by Gio Ponti collection, to talk about an exclusive line of furniture produced by Molteni&C, how the collection came to be, and an accompanying exhibition about the life and work of one of Italy’s most renowned designers.
How did the collection come about?
Paolo Scenti, the nephew of Ponti, had his uncle’s large bookcase in his photography studio while I was there for a visit, and a lightbulb went off; I wanted to produce his designs industrially. We started talking with the family and Salvatore Licitra, the Ponti archivist and grandson of Ponti, and started researching pieces from the past, mostly pieces from the ’50s and those from his home, as those were the ones he chose intimately. We also went to another archivist in Parma, where a university there is holding his art and architecture archives. Ponti was so prolifically productive; he left thousands of drawings, sketches, writings, and we had so much material from this we decided to launch an exhibition as well. I was smitten with the information because now you can see the real Ponti, not just his most famous work. It’s a more private view on his life and work—a wonderful occasion to closer to the man and the architect.
After the release of the new Organic Collection, designed by Philippe Starck for Axor/Hansgrohe, AN sat down with the head of the brand to talk about working with the designer, the technology behind the product, and Grohe’s formula for success.
How did Axor/Hansgrohe start working with Philippe Starck?
We started working with Philippe Starck in 1998 and it has always been a special relationship. I was very lucky because I followed my mother to the French part of Switzerland, so I speak both German and French. Not only does it help [Philippe and I] communicate [in French] but language is also culture. You think in a different way when speaking French versus German simply because of the structure of the language.
A system of 946 unique panels will produce optimal acoustics and aesthetics at the University of Iowa’s new School of Music.
For a 700-seat concert hall at the new School of Music at the University of Iowa, Seattle-based LMN Architects wanted to design a high-performing ceiling canopy that would unify the many features of traditional theatrical and acoustic systems. The result is a 150-foot-long by 70-foot-wide surface composed of 946 suspended, intricately laced panels that incorporate complex, interdependent, and at times conflicting systems—including lighting, theatrics, speakers, sprinklers, and acoustical functionality—in a unified architectural gesture.
“The system is sculptural for sure, but it had to conceal structural truss work, which was a major cost savings as opposed to building an acoustic container,” said Stephen Van Dyck, a principal at LMN Architects. The design team worked with both parametric digital and physical models to coordinate the structural system with the acoustic, theatrical, audio/visual, lighting, fire, and material elements of the canopy. “From Day One, it was a digital model,” he said. “We needed a smaller physical model to get everyone’s head around making this happen physically. A three-foot room model has a big impact on ability to conceive.” LMN fabricated the scale model, as well as a few full-sized components, on the firm’s 3-axis CNC mill. Read More
Reclaim NYC, the grassroots organization established for post-Hurricane Sandy relief in the design community, will hold its second furniture exhibition and charity sale during New York Design Week from May 16 to 18 at 446 Broadway, a 5,000-square-foot gallery in the heart of Soho. All event proceeds will go to local communities affected by Hurricane Sandy via the Brooklyn Recovery Fund, a sub sect of the Brooklyn Community Foundation.
More than 900 ceramic and sanitary ware manufacturers from 50 countries exhibited at Coverings 2013 in Atlanta, but three days to take in two exhibit halls and a back-to-back education program only made a dent in the offerings. The following is a cross section of some of the stand-out products displayed on the show floor last week.
Bellavita Tile translates San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood-style onto ceramic with SoMa (above), a multi functional unglazed porcelain that can withstand high traffic in commercial applications. The collection comes in Matte or Polished finishes for interiors, as well as Structured for exteriors or wet areas, and six colors are available on 24 by 24-, 12 by 24-, and 12 by 12-inch formats. Three mixed formats, mosiacs and coordinating trims are also available.
Zaha Hadid Architects designed 16 bespoke polyurethane display units for fashion designer Neil Barrett’s shops.
Fashion designer Neil Barrett hired Zaha Hadid Architects to design a cohesive display concept for a new flagship store in Tokyo that could be easily rolled out to his other locations as well, which include four shops in Seoul and one in Hong Kong. The result had to be as sartorial as Barrett’s fashions, so Hadid’s team came up with the idea of cutting the displays for all of the stores from a single block of material. The concept resulted in 16 bespoke display elements, which all fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
“We wanted to design a project that always belongs together but offers a choice between different sizes,” said project architect Claudia Wulf. “The reason we designed a modular landscape is that we have extremely different area requirements [across all of the shops].” The units, which are carved from a solid unit, range in size from 13 1/2 feet by 13 3/4 feet to 4 feet by 6 feet. Paired, the units create a sinuous artificial landscape that unfolds across multiple display levels. The pieces can be grouped to suit the scale and space of each boutique, and display shoes, bags, or accessories just as easily. Read More
Trade shows are no longer simply product exhibitions: Education and networking sessions have become essential components to a show’s success. Coverings has expanded this formula to include installation vignette’s that, built over the course of four days during the show, demonstrate the versatility and variety of applications for ceramic tile. The Installation Design Showcase has paired four local, Atlanta-based design firms with four installation teams that have achieved the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Five Star Recognition, and have been certified by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation. Now in its fifth year, the teams will produce a bar/lounge; a hotel lobby; an in-patient room in a women’s birthing center; and a master bathroom, all designed to demonstrate the design possibilities of tile and stone.
“These rooms are not all settings in which you would necessarily expect to see tile,” said Bart Bettiga, executive director, NTCA. “Above all, the Showcase highlights just how important the ongoing designer/installer partnership is to a successful project. Bringing the field to life in this way is another example of what makes Coverings a unique and valuable experience.”
e+i studio of New York won a design competition for their concept of a trade show pavilion made entirely from Italian tile.
Crafting a memorable and intimate environment within voluminous convention halls can be a daunting challenge. To establish a meaningful presence in such environs, Ceramics of Italy tapped into the A&D community with a competition in 2012 for unique booth designs to showcase the products of its manufacturers. Piazza Ceramica, designed by e+i Studio and fabricated by A&M Production, won the competition. Its proposal was installed at the Coverings Tile and Stone trade show in 2012 and 2013. Inspired by Italy’s social culture, architects Ian Gordon and Eva Perez de Vega used the idea of a public space to showcase tiles produced in Italy for a bespoke, modular pavilion that houses a multi-function program of a café, information kiosk, and restaurant.
The design utilizes a topographical approach to build up the pavilion’s perimeter with seating and display installed product. “From the beginning, we started to look at the topography in a series of parametric studies to determine the optimal stair/riser ratio to integrate the substructure of the two mounds,” said Perez de Vega. “From there, we wanted color to be an important component to showcase the qualities of the tile to transition smoothly from intense greens to reds to whites.” Read More
Lightfair International held its 2013 edition at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center from April 21–25. More than 500 exhibitors, including 80-plus first-timers, filled over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space with the latest lighting technologies, from solar fittings to roadway fixtures, and rounded out a robust conference program with ample networking opportunities. Following are a handful of standout products from Lightfair’s exhibitors.
Designed for corporate and hospitality settings, the wall mounted Fino produces indirect light for washing floors or ceilings. Aluminum construction with an extruded latching system was designed to be set within sheet rock for hairline seams. Once installed, light from a replaceable LED board bounces off an internal reflector to produce a soft, even glow. Fino is available in increments of 6-inch lengths.
Experts in digital design will lead four days of workshops and dialog at ICFF.
The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is expanding its program offerings with DesignX, its first ever series of digital design and fabrication training workshops conducted by leading experts in field. The four days of educational sessions will cover digital tools, cloud-based apps, 3D printing, and other related topics.
Kenneth Tracy and Christine Yogiaman of yo_cy applied research from working with concrete to dispel the singular material tendency of digital fabrication.
Out of 68 submissions from 17 countries across four continents, the winning proposal of Tex-Fab’s APPLIED: Research through Fabrication competition at the University of Texas at Arlington came from Kenneth Tracy and Christine Yogiaman of yo_cy, a collaborative design studio that utilizes digital techniques for maximum design effect. Their winning idea is called Cast Thicket, a study in tensile concrete that takes off in variations like a game of Cat’s Cradle.
“The initial idea was to apply our research toward the competition,” said Tracy. The designers used their experience with an Indonesian material called bilik—a soft, woven bamboo mat typically used as a vertical divider—that helped form a fabric, cast concrete wall for a residential project in Southeast Asia. “We wanted to make something from a construction material that is normally very heavy looking [and] invert the stereotype of the carved aesthetics of concrete to create something that is lacy, thin, and delicate.” Read More