Q+A> Michael Graves On His J.C. Penney Collection

National, Newsletter, Product
Monday, June 10, 2013
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Michael Graves (left) and the toaster he designed for J.C. Penney (right).

Michael Graves (left) and the toaster he designed for J.C. Penney (right).

At J.C. Penney’s recent rebranding launch party, AN spoke with architect and product designer Michael Graves about his new collection for the company and some career highlights. He even offers advice for aspiring architects and designers and talks about some current design work.

How did designing a collection for JCPenney come about?

I’ve known some of the people at Penney’s since my Target days, so when this opportunity came around we were looking for a way to slow down our commitment to Target at that time. When Penney’s offered what they did to us, we grabbed it in a second. It was such a good deal in terms of having a shop within a store.

For me, that’s the game changer. If we were close friends and you told me you had to do some shopping for a relative or something like that, I’d tell you to go to our shop in Penney’s. It’s all there and that’s what excites me.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> Work This Way: A Preview of NeoCon Debuts

National, Product
Friday, June 7, 2013
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Lagunitas by Coalesse.

Lagunitas by Coalesse.

Getting excited for NeoConAN is. In fact, AN product editor Emily Hooper was so eager to see the latest design products for commercial interiors that she prepared this preview of some of best chairs, casegood systems, and acoustical panels that will be on view this year in Chicago.

Lagunitas
Coalesse

To meet the needs of the nomadic workforce, Coalesse tapped Milan-based Toan Nguyen to design the Lagunitas line. Made to accommodate a solitary task session, a working lunch, or a brief touchdown to check emails, the collection features more than 50 combinations of seating, tables, and privacy screens perfect for laidback productivity.

Continue reading after the jump.

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A Plus Design for Elevator B Hive

Fabrikator
Friday, June 7, 2013
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Brought to you with support from:
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Elevator B by students of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Buffalo, located in Buffalo's First Ward (Hive City Design Team)

Elevator B by students of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Buffalo, located in Buffalo’s First Ward (Hive City Design Team)

The 22-foot Elevator B honeybee habitat was the winning proposal in a design competition sponsored by Rigidized Metals and the University
at Buffalo.

The disquieting phenomenon of colony collapse disorder is seeing global bee populations vanish before our eyes, threatening the pollination of much of the world’s food crops. So when Buffalo, New York, metal fabricator Rigidized Metals discovered a colony of bees in an abandoned grain silo that its owner purchased, the company sponsored the Hive City competition. Students at the University at Buffalo (UB) were invited to design a viable bee habitat that would spark interest in the Silo City area and demonstrate the strengths of various building materials suppliers in Buffalo’s First Ward. As the first, permanent new construction on the Silo City site, Rigidized Metals wanted something that would be visible from nearby Ohio Street, stand out in the industrial landscape, and be reverent to neighboring silos.

The winning design, known as Elevator B, is a 22-foot tower of 18-gauge sheet metal panels, with strategic perforations for natural ventilation, light, and heat management. An operable bee “cab” in the interior supports the actual hive on a pulley system, allowing beekeepers to access the colony and return it to a level that keeps the population safe from predators. Read More

Frank Gehry To Design New Facebook Offices in New York

East
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
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770 Broadway from Fourth Avenue. (Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr)

770 Broadway from Fourth Avenue. (Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr)

Frank Gehry, who is currently working on Facebook’s new Silicon Valley campus in Menlo Park, California, will design a new office for the company’s New York-based engineering team at 770 Broadway in Manhattan. The move will nearly double the company’s current workspace.

In a note from Serkan Piantino, Facebook New York’s engineering team site director, the new offices will share many of the same features of Facebook’s California headquarters, but with a twist that is uniquely New York. Approximately 100,000 square feet across two floors will be updated with open, collaborative spaces, conference rooms, cozy and casual work areas, writeable surfaces, and integrated video conferencing equipment. There are also plans to build out a full service kitchen for Facebook employees.

At 770 Broadway, Facebook will join tenants AOL/Huffington Post, Adweek, JCrew, and Structure Tone. The move from their current offices at 335 Madison Avenue is scheduled for early 2014 under a 10-year lease with building owners Vornado Realty Trust.

MammaFotogramma Brings Motion to Plywood

Fabrikator
Friday, May 31, 2013
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Brought to you with support from:
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The concept for WoodSkin was first developed for Autoprogettazione 2.0, an open-source design competition, in 2012. (courtesy Mamma Fotogramma)

The concept for WoodSkin was developed for Autoprogettazione 2.0, an open-source design competition, in 2012. (courtesy MammaFotogramma)

MammaFotogramma designed a plywood and high-performance mesh composite that is scored on a CNC mill to facilitate textile-like movement.

WoodSkin is a flexible wood surfacing material developed by interdisciplinary design studio MammaFotogramma. The concept is an exploration of movement developed for Autoprogettazione 2.0, an open-source design competition from 2012 that originated in the firm’s work in stop motion animation. “We’re still in animation production, but what we do is all about movement,” said studio founder Giulio Masotti. MammaFotogramma’s current work includes architecture and design projects as well as a lab that evolved naturally as projects came in, where collaborators develop new techniques for hybridized exploration. “Project after project, we saw we were applying movement everywhere, not because it was a need but because it’s how we work and what we explore,” said Masotti.

Later in 2012, after the competition, the composite wood material was first fabricated as an interior finish for the lobby of Allez Up, an indoor rock-climbing facility in Montreal. “When we figured out what we wanted to do, we knew we needed something different,” said Masotti. “We needed a system, not just a project solution.” The goal was to design a visually appealing material that could be used in a static way with the possibility for movement. Read More

Q+A> Design Week with Todd Bracher

East, Product
Thursday, May 23, 2013
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Todd Bracher, right.

Todd Bracher, right.

For the final installment of AN‘s New York Design Week Q+A series, we talked with Todd Bracher about his Nest and forthcoming Asa collections, his design philosophy, and inspirations. And Kevin Stark stopped in to visit, as well.

How did your collaboration with HBF come about?
I reached out originally to Kevin Stark a few years ago, who was the vice president of design at that time. I’ve been in the [design] business for 15 years but worked mostly overseas, so I wanted to find the right partner [stateside]. HBF entered my radar because they produce European craftsmanship; their products are really high quality. A year later a mutual friend reintroduced us and that ignited the relationship.

Continue reading after the jump.

Q+A> Design Week with Christian Rasmussen

East
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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Christian Rasmussen.

Christian Rasmussen. (Courtesy Fritz Hansen)

On the opening day of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) at the Javits Center, AN sat down with Christian Rasmussen, the head of design for Fritz Hansen, to discuss the company’s design strategies, its philosophy on collaboration, and to test out the new Favn and Ro seating that has just been released in the U.S.

What are your impressions of ICFF?

It’s getting better every year and I’m seeing more interesting stuff. I was surprised last year and this one is even better. Last month we were in Milan but it’s so big. I like that ICFF is more focused and offers a tighter overlook. You can spend more time in each booth as opposed to Milan where you have to move very fast to see everything. Overall it’s really positive.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product > Finds From the Floor at ICFF 2013

East, Product
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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LA2 Two by 3Form|LightArt

LA2 Two by 3Form|LightArt

The 25th edition of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) opened on Saturday, May 19, with approximately 500 exhibitors from around the world showing their wares to the design community. In addition to smaller designs studios from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon, international designers from Belgium, Spain, Italy, Norway, Japan, and Haiti were also onsite with all manner of interior products. The fair closes on May 21, and is open to the public on the final day.

LA2 Two
3Form LightArt
A sanitary alternative to silk pendant shades, Two features 3Form’s Varia Ecoresin—made of 40 percent preconsumer recycled content—formed around a fabric layer for greater ease of cleanability. The pendant comes fully enclosed with top and bottom diffusers for LED components that also feature dimming capabilities.

Continue reading after the jump.

Q&A> Design Week with Patrizia Moroso

International, Product
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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Patrizia Moroso, left. (Anna Bussolotto / Courtesy Moroso)

The MASSAS sofa system, right. Patrizia Moroso, left. (Anna Bussolotto / Courtesy Moroso)

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.

Continue reading after the jump.

Q+A> Design Week with Francesca Molteni

East
Monday, May 20, 2013
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Francesca Molteni.

Francesca Molteni

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.

Continue reading after the jump.

Q+A> Design Week with Philippe Grohe

East
Monday, May 20, 2013
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Philippe Grohe, head of the Axor brand, Hansgrohe.

Philippe Grohe, head of the Axor brand/Hansgrohe.

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.

Continue reading after the jump.

LMN Architects’ Collaborative Sound Cloud

Fabrikator
Friday, May 17, 2013
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
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LMN Architects designed a high-performing ceiling canopy that unifies the many features of traditional theatrical and acoustic systems. (courtesy LMN Architects)

LMN Architects designed a high-performing ceiling canopy that unifies the many features of traditional theatrical and acoustic systems. (courtesy LMN Architects)

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

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