While much of the work introduced at Milan this year played it safe—distinctly conservative colors, forms familiar from the 1950s, cautious use of materials—some architects’ designs took, shall we say, a bolder stance. But: Was it a better one? You, ever-opinionated reader, shall and no doubt will be the judge of that. Among the boldest of the bold designs this year were four pieces presented by Zaha Hadid.
A molded-glass sheet suitable for interior and exterior applications, the relief pattern is continuous between panels.
“In Sophie’s restaurant at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago, we installed a wall of digitally-engineered Liquidkristal by Lasvit. The optical effects of cascading ripples of glass create playful reflections, painterly distortions, and elegant abstract patterns that are beautiful in their subtlety and striking in their boldness.”
—Andre Kikoski, Andre Kikoski Architect, New York City
It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the Salone del Mobile and the dozens of related events during Milan Design Week. Luckily there are plenty of visual palate cleansers in form of immersive environments, from new showrooms by Pritzker Prize–winning architects to dazzling installations by up-and-coming designers. There is more to Milan Design Week than just great looking furniture! At the Triennale design museum, for instance, Paris-based DGT architects created a light-catching installation for Citizen watches called Light is Time (above), featuring space dividing curtains made of tens of thousands of watch plates.
LEGO Architecture has released a new box set—and from the looks of it, this isn’t your grandmother’s architectural plaything. The new LEGO set is not the usual plastic-brick model of Rockefeller Center or the Empire State Building. No, this new set is cutting-edge. It goes where no other LEGO box set has gone before: it’s a replica of an icon so iconic that it doesn’t even exist yet. It’s a limited-edition replica of the Bjarke Ingels–designed LEGO Museum in the company’s birthplace of Billund, Denmark.
AN editors swept and tweeted through the exhibit halls of the venerable Salone del Mobile last week, as well as the myriad satellite design events, exhibits, and installations that popped up around Milan. Footsore but aesthetically satiated, the AN team has reassembled stateside to share some of the best finds from the fair.
A lacquered, digital print enlivens the interior of the shelves, which are constructed of humble MDF. Designed by Garth Roberts.
What happens in Vegas,
stays in… winds up on the AN blog. Yes, we’re in Sin City this week attending the first-ever Design and Construction Week, which includes both the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and the International Builders’ Show (IBS). Two mega-conventions in one provided us with lots to see, from high-performance materials to innovative technologies. We’ve rounded up some of the many highlights here. If you need proof that kitchens, baths, and building products can be sexy, keep reading.
A surfacing material has to offer more than strong aesthetics to suit today’s interiors: It must also support occupancy health and sustainable resource management. Whether made from repurposed post consumer materials or designed to dampen noise, the following products support a healthy environment from the factory floor to the finished project.
Designed by Japanese artist Tokujin Yoshioka, the Phenomenon collection (features natural textures for walls and floors. Air, (pictured above), is a multidimensional mosaic of 1-inch unglazed porcelain tiles on a square foot of mesh backing. It comes in four neutral colorways with coordinating trim.
This March, Wolf-Gordon will launch a collection of upholstery and wallcoverings featuring the designs of Danish textile designer Grethe Sørensen. The offerings highlight the artist’s ground-breaking technique of translating pixels to threads, most recently displayed in her exhibition Rush Hour/Shanghai 5 at Fuori Salone in Milan. Sørensen’s work often features variations of light and color found in night settings and urban landscapes, which she manipulates in Photoshop before translating on to fabric. Cooper-Hewitt plans to acquire her work once its new building opens in late 2014.
As the buzzword “transparency” gains greater meaning in product specification, glass is an energy-saving, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing option.
3form’s Pressed Glass is newly available in the Strand pattern (above), a compressed interlayer of fine gauge threads in three monochromatic colorways. It can be further customized through color matching, etching, and fritting options. Available in widths as large as 48 inches and lengths of 120 inches, it can be specified in either a 5/16-inch or 1 5/16-inch gauge thickness. Its inherent strength meets ANSI Z97.1 standards.
A Christmas tree ornament designed by Zaha Hadid currently on display in London restaurant aqua shard will be auctioned off for charity at the end of the year. The object hangs amongst 19 other ornaments designed by the “celebrity friends” of Matthew Williamson, a British fashion designer responsible for curating the tree. The proceeds generated by the subsequent sale of the items will go towards British charity Kids Company.