Product> Contract Furnishings & Materials: Six picks from this year’s NeoCon

Design, Interiors, National, Product
Friday, August 22, 2014
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Steelcase4766

(Courtesy Steelcase)

As thinking on workplace design continues to evolve—should we stand or sit? Collaborate or isolate? Specialize or multi-task?—the need for comfortable, well organized, and aesthetic environments remains unquestioned. Here are a few items from NeoCon 2014 that caught our attention.

Soto II Tools
Steelcase

A collection of multi-functional organizers leverages the limited desktop space of the modern office. Includes monitor bridge, shelves, and USB hub.

More after the jump.

Vintage Glass Blocks For Sale For a Good Cause

Art, Design, National
Thursday, August 21, 2014
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The glass blocks. (Courtesy unearthedgallery)

The glass blocks. (Courtesy unearthedgallery)

AN recently got word of 1,500 vintage glass art blocks that are up for sale over on Etsy. These slabs won’t just add color to your home or garden, they will represent a donation to a great cause as the seller, the Unearthed Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin, is donating 15 percent of its proceeds to Heifer International.

More info after the jump.

Filed Under: , , ,

The Architecture Billings Index Is Crushing It

National
Thursday, August 21, 2014
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01-july2014-architecture-billings-index-aia-archpaper

BILLINGS (BLUE), INQUIRIES (RED), AND DESIGN CONTRACTS (GREEN) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

You should probably be sitting down for this because there is some big news regarding the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) that is not for the faint of heart. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s proceed. So everyone knows that the ABI has really been flexing its muscle this summer—it posted a 52.6 in May and then a 53.5 in June. Those are pretty solid scores given that anything above a 50 indicates an increase in billings, but then July happened—and it happened in a big way. Last month, the ABI posted a 55.8. That’s important news considering the index hasn’t been that high since 2007—since before the whole global financial meltdown.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> Furnishings: Milan Revisited in 11 Beautiful Designs

2-Artek_KG002_KG001_Rival_3_s

(Courtesy Artek)

Once again, top-drawer design talents—Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Ingo Maurer, Nendo, and Daniel Libeskind among them—claimed the limelight at the last Salone del Mobile. More than 300,ooo attendees navigated the halls of the Rho exhibition center, while closer to the center of Milan, satellite shows and exhibitions drew crowds to more avant-garde events. Here’s a selection of our favorite pieces.

Rival
Artek

While created as a work chair for the home office, this swiveling seat has a distinctive presence. Fabricated of birch, in high- and low-back styles; leather and fabric upholstery. Designed by Konstantin Grcic.

more after the jump.

Back in the game: HOK to acquire 360 Architecture, reenter sports architecture field

Architecture, National, News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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San Jose Earthquakes Stadium (360 Architecture)

San Jose Earthquakes Stadium (360 Architecture)

In a power play for the world of arena architecture, HOK has announced it will acquire Kansas City’s 360 Architecture. Their union marks HOK’s return to the world of sports and entertainment facility design, possibly to compete with Populous, another Kansas City-based firm that spun off from HOK Sports Venue Event in 2008. Read More

Product> Surface Effective: Eight Innovative Cladding Materials & Systems

Panelite-ClearShade-Honeycomb-IGU-CS-TBR2

(Courtesy Panelite)

From enhancing aesthetics with digitally-printed ceramic panels to increasing build-speed via all-in-one insulated metal panel systems, these innovative building products offer specialized facade solutions to architects.

ClearShade Insulated Glass Panel
Panelite

A glazing solution that optimizes both daylight and solar heat control, its honeycomb insert is offered in a range of colors and patterns; customization is available.

Read More

Product> Transparent Thinking: Five New Glazing Options

Architecture, National, Product
Thursday, August 14, 2014
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lasvit

(Courtesy Lasvit)

The dual role glass plays in architectural design—a material integral to both a building’s appearance and its performance—makes selecting a specific product a tricky process. From energy-efficient glazing to decorative dichroic panels, here are a few new items to spur the imagination.

Liquidkrystal
Lasvit 

Designed by Ross Lovegrove, these glass panels can be fixed into construction profiles or into building construction-assembly grooves. Specialty colors and finishes are available; panels range in size from 80 by 8 centimeters to 270 by 370 centimeters.

More after the jump.

Product> Grand Openings: Window Walls and Doors That Bring the Outside In

Architecture, National, Product
Monday, August 11, 2014
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sky-frame_arc_1

(Courtesy Sky-Frame)

Even in four-season climates, the allure of outdoor living endures. Meticulously engineered for ease of operation, structural soundness, and weather-tightness, large-scale openings offer a seamless transition between indoors and out. Sliding, telescoping, or rising mechanisms give designers—and their clients—a choice of access that complements their architecture.

Arc
Sky-Frame

This sliding curved window can be double- or triple-glazed. Multiple curves can be combined, or integrated with straight runs.

More after the jump.

Product> Bright Outlook: Six Great Interior Light Fixtures

Interiors, Lighting, National, Product
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
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gl_zero_beam_group_p_hr

(Courtesy Global Lighting)

High intensity design coupled with low energy consumption makes these new lighting fixtures worthy candidates for inclusion in a full spectrum of environments: hospitality, office/commercial, retail, and residential. Some are unabashed focal points, others play a supporting role in the design, but all of them boost the aesthetic wattage of any interior.

Global Lighting
Zero Beam Pendant

A mounting stem facilitates directing the 26W CFL lamp, which is shielded behind a matte acrylic diffuser. Made of painted aluminum, in white, black, or red. Designed by Johan Carpner.

Read More

Bomb Trains: Vice investigates the dangers of transporting crude oil by rail

After an oil train exploded in Lac Megantic, Quebec last year. (Flickr / EliasSchewel)

After an oil train exploded in Lac Megantic, Quebec last year. (Flickr / EliasSchewel)

In a new video report, Bomb Trains: The Crude Gamble of Oil by Rail, Vice News investigated the risk of crude oil–carrying trains exploding as they crisscross North America. That isn’t some hypothetical risk that could be realized down the road—it’s already happening. Last summer, forty-seven people were killed when an oil-carrying train exploded in a small town in Quebec, and in the year since, four more trains have gone up in flames in the U.S. and Canada. With so many train lines carrying oil through the hearts of American cities, Vice highlights safety concerns for urban areas and rural alike.

Read More

Filed Under: , , , ,

Herman Miller Goes Shopping: Buys Design Within Reach

The new Design Within Reach store in Manhattan (photo: Michael Biondo)

The new Design Within Reach store in Manhattan (photo: Michael Biondo)

Two of the biggest names in American design are joining forces. Famed furniture manufacturer Herman Miller has bought a controlling stake in Design Within Reach (DWR), the modern furniture retailer. According to a release, Herman Miller has purchased an 84 percent stake in DWR for a price of $154 million. DWR’s CEO John Edelman and president John McPhee will continue to lead the retailer, which currently has 38 locations in North America, as well as e-commerce and the popular catalogue. DWR has recently been upgrading their stores and refocusing on architects and interior designers as well as consumers. A new Manhattan flagship store opened this spring.

Continue reading after the jump.

Obama library round-up: Woodlawn, Lakeside, Bronzeville and more vying for nation’s 14th presidential library

(HOK)

HOK’s scheme for Bronzeville. (HOK)

Speculation over the future site of President Barack Obama’s presidential library has picked up as a slew of Chicago sites—as well as some in New York, Hawaii, and even Kenya—made the June deadline for proposals. Ultimately the decision is up to the President and the board tasked with developing what will be the nation’s 14th presidential library, but dozens of groups are attempting to tug at that group’s ears. (Even I used AN‘s June editorial page to consider the library’s urban impact.) Here’s a round-up of some of the Chicago proposals made public so far.

Continue reading after the jump.

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