for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

BAGS NOT BAUBLES

rubbish-pin

These pins are a fantastic visual reminder of your own consumption – making statements out of your daily detritus. And they look pretty good too. From Designboom:

The ‘garbage pin’ by portuguese designer ana cardim turns your daily bits of trash into jewelry.
‘a metallic silver structure that holds a tiny, transparent plastic bag (the garbage bag). this bag, once full, can be removed, closed with a wire and kept as a outcome of the experience. the piece is sold as a kit that includes spare plastic bags and wires.’

ana cardim jewellery

more over at Ana Cardim‘s website:

Garbage Pin is born of a definitely urban concept, the appropriation and reinterpretation of a daily use object: the garbage bin.

Being one of the most common typologies of urban equipment in the cosmopolitan network, the garbage bag belongs without any doubt to the collective imagery, present in every urbanite life’s day as a reflection of a culture involved with the accelerated and growing consumism, as is ours.

It is a call to reflect on the current social paradigm that confronts notions such as “waste” and “valuable”, both relative and subjective concepts. It is a call as well for the innumerable problems that derive from a society of consumers; those of environmental and ecologic sort that lead us today to a future break with the current ecosystem.

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Filed under: creative ideas, products with a purpose, ,

SALON DEL MOBILE – PART 5

This final installment of new and exciting products showcased in Milan highlights some of my favourite discoveries from around the fair – ideas and innovations to watch out for:

The Chankley Bore prototype by Maarten Baas for Established&Sons

chankley-bore

‘The Salone del Mobile will see the launch of three Limited edition pieces by Baas. Each piece of the collection is work in progress, and gives an insight into the Maarten Baas exhibition being held at the Established & Sons LIMITED gallery during Frieze Art Fair in October 2008′

Established&Sons

D/A Clock by Alvin Aronson

a-clock

‘This object plays on the common LED-display digital clock with physical segments that slowly fade in and out of a white surface. The D/A Clock introduces new characteristics to the digital mediation of time: a physical dimension and intermediate states – the time between 0 and 1.’

Alvin Aronson

Shade Collection by Front

shade-front1

‘Sketched pieces of furniture, hand drawn by Front, like materialized illustrations.’

Front

Design Jet Set by Jamie Hayon for Bisazza

hayon-bisazza

‘A setting reminiscent of a hangar, totally atypical and chic, hosts a sophisticated “fantasy” aeroplane with a decidedly surreal shape, decorated with white gold mosaic tiles, leather inserts and featuring a neat lounge with padded white sofas.Through playful language, irony coupled with the creative, fantastic flair of Jaime Hayon allows visitors to escape from reality, “diverting them” towards a surreal, poetical world.’

hayon2

“I like the idea of being able to create a fun, more sophisticated version of an object as serious and functional as an aeroplane. Set in a very glamorous hangar, this aeroplane is a light-hearted work with an unusual and enchanting look, complete with a glass cabin, leather wings and coloured missiles and symbols alluding to love. Jet Set is a sitting room cum aeroplane: an objet d’art in an imaginary installation which displays the potential of Bisazza mosaic.”

Jamie Hayon

Brothers Dalton Mirrors by Harry & Camila

brohers-dalton

‘Brothers Dalton is a family of mirrors, all standing on two feet and leaning to the wall. As the real Dalton family, that the designers Harry & Camila have inspired to, Brothers Dalton family members have different height’

Harry & Camila

Wiremore by Joris Laarman

wirepod

‘Joris Laarman’s WirePod is a flexible grey powder pod that begins with a three-prong plug and branches out into four curled arms, each with a single three-prong socket. Its arms and body roll and unfurl as needed to adjust for your functional living space. Wirepod is the first piece in Artecnica’s Wiremore collection, a series of electrical products that challenge conventions by transforming power cords and wires from concealed, passive objects into visible active elements that aesthetically and functionally energize living and working spaces.’

Joris Laarman

The beautiful game by GRO design

beautiful-game

‘Table football is great fun to play – it’s social, active and physical. As an object, however, the football table is becoming less desirable as its often cost-driven appearance no longer fits in with the designed landscape of modern interiors. Many recently built football stadiums have a strong architectural and sculptural beauty, becoming city landmarks. We wanted the design of our football table to be equally spectacular and memorable – through form, colour, material and the subtle use of light to bring a sense of drama and excitement to the game. We were interested in creating atmosphere through form, colour, material and subtle use of light, bringing a heightened sense of drama and excitement to the game. The table’s flowing lines express the dynamic aspect of football, while reducing unnecessary detail to allow the raw energy of the game to come to the fore.’

GRO

Design Calendar wallpaper by Christiaan Postma

calendar-wallpaper

Christiaan Postma

Filed under: exhibition reviews, ,

SALON DEL MOBILE – STORAGE IDEAS

Highlights from the Salone del Mobile focusing on some of the most innovative and exciting storage solutions on display:

‘A pile of suitcases’ by Maarten de Ceulaer for Casamania

pileofsuitcases

‘A modular system rich in poetry. the suitcases combine to form a complete wardrobe system created to safeguard garments, shoes and accessories in style . the various ’suitcase’ modules are covered in precious leathers. a pile of suitcases is a nod to the elegance of by-gone eras with a modern and fun twist.’

Casamania

Treecabinet by Lotte van Laatum

treecabinet

‘The treecabinet is made of Dutch elm. The elm used for this cabinet was cut in 1999 as a result of the elm disease in Kloosterzande. The shape of the cabinet relates to the shape of the tree, conical and with the same width as a big Dutch tree on chest height. The shape of the front of the drawer has been left untouched as a memory of the natural shape of the tree.’

Lotte van Laatum

Drive-in wardrobe by Gaele Girault for droog

drive-in-wardrobe

‘Pallets are usually discarded after transport, but with the Drive-in concept they become furniture pieces themselves. The objects have been created out of bamboo, a fast-growing and therefore more environmentally friendly material than basic wood.’

droog


Your level by Ryohei Yoshiyuki

your-level

‘Objects are generally put down on various heights. If it were possible to take away the supporting furniture, the objects would float. Your level, eight separate tables of various heights, creates the same effect in the living room’

Ryohei Yoshiyuki

Muli sideboard by Ding3000

muli

‘The sideboard muli is inspired by a mule. The body is made out of solid oak and houses a big drawer and a shed which is accessible from the top. The angled legs leave the impression of the sideboard being “walking”.’

Ding3000

Guerrilla Containers by Eva Prego + Cutu Mazelos (Stone Designs) for RS

guerrrilla-storage

‘These containers are shaped like the sandbags used in the trenches, and it is from that concept that they have derived their name. This is a piece with a dreamlike and conceptual character, which serves either as a container, space divider or as floor level seating. The Guerrilla Containers, designed and handsewn in the same way as coffee bags, are a reinterpretation of this warlike element, converting it into a domestic, intimate piece, which represents the desire to redefine something, originally so
dramatic, as a common, welcoming object’

RS by Stone Designs

Decades Chest of Drawers by Lisa Widén and Anna Irinarchos (WIS Design)

decades

‘Not everything has to be brand new. Design can arise out of recycling the past. A chest made out of discarded drawers, found and rescued from flea markets. A mix of different styles from earlier decades, all enclosed in a single piece of furniture. The old drawers, with woods and knobs of various kinds, are enhanced by the new frame in white painted MDF’

WIS Design

Filed under: exhibition reviews, ,

SALONE DEL MOBILE: EXCITING LIGHTING

In this third installation of our pick of the products on show in Milan, we bring you the most exciting lighting designs on display:
Design Virus Light Blubs by Pieke Bergmans

light-blub

‘A series of unique crystal lamps by Pieke Bergmans, with Royal Leerdam Crystal and Solid Lighting. You may wonder: What is a light blub?? The answer is simple: it is a light bulb that has gone way out of line. Infected by the dreaded Design Virus, these Blubs have taken on all kinds of forms and sizes you wouldn’t expect from such well behaving and reliable little products. Nevertheless, they seem to be enjoying their new free existences.’

Pieke Bergmans

Trinna by Tina Leung for Innermost

trinna-lamp

‘Trinna is a concept designed to allow multiples of the triangle to be built up into larger geometric patterns. Whilst the simple geometric minimalism of a lone unit creates a useful and beautiful pendant fitting it is when the design is grouped that it really merits attention. Tina also expored the relationship between what’s on the ceiling above a lamp and the unit itself; often the 2 forms seem unrelated. With Trinna every fold of metal and seam has purpose, be it to support, feed cable or add strength. Nothing that is not needed has been allowed.’

Innermost

Torch Bunch by Sylvian Willenz for Established&Sons

torch-bunch

‘Made from a moulded textured plastic, the ‘Torch Light’ comes in three versions: the small cone, the small rounded and the large cone. All sizes can be suspended from the ceiling in single units, arranged in bunches of 10 or 20, or used singularly on a tabletop or in the corner of a room. ‘Torch Light’, like much of Sylvain’s work, is inspired by archetypal objects – in this case, the simple silhouette of a typical hand-held torch or car headlight. ‘Torch Light’ is offered in three different colours, including black.’

“This is how I like to think of objects. What would they be like as shadows? How can they be normal and recognisable, yet slightly sophisticated and elegant? It’s playful, graphic… like an icon.” Sylvain Willenz

Established&Sons

Sofa Lamp by CuldeSac with Héctor Serrano for Moooi

sofa-lamp1

‘The Sofa lamp is inspired by the famous Chester Sofa. Thinking about the Chester on a social level, it automatically transmits luxury with it’s recognizable aesthetics … a feeling of warmth, the central point of the social interaction of a living room in which people come together… this essence is captured in the Sofa Lamp.’

Moooi

Fragile Future II by Design Drift

fragile-future

‘Fragile Future II is a modulair light system overgrowing the wall. One module is a visible circuit with little lights. This module is easy to attach to the next one (in seven different ways), while the switch-leg will continue. So it is possible to create a composition from just a few, up to 50 modules, according to the space and atmosphere. Fragile Future comes with two different types of light. One is an exclusive version and uses leds in real dandelion (the seeds are glued with special glue on the led one by one by hand). The other is less fragile and shockproof.’

Design Drift
Wire Pendant Shade by Viable London for Decode London

wire-pendant-shades

Viable London

Tall&Tiny by Alice Rosignoli

talltiny1

‘Tall&Tiny are two sticker-lamps in Vinyl foil, that answer the desire/need for home furniture while considering the problem of ever-decreasing living space.’

Alice Rosignoli

Soil Lamp by Marieke Staps

soil-lamp

‘Free and environmentally friendly energy forever and ever. The lamp runs on mud. The metabolism of biological life produces enough electricity to keep a LED lamp burning. The mud is enclosed in various cells. These cells contain copper and zinc that conduct the electricity. The more cells there are, the more electricity they generate. This technique offers a wealth of possibilities. The only thing the lamp needs is a splash of water every now and then.’

Marieke Staps

Butterfly Light by Vinta

butterfly-lamp

‘This light came from the idea of folding a piece of paper. The function of its adjustment of light and the space created by that are a result of simple action of one surface (the panel) being divided by two. The two panels with slight shifts to each other at its closed position remind a user to open this object up. This light gives the poetic theme to the space like a butterfly flying around with silence.’

Vinta

Filed under: exhibition reviews, ,

SALONE DEL MOBILE: TOP TABLES

Ivo_03 Table by Asymptote for Meta

img_6991

‘This elegant and unique table features slumped glass suspended across a contiguous and abstracted alloy surface of diamond-shaped facets. the table’s architecture is the result of an asymmetric metal topography of mathematically delineated folds and crevices that create a powerful and sensual curvature. The undulating troughs and peaks give way to the perception of an arc when the table is viewed from the side, a purposeful refinement by Asymptote reminiscent of the accumulated outlines of the underside of the landscape.’

Meta

Fold by Patrick Norguet for Modus

fold-table

‘The FOLD table by Patrick Norguet is an elegant, sculptural piece, reminiscent of the unfolding of a flower. Created from laser cut, folded steel to form a seamless base with a satin, powder coat finish. The rounded edged top is available in matching powder coat or clear toughened glass. Available in three sizes and five colours’

Modus

‘Till death do us part’ by Martino d’Esposito & Franck Bragigand for droog

till-death-table

‘People tend to throw away objects that are still in perfect condition. to efficiently change this, Martino d’Esposito decided to make a contract. he laser engraved it in the wood of a second-hand table, selected and painted by Franck Bragigand. by signing the contract, the owner commits himself to keep, use and take care of the table for life.’

till-death-table2

droog

Table Torro by Christine Kesel for Meeting Erwin

table-torro

Meeting Erwin

Endless Nile Dining Table by Karim Rashid for Amr Helmy Designs

endless-nile-table

‘The Endless Nile table is inspired by the slow and perpetual flow of the Nile river. This new design, while inspired by the past, deconstructs conventional table and seating concepts to recombine them in an original and contemporary solution.’

Amr Helmy Designs

Arborism by Nosinger for Covo

arborism

‘A small table made in powder-painted metal, which overturns the concept of the artefact: in the legs, generated by the same geometry which regulates nature, the “frattali”, and in the surface printed with small falling leafs. Like an object left in the influence of nature changing its aesthetics.’

Covo
Slicebox by voonwong & bensonsaw for decodelondon

slicebox

‘A square coffee table is divided by random cuts. These differ from timber tabletop and base, separated by uprights. The subdivided pieces serve as side tables of different shapes and dimensions.’

voonwong & bensonsaw
FurnID Table by FurnID + Ronnau

furnid-table

‘FurnID has created a table that will bring an extra dimension to the private dinner situation and create the best possible conditions for an equal communication. The table is created so the shape and expression is inviting and so it offers the same social qualities as an ordinary round table. The position of the legs means that no one can be placed at the end of the table and a hierarchical seating of the users is therefore not possible. Furthermore the four sides are curved creating a more intimate space where the communication possibilities are equal for all 8 users. The form of the table is repeated in a smaller scale as a groove in the center of the table top. The groove is a direct reference to the fact that people have always gathered around something; a point of focus, the camp fire, the totem pole, – and in this case the meal!’

FurnID

Cupola Reading table by BarberOsgerby for Meta

picture-21

‘Reminiscent of the brief yet magnificent trend of glass furniture in the 19th century, this reading table is made of seven hand-blown glass elements variously nested and joined atop the other. The apparently solid base of the reading table is in fact glass. the internal stem used to encase the light is of opaline white glass followed by a section of spiralled white and clear mezza filigrana providing a fine tracery as a filter for light, and finally a third section of coloured glass which rings the top outer edge. The outer dome used for Cupola’s namesake topi s blown from a single gather of glass and is at the very limit of what is physically possible. the table is mirror-polished, cast white bronze, and the base is Belgian marble.’

BarberOsgerby

Meta

Spot Tables by Tom Dixon

picture-14

Tom Dixon

Cappellini Love Recycled Table by Stephen Burks for Cappellini

cappellini-love

Cappellini

Nanook Table by Philippe Bestenheider for Moroso

‘Nanook is the result of Philippe Bestenheider’s ongoing research into such aspects as fragmentation, molecular structures, the transition from 2-D to 3-D. The painted steel table can be attached horizontally to a second table or stacked vertically to create a two-shelf arrangement.’

Moroso

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SALONE DEL MOBILE: GREAT SEATS

I headed to the craziness of Milan last week to report on the sights and sounds of the Salone del Mobile 2008 for PSFK. With the fairgrounds and ever-increasing number of surrounding satellite shows attracting over 250,00 attentive visitors, the streets were filled with an orgy of creative ideas, innovative products, and lots of free-flowing alcohol!

Despite the lure of the overwhelmingly impressive number of parties on offer, we were intent in our task to vigilantly scour the city for the newest, most exciting and thought-provoking products on offer. In this first selection, we show you our pick of the latest chair designs from designers big and small…

Reverse Chair by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso

reverse-chair

‘In collaboration with Moroso, this year Patricia Urquiola addresses various aspects of design – past and present, function and material, finishes and design, craftsmanship and industrial processing – and having explored textile use and textile-working, she now takes up a new design challenge in the shape of plastic.

This is the background of Reverse, a chair with a very meaningful name for which plastic is used as if it were a textile which folds over, to the reverse, to create a continuous pleat along the line of the backrest and armrests. Reverse’s elegance is its simplicity. Its lines are clean, sleek, easy. The richness of this design is given by the pleat in the plastic. Reverse is a light, stackable chair whose bold yet soft, feminine character sets it apart from all other plastic chairs.’

Moroso

Stitch Chair by Adam Goodrum for Cappellini

stitch-chair

‘A folding chair completely made in aluminium plate. Stitch Chair is a new typology of product for Cappellini and, thanks to its hinges, allows its dimensions to be considerably reduced when folded up. It also has a personalised cardboard packaging.’

Cappellini


Ghost chair by Design Drift

picture-151

‘The Ghost is a futuristic concept of a chair, 3-dimensionally captured within the boundaries of reality. DRIFT sketches an image that cannot exist yet…but within todays techniques it becomes real. By doing this they deliberate their design from the trend of stereotypical forms. Straight from the outside, but curved and wrinkled and impossible to exist from the inside. Ghost Chair is the first piece of a series of chairs and stools. It is the first time that something has been produced this way.’

Design Drift
Tudor chair by Jamie Hayon for Established&Sons

tudor-jamie-hayon

‘This series of six dining chairs was inspired by the six wives of Henry VIII. They are all formally linked but each with its own individual upholstery, finishing and personality. The designs are a clever reference to a rich part of British history, but particularly fascinating and relevant as they emanate from the arrival and objective perception of Spanish designer Jaime Hayon.’

“Ever since I moved to the United Kingdom I have been fascinated by the story of Henry VIII. What a great story! One large man and six unlucky ladies. Despotic, hedonistic, passionate, headstrong and indomitable, he would be governed by neither church nor state. As a king, Henry was known to be a man of great culture who loved opulence as well as being one of the most feared monarchs of all time. When I was asked to design something for the British company Established & Sons, I decided to base my design on the most influential King of England. It is an English story for an English company.” Jaime Hayon

Established&Sons


Hanger Chair by Philippe Malouin

hanger-chairs

‘The Hanger Chair is a folding chair based on one of the ultimate storage systems: the modest hanger. It allows us to store clothes in an orderly fashion. Most houses or flats are equipped with a wardrobe to receive the object. By morphing the function of the hangar with that of the folding chair, a new hybrid is born: the Hanger Chair, which is a folding chair and a clothes hanger rolled into one.’

Philippe Malouin
Plastic Chair in Wood by Maarten Baas in collaboration with Contrasts

plastic-chair-in-wood

‘In August 2008 Maarten Baas will have a solo exhibition with Contrasts Gallery in Shanghai. Pearl Lam, founder of Contrasts, commissioned Baas to make products with Chinese producers. Baas challenged woodcarvers from Shanghai to make extraordinary works with their techniques, creating a cross-over between western design and the traditional Chinese techniques. In Milan he has showed two of these works: “Chinese Objects Object” in Campher wood and “Plastic Chair in Wood” made of Elm wood’

Maarten Baas

Aguapé by Fernando & Humberto Campana for Edra

aguape1

‘The armchair “Aguagpé” by Fernando and Humberto Campana is a water-lily. Its thick laser-cut leather petals (in either natural, white, pink or soft green) spring naturally from stem-like chair legs. Its flower shape evokes the magic of Moghul gardens of yore.’

Edra


Pregnant Chair by Moooi

pregnant-chair-moooi
Moooi
Cartoon Chair by Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi for Swedese

cartoon-chairs

‘Cartoon easychair is inspired from the spontaneous language of childrens drawings, obviously out of proportions. The design challenge was about translating this free expression into a furniture. The chair is made with materials and details typical from the scandinavian design tradition but in a new angle. The buttons in the oversize backrests are intended to bring an element of anthropomorphism, cartoonish personages between human and form.’

Swedese

Spiderwoman Stacking Chair by Louise Campbell

spiderwoman

‘Laser cut stacking chair for indoor and outdoor use. The pattern is a repetition of the construction of the frame beneath, arrayed at an angle infinitely. The reasons for using asymmetry in the pattern are: The design plays with asymmetry which gives the chair a spatial freedom – it is less needy of neat positioning than symmetrical chairs, and has more character. The human body is not symmetrical. Why should a chair be?’

Louise Campbell

Frame Chair by Wouter Scheublin for Established&Sons

frame-chair2

‘Wouter Scheublin liaises functionality with the beauty of construction and shows a refined eye for detail in his design of the Frame Chair. Blessed with good proportions and seating comfort, the chair is full of cleverly engineered, reasoned character and achieves a unique formality that is rare within the competitive, overcrowded realms of chair design. Beech laths are covered with a seat and backrest of ply with oak veneer thus providing a subtle texture that shows through a lacquer finish. Frame chair is offered in painted or shown wood finishes and is also produced in aluminium.
“I like the way a construction of simple laths, when assembled, suddenly transforms into a form with character.” Wouter Scheublin

Wouter Scheublin
Sturdy Edition Chair by StudioFriso

sturdy-chair

‘MonoChromes finds its origine in the appealing appearance of natural patina often found on bronze, copper and brass artifacts. Inspired by garden furniture surrounding kiosks in parks MonoChromes are ideal for out- and indoor use. All products are made out of one single material in one single colour and finished-to-age. To fit into many different surroundings and atmospheres MonoChromes are kept simple and elegant. StudioFriso would like you to welcome Sturdy, Ray and Stratum.’

StudioFriso

Orchid Chair by Christian Flindt

orchid-chair
Christian Flindt

Cosy Chair by SMAQ for droog

cosy-chair

‘There’s no need to keep the entire room on an equal temperature; heating is only necessary where warmth is actually used. The Cosy chair is an inhabitable radiator space, to be plugged into the central heating system. The hot water circulates, looses warmth and creates various temperature fields linked to specific usages: hot for heating the ea cup, still hot for feet and socks, warm for back and spine relaxing, and lukewarm for the legs.’

droog

Filed under: exhibition reviews, ,

BA TERMINAL 5: THE PREVIEW

t5

Last week thanks to PSFK I was among the lucky few invited for a preview tour of the soon-to-be-opened BA-only Terminal 5 at Heathrow, and the impressive art that has been commissioned for it. If size impresses you then the building itself- a £500mill creation by the Richard Rogers Partnership which we were told several times is ‘the largest freestanding building in UK’ with ‘5 floors each the size of over 5 football pitches’- is sure to wow.

The structure is not only sculpturally beautiful outside and in, but has also been constructed to make the most of its surroundings both environmentally and aesthetically. The liberal use of glass and steel maximises the natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting whilst offering captivating views of the runway to reignite the passion of the golden age of air travel, while attributes including rainwater harvesting and groundwater boreholes will supply 70% of the terminal’s water.

The tour started with an overwhelming amount of data on the new system that BA has put in place to “redefine the passengers’ journey”- including the removal of check-in desks that are replaced by supermarket style groups of self-service kiosks, each group accompanied by a “BA host to assist”. BA estimate that 80% of the T5 users will check-in online, and through their new system expect the whole experience from entering the building to getting through security to take a mere 10 minutes! Not what we experienced however, as journalists are obviously deemed high-risk and therefore we were all thoroughly searched by the very serious security personnel.

Doing their bit for healthy lifestyles, BA have banned “fast-food” from the terminal, so don’t expect a McDonalds or Burger King- however a huge range of healthier-option restaurants including Giraffe, Wagamama and Itsu are available- as is a less than healthy but obviously posh enough to be included Krispy Kreme outlet- and a rather poorly branded offshoot from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, inventively called ‘Plane Food’.

troika

Past the plethora of designer retailers and the ‘largest Harrods outside of Knightsbridge’ we finally reached the escalators that whisk those fortunate fliers to the premier lounges that have apparently cost BA over £60million, and as we walked up the escalator had the pleasure of experiencing the first of the fantastic commissioned artworks- namely the beauty of The Cloud; a kinetic sculpture by design collective Troika which aims to evoke the sensation of elevation as you travel from below to above the clouds as in flight. The 3D structure is covered with over 5000 mechanical flipdots- a technology from the ‘70s still occasionally seen at old train stations- that have been programmed to create a constantly changing and flowing pattern, and amazing accompanying sound.

troika-all-the-time

At the top of the escalator is Troika’s second installation, a 22m long art wall entitled All the time in the world. The wall; a digital world clock made of super-thin electroluminescent sheets, plays with the traditional notion of time zones by replacing the expected capital city locations with exotic and exciting places around the world including natural wonders, great lakes, ancient cities and dream islands. Both pieces elegantly play with technology to revive the excitement and imagination that the travel experience once offered.

cpearson

Walking through to the First Class lounge, past a set of Front-design collective’s Horse lamps guarding the entrance you are confronted by the amazing Oak Seasons, six etched glass panels by Christopher Pearson. A textile designer turned digital artist, his admiration for William Morris is clearly evident in the incredibly delicately three-dimensionally laser etched screens depicting three seasons in the life of an Oak tree, with hidden details including a football replacing an acorn, a leaf imitating a roadmap of the UK and swig suspended from a branch injecting extra elements of English culture.

Across the corridor to the even more exclusive Concord lounge, the artist’s second commission is a tromp l’oeil relief of the traditional BA crest which has been digitized and transformed into an animated video installation on a 12 minute loop. Entitled Pegasus and the Winged Lion, the characters on the crest play on the idea of Britishness whilst adding subtle humour to the lounge; if you watch long enough you’ll see amongst other things the changing of the guard, a rather big rain cloud and some amazing eccentric inventions!

pearson-pegasus

Other works commissioned include temporary screens by Oona Culley and Robert Orchardson, and Kidzones- an interactive children’s area by El Ultimo Grito, whilst works from BA’s impressive art collection are also dotted seemingly randomly around the lounges- including a Julian Opie found down a corridor, a Damian Hirst that we stumbled across in between two food service counters, and what is sure to be the most expensive art collection in a ladies loo.

All the art has been brilliantly chosen by Artwise Curators, and with previous BA commissions including the likes of Sol Lewitt, Andy Goldsworthy and Tord Boontje, these young artists (all coincidentally RCA graduates- BA supporting another British institution?) are in good company. However this phenomenal creativity is let down by the rather unexciting interior design which despite its obvious excessive price still manages to look decidedly boring and reminds you that despite being open-minded with their walls, BA has a long way to go to embed this thought process throughout.

The debate among us attendees though was why, given the chance to redesign the terminal experience, BA still chose to promote the elitist ideal of art only for the rich. Why were these pieces not available to view from the main concourse? Where were the installations for all? Well there is just one- a Langlands & Bell sculpture that stands on the walls on either side of the entrance to the terminal called Moving World and consists of two luminous arcs of neon signs that spell out airport codes from around the world. Cleverly playing on the language of codes- in travel, in art and in society today, the all-inclusive artwork was commissioned by BAA (not BA!) and is described as ‘a dynamic metaphor for the ever-intensifying network of global communication and exchange- the defining characteristic of our age’. I guess BA didn’t get that bit.

See more about the building at Terminal5.ba.com

Filed under: arts & culture, , ,

Dutch Design Award Winners 2006

Velina_volanteThe winners of the Dutch Design Awards 2006 have been announced and the resulting products are
impressive. Two designs in particular caught my eye, both great examples of combining beauty and practicality; Velina Volante by Jannita van den Haak and Heklucht by design studio HiMom.

Winner of the Public Prize 2006, Velina Volante-Travelling in Style is Jannita van den Haak’s graduate work from the Design Academy, Eindhoven. With inspiration from the elegant yet tough image of the twenties woman, Jannita has redeveloped the backpack into a sexy and elegant travel bag for the modern female traveller. A fusion of style, luxury and the reliability, the bag comes in shiny bronze and anthracite shades, is extendable through the pleated side pockets, and is made of breathable, high quality water-resistant fabric. The upper pocket can also be detached and reversed to transform into an evening/ handbag. Practical and chic, we love it.

Designstudio_himomWinner of the Product Public Space 2006 is Heklucht by Krijn Christiaansen & Jeroen Bruls from
DesignStudio HiMom. Street furniture that is a cross between an archetypical pump and a bicycle rack, Heklucht can currently be seen in eight locations across the Hague’s new development district of Ypenburg. The polished fabrication was chosen to invite use and touch, encouraging inhabitants to pump up their tyres, with the resulting product presenting itself as an elegant piece of design. Enough of the public displays of art, we need more good public design like this.
design studio HiMom

view all winners

Filed under: creative ideas,

LONDON DESIGN WEEK: DESIGNERSBLOCK

Img_0733London Design Week would not be complete without seeing the young international designers showcased in the empty Nicholls and Clarke building on Shoreditch high street by Designersblock. The least known of the established shows,  this exhibition still managed to pack a a pretty strong punch, with a wide array of original and intelligent products on offer.

As always humorous, quirky products were abundant. Those we preferred included design duo Mixko’s
‘Goal’ t-shirts printed on the inside so that when your team scores the hidden text is revealed in celebration! Mixko’s objective is “to create items that inspire happiness and possess a satisfying simplicity”, and it’s definitely achieved here.

Dejana Kabiljo’s ‘Pretty Pretty’ stools, covered with dyed horsehair wigs, are both disturbing and beautiful. Her products play with the idea of beauty and “search for the innovation on the level of human behaviour”, and Dejana plans to pursue this theme with a variety Pasta_per_metre_1of hairstyles and furniture.

Seven Squatters, a group of industrial design graduates from Central St Martins showed some great ideas including ‘Who Tall are You’ by Ismaril Wells which looks at the evaluation of self image, stating “no matter how short you consider yourself to be you’ll always be taller than Img_0711someone great” and ‘Measure Your Pleasure’ by Marina Lariviere, looking at food habits and attitude- inside the packaging is roll of fresh pasta with recipes printed in edible ink running every 50cm to enable not only the preparation of healthy meals but also the consumption of the recommended amount. Marina explained the idea as a do-it-yourself approach, a food version of Ikea!

Looking at adapting religion into 21st century lifestyles is Soner Ozenc’s digital prayer mat, using flexible technology that lights up when pointed in the direction of Mecca. The designer explained how the aim was to combine tradition and contemporary pixel arts, trying to evoke an emotional atmosphere whilst creating a fully functioning product. The item is currently in production and will be launched in a couple of months.

iTattoo is another idea by the same designer; a customisation engraving service for your gadgets “transforming your product into a unique art piece”

Img_0727Combining design and art, Scott Garcia’s ‘Embedded Meanings’ concrete tables combine functional objects in an elegant way and display the decorative potential of concrete.

Eco friendly design is taken to a different level in the Wattson by DIY Kyoto (seen also at the Digital Wellbeing Showroom). The product’s primary function is to read how many watts each appliance in your house uses, bur also sits as a piece of design in its own right.

Space saving designs were showcased by Japanese design group Link- Nobuhira Teshima’s ‘Mobile Dining’ is a cupboard on wheels that folds out concertina-style into a large table, and Hiroshi Ujiie’s ‘Hanger Mirror’ combines the two essential items in an elegant, simplified manner.

Guinea Pig Design have created conceptual products “with the aim of challenging existing human behaviour via alternative methodologies” – ‘On The Shelf’ is a row of glass boxes each containing a single fake flower individually and randomly lit. The designers describe it as ‘each fake flower awaits its turn in the spotlight, dreaming of celebrity status for more than a few momentary seconds’ – I wonder what point they’re trying to make here!!!

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Others to watch out for- Deus ex Machina
– an international group of designers looking to transform objects away from public preconceptions and bring an element of surprise, such as mounting them on remote controlled wheels, as the designers say ‘Imagine if objects escaped when you tried to touch them’.

Img_0724_1Also showing as part of Designersblock was DMA (Design Metiers d’art)- a french organisation that organises collaborations between designers and craftsmen with an aim to developing local economies and highlighting the craft professions, or as they say “set up as a source of and catalyst for new economic, social and cultural singularity and identity.”. This was their first show of work and focussed on copper and silversmiths working alongside a mix of graduate and established designers, with the next planned show to be a collaboration with designers and basketmakers.

So many talented young international designers under one roof, where else but London do you get such great brain food!

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WELCOME TO WUNDERVILLE

As part of the London Design Festival 2006 those creative thinkers at Beyond the Valley (the showcase store set up by St Martins graduates last year) have created Wunderville, described as ‘a twisted Victorian sideshow of oddities for your viewing pleasure’ shown across four locations around Carnaby Street. Alongside some bizarre creations such as Freak Peepshow, Cakes of the Damned, Cabinets of Curious Creatures, and Dusty Wolf’s Answers from the Beyond were a range of appropriately fitting products and art installations including chandelier shaped wall-mounted mirrors, victorian recipe soaps, and my personal favourite- magical hybrid animal prints. A great way of creating a buzz around the store whilst promoting a range of design talents, we thoroughly enjoyed our outing and suggest anyone who is in the area to check it out

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