Looking through the new Zuzunaga lookbook for 2017 is like being accosted by a giant colour chart – art meets design meets homeware meets fashion. We love it. Founded by well known design collaborator, artist & designer Cristian Zuzunaga, the brand and products are a reflection on what it means to be human today.
The first London Design Biennale will open this September at Somerset House with over 30 countries participating (7 – 27 September). Nations from six continents will present newly commissioned works that explore the theme Utopia by Design.
Taking over the entirety of Somerset House, including The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court and River Terrace, the London Design Biennale will explore big questions and ideas about sustainability, migration, pollution, energy, cities, and social equality. Visitors will see engaging and interactive installations, innovations, artworks and proposed design solutions – all in an immersive, inspiring and entertaining tour of the world.
Here’s a bit of what we know about some of the countries so far: Austria will present a specially developed installation by mischer’traxler studio. The Austrian contribution will be curated by Thomas Geisler, Curator Design Collection, MAK Vienna, and organized by Austria Design Net. mischer’traxler studio will create a kinetic light installation entitled LeveL: the fragile balance of utopia.
Helidon Xhixha’s installation takes the Renaissance city layout – built around a central core – as its starting point. Using his trademark reflective surfaces, the installation is a space for both interaction and personal reflection (literal and metaphorical), highlighting the need for a cohesive society in the midst of a migration crisis.
Porky Hefer, from South Africa, will be exhibiting his signature hanging constructions that are both working seats and fantastical creatures. Hefer’s playful nests are symptomatic of a new era in South African design that is built around themes of equality and unity.
Mexican architect and urbanist Fernando Romero is looking at the potential of car-free future cities. How would this work and what would it mean for Mexico City, one of the world’s most polluted places?
Make sure to book tickets by clicking here.
Despoke favourite, interiors brand Lane, launches its first range of Twin Tone Cushions. The luxury cushion comes in four colourways with a contrasting colour on each side. They are made with 100% wool in tweed from Bute Fabrics, one of Britain’s most respected upholstery manufacturers from the beautiful Isle of Bute, Scotland. It follows on from Lane’s successful Twin Tone Lampshade range, which we have previously featured on the blog.
Creative director and founder of brand Plain English, has re-designed their Blandford Street showroom. Inspired by the gentility and practicality of Edwardian design and engineering, the showroom has a pleasingly simple and easy air.
Bespoke designs have been made to adapt to the users lifestyle with large break out areas as well as unique cabinetry that can be adapted and accommodated into any of the designs. Open shelving features, a design that was popular in Edwardian times and is popular once again.
The showroom is a large, light-filled, open space and works well for exhibitions, most recently housing Karen Downing’s vases and ceramics.
The porcelain vases, bowls and pots, although beautiful are hardy can be used in the kitchen with ease. They possess a tactile quality that encourages you to use them without worrying about them being damaged.
We are rather fond of tiles and more and more brands are adding to their existing ranges with fun, patterned and textured options. They are easy to clean (good for us) and can completely change a space. By adding a patterned tiled floor or wall, you can keep the rest of your scheme very simple.
American brand Fireclay‘s slim Scalenes and versatile Right Triangles (available in 3”, 4” and 6” sizes) can be applied in a wide range of patterns— create diagonals, stripes, squares, pinwheels, chevrons and more.
It may take a little more time and work to actually get those little shapes up onto the wall, but they look perfect when done. We would see this neutral mint and green as a splash-back in a simple, toned-down kitchen.
Taking place in the basement of the stunning Moroso showroom in Clerkenwell, the final talk saw Clark Pickett, architect and interior designer from global design powerhouse NBBJ. Known for the design of environments that are functional, imaginative and meaningful, Pickett titled his talk ‘beauty in the time of the machine’.
A passionate and enjoyable speaker, Pickett explained how important data, analytics and being able to read the behaviour of people has become to creating and designing buildings. Indeed, physical spaces can become like networks themselves. He stressed however the importance of making sure humans have the final say:
‘Algorithms should never make decisions, only provide information and solutions.’
NBBJ, (with their new Samsung headquarters under construction in Silicon Valley, above) bring to the table a sense of community in addition to vast knowledge of technology and how it can help create a communal and well-used space. Worryingly, he stated that ‘every day humans create as much information and data as we did from the beginning of time until 2003.’ Yet, does this need to be as terrifying as it sounds? Could we not embrace this technology and use it to make informed decisions about the way humans behave- especially within work environments?
What’s perhaps most interesting is the way NBBJ use algorithms to allow people’s working day to be a lot more enjoyable. Pickett spoke about placing toilets further way from desks so workers walked a lot further, but food and drink closer, encouraging people to dwell together and talk. NBBJ believe that chance encounters create innovation.
The landscape of a building is also something that NBBJ take great care to get right. Using rapid prototyping that they have worked to develop, they are able to prove that workers efficiency will increase if the natural environment they are working in is peaceful.
Top tips from Pickett and NBBJ:
NBBJ have drawing classes- the rise of technology and rapid prototyping shouldn’t mean that architects and designers lose this talent.
They often design furniture for the spaces they create, thus making an overall theme complete- as in the case of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
INTERNI Design Aperitivo ran across 5 nights between 19 and 25 September for London Design Festival 2015, with Salone del Mobile, Milano
To read more on the INTERNI programme click here
Already a well-loved brand in America, Benjamin Moore launch in the UK. From September 2015, the outstanding quality paint products offered by Benjamin Moore will be available to purchase. Combining aesthetic beauty with true high quality and performance benefits, the vast colour palette of more than 3,500 shades is full of inspirational hues, from the dramatically deep to the perfectly pale.
The unique rich resin formulation also delivers phenomenal coverage, so users will be able to cover in just two coats, even in the darkest shade.
Founded in 1883, Benjamin Moore is North America’s favourite paint, colour and coatings brand- a brand already much loved by designers the world over.
Discarded glass bottles and wood off cuts are used to create these unique lamps. Continue Reading…