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Design Week Mexico
Taking place from October 3-27, the 11th annual Design Week Mexico features Cuba and Yucatan as this year’s respective guest country and guest state. The 2019 installment includes more than 15 exhibitions, installations, conferences, conversations, documentary screenings, and pavilions.

Additionally, México Territorio Creativo was launched this year as a platform to analyze design’s connection with the environment, education, innovation, culture, and the economy. Founded by Emilio Cabrero, Andrea Cesarman, Marco Coello and Jaime Hernández, the organization is now in charge of Design Week Mexico. As Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum says, “Creativity and knowledge will lead us towards a more sustainable city, with better mobility, and more equality and human rights.” Here are our top 10 highlights from Design Week Mexico 2019.

Mondrian Chair by Luis Antonio Ramírez Jiménez

This piece is part of a show organized by the Museo de Arte Moderno (on view until March 2020). “Cuba: La Singularidad del Diseño” deals with the design and architecture that emerged during the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

Entryway by C Cúbica Arquitectos for Design House

Every year, through Design House (on view until October 27), architects and interior designers transform a whole building into a sample of different styles and trends. Among the participants in 2019 are C Cúbica Arquitectos (who created the entryway), Jorge Mustri, MarqCo, Olga Hanono, Studio Roca, and Vieyra Arquitectos.

Origo Lamps by Studio DavidPompa

Made from volcanic rock, the floor lamp and small table lamp from the Origo collection are presented in a shipping container, creating an immersive experience for visitors. A strong contrast between the roughness of the stone and the soft light characterize these lighting fixtures.

Visión y tradición by communities in Taxco, Mexico

Thanks to a residency program in Yucatan and Taxco—a city known for its fine silver handwork—artisans and designers from Cuba and Yucatan collaborated to create unique pieces, which establish a dialogue between crafts and contemporary design.

Ato Sofa designed by Jorge Arturo Ibarra for Luteca

Inspired by Josef Albers’ 1930’s photographs of the pyramids of Tenayuca, Mexico, the Ato sofa designed by Jorge Arturo Ibarra, Luteca’s design director, pays tribute to the pre-Columbian architecture.

Thaw by Mool

Founded by Emmanuel Aguilar and Edgar Tapia in 2016, Mool evoked the effects of climate change through patterns that represent small ice islands in a vast ocean with this functional piece of furniture.

Visión y tradición by communities in Merida, Mexico

Through this Yucatan residency program, artists and designers used materials such as henequen, macramé, and stone to these create pieces showcased through October 27 in the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City.

Lamp by MOB

With Ruta del Diseño, visitors were invited to discover some of the city’s best showrooms, galleries and studios. Founded in 2001, MOB focuses on pieces that transform through time.

Secreto desk by Pèrch

Inspired by the simplicity of Scandinavian design, this new piece of furniture features clean lines and hidden drawers on each side to protect sentimental items. The wood comes from sustainable and local providers.

Olho by students Rocío Callado Canteli, Luis Enrique Rosas and Natalia Hernández with professor Alejandra Cordero

Designed by students from the Universidad Iberoamericana, this utilitarian object—which was one of the winners for the Inédito section—reinterprets the preparation of food. It is part of a seven-piece collection designed with natural materials including stone, wood, and clay.
Kirkby Design

In 1923, the London Underground got a makeover. Ridding itself of hard wooden seats, the city’s train system started to cover its seating in tough but soft, wooly fabrics called moquettes.

The first fabric, called Lozenge, wrapped the seats in an elegant brown and black circular pattern. And they only got better from there. Throughout the years, the Underground has cycled through hundreds of patterns, many becoming iconic symbols of the transportation system.

Now, the designers at Kirkby Design are reviving seven of the Underground’s best patterns as luxe, velvety fabrics for a new line it showed off during London Design Week last month. Working with archivists at the London Transport Museum, the textile studio created modern takes on traditional moquettes, modifying their colors and shapes to fit today’s trends.

Take something like “Central” (named after the Central line), which draws from famed textile designer Enid Marx’s 1938 pattern. The fabric features rows of geometric herringbone patterns woven in subdued contrasting colors. Another design, “Piccadilly” (named after the Piccadilly line), takes its pattern from a 1994 refurbishment of the Underground trains.

All of Kirkby’s designs balance the patterns’ inherent vintage aesthetic with quieter color palettes that Kirkby’s brand director, Jordan Mould, described to Fast Company as “fashion-led color combinations and on-trend pastels.” You can check out all of the Underground textiles here.
Interior Design Media
Playful graphics in bold colors cross disciplines to become striking art and custom furniture pieces by Emily Alston. “I really like the idea of functional art—which is basically furniture,” laughs the British designer, who draws from a background in graphic design and illustration. With the unforgettable moniker of Emily Forgot, also the name of her design studio, she has collected a diverse roster of clients since graduating from the Liverpool School of Art & Design in 2004. Notable among them: prestigious London cultural institutions the Victoria & Albert Museum and Somerset House, hotel chains Mondrian Suites and CitizenM, retailer Selfridges, and furniture manufacturer Herman Miller.

This fall, at The Interior Design Show (IDS) in Vancouver, running September 26-29, Forgot will debut “A Sense of Place,” an installation based on the shapes and architecture of Canadian Modernism. In parallel, 13 of her pieces will be for sale with 50 percent of proceeds benefiting education program Out in Schools. Interior Design sat down with Forgot to learn more about her boldly colored wooden relief pieces, the favorite pastime she indulges all around the world, and why little has changed in some areas of her life since the age of six.

Interior Design: We understand you recently wrapped up a residency program.

Emily Forgot: That’s right, with de Bijenkorf, a department store chain in the Netherlands. I created a series of furniture and domestic objects inspired by the de Bijenkorf stores and the Bauhaus movement—so a table, chair, rug based on a Marcel Breuer staircase, and a set of three mobiles. The program, called Room on the Roof, is organized to coincide with the centennial of the Bauhaus movement and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Eindhoven de Bijenkorf store, designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti. The pieces will be used in window displays.

ID: Can you share a little more about the IDS installation and what else is upcoming for you?

EF: For IDS, I'm making some colorful wooden relief pieces for “A Sense of Place,” an installation and entrance hall feature. Similar to others I have made, these reliefs will be based on architectural or interior spaces that I quite like, with relevancy to location. Therefore, I've been researching a lot of Canadian architects and architecture and visiting some Vancouver-based spaces. I then reinterpret and abstract them for the relief pieces.

I am also working on a maze for the hotel chain CitizenM that will be open to the public during the London Design Festival, also in September, and a series of assemblage pieces and prints which will be exclusively for the Victoria & Albert Museum shop.

ID: What gets your creative mind energized?

EF: Travel is really important. As an example, this past February I did a project for Stay One Degree, a vetted-member-only holiday home rental website. They sent me out to the Canary Islands in Spain, to Tenerife, to be inspired by one of the villas they have there and then also by Tenerife itself. For them, I also created a unique series of colorful wooden pieces. A film was made to document the trip and the making of the pieces It was a really nice project and made me think a little bit differently about my work, which always has inspiration coming from a sense of place. Travel doesn’t have to be about getting on a plane and going somewhere, it's also about going to the library and picking up some old archive magazines.

ID: How do you believe the British design culture helps enable your vision?

EF: With social media and the internet being so much a part of our creative lives, things feel a lot broader. You can uncover an amazing restaurant in Australia or a new kind of furniture brand in New York. I gain inspiration from all around the world and don't think my work necessarily has a particularly British feel. But then again, I do really like a lot of British design; it's quite playful and there is a little bit of humor.

ID: In what kind of home do you live?

EF: I've recently moved with my partner into a 1960s home with quite a lot of original features. It’s near the sea, about an hour outside London, and is a huge ongoing project. My partner, Von, is an illustrator and artist as well, and we have a studio in the house that we share. Although some people just think that’s crazy, it
W Dubai-The Palm
“Textiles and color have formed the basis of our work since the very beginning.” So states Paola Lenti of her namesake company, which she founded in 1994 in Meda, Italy, and today produces fabrics, rugs, architectural structures, and furniture for indoor and outdoor use, employing a staff of 100.

Born in Piedmont in 1958, Lenti studied graphic design at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan, and then went on to work as an art director for various fashion companies, where she would create displays and environments, designing rugs and such herself. Eventually, she went out on her own, making small glass and porcelain objects but switching to felt rugs, which she says represented the true start of her self-named brand.

Materials research and sustainability have been guiding forces since day one. In 1997, she began working with designer Francesco Rota, a collaboration that has produced some 70 collections and is still going strong. It was 2000 when they turned their focus to outdoor, aiming to create furnishings that are as attractive and comfortable as those for interiors. That same year was when her younger sister Anna came on as managing director, overseeing administrative and marketing aspects. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the company they’ve forged is synonymous with innovation but also with the handmade, global but also local (except for a few items, Paola Lenti products are all made in Italy). Here, Lenti the older expounds on inspirations, recent projects, and upcoming endeavors.

Interior Design: What inspires you?

Paola Lenti: Nature, for its simplicity, clarity, and unexpected texture and color combinations. I remember, as a child, my entrepreneur father would take me along when he went to the countryside to paint and teach me to appreciate all the surrounding beauty. My passion for color was born with me. Another childhood memory is receiving a book of colored collage paper and cutting up and combining the dark orange and dark turquoise pieces. Each time I start selecting colors for a collection, I recall cutting those pieces.

ID: How does color play through your col­lec­tions?

PL: We focus on it not only for individual fibers but also in the fabrics we weave from those fibers, and for the collections and the ways they work together. Even our solid fabrics often have more than one color of thread woven in.

ID: What are other constants?

PL: Research and development, finding increasingly better materials in terms of both ecological sustainability and durability. We have propriety materials that do both, such as Rope and Twiggy.

ID: Which designers have you collaborated with?

PL: At first, it was only Francesco. But now we work with a handful, such as Francesco Bettoni, Victor Carrasco, Claesson Koivisto Rune, Vincent Van Duysen, Marella Ferrera, Marco Merendi, Nicolò Morales, and Lina Obregón. I prefer to concentrate on just a few people for a closer collaboration. Marella and Nicolò had pieces debut at this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan.

ID: How long have you participated in that?

PL: From 1995 to 2002, we were at Salone. From 2003 on, we’ve been part of the Fuorisalone off-site. This year, we returned to Fabbrica Orobia, where, with Bestetti Associati, we created a series of modern environments to contrast with the enormous 1920s warehouse using partitions made from materials such as glass, ceramics, lava stone, and fabric pieces, all of which are now part of the collection. We also had indoor and outdoor furniture introductions this year by Bettoni, Van Duysen, Obregón, and Rota.

ID: Any projects abroad?

PL: Yes, Torno Subito at the W Dubai-The Palm hotel. The chef is Massimo Bottura of the famous Osteria Francescana in Modena. The mood there is completely different, more formal and serious, whereas the Dubai restaurant is playful and colorful, recalling the joyful Italian Riviera of the 1960s.
Interior Design Media
During Salone del Mobile 2017, a flurry of Instagram posts propelled designer Marc Ange’s sheltered daybed, Le Refuge, boldly rendered in pink, to fame. Springing from a wood base, his fabricated palm trees sheltered an inviting retreat with their deftly layered leaves. “My universe is made up of Los Angeles's influence on my European cultural structure,” says Ange who praises Italy—the land of his birth—for “its lyricism, majesty, pride, and decadence” and France—the country where he was raised—for “its perfectionism, depth, and melancholy.” He now lives in L.A., where, he says, his visual imagination is inspired by the light and contrasts.

In 2008, with the decision to expand from the luxury car design arena, Ange founded studio Bloom Room, which now has outposts in Los Angeles and Paris; a client list that includes the likes of Louis Vuitton, Nina Ricci, Ferrari, Prada, and Zadig & Voltaire; and projects including private homes and Dar Simons, a restaurant opening in September in Marrakech. Most recently, during Salone del Mobile 2019 in Palazzo Cusani, a historic 17th-century palace in Milan, Ange presented new furnishings in the exhibition “An Extraordinary World.” Interior Design sat down with the designer to learn more about his new pieces, how inspiration can come from a childhood fear of spiders, and where to find a spa retreat within a ghost town lost in the mountains.

Interior Design: Can you tell us a little about the new pieces you presented in “An Extraordinary World,” your exhibition in Milan this past April?

Marc Ange: Following my creative instincts, this collection naturally took the direction of a fantastic universe, bathed in memories of childhood, repressed fears, or forgotten dreams. I presented a new version of Le Refuge—the very first piece of my collection, which I launched in 2017. This piece—a sheltered bed called Le Refuge de la Nuit—is the expression of the memory of an emotion that I felt in my childhood when I imagined that a forest was growing in my room to protect me from the real world. I chose super foamy white fabric from the new collection of Dedar, which I love because it’s like a cloud. For the base I chose terrazzo tile because it’s something that is very old, with history, something Italian. The Les Araignées upholstered seating collection of armchairs and now a sofa probably represents my buried fear of spiders, which was among the things that a refuge could protect me from.

Lampes Refuge is a floor lamp in aluminum—that’s very light and easy to use—with a marble base. For the marble, I chose a lot of different colors—yellow, some pinks, some greens, some grays, some brown. I went to these different caves north of Tuscany to choose the stone.

ID: What else have you recently completed recently?

MA: We have just finished three bottles of perfumes, for three big luxury brands, each very different from the others. This type of project is very interesting because these small glass objects must represent a complete universe. Every detail of these bottles tells a story—precise, chiseled—which must touch a certain part of the collective unconscious, and stage the brand without betraying its context and its history. These are difficult and exciting exercises.

ID: What’s upcoming for you?

MA: For an Italian luxury brand, I am preparing a residential furniture collection with a very strong identity, which will launch during Design Miami in December. It will be a kind of romantic and modernist bestiary, carved in exceptional and precious materials. In addition, at Salone del Mobile 2020, I will present a new residential furniture collection, which will be a summation of all I have done so far.

ID: How do you believe your unique background in automobiles and fashion helps enable your vision?

MA: Having a varied background allowed me to understand the mysteries of creation. Indeed, the creative process, before the physical development, is the same—be it a car, a luxury product, a piece of furniture, or an interior. I also think that specialization ends up creating habits that cause creative paralysis. Touching different universes allows you to constantly recharge your batteries.
Interior Design Media
Stadium seating adds playfulness and versatility to office projects big and small.

1. Tsao & McKown Lets History Shine at Sunbrella’s North Carolina Headquarters

Naturally Tsao & McKown was among the talented mix-masters that members of the Gant family wanted to meet when they were planning headquarters in Burlington, North Carolina, for their growing Sunbrella brand. The Gants had their eye on converting the early 20th–century former mill they owned across the street from a building Sunbrella shared with its parent company, Glen Raven. Beyond the new glass-and-steel curtain wall, a 46-foot-wide swath of pine stadium seating fills the lobby. Cushions covers rotate a selection of Sunbrella fabrics. Read more about the headquarters

2. Nike Ups Its Street Cred in NYC With a New Office by Studios Architecture

Few things are more city-gritty than chain link, and Nike is intent on burnishing its street cred, which Studios Architecture principal David Burns and associate principal Frank Gesualdi were amped to do in collaboration with Nike’s workplace design team. For Nike, the wide-open expanses offered the promise of a “freestyle” work environment. For Studios, the unfinished features were appealingly reflective of the character of New York. Read more about the office

3. Rottet Studio Makes Design the Star at the Los Angeles Office of Paradigm

“Light and movement.” That’s what Sam Gores said he wanted to see upon entering his office in Los Angeles. And when the chairman and CEO of Paradigm Talent Agency asks for something, that is precisely what he gets—particularly when the project is designed by Rottet Studio. The greatest challenge was reimagining the 30-year-old building. The device that encouraged community was the insertion of a central stair atrium. Pictured above, the stairs rising from reception’s sitting area offer additional seating on vinyl-covered cushions. Read more about the office

4. Rapt Studio Makes TV Studio Turner’s Atlanta Campus a Must-See

“It was all just cubes and walkways,” Rapt CEO and chief creative officer David Galullo recalls of initial visits to the Turner campus. At first, Rapt considered a standard program for each building: office floors, a café, and a coffee shop. But that plan was scrapped. “We instead decided to entirely re-imagine the site,” Galullo states. “It became about making place.” The team focused its work on 100,000 of the project’s 1 million square feet: in two of the buildings, the seven-story garage, and two courtyards, the purview extending to graphics, art direction, and food service. Read more about the campus

5. Roar's Pallavi Dean Uses Color Psychology to Define Work Spaces at Edelman's Dubai Offices

While the 11,000-square-foot floor plan of Edelman’s office is open to encourage collaboration, Roar created a concept of “cultural villages” to serve a range of functions, inserting phone booths and small meeting rooms for quiet, heads-down work. There are playful environments for the millennial employees, and more refined spaces for senior managers and important clients. The workplace is further delineated by color: The royal blue of Edelman’s logo defines reception, IT is marked by a calming green, the creative team by an energizing yellow. Read more about the office

Kiev design brand Faina looked to traditional local materials for items of furniture made from clay, wood, willow and flax that tell the story of Ukraine's design roots.

Cabinets with doors crafted from clay and seats made from flax covered with a special biopolymer coating are some of the designs produced by the brand.

Set up in 2014 by architect and designer Victoriya Yakusha with the aim of putting the large eastern European country's design industry on the map, Faina incorporates local natural materials into its furniture lines.

Yakusha, who has also run Yakusha Design Studio since 2006, works out of an office in Kiev that was recently longlisted for the small workspace interior category in this year's Dezeen Awards.

"The collections are totally based on domestic traditions, materials and craft techniques," Yakusha explained to Dezeen. "We are trying to transform traditions into contemporary minimalist design objects in a very careful and respectful way."

Both the Korotun coffee table and Veleten desk sit on two giant ceramic legs, whilst the Solod bar cabinet – meaning cereal grains in Ukrainian – has an intricate clay facade. Made up of four separate pieces, the facade sits inside a wooden frame.

The first cabinets with ceramic doors, called Pechyvo, meaning crackers, were launched in 2014.

It took Faina around eight months working with more than 10 local artisans to experiment with the material and develop doors that were durable enough to function on an item of furniture.

In order to create the clay pieces, they collected samples of original Ukrainian pottery and got in touch with the artisans who made them, who often still use ancient manual techniques.

"In their hands the seemingly fragile nature of clay turned out to be very reliable and modern-looking in the aesthetic sense," said the brand.

Clay is also believed to be beneficial for health and wellbeing in Ukraine, and is widely used in the home, for example to make benches and beds, as well as structural elements such as walls.

"It's believed in some Ukrainian villages that this material can actually heal people, filling their hearts with warmth and their bodies with living energy," Yakusha added.

As well as working with clay, Faina has produced a line of furniture that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Called Ztista, which means 'made of dough', it comprises a chair, bar stool, bench, and table.

Each item is formed by covering a metal frame with flax, that is sculpted by hand to produce organic shapes. This is overlaid with a biopolymer coating for a durable, waterproof surface.

The process is similar to an ancient modelling technique employed in building traditional mud huts that deliberately leaves the fingerprints of its maker on the surface.

"We decided to experiment with local materials that were never used for furniture before, such as flax, and create objects that would reflect the beauty of imperfection, like sculptures made by an artist," the brand explained.

Other items in Faina's collections include lighting made from willow, such as the Strikha pendant lamp that is 1.6 metres wide. They worked with a carpet weaving master to create the giant lamp, which resembles the straw roof of a traditional Ukrainian hut.

Filipino designer Kenneth Cobonpue has joined forces with the Star Wars franchise to interpret iconic characters from the cult series as a collection of armchairs, footstools and lamps.

Cobonpue took cues from Star Wars icons when designing the furniture collection, which includes an armchair stitched to look like Darth Vader's mask and a wooly stool designed to emulate Chewbacca's hair.

Created in collaboration with Disney, the pieces use modern materials and technologies to put a contemporary spin on Filipino craft techniques.

"We wanted to incorporate the essence of each Star Wars character into the designs, while staying true to our aesthetic and process of creating by hand," said Cobonpue.

"We reimagined the Star Wars universe through the lens of the Filipino craftsman and creative," he added. "Finding the balance was a bit of a challenge, but it was also a lot of fun."

The collection was initially launched in southeast Asia before debuting in the US last month.

"This is a fun way for us to bring our stories closer to fans, allowing them to connect with Star Wars in a unique way and to take their favourite stories and characters home," said Veronica Cabalinan, the Philippines manager for Disney.

The cocoon-like Vader Easy Armchair features a black cushioned seat and backrest that has been stitched to look like Darth Vader's mask.

An open weave canopy surrounds the chair, which also has a foldable swivel table attached.

Darth Sidious' character is embodied in an armchair with an elevated backrest designed to resemble a hood. Its legs curve slightly forward to create an "elegant" yet "powerful" silhouette to capture the Sith Lord's "formidable presence".

Brown microfibre strips cover the Chewie Rocking Stool to emulate Chewbacca the Wookiee warrior's fur. The stool is wrapped with a fabric belt to represent the character's bandolier, a pocketed belt that holds ammunition.

Other items in the collection include the Little Jedi Hanging Lamp – a sculptural composition made from steel and salago fibre – a material taken from a slow-growing native shrub in the Philippines – that has been applied by hand to add volume and body.

The Jedi pendant features miniature figurines designed to resemble Jedi Knights holding lightsabers, which also serve as the lamp's light source. The light also comes in a floor lamp variation on a black base.

One figurine has been coloured in red to symbolise a Sith Lord – who the Jedis battle against – to act as a "playful reminder of what we can achieve when people unite and work together".

Interior Design Media
Nearly two years ago, commercial real estate company, CBRE, embarked on a yearlong journey to uncomplicate the process behind furniture buying. The question was simple: What can we do better? In November 2017, the CBRE Furniture Forum released a list of 15 recommendations designed to unravel the complicated web of the furniture-buying process. The high-level, process-improvement ideas include, among others, bringing a dealer designer in as a sub to the A&D firm and increasing process efficiency.

Fast-forward to spring 2018, when the owners of a Los Angeles furniture company read the results and recommendations of the CBRE study with great interest. The report’s results prompted husband-and-wife team Jeffrey and Lindsay Braun to make a dramatic decision: sell their 17-year-old company, Jeffrey Braun Furniture, to pioneer something new.

Enter Platform, an in-house furniture design and manufacturing division of Unisource Solutions, and Emblem, a company that breaks the mold of contract furniture acquisition.

Lindsay Braun, founder and CEO of Emblem, explains what provoked the pivot: “There were problems and inefficiencies in the old model that drove Jeffrey and me nuts. We were frustrated with the multiple layers between our company and the end user. There were so many opportunities for incorrect interpretations and faulty assumptions,” she says. “It felt good to see the problems we were experiencing addressed in black and white by the Furniture Forum. Jeffrey and I were fully worn down by the current sales process, and we thought, Do we still want to do this? Is this solving the end users’ problem? How could we expand on this model?”

Addressing the Need for Enhanced Dealer-Designer Relationships

At the time, Lindsay and Jeffrey thought perhaps they could be a dedicated vendor for one of their strongest dealer clients, Unisource Solutions. But instead, Jeffrey was recruited by Unisource Solutions and now serves as executive vice president of Platform, its new, in-house design and manufacturing division—a direct result of the dealer-designer prediction from the Furniture Forum.

“We approached Unisource’s leadership with an idea and a feeling that we could all be doing a better job servicing customers,” Jeffrey explains. “I had designed furniture for several of Unisource’s clients over the years and worked with their team as a vendor. Rick and I started talking about the possibilities of doing away with the vendor layer altogether.”

Rick Bartlett, president of Unisource Solutions, says his team had already been discussing the best way to innovate new solutions and create greater efficiency for their clients. “The timing was perfect,” Bartlett says. “We knew that our clients and the A&D community were actively searching for residential-inspired, ancillary furniture for their workspaces. The demand for this type of furniture was increasing, and we needed a new approach. Jeffrey’s knowledge of furniture design and manufacturing enabled us to innovate an entirely different solution.”

As part of Platform, Jeffrey is now designing custom furniture for clients at Unisource Solutions. In less than a year, Jeffrey and his team have installed furniture for Google, Warner Brothers’ Music, and Aftershock Games, helping each of these companies reflect its brand, culture, and vision in its spaces with bespoke furniture solutions. By integrating the designer into the dealer model earlier in the process, the company can condense the timeline and provide an open line of communication between the designer and the account manager/dealer.

And Jeffrey’s not stopping there.

“We’ve designed an exclusive line of furniture available only from Unisource Solutions,” he says. “These are workhorse seating designs that every office environment needs, but because I’m working closely with local manufacturers, we also offer easy custom adjustments. Our goal is to give our clients more control, better design, and greater efficiency with every project.”

Streamlining Delivery Time Through Process Integration

While Jeffrey Braun was eliminating frustrations and boosting creativity at the dealership level, Lindsay Braun was working on an entirely different set of pain points. In the past several years, she had noticed more of her designer and dealership clients specifying and buying res
British brand Established & Sons has launched four new furniture designs, which design director Sebastian Wrong describes as the "bread and butter" pieces for the future workplace.

Debuting at Clerkenwell Design Week in London this week, the range includes a modular seating system by French duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, two tables by German designer Konstantin Grcic and a lounge seat designed by Wrong.

All four pieces were developed around the idea that the line between home and office is blurring, with people seeking more comfort in the workplace, but also looking to create spaces for work within their homes.

"The working environment is becoming much more interesting," said Wrong, speaking to Dezeen at the launch.

"It's way more eclectic and more creative than it used to be, with co-working spaces popping up all over the place, becoming more and more like people's homes. They are demanding a level of quality and character, and this is a thing that Established & Sons can really fit into."

Wrong said that today's office furniture needs to be flexible, comfortable and informal, as well as functional.

"The working environment is no longer about meeting rooms, task chairs and desk systems," he said.

"I want to really move away from this compartmentalisation of products being for either residential or working."

The most striking piece in the range is Grid, a modular seating system based around an L-shaped or U-shaped module, comprising a powder-coated steel frame and larch wood shelves.

Designed by Erwan Bouroullec, Grid can be customised with a wide range of elements, including small and large upholstered seats, desks for standing or sitting at, and shelves.

The sides are metal grids, but could be replaced with wooden privacy screens or fabric acoustic panels.

"Erwan wanted something that was very raw, very elemental, which is what it is," said Wrong.

"There's a number of different elements that are coming into play with this piece which I think makes it really interesting and also very versatile," he continued. "With this idea of the grid, you can have rooms within rooms."

The first piece by Grcic, KD, is a very simple table with demountable steel legs and a tabletop in either high-pressure laminate or a scratch-resistant surface material called Fenix.

It is the evolution of a design that Grcic developed for Wrong's own brand Wrong Shop in 2011. "It's extremely simple, super useful," said Wrong.
Ema Peter
Eight projects and individuals have received a 2019 RAIC Award of Excellence from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). The Awards reflect outstanding achievements in architecture through innovation, green building, allied arts, advocacy, and journalism.

“By sharing examples of the best current architecture with our peers and the public, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) aims to contribute to an enriched and demanding dialogue about the buildings we make,” says RAIC President Michael Cox, FRAIC.

One of the five Awards of Excellence, the Green Building award, is presented in partnership with the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

“The CaGBC is committed to helping Canada reach its 2030 greenhouse-gas reduction commitments by supporting the building industry in achieving the most high-performing and low-carbon buildings possible,” said CaGBC President and CEO Thomas Mueller.

Given out every two years, the awards will be presented at the RAIC Festival of Architecture in Toronto from October 26 to 30, 2019.

Medal Recipient: Brent Bellamy
Winnipeg, MB
Award: Advocate for Architecture

Architect Brent Bellamy has become a leading advocate for sustainable city building and human-focused design through public speaking, teaching, mentoring, writing, and conventional and social media. Since 2010, Brent has contributed a regular column to the Winnipeg Free Press, and his political engagement has brought opportunities to influence public policy.

Medal Recipient: Klaus Nienkämper
Toronto, ON
Allied Arts award

For five decades, furniture manufacturer Klaus Nienkämper has championed design in Canada. He has continuously collaborated with architects and industrial designers, realizing a broad range of chairs, tables, and sofas to create holistic and integrated spaces.

Medal Recipient: Kathryn Walter
Toronto, ON
Award: Allied Arts

For almost 20 years, Toronto artist and designer Kathryn Walter has created feature wall installations through collaborations with architects and interior designers. Since founding FELT Studio in 2000, she has worked almost exclusively with FELT.

Medal Recipient: Campus Energy Centre (CEC)
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC
Award: Green Building
Completion: 2016
Client: University of British Columbia
Architects: DIALOG

This state-of-the-art hot water facility supports the University of British Columbia’s target of eliminating the use of fossil fuels on campus by 2050. The centre uses almost 63 percent less energy and 31 percent less water than a baseline building of its type.

Medal Recipient: Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool
Borden Park
Edmonton, AB
Award: Innovation in Architecture
Completion: 2018
Client: City of Edmonton
Architects: gh3*

The pool in Borden Park is the first chemical-free public outdoor pool in Canada. The design process involved developing a pool technology that cleanses water through stone, gravel, sand, and botanic filtering processes.
Interior Design
“From a very young age, I understood that I had a kind of over-sensitivity to atmospheres,” admits Jasper Morrison. In his desire to influence them, the British designer has become one of the most successful industrial designers of the modern day. Emeco, Flos, Vitra, and Mattiazzi are among his high-profile clients, while the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York are just two of the prominent museums around the world highlighting his work.

In Morrison’s latest collection, a limited-edition cork furniture series launching during NYCxDESIGN this week, faulty wine bottle corks rejected during the production process find new life. To present the collection, Morrison turned to gallery Kasmin in New York—a union which also celebrates a lifelong friendship. In 1970s England, the SoHo gallery’s owner, Paul Kasmin, was a schoolmate. On view May 9 through June 29, “Corks” unveils Morrison’s first complete series in the material, with a chaise longue, chairs, stools, bookshelves, and a fireplace. Interior Design sat down with Morrison to hear more about the new cork collection, recent Milan launches, and what London restaurant personifies his design mentality with celeriac and a boiled egg.

Interior Design: Why cork?

Jasper Morrison: I have done a few things in cork before and came to understand what a great material it is, both to the touch and in terms of what it does for the atmosphere of a room. It is difficult to do anything big industrially with it, because the material cost is quite high, the machining cost higher, and it needs to be hand-finished—so it really only works for limited production.

ID: What’s the design concept behind the cork pieces?

JM: The process is rather sculptural as the pieces have to be machined out of large blocks of cork. It's very different from designing things for mass production, which tends to be more about structure than volume. The concept is really just about finding good shapes to make each piece of furniture work well. The material suggests its own formal language, but you need to make sure there's the right balance of softness and tension in the forms. The repurposed corks come from a producer in Portugal. The primary product produced by cork is still the wine bottle stopper, and they grind these up and form them into blocks under pressure with a glue. I've known about this material for many years and have used it for a few smaller pieces, which were economic enough to be made in quantities.

ID: What else have you completed recently?

JM: Some new chairs as usual—at any one time I'm always working on at least four or five chairs. At Salone del Mobile this year, I presented a slightly sculptural solid wood chair called Fugu for the Japanese brand Maruni.

For Emeco, a company I have been working with very closely for the last five years or so, I did a cleaning-up job of a few of their heritage pieces—a chair, armchair, and swivel chairs from 1948 known as the Navy Officers collection. When I first saw them, I nicknamed them the ugly sisters. We really had to rework and fine-tune them to make them more appealing for today's market. From the proportions and thicknesses of structure to upholstery detailing, they really came from another era, when things were done in a very different way. I guess they were made to last, but they were a bit over-the-top in terms of structure.

We also just completed a big collection of tableware called Raami for the Finnish brand Iittala.

Building Design + Construction
Generation Z learns and connects in unique ways. As they move from higher ed to the workplace, companies that depend on the productivity of a youthful workforce should take note.

I came to Hanbury in 2017, after designing and managing workplace interiors projects for more than a decade. So naturally, I've observed the higher ed students we design for through a slightly different lens—not just as students but as the next generation of knowledge workers. I can't help but think of how their unique behaviors and preferences will shape the workplaces to come.

Generation Z is heavily influenced by technology. Technology, although cultivating broad social and cultural connections through social networks, also sometimes creates isolation. In the learning environment, face to face interaction is key in developing a sense of commonality, purpose and learning. Collective learning, where students are taught to learn through group engagement helps to create a sense of community and adds to diversity of thought and experience. In keeping with this trend in the education sector, collaboration has also become the preferred method of working. Physical engagement and the "making of things" has become the foundation of educational process. Students gather with their peers in groups ranging from clusters of three to five and sometimes larger. When in large group learning, the group sizes ebb and flow as members break off into clusters to focus and engage, creating spontaneous interactions and opportunities for engagement, periodically rejoining the larger group for discussion.

Spaces that support this transitional collaboration require flexibility to turn large spaces into small spaces, and to connect small spaces into larger spaces. These amorphous spaces work best as casual environments that empower people to move and use furniture in ways that suit their particular needs at that moment.

Companies should consider furnishing office workspace with groupings of comfortable and easily movable pieces that can accommodate both smaller clusters and large groups. These spaces should also have plenty of opportunities to plug in as these gatherings often gravitate to where power is available. Depending on the nature of the work, places where clusters of people can mock up, prototype, and test their ideas might also be useful.

The education environment today is both physical and virtual. In universities today, I would wager that most students would consider YouTube as their secondary learning environment. Online classes and supplemented learning is increasingly common. Recent graduates are accustomed to taking their digital preferences and work progress with them from device to device, from office to car to home. Due to easy access to digital information, continual learning and augmented learning of class material outside the classroom is the norm. Just as students are learning everywhere, the young knowledge worker will have a fluid relationship with where work is done and information is acquired.

The cloud and the Internet of Things (IOT) are increasingly important to young workers. Hoteling desks feel instantly personalized when lighting, chairs and other connected devices automatically adjust to their pre-set preferences. As technology continues to improve, interconnected devices that read one's preferences, condition, location and interest will become ubiquitous in the work and home environment. Access to information from different devices and sources, untethered to a physical space, creates new opportunities for learning.

Turning inward for reflection, alone time and even recreation is part of the Gen Z culture. In large open spaces, students use headphones and goggle monitors (for Augmented Reality) to provide private focus in public environments, either for work or play. While accommodating the gaming preferences of young staffers may not be appropriate in a work setting, privacy is important. Small spaces separated by glass provide privacy and noise reduction while allowing a visual connection to what is happening in the collaborative spaces.

Work life balance is a driving force for Generation Z. The office is looked at as a place to gain autonomy, learning, social engagement and purpose. The trend to create spaces of play is being substituted with places of creativity, where making things and collaboration are promoted. Corporate recreation lounges of today may become less and less attractive as younger employees look to their offices a
Object & Thing
Launched by a Frieze art fair veteran, the event will show 200 works by both artists and designers in a Bushwick warehouse.

Abby Bangser knows her way around an art fair. As the former artistic director for the Americas and Asia at Frieze, she helped grow the lauded British fair’s global reach. Now, she’s launching her own event and writing a new set of rules in the process.

The show, titled Object & Thing, takes over 99 Scott, a former industrial space in Bushwick, Brooklyn—you’ll recognize it from many a fashion shoot—and runs from May 3-5, coinciding with the New York edition of Frieze.

Unlike fairs that specialize in art or design, Object & Thing combines both, with 31 galleries offering 200 contemporary works by artists and designers—from big names to emerging talent—all displayed alongside each other. The common denominator is that every "thing" in the show—whether it’s a chair or a sculpture—is a free-standing object.

"We really came at it first conceptually. We wanted to show object-based work and to exhibit art and design equally together without hierarchy, without separation," says Bangser. "Everything is much more as perhaps someone might live with it in a home. In a domestic setting, there usually isn't a hierarchy between art and design."

While typical fairs charge dealers selling work set fees for booth space, Object & Thing only takes a commission on work sold, and prices range from $1,000 to $50,000. If that’s outside your budget, Object & Thing also includes a section called Shop, in which Bangser and her team have selected their favorite boutiques from around the world, including San Francisco’s Playmountain EAST and London’s Momosan Shop, to offer work for less than $100. (We’re calling dibs on one of the coffee mugs by Peter Shire with Echo Park Pottery.) There will also be snacks and a bar from Brooklyn mainstay Marlow & Daughters, and a series of talks throughout the weekend.

Architect Rafael de Cardenas and his firm Architecture at Large has created a set of display platforms. Bangser calls them "islands," designed specifically for the exhibition. "There are no booths; everything is installed in one central exhibition," says Bangser. "We took on the organization of the show, so dealers don't have to send their staff away from their home galleries or other fairs they are exhibiting at this week. And in doing so, they can be a little bit riskier with what they present."

Bangser and de Cardenas prioritized getting sight lines among all of the work just right. You just might spot the perfect new addition to your home.
Philippe Starck collaborated with an algorithm to design this chair, which will go on sale soon.

This summer, the furniture company Kartell will start selling chairs designed in a collaboration between the famed French designer Philippe Starck and an algorithm.

Generative design describes a process in which a designer defines technical constraints, like weight, strength, and stipulations for manufacturing, through a computer program; then an algorithm comes up with designs that fit all of the designers’ specifications. The software company Autodesk has been working on generative design for years, and when Starck approached the company with the idea of doing a project, the group decided to use Autodesk’s experimental generative design software platform to create a chair using as little material as possible. That meant inputting Starck’s creative vision and the technical constraints of the injection molding process to Autodesk’s software, which dreamed up hundreds of different chairs before Starck settled on one design–soon to be mass-manufactured this year.

The final design, which looks almost organic, with small tendrils acting as supports in unexpected places, is called “A.I.,” named so because the chair is a collaboration between a human and machine.

Over the past few years, Autodesk has worked with technical experts on generative design projects, but A.I. is unique to those conceptual proposals. None of Autodesk’s previous generative projects–like creating a space lander for NASA, car parts for GM, and a proof-of-concept super-light airplane cabin seat–have made it to market. Instead, they act as experiments to show off the company’s technology and help it design for more futuristic scenarios, unlike A.I., which is being produced within just a few months. Likewise, one of Starck’s concerns–that, ultimately, the chair was beautiful–doesn’t usually come up in more engineering-focused applications for generative design. “Those are very different requirements versus the performance-driven engineering requirements that we’re used to talking about, whether it’s high-performance motor sports or aerospace,” says Mark Davis, senior director of design futures at Autodesk.

Using software creatively comes with its own challenges. Davis says that Starck had high expectations of the software; he imagined being able to “just say what he wanted or describe what he wanted and out it would pop on the other end,” as Davis puts it. But generative design, and software that enables it, is still in its early stages, and the design process required much more human input than something made purely by a computer. As a result, much of the design work was done by people, who piggybacked on the software’s organic formulations–similar to the way machine learning algorithms are used in other creative situations. An animation of some of the different iterations shows just how mangled some of the tool’s ideas were before humans went in and refined them with clean lines, symmetry, and balance. Similarly, the software can’t do things like design chairs to be stackable, so people had to manually ensure that the finished chair would be able to stack.

While Davis’s idea for what generative design could eventually do sounds relatively similar to what industrial designers do today, that technology is still a long way off. Humans are much more creative than robots, and may always be. Still, one day, star designers like Starck may only need an algorithm to do their grunt work.

Fritz Hansen
Last week, Milan was buzzing once again with all things design for the 58th edition of Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Held April 9-14, the 2019 fair drew nearly 400,000 visitors from over 180 countries to the halls of the Fiera Milano exhibition center, which were packed with new contemporary furnishings from some 2,400 exhibitors. Likewise, these visitors descended en masse on Italy’s capital city for dozens of off-site events, many tied into new product launches. Interior Design was there, with all eyes on the new and noteworthy. Here are 15 of our favorite furnishing finds.

1. BuzziDee by BuzziSpace

The upholstered BuzziDee from BuzziSpace is more than just a cute pouf in assorted colors—its simple lightweight, rounded foam body hides sound-absorption technology geared towards the open-plan workspace.

2. Embrace by EOOS for Carl Hansen & Søn

An armless upholstered solid wood dining chair with minimalistic form and linger-worthy comfort joins the Embrace collection by EOOS for Carl Hansen & Søn.

3. Lara Bohinc for Kasthall

Motifs from Japanese zen gardens—think a graphic take on rocks, gravel, and rippled sand —were the genesis for a collection of rugs, wall hangings, and accessories by Lara Bohinc for Kasthall. West of the Sun, shown above, is one of two hand-tufted wool rugs.

4. Vitrine by Daniel Rybakken for Panasonic and Vitra

TVs are notoriously unattractive—something designer Daniel Rybakken aims to change with the transparent Vitrine. A collaboration between Panasonic and Vitra, the OLED TV appears to be a wood-framed pane of glass, with no visible front or back.

5. Vlinder sofa by Hella Jongerius for Vitra

A duvet-like fabric cover with a colorful woven textile in a multitude of weave patterns forms the carefully draped body of the Vlinder sofa by Hella Jongerius, also from Vitra.
Andrea Mariani/Courtesy salone del mobile.milano
ARCHITECT contributing editor Ian Volner reports on the must-see releases and installations from the world's largest furniture fair.

Emmanuel Plat, the director of merchandising for the retail division at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, mentioned over drinks earlier this week that he has been to Salone del Mobile more than 20 times over the last two decades and change, missing scarcely a single installment of the Milan design fair in that time. The mind fairly reels—with sympathy, certainly, for the cumulative exhaustion, but with envy, too. Perhaps with that kind of experience, it would be possible to put this year’s edition into the proper perspective.

Alas, for those of us slightly less seasoned, there is simply too much. Here instead is a much abbreviated, willfully subjective set of tips and takeaways—pertinent questions, impertinently answered, all about the biggest, baddest furniture-and-fixtures event in the world, which continues through this Sunday.

Are there trends this year?
Aesthetically, no. Instead, for every stylistic action, there is an equal and opposite reaction: In the Moroso booth, for example, German industrial designer Ingo Maurer’s new Luce Volante pendant light fixture flies bravely over a hip selection of furniture designed by London-based studio Doshi Levien, making a little scene of mod sophistication. In the same booth, Maurer’s outrageous Festa della Farfalle (Festival of the Butterflies) pendant is making its debut alongside colorful seating designed by Amsterdam-based by Edward van Vliet, a cri de coeur against all things abstract.

Kartell, marking its 70th anniversary, is loudly and proudly showing off its futuristic cred, with its new AI chair by Philippe Starck that was designed using Autodesk’s generative design technology; meanwhile, one of the brand’s booth vignettes pays nostalgic homage to the PoMo past with a model (in Kartell’s signature molded plastic, naturally) of Aldo Rossi’s San Cataldo Cemetery in Modena, Italy.
Google, Sony, LG, and other giants are showing up to show off gadgets at Salone del Mobile–evidence of the subtle way they’re reframing themselves as design-led companies.

Every April, thousands descend upon Milan for the design industry’s most important event of the year. Centered around Salone del Mobile–the Milan Furniture Fair–it’s a week filled with design events, installations, and announcements of new collections that will shape the industry for the next year, and it’s been that way for most of its nearly 60-year existence.

But lately, it hasn’t just been design companies turning up for Milan Design Week: Tech companies, from Apple to Google, have been coming too. This year, the biggest players in home tech–including Sony, LG, and Bang & Olufsen, as well as Google–are out in force, showing off new TVs and installations that hint at their future ambitions. Their presence points to the increasing presence of technology in how we think about our homes–while also illustrating how tech companies are eager to portray their products as design-driven.

This year’s Salone features multiple TV makers, all aiming to solve the main issue with the genre: Televisions are ugly black wastes of space when they’re not in use, which is most of the time.

Bang & Olufsen is launching a new, shape-shifting television-speaker hybrid called the Beovision Harmony that changes its form based on how you want to use it. When you’re not watching TV, the 77-inch OLED screen sits behind two panels made of oak and aluminum that house a powerful speaker system. When it’s time for Game of Thrones on Sunday night, you hit a button and the two panels magically open up as the screen rises behind them. It’s a lovely system, even if it’s completely inaccessible for most people: The television will retail in the company’s stores this fall for 18,500 euros (the U.S. price has yet to be determined).

The Beovision Harmony isn’t the only television being presented as interior design this week. LG’s rollable OLED television, which was first announced at the consumer electronics trade show CES in January 2019, also makes an appearance in an experiential installation that mainly serves to show off the intense colors the TV is capable of displaying. Designed in collaboration with the British architecture studio Foster + Partners, the television unfurls when there’s bright light in the room and then slowly rolls away when it becomes dark.

Similarly, Panasonic partnered with Vitra to debut a cabinet with a glass panel that transforms into a screen when you turn it on.

After making its debut last year by displaying its textile-covered hardware devices, Google is back at Salone this year with a forward-looking installation oriented around “neuroaesthetics,” or the science of how beauty makes you feel. Visitors don wristbands that track biometric data as they move through the installation’s three rooms, each with different furniture, lighting, and overall vibe. The goal is to give people a glimpse of how their environment influences how they feel by showing them their data after (Google says all the data is then deleted). The installation points to Google’s interest in interior spaces, though it’s hard to know how this will play into the company’s strategy in the future.

Like Google, Sony has created an installation for Salone, but this one is centered on robots–Sony’s cute puppy robot Aibo in particular. Called Affinity in Autonomy, the installation has several parts, which all react to a visitor’s presence to give them the sense of an intelligent being in the room with them. How does smart technology, whether in the form of a robot dog or something much more subtle, change the way that people perceive and interact with interior spaces? Visitors can play with Aibo and answer questions about what they think about the future of autonomous robots.

Consumer tech companies are showing up at the world’s biggest furniture fair for a reason: Technology has become an integral part of the interior design of most of our homes. The companies making that technology are now part of home life, whether they choose to engage with the interior design industry or not. But the companies that come to Salone are also using the fair to broadcast their design cred. Many of the biggest tech companies today, including Google and Apple, now talk about themselves as design-led, framing their products as human-centered solutions to
"Knoll Celebrates Bauhaus" opened today at the Knoll showroom in Milan and will be on view through April 19 before traveling to London; Paris; Seoul, South Korea; Sydney; and Tokyo.

Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and Knoll present "Knoll Celebrates Bauhaus" in honor of the legendary art school's centenary during this year's Milan Design Week. Curated by OMA partner Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli and Milan-based curator Domitilla Dardi, the exhibition aims to tell the intertwining history of the Bauhaus and Knoll centered around one of Knoll's founders, Florence Knoll Bassett.

The exhibition is divided into four different interactive "clusters" which are set up "like theatrical stages," according to the press release, and each tells a different part of the story of the Bauhaus and of Knoll. The four installations are "Florence Knoll;" "Ludwig Mies van der Rohe;" and "Marcel Breuer"—which feature objects and furnishings designed by Knoll, van der Rohe, and Breuer, respectively—and "Complexity and Contradiction," which takes its name from Robert Venturi's 1977 essay "Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture" and examines the legacy of the Bauhaus in the context of contemporary design.

“This installation is an attempt to give theatrical form to the multiple relations that connect the emblematic histories of the Bauhaus and Knoll," Laparelli said in the release. "We have imagined true sets in which different objects exist in an ideal domestic scenario—a meta-interior—offering the visitor the possibility of activating and discovering them."

Young designers were among the standout exhibitors at the second edition of Collectible, the Brussels fair dedicated to contemporary collectible design. Dezeen's Anna Winston selects her highlights.

Collectible 2019 took place last week at the Vanderborght Building in central Brussels, with an expanded roster of exhibitors including a rash of new galleries like Belgium's Alfa.Brussels, MDR Gallery from London and Berlin-based Functional Art Gallery.

Many presented work by designers who are at the beginning of their careers, including a number of recent graduates from schools like Design Academy Eindhoven and Belgium's Luca School of Arts and La Cambre.

This year Collectible founders Liv Vaisberg and Clélie Debehault also launched initiatives to showcase works by younger designers who might not otherwise afford to be part of the design fair.

Designers submitted work for showcase

These included a Young Designers showcase, a number of special project presentations and an exhibition that occupied the windows of the building.

Designers were invited to submit their work for the Young Designers and Design Studios showcase, with the final selection made by a group that included curator Alice Stori Liechtenstein and Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.

"We try to really represent the whole spectrum of contemporary collectible design, and I was wondering how we can best represent the youngest artists," explained Vaisberg. "It's quite difficult for young designers to sell themselves."

"In the window display, we invited designers that work around recycled or sustainable materials: jeans, plastic, nylon, different materials that go to waste, and even salt, so also the use of a more natural and sustainable material. We wanted to show that the new generation is really concerned with those things," Vaisberg continued.

The Zaventem Ateliers Special Project space highlighted works by young makers with studios in the new communal workshop building in Zaventem, an emerging design hub outside the centre of Brussels.
Interior Design Media
It's the first day of spring—and time to start thinking about spending time outdoors! That's why we've gathered 15 spaces that are perfect for celebrating sunny days.

1. The Department Store by Squire and Partners

At night, the penthouse of Squire's office in London is Upstairs, a members-only bar and restaurant. By day, it’s the staff canteen, the myriad glass doors opening to a landscaped terrace—outfitted with a very modern-day ping-pong table.

2. Rosewood Luang Prabang by Bensley

This glamping hotspot in Laos is the place to unwind while on vacation. Bill Bensley looked to the area’s famed French-Lao architecture for this paradise on a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring six hilltop tents with private dining areas and vast balconies within the rainforest.

3. Boulder-Strewn California Home by Sant Architects

The architect’s most significant move was building 14 poured-in-place board-formed concrete walls, their color meshing pleasingly with the surrounding terrain. Both the courtyard and living area survey the Topanga Canyon and the Pacific Ocean.

4. Tied House by Gensler

Inspired in part by Chicago’s motto, Urbs en Horto, meaning city in a garden, Heiser and Gannon left space for an intimate courtyard between the street-front sections of the two buildings. Inviting people to gather, a massive copper outdoor fireplace is already starting to patina. When the weather allows, Tied House’s sliding glass doors stack away, opening the bar area completely to the courtyard.

5. Mar Adentro Hotel and Residences by Taller Aragonés

At this cutting-edge hotel in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, water encircles and unifies contrasting elements: minimal buildings, custom-furnished by Poliform, and a nestlike restaurant pavilion woven from tree branches.
Interior Design
"I don’t see myself as much a leader as an instigator," says David Sutherland. Dallas-based Sutherland is celebrating the 25-year anniversary of his namesake furniture line, Sutherland Furniture. The line is part of the Perennials and Sutherland portfolio, which he oversees as chairman with his wife, Ann, who is CEO. "My wife, Ann, is a leader. Together we make a great team," he says.

In the 25 years since David founded Sutherland Furniture, he hasn't been afraid to embrace innovation. Perhaps because David is an instigator, as he describes himself, he has eagerly welcomed opportunities that could have easily intimidated others. In addition to expanding the line's use of materials, David has recently taken the massive step of developing a manufacturing center in India, and welcoming a new capital funds partner. David took some time to discuss with Interior Design what the past 25 years have meant for Sutherland Furniture, and what's next.

Interior Design: You started Sutherland working with quite traditional materials, such as teak. Now I hear you’re introducing a futuristic carbon fiber material for a chair this year. What has shaped your design and innovation journey?

David Sutherland: Teak is the king of woods and long used for doors, windows, flooring, and furniture because of its durability and beauty. Since the raw teak isn’t available in the U.S., designers of products and interiors rarely used it, which actually added to its value and uniqueness. Teak furniture designs were all similar—straight benches with no concern for comfort. Most teak furniture was relegated to estate status and use—a place to perch for a moment, not to relax with a cup of coffee, glass of wine, or good book.

I find newer materials interesting for the creative uses they provide. We have worked in metal and metal/teak combinations for years, but the carbon fiber material is astounding in its use and shapes. When we went to the factory, which makes parts for a lot of high-profile automobiles, motorcycles, Lamborghinis, etc. I spotted a foil used for America’s Cup contenders in the corner. It weighed less than five pounds, but would support weights over 100 tons! It got us all excited about using that material in our industry.

ID: Do you have a motto that guides your creative decision-making process?

DS: “Is the product additive to today’s way of living?” Can it be indoor or out? Can it be used on yachts? Is it evolutionary to our overall look and efforts? We don’t want revolutionary, we want evolutionary.
Portuguese studio Digitalab has won the rising star award at Stockholm Furniture Fair, with an innovative method of turning cork into thread.

Architects Brimet Silva and Ana Fonseca of Digitalab have together developed a method of turning cork into a thin thread that can be used in the manufacture of furniture, lighting, textiles and accessories.

Called CO-RK, the thread offers a sustainable, non-fibrous alternative to materials like plastic.

The Stockholm Furniture Fair Editors' Choice jury, chaired by Dezeen founder Marcus Fairs, said the duo "used cork to produce a beautiful fabric that can be used to make products."

"The winner exhibited creative exploration of an underused natural material," they said.

Silva and Fonseca created the product for Gencork, an offshoot of 50-year-old Portuguese company Sofalca, which manufactures cork pellets using the branches of cork trees. This process is more sustainable than the typical manufacture of cork, which comes from tree bark.

The thread is formed by injecting water vapour through these cork pellets. This causes the pellets to expand, whilst the water bonds with the resin in the cork.

The mixture is then pressed and combined with a base layer of cotton fabric to produce a thin sheet that can be cut to a millimetre thick. The resulting threads are then washed to increase their flexibility and elasticity.

"It's a robust and comfortable material, resistant to light traction and it's also washable, keeping all the original physical properties of cork," Silva told Dezeen.

"This super-material, cork, offers a huge range of advantages, because in addition to being an excellent thermal and acoustic insulator and as well as anti-vibration, it's also a carbon dioxide sink, playing a key role in protecting the environment."
DSL Studio
Showroom openings, gallery exhibitions, and pop-up shops are all settings for new product launches. Check out the latest market introductions from top brands and designers.

1. Flos x Nendo introduces multi-functional lamp-furniture hybrid.

If you can dream it, Nendo can create it. Designer Oki Sato dreamed up Gaku, a multi-functional lamp and furniture piece that can be customized to fit the user. Thanks to Flos, wish granted.

2. Interface adds nora® rubber flooring to its sustainable product lineup.

Interface recently announced that its nora® rubber flooring is officially part of the company's Carbon Neutral Floors™ program, rounding out its diverse portfolio of products.

3. Dedon opens a flagship store in NYC.

The AIIR chair by GamFretesi through DEDON in saffron with new sled base. Photography courtesy of Dedon.
Along with its Upper East Side flagship's grand opening, Dedon showed some new colors and styles. In our February 2019 issue, we featured the Werner Aisslinger-designed Cirql in onyx, and the chair is now available in a palette of coordinating colors. Dedon also introduced a sled base option for the Aiir chair.

4. Eskayel debuts Matisse-inspired collection at Salon Design gallery.

Florals for spring? Well, the concept may or may not be groundbreaking, but for Eskayel, it's definitely inspired. The Belize Blooms Collection includes wallpaper, fabric, and rugs, all displayed at Salon Design, a Boston gallery for emerging artists founded by Amanda Pratt.

5. MoMA Design Store introduces The Print Shop pop-up.

In addition to the already-popular prints that MoMA Design Store will continue to sell at its offshoot, the pop-up offers personal framing services. The Print Shop will run until March 25 at 81 Spring Street in SoHo.

Interior Design Media
Tom Fereday didn’t always plan to be an industrial designer. Born in Sydney, the 33-year-old rising design star grew up in England and was once enrolled at the Wimbledon School of Art in London, studying sculpture and fine art. Lack of clear direction drove him to exchange the moody English weather and rasp for some Australian sunshine and an honors in Industrial Design from the University of Technology Sydney. “I tried my hand at design and it just felt challenging and exciting to try and solve real-world problems,” he says.

Since then, Fereday has gone on to set up a successful studio and atelier in Sydney designing clever furniture and lighting pieces—even microphones, watches and speakers—celebrating the raw beauty of natural materials and old-school manufacturing techniques. Some of his breakthrough designs include the Hull Lounge chair inspired by traditional ship-building techniques and constructed from a single sheet of eco-plywood, and the Mito lighting series that includes both a modular wall and floor light, hand-finished in natural timber and stones.

Fereday has collaborated with several brands, notably Louis Vuitton for its Sydney Bondi Junction store, and showcased his work at prestigious design fairs across Europe and America. Most recently, Fereday landed another top award, Lane Crawford’s 2018 Creative Callout. Here, Fereday shares his thoughts on his big year ahead, design influences, and pet peeves.

Interior Design: What’s your first memory of design?

Tom Fereday: I grew up surrounded by some really nice objects. Both my grandparents were artists, my father is an antiques dealer specializing in rugs and textiles and my mum is a ceramicist. To be surrounded by antique furniture while growing up gave me a strong understanding of good design. I used to also do ceramics and the basic understanding of processes and materials came to me at an early age.

ID: What inspired your furniture collaboration with Louis Vuitton for its Sydney Bondi Junction store?
TF: The collection commissioned by Louis Vuitton includes tables, chairs, side tables, an armchair, and a daybed. It was developed with longevity in mind, and while the pieces were designed to be elegant, they are also meant to last a lifetime. Each piece is made from either solid ash, walnut or Australian blackwood, and adopts a minimal aesthetic through the use of sculpted timber forms.

Danish design culture is “a natural part of me,” reveals Thomas Bentzen, who lives with his wife and three children—one named after a famous Finnish designer—in a 1,900-square-foot apartment full of prototypes in central Copenhagen. With a mission to create simple, useful products and aiming for the same qualities that Danish designers strove for more than half a century ago—functionality, rationality, honesty, and craftsmanship—Bentzen has designed for the likes of Bang & Olufsen, Louis Poulsen, Menu, Muuto, and Royal Copenhagen to name a few, out of his namesake design studio. Most recently, at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, Muuto unveiled Bentzen’s Linear Steel series, a sleek line of powder-coated steel outdoor furniture drawing from classic picnic silhouettes. Bentzen sat down with Interior Design to reveal more about the new outdoor series, reflect on how his interests now are quite similar to those he had as a child, and pay tribute to a classic light that sits in his living room.

Interior Design: Could you tell us a little more about the Linear Steel series?

Thomas Bentzen: The Linear Steel series represents a very Scandinavian approach to outdoor furniture. It’s super simple and rational, durable and very understated, with subtle details—such as the folded edges and seamless meetings of leg and tabletop. The corner joint—where leg, apron, and tabletop come together—is the strong point where all parts meet, and that is the detail that adds distinctiveness. In terms of color, we wanted the series to have a subtle and understated sentiment along with a modern expression. It’s inspired by archetypal wooden furniture.

ID: What do you consider “archetypal wooden furniture?”

TB: For me that would be something such as a chair with four legs, all made in the wood Shaker style, maybe with a woven seat. I instantly think of the J39 by Børge Mogensen, now produced by Fredericia or the J46 by Poul M. Volther. Same goes for a table: four legs, one in each corner, strong and durable, very simple—I like tables that way.

ID: Do you think there’s an outdoor furnishings trend at the moment? It seems as if a lot of firms in Scandinavia are now launching their first lines.

TB: This movement is a natural evolution of the new wave of furniture brands from Scandinavia. Why not offer the same good perspective on design for the outdoors as you would indoors? Maybe there’s also a need for a different type of outdoor furniture—more urban and smaller in size than the big classic outdoor furniture environments, such as you would see in huge villas that overlook the French Riviera.

ID: What else have you completed recently?

TB: The Cover lounge chair, which I also designed for Muuto, launched this past January at IMM Cologne. The design is a natural extension of the Cover chair for Muuto, made for a lounge or living room environment, and a low open chair—in which I continue to work with a mix of thin veneer and solid wood. Veneer is one of my favorite materials when it comes to furniture. In fact, the transition from chair to a lounge version wasn’t easy at all. We needed to have a very different seating position, yet we needed to maintain the close connection, shape-wise, to the chair. I am very pleased with the outcome.

At Salone del Mobile 2018 in Milan, we launched the lacquered steel Enfold sideboard for Muuto. For this design, I took an industrial approach to the classic sideboards that I grew up with—mixing together the old heavy wooden sideboards often found in the living room, housing the most beloved items in the family, with the mid-century metal cabinets found in offices. Enfold is a more industrial and lighter version of the two typologies. The curvy sliding doors are not only a reference to the rolling covers but also a pattern that adds strength and durability to the design. En
Tony Elieh
The designer invites AD into her Beirut studio

Eight years ago, Najla El Zein decided it was time to get back to her roots. “I felt the need to discover my country,” says the Beirut-born designer, who returned to Lebanon from Paris, where she moved at the age of two and eventually studied at the École Camondo. “I started working right away.” Prolifically, in fact. Today her small studio in downtown Beirut reveals an array of chalky white studies for the sculptural furnishings that will debut in her first solo show, opening February 28 at New York’s Friedman Benda gallery. Among the 20-some pieces to be exhibited are a concrete bench that bulges like a pregnant belly and a seat of sumptuous sandstone blocks that seem to embrace. “It talks about a connection with the other.”

El Zein has long been interested in telling stories through objects and materials. One early sculpture transformed 6,302 spoons into what looks like glistening reptile skin, while the doorway of paper windmills that she mounted at London’s V&A museum in 2013 made visible the invisible: wind. Relocating to Lebanon, where she and her husband are raising their first child, has helped her hone her own narrative. “There are three parts—distortion, fragmented pillar, and seduction,” she explains of the collection, which has been realized in fine concrete, slick travertine, and porous sandstone. She chose each for its tactile quality and elementary nature. “The first thing people want to do is touch,” she reflects. “Though the material is important, I didn’t want it to take over the narrative.”

More significant is the form and function of each work, which she calls “a tool of expression.” When two people sit on a bench, separated by a hump, they experience distortion. When you slump onto a bench, your body is seduced by its curves. The show’s title—“Transition”—is fitting. As El Zein notes, “It’s about motherhood, professional-hood, the seduction with your lover. It’s my story. And it has a happy ending.”

Todd Eberle
The design force behind the furniture giant brought life to the modernist utopia that midcentury corporate America represented.

If there is such a thing as a modernist vernacular, Florence Knoll created it. The grids and planes of glass, metal, and stone out of which architects built up the standards for the offices, institutions, and dwellings of the postwar period have always remained alien to most people’s sense of daily life. That same sensibility applied to sofas, credenzas, tables, and chairs, however, has become part of the decor that surround us as many of us as we lead our daily lives. Nobody did more to install those pieces of furniture across the United States and beyond than Knoll, who passed away on Jan. 25.

Many years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the headquarters of the Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. outside of Hartford, Conn. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with courtyards by Isamu Noguchi, the building as a structure was beautiful. But it really came alive through Knoll’s designs and space planning, unfolding into an environment of wood, leather, stone, and laminated plastic planes that translated the steel-and-glass frame into a work environment that looked and felt like you could be productive. Above all else, these interiors looked both efficient and comfortable. They embodied the utopia that corporate America at its peak represented.

Such total environments were among Knoll’s signal achievements, but of course the reason that we know her name and will remember her is because of the pieces: the lines of furniture she produced, originally with husband Hans Knoll. Although her designs were not the most original or even the most technically innovative—that distinction belongs to the team of designers George Nelson assembled at Herman Miller—Knoll’s work refined those achievements, as well as the prototypes created prewar at the Bauhaus, into forms that combined a sense of monumentality with a clarity of function and comfort.

As Knoll grew, the company gave work to countless other designers but kept that simple aesthetic alive. The company did, along the way, also make room for the curves and swoops of Eero Saarinen’s Tulip chair and, much later, Frank Gehry, FAIA’s bent plywood pieces, each of which did more to spread those designers’ sensibilities around the world than any of their buildings. Even in the years when their aesthetic seemed to wane, they stuck with a foursquare sense of purpose, and were lucky enough to see their commitment rewarded by a revival of interest in their lines.

That same sensibility extended to Knoll’s stores, which became beacons of good design long before Apple opened its glass cubes all around the world. Brightly lit, airy, and clearly laid out, Knoll furniture showrooms were prototypes of what our everyday environment could and should look like.

Educated at Cranbrook from high school on, Florence Knoll (born Schust, and later in life Bassett) studied with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, and Eliel Saarinen, among others. After starting her eponymous company with Hans in 1938—he died in an automobile accident in 1955—she kept control of it until the early 1970s, when she retired to Florida. (She might have retired from the company, but she kept designing.) As she lived to be 101, she was able to experience the complete arc of Modernism, from its explosion onto the Western European and American scene, through its dominance of much of the production of buildings and interiors after the Second World War, onto its later decline, and then upwards with its revival.

For all that, Knoll’s contributions to the world of modernist interiors had its limits. The furniture is and always was expensive, and the space planning and design Knoll performed was generally commissioned only by large corporations. The vernacular was thus an upper-middle-class one. Though Knoll might have inspired countless knockoffs, all the way down (or up) to IKEA, owning a piece of Knoll furniture remained a status symbol that showed
Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair
New Nordic, Old Nordic, Soft Nordic, and Nordic Minimalism were all given floor space at the biggest event celebrating Scandinavian design, the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair, held February 5-10. More than 650 exhibitors filled the halls of Stockholmsmässan, with upwards of 80 percent of them based in region; this is, after all, a furniture show that still represents Scandinavian craftsmanship.

Interior Design Hall of Fame member Neri & Hu was this year’s guest of honor. The award-winning Chinese design and architecture studio created a site-specific installation, called The Unfolding Village, addressing the issue of the disappearing village culture in China. Inspired by the “alleyways and street life of clan-based villages,” the team created an impressive black-timber structure, which folded to create a maze of rows and dead ends that revealed Neri & Hu designs inside.

The enduring appeal of Nordic design is often attributed to its simplicity, minimalist approach, and the quality of its materials. However, the industry’s sustainable production methods—which are inherently part of the Scandinavian way of life—proved that protecting natural resources is a successful formula. Winner of the Best Stand Award, Baux, revealed a line of biodegradable acoustic panels, called Baux Acoustic Pulp. The 100 percent bio-based product is a paper-like material developed with Swedish industrial design studio Form Us With Love in collaboration with scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

Product sustainability was championed in a quiet, unassuming Swedish way at Blå Station, which displayed its new Bob Home sofa. Meanwhile at Nordgrona, which makes sound absorbers from Reindeer Moss, the sustainably harvested product was gaining attention for its colorful display. Norwegian brand Flokk offered its latest chairs alongside the raw materials from which they are made, highlighting that it uses 95 percent post-consumer recycled materials in all of its aluminium parts. Green-minded international furniture manufacturers were not left out either, with Emeco, whose product range is made of post-industrial waste, presenting their collection on a minimal and ultimately reusable stand.

The annual Greenhouse exhibit attracted the participation of 37 designers and design groups showcasing up-and-coming talents and their prototypes.

This year also saw the unveiling of a new award: Born Classic. Given to a Scandinavian piece of furniture or lighting that has qualities that could make it a design classic of the future, the inaugural award went to a mirror produced by Swedese and designed by Front.

Outside the fair in the wider Stockholm Design week, which brings together a variety of spaces, exhibitions, and events, snowy conditions did not deter the design-hungry cognoscenti. Färg & Blanche’s installation “The Baker's House” showcased the designers’ works over two floors of a historical townhouse built in 1889. Across the city, the Danish design studio Frama presented its latest collections in the newly renovated offices of Andreas Martin-Löf, set in a modernist building overlooking the water.
Suite 22 Contract
Canada’s largest design conference, the Interior Design Show (IDS19) took place in Toronto last week from January 17-20. It was freezing outside, but things were heating up inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Celebrating its 21st year, the show attracted over 30,000 attendees with 375 exhibitors and for the first time featured IDS Contract, a B2B trade-only exposition. The 2019 show’s theme was exploring the “Power of Design.” Karen Kang, National Director of IDS Canada, noted that “this year’s theme will showcase how design affects every aspect of the human experience and is so much more than interior design, architecture and product design.”

Staying true to its word, IDS explored the boundaries of the human experience, with DJ, music and television producer, culinary entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and co-founder of the Roots, Questlove, headlining Saturday’s speakers. The five-time Grammy winner and Musical Director for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon spoke on how to find inspiration using diverse outlets and how to live our best creative lives. He was joined by SANDOW’s CEO, Adam Sandow. The two spoke about their new collaboration, Creative House, which aims to connect artists, designers, and inventors to create new innovative brands and products.

Interior Design Hall of Famers, Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, were the Guests of Honor. The duo, who launched their firm in 2004, design across disciplines, placing no boundaries on the span of their work—having designed everything from large, hallowed churches to smaller industrial products for global manufacturers such as Artemide, Gandia Blasco, Fritz Hansen, and their own Design Republic, which they co-founded. Neri and Hu start every project with a clean slate, diving deep into the research; studying its history and planning the process with great detail and care. Other speakers included the principals of Toronto-based DesignAgency, Mick McConnell of WeWork, and prominent New York designer Ryan Korban.

In the exhibition hall, product innovations abounded. Among the many highlights, Caesarstone announced a collaboration with Dutch designer Marije Vogelzang with an installation titled SEEDS, which focuses on thoughtfulness in the kitchen. The exhibit featured honeycomb shaped vignettes centered around new product launches by the stone company. Quintus Kropholler’s Reclaimed Marvels sculptures fr
Outdoor furniture was out in force at the recent Maison& Object and IMM Cologne furniture fairs, as brands responded to a big increase in customer demand. We pick out 10 of the best new designs, including rugs, shelving and a kitchen.

The two fairs saw many established brands launch outdoor furniture collections for the first time, like contemporary Danish brand Muuto, which unveiled the Linear table and bench.

"Venturing into the outdoor furniture category is something that we've been wanting to do for a long time," explained design director Christian Grosen. "The demand has definitely been there," added PR manager Katrin Fieseler.

Response "very positive" to outdoor shelves

It's not only simple tables and seating on offer – many brands are offering furnishings not traditionally found in the garden. One example is heritage brand String, which has adapted its famous shelving system for the outdoors.

"We started to get a lot of requests for bigger shelves that could be used outdoors and we realised that, with some adjustments, the metal range would work perfectly," said Peter Erlandsson, co-owner of String Furniture. "The response was very positive when we launched at IMM."

Rugs "even more important" outdoors

New outdoor textiles are also being developed making it easier than ever to bring soft furnishings into the garden.

According to Nani Marquina, founder of the eponymous rug company, the introduction of textiles has been transformative in garden design.

"As you know, rugs define a room and create different environments while adding warmth and comfort. Thus it's even more important in outdoor environments, where there's an absence of walls and delineated spots," she said.
Amazon just over a year ago launched its first in-home furniture brands, with private labels Rivet and Stone & Beam. This past fall, it began experimenting with a new, more visual way to shop for furniture and other merchandise with its Pinterest-like recommendation service Scout. Now, Amazon is venturing further into home furnishings with the debut of Amazon Showroom, a visual design tool that allows you to place furniture into a virtual living room, customize the décor, then shop the look.

The retailer didn’t formally announce the launch of Amazon Showroom, but a spokesperson confirmed it’s a recent test that’s now available on Amazon.com and in the Amazon mobile app.

You can access it from the “Accounts & Lists” drop-down on the web; the Home, Garden & Pets department on the web; or the Home & Kitchen department on the mobile app.

Currently, the new feature is focused on helping Amazon shoppers put together a living room. In a virtual setting, you can make adjustments to the wall color and the flooring, then swap out each item in the space with one of your own choosing — including the sofa, coffee table, chair, end table, lamp, rug and even the art on the wall.

To do so, click on the piece in question, then pick another from the right-side panel where a scrollable list of options are available, along with their prices. This selection can be filtered by a number of factors, as well, like price, style, color, material, brand and star rating.

Not surprisingly, Amazon’s own home furnishing brands are heavily featured here.

As you work on your project, you can save your room design to pull up later. And you can save more than one room design, if you’re trying to decide between different styles. When satisfied, an “Add to cart” button lets you place all into your cart for checkout with just one click.