Month: October, 2011

Making Your Marquee…

Tomorrow Australia stops work, downs tools, dons a fancy hat and cheers on as 24 horses and their riders bolt around a racetrack in Flemington for the annual Melbourne Cup.

Whilst all eyes are on the horses for approxomately three and a half minutes, most attendees are clambering to gain access to the exclusive “Birdcage” tent city that springs up trackside.  This year, the vast expanse of bitumen will play hosrt to more than thirty-nine, multi-million dollar marquees, designed to wine, dine and woo celebrities, nobodies and anyone in between.

Beyond the premium (fortunate few) fenceline will stand a further 66 corporate marquees with each brand from Emirates, Mumm, Lexus to Lavazza proudly boasting a celebrity guest list from Sarah Jessica-Parker to Joan Collins and each holding nothing back in one of the biggest branding circuses this country sees.

Perhaps misleadingly titled, the pop-ups are more accurately described as sizable clubs and restaurants with legions of staff and years of planning and strategy behind them.  Themed and styled immaculately, it is not uncommon for leading designers such as Hecker Guthrie, Gloss Creative and Herbert + Mason to be brought on board to design the most outlandish, eye-catching and memorable space.   In 2011’s Dulux Colour Awards Herbert + Mason even won best colour for a commercial interior for “Bleu” a commission by the Victorian Racing Club.

With each year it seems the stakes are as high off the track as on – even in the face of a rather considerable economic downturn, there seems to be no stopping the serious business of fun and frovility!

Images courtesy of:

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Sweetness and Light…

Artist David Kenworthy is producing pop art with a rush – a sugar rush.

It is my intention to create a new kind of pop art experience inspired by discount stores and clearinghouses and our consumption of their cheap and mass-produced commodities.

So it is that his playful collection of sculptures – made from cut-price jelly beans and Gummy Teddy Bears – glow so vividly it is as if the sugar itself were emitting an eerie glow.

Back lit by LED and Fluoro lamps these cubes and sugary bricks are pure neon-pop!

For more info visit David’s site.

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The Story: Losanges by Bouroullec

Continuing our “Story” series we present another short film that take you into the creative process behind some of the most beautiful designs – Today share some wonderful insights from Nani Marquina and Erwan Bouroullec.

One half of Bouroullec Studio, Erwan explains the concept that drove the Losanges Collection whilst Nani explains how her famous nanimarquina brand came to collaborate with the two brothers.

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Stick ‘Em Up…

So you have the furniture, you’ve treated the floors but staring back at you are some blatantly bare and desperately wanting walls…

  • Fine Art? Yes, quite fine for those that can afford it.
  • Paint a single feature wall? Too ‘done’.
  • A loud wall paper? It’ll date too fast.

So what if you combined all three of the above in a way that keeps you happy, affords you versatilty and yet keeps the space dynamic?  Clap your eyes on this “Magnetic Wallpaper” from Vij5.

Last year we brought you their amazing invention: newspaper wood (which has gone on to become a wonderfully adaptable material) and now they’ve taken this passion for design and recycling, quite literally: to the wall.

Employing readily available magnetic wall paints, this collection uses specifically sought out vintage wallpapers (not modern day vinyl wallpapers) backed with foil and then cut as tiles, in two sizes.  The brilliance is evident in that you can than mix and match and play with the array of patterns to create an ever changing backdrop to your living or work space.

Too floral? Vintage papers aren’t your thing?

Why not try the very contemporary Tea Wall Panels from SANCAL and Rafa Garcia!  An extension of the wildly succesful Tea Sofa Collection, these upholstered boards are offered  in bold hexagonal tiles that, like their predecessors, incorporate the distinct hexagonal quilt detailing and the possibility of creating both bi-coloured and bi-textured statements – It’s basically smart art.

What? Too Soft?

Harden up then with the wonderfully evocative properties of porcelain tiling.  Take these “Cardboard” designs from Academy Tiles for example.  Replicating a corrugated card effect, the material that is so often relegated to use in flooring has great potential for giving that blank wall a burst of personality.

Still cant decide?  Hang it all then and throw a mirror on the wall like the Showtime Mirrors from Jaime Hayon and BD Barcelona – at least that way you’ll always be happy with what’s staring back.

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Karim Rashid: A Touch Sketchy…

As with any design, be it spatial, two-dimensional, interractive or conceptual; the initial spark, that germ of an idea is often the most insightful and telling part of the whole development process.

To see the birth of an icon in the most simplistic fashion can be quite a wonderful thing.  So it is then that we often strive to uncover the story behind the design and extract reason from the finished product.  For these reasons some of the most notable and famed designers will publish their sketchbooks as a means of re-inforcing the narrative.  To date Starck, Hayon and numerous others have turned over their initial concept sketches to publishers and the latest to do so is New York resident Karim Rashid, the master of the pink marker.

Always playful and sinuous, the journey that Rashid’s designs take from paper to production are wonderfully true to the initial concept.  A healthy investment in form and colour drive Karims works so it is no surprise to find his drawings are bold, simplistic and brightly presented.

Sketch:Karim” – Available through FRAME from early November.

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Foster + Partners See Virgin First In Space Race…

Only hours ago the Foster + Partners designed Spaceport for Virgin Galactic‘s commercial space travel division was dedicated at a gala event in the New Mexico Desert.

Named the “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space”, Branson opened his $209-million  glass and metal futuristic-looking terminal which occupies just one part of the NASA shared Spaceport America facility.

As competition winners with SMPC Architects and URS, the UK’s Foster + Partners proposed to:

capture the drama and mystery of space flight itself, articulating the thrill of space travel for the first space tourists.

In doing so the intention was to make as little impact on the environment in which the Spaceport would take shape.  Employing photovoltaics and concrete sheeting as well as harnessing natural air currents to both ventilate and heat where required, Foster + Partners have added another striking project to their broad portfolio… this spaceport undeniably a first!

Images courtesy of Mark Greenberg, Virgin Galactic and Foster + Partners.

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QUBIQUE: Sky High Design…

On October 26th, Berlin’s decommissioned and wonderfully atmospheric Tempelhof Airport, will for the first time, become Europe’s new Mecca for furniture professionals and design enthusiasts.  Qubique is promising to be a Next Generation Tradeshow.

Concerts, exhibitions and presentations act as an interface between the areas of design, art, architecture, and music, increasing the value for both exhibitors and the visitors in the process.

Taking the fair out of the endless exhibition halls and soulless convention centres, Qubique frames the latest in design with a venue that imbues the tradeshow circus with a whole new sense of character.  Inspiring as it is breathtaking the expansive hangars, baggage halls and airfields become a pop-up city teaming with creativity, repurposing the historically rich location.

Qubique boasts an exhibitors list that rivals some of the biggest shows on the calendar, with everyone from Lzf Lamps, nanimarquina, Established & Sons, Sellex, Artifort, Sancal, Thonet to Arper, Vitra and Bolon –  this is one big event that is sure to take off.

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High Praise…

The Met  in Bangkok, Thailand has again drawn critical acclaim.

Having already won International Highrise Award 2010, as well as the “World Housing Development of the Year” title at the 2009 World Architecture Festival, The Met has just scored the RIBA Lubetkin Prize for the Most Outstanding Work of International Architecture.

The Royal Institure of British Architects has described the development as:

a highly deserving winner; the building combines beautiful design with sustainable credentials

WOHA‘s sixty six storey residential tower opened in 2009 and since then the two year old has won over a legion of fans for it’s successful mix of high-end high-density vertical living at a superior, environmentally responsible level.

The design concept explores ideas for tropical development at high densities.
The high rise tower proposes gardens and swimming pools in the sky in perforated towers that allow light and air to penetrate the slender forms.

Based in Singapore and prolific across South East Asia, the WOHA team are also responsible for Sydney’s “The Hyde” development on Hyde Park, which this week celebrates its first birthday.

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