Month: December, 2012

FFF – Good ol Googie…

On a recent trip to Los Angeles, this blog writer was fortunate enough to uncover and see many examples of a wondrous feat of architecture.  Googie Style; an inspiring and colourful chapter in the architectural history of L.A.

It’s bold, it’s bright, it’s relatively kitschy… but it’s a bucket load of fun.   Originating in the modern architecture age in the early 1940’s, the style was heavily influenced by the rise of car culture, the Space Age and the Atomic Age.  Visual references in the style to all of these are obvious.

Classified by its (perhaps now) garish use of upswept roofs, curvaceous and geometric shapes.  The use of motifs inspired by the aforementioned ages, atoms, flying saucers, stars etc make the style whacky and pretty entertaining!

Generally accepted as being brought about by the influential American architect John Lautner (of organic Californian architecture fame), in the designing of “Googies”, a café in West Hollywood, the name derived from a nickname of the café owner.

Along with the obvious references to happenings in culture at the time, Googie’s bright colours, high-signage and neon lights were used as a way to attract customers to establishments, with car ownership on the rise and population residence was spreading to the suburbs, Googie was used as a way to get businesses noticed, and people out of their cars.

Unfortunately, like many eras of architecture it wasn’t until much after its time was Googie style appreciated, and many iconic Googie buildings were knocked down, including the originating “Googie’s” – in 1989.

Keep a look out for Googie: that’s what it’s there for.

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It’s almost time! …

From all of us here at KE-ZU we wish you a happy holiday season of laughter and joy, a Merry Christmas full of presents and food and only the very best for the coming year.

KE-ZU will be closed from the 22nd of December 2012 and will re-open on the 7th of January 2013.

Merry Christmas | Feliz Navidad

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Doin’ it for the kids…

In late October Sydney hosted an annual workshop called ARCHIKIDZ.  A workshop run through the Sydney Architecture Festival which saw hundreds of children joining together at Carriageworks to talk, think and make architecture.

The interactive workshop which was born in Amsterdam and is quickly spreading to other parts of the world seeks to (importantly) educate children about architecture and good design, and help make our youth aware of their environments, which will no doubt lead to awareness of good design, future preservation of architecture, sustainability and perhaps initiate an exciting career for the little ones.

Archikidz recently released a video showcasing highlights from the day clearly shows the fun and energy of the day.

Archikidz! Sydney – Carriageworks 27 October 2012 from Archikidz! Sydney on Vimeo.

In educating our kids about the possibilities of making a positive impact on our future, we absolutely love the message Archikidz is providing to our youth through this fun and exciting program!

Well done Archikidz… a great initiative!

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A Nouvel Idea…

Prominent French architect Jean Nouvel (pictured above) was awarded the highly-acclaimed Prtizker Prize for Architecture in 2008, the jury citing in their rationale:

His inquisitive and agile mind propels him to take risks in each of his projects, which, regardless of varying degrees of success, have greatly expanded the vocabulary of contemporary architecture.

Nouvel is the man who brought us the Torre Aigues de Barcelona, the Arab World Institute in Paris, the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, One New Change in London and the Dentsu Building in Tokyo.  He is the man with the plan, and has his troupe of architects currently have many exciting projects in the works.

With this is mind, we take this opportunity to introduce to you the MIA Collection of furniture available at KE-ZU, designed by Jean Nouvel and manufactured by Italian supplier EMU.  Launching at Orgatec 2012, Nouvel designed the collection from flat metal bars specifically for the restaurant Mia, located in the RBC Design Centre in Paris.  The RBC Design Centre is a design manifesto intending to showcase to visitors the leaders in design, production and distribution.  MIA is a collection of furniture which understands the needs related to these three facets and now takes pride of place in the EMU catalogue.

Nouvel stated about MIA:

I was looking to create an archetypal outdoor chair… something that could become a contemporary reference, as XIX century chairs were in historical public gardens.

And that he did.  By stripping back visible elements and unnecessary detailing, the MIA collection is aesthetically reduced to essentials, giving a nod to functionality and minimalist joy, yet packed with hidden features.

From the chair, the entire collection was born.  Containing two types of folding tables, a stool, and chairs with optional arms all available in various colours.

Utilising simple clean cut lines comprising aluminium and steel, Nouvel has created  pieces which are sturdy and light to assist their purpose around the contract and hospitality market, each having their own ability to either fold, hang or stack for easy storage and cleaning.

Originally slated as outdoor pieces, the MIA Collection is quickly finding itself pride of place indoors also.  In our recent Orgatec 2012 Report (emailed to some of you recently) we brought you the new EMU release, high-powered magnetic cushions manufactured in top-Italian mould-impeding fabric “EMU-TEX”.  These magnetic cushions are the perfect accompaniment to any MIA product, available in assorted colours.

We recently stumbled upon a video montage of Mia and Nouvel – you can watch the video here.

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FFF – Across the Apple…

Covering a song most famously performed by The Beatles, and written by none other than the lyrical gods Lennon and McCartney is not an easy feat.   Presumably it takes courage and a high-sense of ones talent to ever dare enter a world requiring such skill and care.

Doubtless, some have failed in their quest. In our opinion however this little gem ticks some serious Beatles covering boxes.

Recorded by Fiona Apple for the soundtrack to the digitally recorded and selectively desaturated 1998 film Pleasantville, the largely contralto Apple sings to the rhythmic melody and breathes a new feeling into the lyrics, of which Lennon cites:

The words are purely inspirational and were given to me – except for maybe one or two where I had to resolve a line or something like that. I don’t own it; it came through like that

The song resonates with the sub-themes of the mixed-genre film, which the director Gary Ross states is about the connection between personal repression giving rise to a larger political oppression.


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Table this for discussion…

We love our furniture.  Pretty obviously, we live and breathe it here at KE-ZU.

The distinction between tables available on the current market can be astonishing.  Responding to designs changing needs in materiality, sustainability, size and adaptability lends itself to creating a diverse range of table components. Designers the world over are working with different methods, utilising different materials in exciting ways, and their designs are born from different concepts.

Pretty simply, this means at KE-ZU we have a large range of tables to suit any sort of project or space.  Exciting!

Above you’ll find a collection of only some of the tables which are currently available for viewing at the KE-ZU showroom.  A generous mix from indoor and outdoor occasional and dining comprising materiality variety of extruded aluminium, woven steel, plastic, Chestnut wood, lacquer MDF and so much more.

Andreu World Reverse Table,  Sancal’s Rock tables, Bernahrdt Design Cuiro & Revue , Sancal Tab, Bd Barcelona Table B , EMU Heaven, Bernahrdt Design B.5, Andreu World Pure & Dual, Sancal Nudo, Eden Tablecloth.

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FFF – Third and the Seventh (Heaven) …

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

Today’s Furniture Free Friday crawls into the realm of technology, CGI  and one man who humanises film using two such methods.

We bring to you Third and the Seventh.  A company consisting of its sole Spanish designer, who goes by the professional alias of Alex Roman.   Roman is a professionally trained fine artist who later successfully transferred his attentions to 3D animation, and videography.

After working in 3D architectural visualisation for years, Roman expressed concern that there was a large aesthetic disparity between an offered architectural rendering of proposed work and the photography of built structure, so he turned his hand to architectural CGI videography.

His inaugural video work is a long, haunting fully-animated video (shown above) exploring the inner workings of architectural master Luis Kahn’s 1965 Phillips Exeter Academy Library building.  Set to music composed by Jennifer Athena Galatis, the film dives into observing the building in awesome detail.  Working heavily with film tools speed and light, Roman beautifies each shot with breathtaking computer generated reality, rendered with program 3D Studio Max.

Silestone — ‘Above Everything Else’ from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

After his inaugural work became immensely popular (even outside of the architecture and animation worlds), Roman was commissioned by Silestone to direct their advertising campaign – another stunning foray into 3D animation, working closely with gravity, form, timing and light.

Keep a close eye out for the next offering rom Roman – surely to be just as spectacular.

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