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Y Tower in Doha by Studio Niko Kapa


Located in Marina Bay in Doha, the modern tower will contain offices, workshops as well as R&D facilities with its construction expected to commence in early 2019. Design redefines the relationship of the skyscraper with the public space. An organic relation between building and urban space is developed, as the volume raises allowing urban life to slide under it. Public area under the tower is seen as a framework for urban life, that creates a dialogue with the city and its users.

Aim of this project is to highlight the principles of operation under certain climatic conditions, in order to suitably apply them in both building and landscape design. The shaded public space is the tower’s “heart” allowing street life to enter its core. A structural three-dimensional arabesque pattern organizes the ground floor open space and splits the base to 3 parts. The linear pattern emerges and unfolds in space, forming the structural support of the inclined volumes, whereas the pattern density signalizes entrances.

The base develops as a fluid formation that emerges from the ground, while concrete surfaces of urban space wrap around and “root” the building to the landscape. External envelope features patterned metalwork that filters light through during the daytime, relieving from the irritating external stimuli and noise, while blurring of the undesired intensity of external sunlight.

A generous open shaded area creates a welcoming venue that allows public life to invade the building, providing connection to the surroundings. The landscape formation aspires to have a strong civic presence, in an effort to synthesize spatial quality, functionality and the relationship of the edifice with its context, culture and the urban environment. Urban space blends harmoniously with the complex, bringing the city into the building unit.

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Baby blimp giving Trump a taste of his own medicine says designer Matt Bonner

The Trump Baby blimp is an attempt to communicate with the US president “in a language he understands”, says the graphic designer behind the project in this exclusive Dezeen movie.The over-sized balloon, which flew above Parliament Square in London this morning to protest Donald Trump’s visit to the UK, sees the US President reimagined as a baby, with small hands clutching a mobile phone.

Matt Bonner, who works as a graphic designer for activist groups and designed the inflatable, says that depicting Trump in this way was an attempt to get under the president’s skin.”It seemed like an appropriate symbol of someone of his temperament,” Bonner explains in the video, which Dezeen shot this morning at Parliament Square Gardens in London. “We’re using this language of mockery, because this is a language that he understands,” says Bonner. “So we’re giving him a taste of his own medicine.”

According to the designer, the cartoonish form of the ballon was partly the result of the restrictions of working with an inflatable, which limited the complexity of its shape and colour palette.”Printing on an inflatable is quite limited, it can’t be too detailed,” he says. “The shape of the inflatable has to be quite simple. The hand clutching the phone was the most complex bit.””He’s got this orange glow to him, his face is slightly redder, he’s got more anger in his face.”

Despite the comical appearance of the blimp, Bonner asserts that there is an earnest political sentiment behind it. “There’s a really serious message behind this silly stunt, and that’s that we don’t approve of him and we don’t welcome him here,” he says.”I think that there is a strong link between art and politics. It’s a very powerful tool,” he continues. “It’s perhaps one that we don’t use enough, so hopefully this can inspire others to take similar action.”

The blimp, which its creators funded through a crowdfunding campaign, was approved for flight by London Mayor Sadiq Khan after a petition was signed by over 10,000 people. Its flight kicked off a day of nation-wide protests against Trump’s visit to the UK. Bonner’s team of self-professed “Trump Babysitters”, clad in red costumes that referenced Trump’s Make America Great Again hats, filled the inflatable with helium and raised it into the sky above Parliament Square Gardens at 9.30am to a chorus of cheers from the crowd below.

The two-hour flight was watched by a group of around 2,000 onlookers, but attracted the attention of the global media. “The spectacle that the baby has created is really speaking to people,” Bonner claims. “If he’s played even a small part in dissuading Trump from coming to London, then our work here is done.” Last year artist Mike Mitchell created a symbol of protest against the president to use at rallies against Trump’s inauguration, which features the number 45 turned on its side to resemble a swastika.

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Aston Martin takes to the skies with first aircraft concept

Aston Martin aims to bring luxury private transport to the sky with its Volante Vision Concept aircraft – a flying autonomous, hybrid-electric vehicle that can take off vertically. This is the first time the British car brand, traditionally known for its luxury sports cars, has ventured into aircraft design.Named after the Italian word for flying, the Volante was debuted on 16 July 2018 at the Farnborough Air Show, alongside other aircraft designs including Boeing’s hypersonic aircraft concept.

According to the car manufacturer the Volante Vision Concept pairs Aston Martin’s signature sleek fuselage design with the latest advances in aerospace, electrification and autonomous technologies.”We are at the beginning of a new generation of urban transportation, vertical mobility is no longer a fantasy,” said chief creative officer Marek Reichman.”We have a unique chance to create a luxury concept aircraft that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology,” he added.

“We have used forms and proportions that express the same devotion to design, engineering and beauty that shape our cars.”Designed to provide fast, efficient and congestion-free luxurious travel in urban areas, the flying vehicle presents Aston Martin’s vision of future urban transport.”With the population in urban areas continuing to grow, congestion in towns and cities will become increasingly demanding,” said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.

“We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility. Air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation, the Volante Vision Concept is the ultimate luxury mobility solution,” he continued.Able to accommodate up to three passengers, the self-piloting aircraft boasts a hybrid-electric power train, and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities.

While the company are not currently releasing any further technical or specification details, the aircraft appears to be powered by three propellors, one large horizontal propellor at the rear, and two tilted propellors at the front.Aston Martin hope to change the future of transportation by giving their customers a new dimension of freedom with aircraft.

“Humans have always spent on average one hour commuting to and from work. The distance we live from our workplace has been determined by the methods of transportation available,” said Palmer.”The Volante Vision Concept will enable us to travel further with our hourly commute, meaning we are able to live further away from where we work,” he continued. “Cities will grow, and towns that are today too far away from cities to be commutable will become suburban.”

The concept was designed in partnership with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Rolls-Royce.Before making its foray into aircraft design, Aston Martin did not restrict itself to automobiles. In 2016 the company designed a powerboat, and last year it collaborated with submersibles manufacturer Triton to create a concept for a limited-edition submarine.

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Arthur Analts designs honeycomb coin in tribute to Latvia

Latvian designer Arthur Analts has created a €5 coin with a tessellating honeycomb shape, to highlight the abundant natural resources of his home country.The Honey Coin coin imitates the hexagonal cell structure of honeycomb, where bees store larvae, honey and pollen.It has six sides, with wavy edges created by the shapes of the cells. Some of these cells are shiny, as if filled with glistening liquid honey, while others are frosted.

Analts won an annual design competition organised by Latvijas Banka to create the coin. It was minted by the Lithuanian Mint and has now been issued by the bank as a collectors’ item.According to Analts, the starting point for the project was a statement by physicist Albert Einstein, claiming that the human species would become extinct within four years if the bee disappeared off the face of the earth.The London-based designer decided to use the bee as a symbol of Latvia’s impressive ecological credentials.

“The idea was to create a coin about Latvia. I was researching and contemplating the potential development routes, and according to statistics, Latvia is one of the greenest countries in the world,” said Analts.”I wanted to show ecology, and that it’s really important to us,” he continued. “The question was how to do it in a coin.”As well as emulating the texture of honeycomb, the coin also references the geography of Latvia and the Gulf of Riga. On the face of the coin, some of the honeycomb cells are slightly flattened, creating an abstract outline of the country.

LATVIJA is engraved onto the lower left part of the coin, while the year 2018 is inscribed below it.On the reverse side of the coin, five honeycomb cells are flattened to symbolise the €5 value of the coin. The number 5 is inscribed to the left of the centre, with the word EURO engraved below it.”These cells are also natural themselves. They may look angular and industrial, yet, if you look deeper, each of them is unique. Each has its own radius, each has its own depth, every one of them is unique,” said Analts.

“They seem to be very much alike but they all have something of their own,” he continued, “in the same way as probably every Latvian country farm is unique in its own way.””Honey is a glistening substance, like a mirror, the cells are frosted, that is what we wanted the coin to show. We were playing with materiality, textures, lustre, frosting.”Analts hopes that people will take advantage of the tessellating nature of the shape.

“A person buying several coins will be able to put them together like a puzzle. Each smallest element is a part of something bigger,” he added.The euro is currently used in 19 European countries, including Latvia.Other designers that have had a go at redesigning currency include Belarusian designer Andrey Avgust, who proposed turning American banknotes 90 degrees, and design agency One Rise East, which created a set of 26 coins to represent an A to Z of modern-day Britain.

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Antoine Predock’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights to feature on country’s bank note

Canada’s central bank has selected the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, designed by US architect Antoine Predock, to feature on the country’s new $10 bank note.The Bank of Canada unveiled the design for the $10 CAD note in March this year, choosing the building in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to feature on the back of the bill.Described by Predock as a “peaceful beacon for humanity”, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) was selected to complement the note’s theme of promoting human rights in the country.

Above: the Canadian Museum for Human Rights will feature on the front of the note. Top image: Predock designed the building as a “peaceful beacon for humanity”It will join a portrait of the country’s late civil rights activist Viola Desmond, who famously refused to give up her cinema seat in Nova Scotia to a white person in 1946, which will be placed on the front. Desmond’s purple-hued portrait will match the background of the note, with the number 10 in white. On the reverse side, the museum will be shown in blue in reference to its glass facades, and accompanied by a purple 10.

The museum will be accompanied by a portrait of late civil rights activist Viola Desmond on the front The $10 CAD bill, which is equivalent to nearly £6, will also be vertically orientated – a first in Canadian history.Completed in 2014, the CMHR is one of the best-known projects by Predock. The 82-year-old US architect, whose eponymous firm is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, won the commission as the result of an international competition in 2003.

The glazing is set around the front of the museum, while a compilation of stone volumes are built up at the rear to resemble Canada’s rocky outcrops.Completed in 2014, the museum can be recognised by a tower that protrudes from the top Visitors to CMHR enter into the Great Hall at the base of the building and then gradually make their way to the Tower of Hope. Protruding from the top of the museum, this structure is described by the architect’s firm as a “peaceful beacon for humanity”.

Galleries are accessed on the route up along with the Garden of Contemplation, which comprises structures made of basalt and granite. Other spaces include offices, classrooms, a museum store and a café.Visitors gradually move up to the top of the building through spaces clad in limestone, basalt and alabasterCanada’s $10 bill joins a number of other updated currencies. Examples include Norwegian banknotes designed by architecture studio Snøhetta and the special-edition notes that Jeremy Deller created for local currency the Brixton Pound.

Earlier this year, One Rise East imagined a set of 26 coins as an alternative to the collection released by the UK’s Royal Mint.Photography of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is by Aaron Cohen, courtesy of CMHR.


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Anna Karlin and Fernando Mastrangelo combine efforts for Chunk tables

New York designers Anna Karlin and Fernando Mastrangelo have collaborated on a limited-edition set of tables that blends their two styles.The Chunk series combines the geometric shapes of Karlin’s Chess Piece collection of stools with Mastrangelo’s sand-casting technique and pastel tones.

The result is a range of five table designs, each with a unique totem-like form and a varied, gradient surface. All have a different-sized circular top and stacked base, from a large dining table to a small side version.The largest has a pale top and a mid-grey support, while the smallest features a white slab and a speckled column that blends from dark to light grey. Others include an all-black design and one with a pale green top.

Mastrangelo took Karlin’s designs – originally released in steel, wood, and brass – and cast them from a mix of cement, salt, glass, quartz, and silica. He has previously used the technique to create furniture pieces and partitions at a fashion boutique.”I’ve always admired Anna’s versatility and range as a designer, and this collaboration was a natural extension of our two studios,” said Mastrangelo in a statement. “The chess pieces presented the opportunity to apply my distinctive range of materials and visual language.”

The five designs are each available in an edition of eight, and were showcased this month at Karlin’s recently opened studio at 108 Eldridge Street, in New York’s Lower East Side neighbourhood.The display coincided with the NYCxDesign festival, which took place 11-23 May 2018 and included presentations across the city.Photography is by Cary Whittier.

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Alexis Christodoulou creates dream-like architectural spaces for Instagram

Cape Town-based digital artist Alexis Christodoulou has generated a cult following on Instagram with his images of imaginary spaces in pale blues, pinks and yellows.Christodoulou began creating his architecture-inspired images five years ago, after teaching himself to create digital visualisations from YouTube tutorials while working as a copywriter in an advertising agency.

The renders he develops often feature tiled and terrazzo surfaces, bringing together indoor and outdoor spaces with water pools, arches, curved furniture and globe-like objects or circular openings. Some are animated, featuring morphing objects like vases that changes shape.His current series, called Imagined Architectural Spaces, began in January 2017. It has helped him accumulate over 30,000 followers on Instagram, where he posts as @teaaalexis.

“I make the spaces because I think I like the idea of going there and escaping for a while,” said Christodoulou. “They’re just extensions of my day dreams.””I put them on social media as a way of completing them and sending them out into the world so I can start on another one,” he told Dezeen.”I never thought I would get so many followers and so much attention,” he continued. “It’s really quite surreal. I’m sitting in Italy right now because of my 3D art and I still have to pinch myself every day to check if it’s all real.”

Christodoulou used Cinema 4D, Redshift, Photoshop and Lightroom to create each image.Although recent trends in architectural rendering have championed extremely realistic imagery, Christodoulou wanted to achieve a different effect with his work. The architectural elements are selected to create different effects with light, while the objects and diffused colour palette reflect his personal taste in design.”Some architectural renders nowadays look hyper real to the point where they’re almost unrecognisable as 3D renders,” the artist told Dezeen.

“I like my images to have a certain fake quality about them to let the viewer know that they don’t have to be too serious with their imagination when looking at the images.”In a recent interview with Dezeen, British set design Es Devlin said that there was often a big discrepancy between renders of buildings that suggested photo-realistic finished products and the reality of them once they were built, describing the relationship between image and reality as “problematic”.

But some visualisation experts, like Forbes Massie, say that they aim for a more painterly approach to “evoke atmosphere”. Christodolou describes 3D rendering as a form of art. His unexpected success with his architectural renders has meant that he is increasingly able to focus on his art full-time, although he is also a winemaker.”[The images are] a bit of a sketchbook for me so I’m not too concerned about where it goes as long as it keeps developing,” he said.”I’m busy with other collaborations on the side and projects that I think are busy pushing me to relook the artform of 3D. Maybe make some actual objects come to life from my renders.”

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Airbnb debuts new scaleable typeface designed by Dalton Magg

Airbnb has launched a new versatile brand typeface that is designed to have good readability across digital and print media. Designed in collaboration with international type foundry Dalton Magg, the sans serif font, called Airbnb Cereal, is designed to be characterful, functional and scaleable for use across different mediums. Airbnb’s new typeface, designed by Dalton Magg, has six weights

Using the strapline “From button to billboard”, the brand launched the typeface yesterday with six weights including Light, Book, Medium, Bold, Extra Bold and Black.Described as “playful, open, and simple”, the typeface’s distinguishing features include a taller x-height, which refers to the height of lowercase letters based on height of a lowercase x.Letters in the fonts also have slightly slanted open apertures, which can be seen in lowercase letters such as e and a.

The typeface is distinguished by a taller x-height and its open apertures “Type can get pretty small in UI (user interface) design, and if the weight is too light the type can almost completely disappear,” explained Karri Saarinen, Airbnb’s design lead of design language systems. “So we paid special attention to the balance of the Book weight as to not be too light or too heavy.”

“Lastly we toned down some of the characters so that they wouldn’t distract, but rather would be simple enough to allow people to complete tasks in the UI,” he continued.Airbnb’s typeface is part of a drive at the company to make the brand more accessible Following yesterday’s launch, Derek Chan, Airbnb’s creative lead, marketing, explained in an interview how the typeface will address some of its key business needs.

“Our work is extremely typographic, and people experience our brand across various mediums including the platform, Airbnbmag, and metro stop advertisements, ” said Chan. The new typeface will be used across all of airbnb’s communications “We have specific business needs around brand distinction, legibility, and scalability, that no available typefaces were addressing,” continued Chan.

“We wanted a typeface that would function beautifully online and offline while reflecting our brand personality, so we decided to craft our own.”The brand said that it is currently working across the company to make Airbnb more accessible, and creating a typeface with better readability is part of that effort.The name for Airbnb Cereal comes from the early days of the company in 2008, when the company’s founders launched a line of branded cereal to raise funds for the company.

“On the verge of calling it quits, our co-founders created collectible Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain branded cereal, and tapped into the fervor of the 2008 United States Presidential election to raise some cash,” explained Airbnb.Airbnb Cereal is design to work online and be scaleable”Cereal saved the company and inspired a core value to think about ways of solving problems in unexpected ways. It was a natural choice when naming our own font,” it continued.The new typeface comes almost four years after London branding agency DesignStudio created a new identity for the brand including a logo that “could be drawn by anyone”.

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Agustina Bottoni creates cocktail glasses based on Milanese architecture

Argentinian designer Agustina Bottoni has created a trio of cocktail glasses called Calici Milanesi, which recall the form the design of a Milanese villa built in the 1930s. The collection comprises three pieces of rippled glassware modelled on the work of Italian architect Piero Portaluppi, who designed modernist buildings in Milan in the 1930s and 1940s.

In particular, the glassware is designed to recall the geometric shapes and volumes of Villa Necchi Campiglio, designed by Portaluppi in 1932. “I was mostly inspired by the work of Italian architect Piero Portaluppi, who contributed to the Milanese splendour in the 1930s and 40s. His work is very striking and visual,” Bottoni told Dezeen.

“I especially appreciated one of my favourite spots to visit in Milan: the imposing Villa Necchi Campiglio,” she continued. “The residence was built for a prominent industrial upper-class family, and it flawlessly articulates geometric shapes and volumes, using the most exquisite combinations of fine materials. Its strong graphic compositions inspired me to create Calici.”

Bottini wanted the collection to reflect the Milanese tradition of “aperitivo” where people meet with friends for cocktails. “The Aperitivo is an everyday ritual and a well-deserved pause for the busy Milanese lifestyle,” said Bottoni. “This glassware trio is a homage to the city’s most indulgent tradition. Its striking geometric shapes recall the modern architectural gems of Milan while elevating your drink of choice.”

She began by experimenting with paper models to construct the desired shapes and volumes, before creating the final products from borosilicate glass, which she chose for its strength. “We had to produce a few prototypes, experimenting with proportions and even with coloured glass, until we corrected technical issues and worked on the right proportions,” she explained. The final pieces were presented at Milan design week, which took place earlier this year.


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Adorno’s emerging Lebanese designers collection shows country’s no-rule culture

Digital design store and gallery Adorno has launched a collection of products created by emerging designers based in Beirut, Lebanon.Works by 15 designers were selected and the collection was unveiled last month during Beirut Design Week at an exhibition within a recently restored 1930s apartment block that was used by snipers during Lebanon’s civil war.Paola Sakr’s concrete cylinders vessels were selected to be included in the collection

The Beirut Collection follows an open call that was put out in April 2018 to find the best independent and emerging designers whose work best expresses the design character of the region.In particular, the judging panel were looking for submissions that chimed with this year’s design week theme, Design and the City.

Following the exhibition, some of the pieces were selected to be sold through Adorno’s online store.Various dumbell-shaped candleholders, designed by Wyssem Nochi, are included in the collectionThe showcase spans furniture, lighting, ceramics, artwork, and architectural installations with highlights including a series of dumbell-shaped candleholders by Wyssem Nochi made in clear, gold and silvered glass.

When the base is filled with water, the candles float in the vessel’s stem. The design, Nochi said, is a reference to an outline of a lightbulb that he spotted graffitied on a building in the city as a protest against the country’s daily power outages.Christian Zahr referenced construction taking place in the city for his contribution to the collectionChristian Zahr’s chunky cast concrete Core lamps reference Beirut’s unending construction and the electrical wires that criss-cross the streets.

Meanwhile Paola Sakr‘s vessels are made using concrete cylinders and material scraps that she collected from construction sites around the city.Zahr created a series of chunky concrete lights Others used more unusual locally-sourced materials such as Youmna Geday, whose circular wall light, called Unborn Creatures of Light, is handmade from 59 reinforced eggshells lit from within by LED bulbs.

Zeina Aboul-Hosn and Marianne Sargi’s bottle-shaped vessels are made using Lebanese red clay, while Thomas Trad‘s tables are inspired by Japanese joinery, but made in Beirut from slabs of various colours of marble.Thomas Trad was one of 15 Beirut-based designers chosen for the collection

The judges who were tasked with selecting the exhibited pieces include Beirut Design Week’s creative director Ghassan Salameh; Adorno co-founder Kristian Snorre Andersen; Joy Mardini, founder of local Joy Mardini Design galleryAna Dominguez Siemens, the design writer and curator behind Adorno’s Madrid and Barcelona collections; and British furniture designer and author Suzanne Trocmé.Beirut Design Week’s creative director Ghassan Salameh is the permanent curator of Adorno’s online Beirut Collection.

“Compared to other communities Beirut doesn’t have a clear design heritage which gives space for each maker to design and experiment on their own,” explained Salameh.”Despite that, the craft skills and handmade approach has always been high on the agenda.”Trad’s tables are inspired by Japanese joinery, but made in Beirut

“During the past couple of years, and for the first time in our recent history, the city is experiencing a rise in local independent initiatives and movements wanting to reshape our city to become a more just, tolerant and livable space,” continued Salameh.”The playfulness and the honest reality that the pieces express are interpreting the rough history of the city while visualising the current state and positive future to come.”

Youmna Geday created a circular wall light made from reinforced eggshellsFounded in 2016 by Kristian Snorre Andersen and Martin Clausen, Adorno is a Denmark-based platform that has already created 11 other city-specific product collections including São Paulo, Mexico City, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Milan, Istanbul and Berlin.The platform plans to add new cities to its roster while also adding to its existing city collections.

Zeina Aboul-Hosn and Marianne Sargi contribution to the collection was a set of bottle-shaped vessels”Beirut has always been interesting to both of us,” Snorre Anderson told Dezeen. “It’s the first Arabic country we have worked in. The design here is touched by the culture here in Lebanon – it’s very playful.”

“I would definitely say it has something of a “no-rule” culture,” added Clausen. “They take materials directly from the streets and transform it into design. There isn’t really an established design scene here, so they are building it from scratch and that makes it very free.”Beirut is the eleventh city that Adorno has focused on to create a collection, and the platform plans to add new cities to its roster

In addition to the exposure that the exhibition and online platform provide, the Beirut designers also benefit from technical and manufacturing support provided by Fabraca Studios – a collaborative, architect-led initiative, which works with designers and craftspeople to create bespoke lighting and furniture.

“We want to help designers sell their work,” stated Snorre Anderson. “We are creating a sales channel that allows them to reach a new audience. It’s a collaboration in a sense that we bring people from different design communities together, and we are presenting them together. In this way they are strengthening each other and providing an international view on design.”

At last year’s Beirut design week, the city’s so-called trash crisis fueled a slew of recycled and upcycled projects such as biodegradable containers made from coffee grounds and grocery bags made from advertising banners.

Photography is by Taym Karesly.

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