Could an emergency shelter also provide its users with food? Could we make furniture you can eat? Could you merge furniture and farming into one device?
It’s questions like these that set biodesign studio Terreform ONE (Open Network Ecology) apart from other design collaboratives. Instead of looking at design as finding a solution to solve one problem, their structures and furniture pieces try to tackle many issues facing the planet all at once. Need a structure to house refugees as well as find them a reliable source for protein? Why not build them a home that also acts as a cricket farm?
Bill Pedersen is a renowned architect and founding design partner of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, which is currently leading New York City's Hudson Yards Project. Less known, but equally important, is Pedersen's design versatility. He holds multiple design patents and recently created a new line of furniture, Loop de Loop, that is beautiful, comfortable, and technically innovative. Join Pedersen and Donald Albrecht, the City Museum's Curator of Architecture and Design, for a conversation exploring not only the new furniture and its influences, but also the history of architect-designed furnishings. This event is part of the Museum’s ongoing Design Talks series examining the today's leading trends in design, architecture, graphics, and multimedia.
From Frank Lloyd Wright to Mies van der Rohe, many architects have dabbled in designing smaller-scale items. While some argue that industrial design is not an architect's place, many would beg to differ. The following article, originally published on Design Curial, describes various architects involved with industrial design today.
Architects who take a break from the built environment and turn their attention to designing smaller items are most often driven – initially at least – by what they see as necessity. They struggle to find the right furniture, signage or lighting for their interiors, and convince their client that they are the perfect people to design them.
Those architects quickly get a taste for the smaller scale then hunt down opportunities to design other items, in the hope that some may go into mass production. This is further fueled by those 'big names' who are approached by manufacturers to use their signature to brand the product. While there is a logic to this sequence of events, it still begs the question: why would anyone who can get commissioned to design a building bother with anything smaller?
Grimshaw Architects' dual focus on industrial and architectural design will be celebrated this month in a featured exhibit at Milan Furniture Fair. In this article, originally published by Metropolis under the title "Down to the Details," author Ken Shulman presents the firm's evolution in the context of the exhibit, touching on the projects being presented and more intriguingly — on how they are being presented.
Shortly after he joined Grimshaw Architects, Andrew Whalley was tasked with putting together an exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London. Titled Product + Process, the 1988 show was decidedly counter-current—a parade of pragmatic, largely industrial structures Grimshaw realized in the UK in the face of surging postmodern fervor. Featured projects included the transparent building the then 15-person firm designed to house the Financial Times’ London printing facilities, and a flexible, easily reconfigurable factory Grimshaw built for Herman Miller in Bath. But it wasn’t the selection of projects that caught the public eye. “We asked our clients to take apart pieces of their buildings, and then rebuild them for the exhibition,” says Whalley, now deputy chairman of Grimshaw. “This wasn’t a typical show of architectural drawings and models.”
MVRDV, in cooperation with the Belgian furniture label Sixinch, have designed a playful furniture series that imagines an antidote to the sprawled, generic urban growth of East Asia's mega-cities. Each of the 77 large cushions in “Vertical Village” - currently on display at Milan's Design Week - take the form of small, densely-packed houses, colorful alternatives to the horizontal, block-like residential buildings that currently dot East Asia's skylines. From the exhibition:
"The Vertical Village - observation of the uncontrolled growth of Asian cities, which has lead to the disappearance of urban villages on a human scale, prompts the designers to develop a livable city model that promotes upward growth: a vertical village composed of small residential nuclei that ensure human relationships and, at the same time, leave room for green areas and gathering places. The installation is composed of 77 large cushions in the form of small houses, all different.”
Charles and Ray Eames, the husband and wife duo, left an indelible mark on furniture design and modern architecture. Their work has been highly regarded for its invention and regard for the principles of modernism. This TEDx Talk, delivered by their grandson Eames Demetrios, humanizes these idolized designers - bringing family, and their early struggles as designers to the forefront of the conversation.With a collection of rarely seen footage, the TEDx Talk reveals Charles and Ray's relationship and life prior to designing the famous Eames Chair.