Newsletter 04.2009

Dear Readers

The 'Salone' in Milan remains the undisputed leading trade fair for the furniture industry, this year in combination with Euroluce. Visitor numbers gave no indication that we're in the middle of a financial crisis, but do the new products reveal a mood of economic pessimism? What did the normally resplendent booths of the exhibitors look like? Why not take a look for yourself! The Architonic team has made some live videos for you and put together a collection of new products.

In addition we are presenting the first article in our series 'Investment stimulus for public projects', which features an outstanding project, the Glattalbahn, 'Urban Swiss Design'.

Right on time for the Milan fair we launched our blog for you:!

Be inspired!

Your Architonic Team
Zurich | Milan | Berlin | Barcelona | Copenhagen | London | Miami
Report from the Salone Internazionale del Mobile fair and the Milan Design Week

In the last three years the unmistakable signs that the world's largest furniture fair had opened its doors in Milan were long queues at the entrance to the site, on the underground or at taxi ranks, gridlock all around the fair, overbooked hotels and frustrated furniture makers who had for years been trying without success to book space for a stand.

Moroso booth

Those who had expected that during times of financial crisis the Salone as a major event would this time have to struggle with empty spaces or a sharp fall in the number of exhibitors and visitors in fact experienced exactly the opposite - the mood among the exhibitors was both positive and optimistic. The shaky start to the season made by the furniture fair in Cologne led to massive scratching of heads within the industry. The uncertainty was interpreted as a negative development which would set the trend for the industry, but for Milan this turned out to be an advantage rather than the opposite. The absence of the entire Charme group with the prestigious furniture brands of Cappellini, Cassina, Alias and Poltrona Frau from the fair, brands which had in previous years dominated the site with their overwhelming presence, enabled a redistribution of exhibition space which was good for the Salone. Other well-known brands were able to enlarge the space available to them and improve their product presentation as a result. Some companies were able to present their products on the exhibition site after waiting years for stand space in Milan. It should be mentioned that numerous German producers took advantage of this opportunity.

Trends Salone del Mobile Milano 2009
The four most important trends from Milano

"Super normal" is normal
At times of crisis many manufacturers go back to basics, and the design principle of the "super normal" propagated by Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morisson has become the answer for products when times are hard. No more focus on elaborate experiments with design and form. The aim is no longer to be noticed whatever the cost - instead the objective is to become part of scene as unobtrusively as possible. Delicate new interpretations of the archetypical chair were to be seen in large numbers and are intended to ensure healthy sales figures without long development times. The reason for this trend is that the "super normal" (almost) always adapts itself to its surroundings, whether these are in private households at the kitchen and dining table or for commercial purposes such as the restaurant or waiting room...

  Trends Salone del Mobile Milano 2009  
Cappellini: Bac Chair, Design: Jasper Morisson
Selected novelties from the Salone del Mobile Milano
Video summary
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First impressions from the Salone del Mobile
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Selected novelties 2009
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More selected novelties 2009
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Impressions from Zona Tortona and other places of the fair
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Festival of temporary architecture?
Architectural highlights of the Milan fair booths

The crisis was perhaps most visible in the design of the booths at the fair. Whereas on previous occasions Milan always proved to be a festival of temporary architecture, this year we had to look hard for innovative concepts. Here's a selection of the most attractive booths at Milan 2009:

  Festival of temporary architecture?  
Wogg / Ycami
Caimi / Moroso
A daily dose of Architonic = is our latest project, which was launched to coincide with the 'design fest' in Milan. The name says it all: dailytonic aims at inspiring you every day, and so we reported live from Milan, of course.

dailytonic focuses on project-relevant information for architects, interior designers, furnishing specialists and planners. Only the best projects, products and materials are selected for publication.

  A daily dose of Architonic =

On the one hand dailytonic filters for you the latest entries from the comprehensive data base at, saving you the trouble of looking for everything that's brand new. At the same time our editors will select the highlights for you from the innumerable blogs and websites which are now online. It's our aim to serve you a refreshing daily cocktail presenting the most exciting new developments in an efficient way!

Urban Swiss Design: Glattalbahn Zurich
Architonic Series 'Investment Stimulus for Public Projects', Article 1

It's no coincidence that a project such as the Glattalbahn has been implemented in Switzerland. In spite of the complex planning and construction process the Glattbahn is impressive in a number of respects, ranging from the urban planning aspect to the details of the project's implementation. In our view it is an outstanding example of the way in which a project can influence urban identity by applying the highest design standards and comprehensive overall coordination.

With its 12.7 km the Glattalbahn runs through the (urban) landscape like a red thread, binding the individual towns and districts of the Glattal - noth aglomeration of Zurich - into a single urban space. The line forms an integrating element in the overall design of the city and its landscape, creating a uniform image.

The Central Glattal is the fastest-growing business area in Switzerland. Therefore the Glattalbahn is not just a transport project launched by the public transport authorities for the Zurich agglomeration. It is also a highly complex product of spatial planning, urban development, business promotion, landscape and traffic planning, linking up the public transport facilities of all the areas involved and creating the necessary infrastructure.

  Urban Swiss Design: Glattalbahn Zurich  
The Glattalbahn network. 'Glattal City' is linked by the line of the light railway like a red thread. Picture/Copyright: Heierli AG Zürich/VBG, Glattalbahn

The exemplary interdisciplinary cooperation of all those involved in the project is precondition for the high quality of the results. Solving the complex tasks presented by the project demands a far-sighted cooperation among the project's owners, local authorities, planners, architects and contractors.
Although only about 2% of the planning results can be seen above ground it was necessary to prepare everything below ground for the civil engineering work required both now and in the future.

Planning diagram. Picture/Copyright: Heierli AG, Zürich / VBG, Glattbrugg

The corporate identity of the Glattalbahn is determined by a uniform design concept which was developed by the architect Kai Flender, formerly working at Nicholas Grimshaw's office.
All specially designed elements of the buildings for rail stations and bus stops, overhead-line support masts and railings shares the same formal idiom thanks to a homogeneous prefabricated system produced by Burri public elements. The overall concept also includes the green areas, the facade design, the bus shelters and their surrounding area as well as the lighting and the construction of road and railway lines. In public projects we can rarely find such a holistic view of all the elements accompanying the railway line.

More Articles from «News &Trends»

Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics
by Morphosis
  More Articles from «News &Trends»

At the beginning of this year, the International Year of Astronomy, the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics opened its doors in Pasadena, California.
Award winners Fries & Zumbühl
Success for a young Zurich design duo

We liked the 'Darling' bed at first sight when we came across it for the first time at last year's Stockholm Furniture Fair, where it gave a clear indication of its enormous potential.
The Matchbox strikes
Amsterdam mixed use design receives aesthetics approval

Granted aesthetic planning permission in Amsterdam North, The Matchbox is an blend of artistic, creative and commercial spaces tailored to suit this artistic quarter.
Hightech-Fassade am WM-Stadion
Nur mehr 80 Tage: Fassadenmontage am WM-Stadion in Johannesburg geht in die Endrunde

fibreCamp ist der Name der Feldfabrik, die derzeit auf der Baustelle des Soccer City Stadions in Johannesburg in Südafrika stationiert ist. Diese wurde von Rieder vor Ort errichtet, um die Installation der über 40.000 fibreC Platten in unterschiedlichsten Farben und Grösse effizienter zu gestalten.
ORDOS 100 #34
designed by NU architectuuratelier

In Ordos, a desert is turned into a prosperous cityscape. In this reclaimed territory with a hostile climate we are asked to intervene. The program: a house. Our concept: universal need for shelter. Solution: a void.
Mike Meiré presents Dornbrachts novelties at this year´s ISH

The cooperation between artist and designer Mike Meiré and the upmarket manufacturer Dornbracht has lasted for 17 years now.
New & Renewed Memberships on Architonic
    New & Renewed Memberships on Architonic
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