Newsletter 05.2011

Dear Readers

The heat is on.

While the Big One, aka the Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile, might be over, there is still a host of design fairs and other events taking place as we move into another early summer (here in Zurich, at least) to keep your appetite for new design products and trends, as well as developments in creative thinking, nicely sated. Two recent ones were Belgrade Design Week and ICFF New York, our impressions of which you'll find in this newsletter - along with our usual selection of the latest features and architectural projects from

So here's what's in store:

- Balkanicity!: impressions from Belgrade Design Week 2011
- New, New, New: New York Design News
- Light Headed: Architonic reviews the recent Euroluce 2011 fair in Milan
- Spectacular Vernacular: contemporary architecture gets crafty
- The latest projects from Architonic's 'Architecture & Design' section

Be inspired!

Your Architonic Team
Zurich | Milan | Barcelona | Berlin | Cologne | Copenhagen | Stockholm | London | Miami
Architonic joins a heavy-hitting line-up of speakers at Belgrade Design Week 2011
Impressions from Belgrade Design Week 2011
As we write this, there a few sore heads being nursed here at Architonic HQ. We're just back from this year's Belgrade Design Week, where we were invited (if you'll allow us a touch of immodesty) to join a heavy-hitting line-up of speakers at the 'Future²' conference, which included the likes of Snøhetta, Zaha Hadid Architects, Stefan Diez, Arik Levy and Mike Meiré - all within a framework of second-to-none Serbian hospitality. BDW, the brainchild of London- and Moscow-based branding creative Jovan Jelovac, is undoubtedly one of the most passion-driven, inspirational and chaotic international design events going, where nothing starts on time, everything is subject to change at the last minute, and, most importantly, new creative partnerships and personal friendships are forged. We learned very quickly to forego any attempt to stick to the notion of a schedule and, instead, to go with the Belgradian flow.
Belgrade goes out: the highly sociable Serbian capital during Belgrade Design Week

On our first night in the Serbian capital, we ended up in a restaurant where the president was partying with some of his acolytes to the rhythms of a small gypsy band. As news broke the following morning that the Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic had been arrested, we realised that this may have had something to do with the presidential high spirits we'd witnessed the previous evening. The past is still very present in Belgrade (the conference venue, for example, was a downtown theatre, behind a row of NATO-bombed buildings), which is why the openness and energy you feel in a city where every night is like Saturday night takes on a particular restorative, curative significance.
Architonic interviews Abitare magazine at Belgrade Design Week 2011

Serbia's best creative years in terms of design and architecture might lie ahead of it, but, with the national debt rising and many of the country's brightest young, opportunity-hungry creatives buying one-way tickets out of the Balkans, these years lie some way off. All the more reason for Belgrade to host future-gazing events like BDW, which aim to inspire tomorrow's local talent as much as locate Serbia on the design map in the minds of the international design community. We'll analyse the success of these aims in our full Belgrade Design Week report, appearing soon in the 'News & Trends' section of

Meanwhile, click below for Architonic's photo impressions of Belgrade Design Week.

And don't forget to look out for our filmed interviews of BDW's top speakers - coming soon to
New, New, New
New York Design News
As every spring, Architonic travelled to New York on your behalf in order to investigate the latest trends on the North American market for you. Here we report on what we discovered in the city's showrooms and at the ICFF.
  New, New, New  
Pendant Light of the Delta Series by Rich, Brilliant, Willing

Among other new products the Canadian design manufacturers Bensen exhibited the 'Torii' chair and the 'Edward' sofa. Torii is an unadorned chair which is given formal refinement by the compactly arranged rear legs. In spite of its reduced look and simple design the chair is very comfortable to sit on, thanks to its wide and ergonomically formed seat and curved backrest. The design was inspired by the typical wooden arched doorway in Japanese temples, from which the name 'Torii' is also derived. This chair features everything we expect of Japanese design, such as well-balanced form which impresses with its simplicity, traditional craftsmanship and finish.
Edward on the other hand is a new interpretation of an American Modern classic: the plain, clean lines, narrow form and flat upholstery which has a traditional tufted look are supplemented by soft, down-filled cushions. Edward is available in three sizes and with a finish in leather, fabric, or fabric combined with leather.
"Torii" chair by Bensen was inspired by the typical wooden arched doorway in Japanese temples

The 3Form 'RippleWall' consists of undulating narrow panels which create the impression of a woven structure. The RippleWall is simple to install and gives walls visual depth. It represents an efficient and aesthetic solution with which the look of existing rooms can be enhanced.
Made of recycled plastic bottles 'LineUp' is a new product in the 100% collection of 3Form USA. LineUp is highly resistant and suitable for surfaces such as tabletops and counters, which are subject to a lot of wear and tear. 3Form aims at minimising the impact on the environment with concrete measures and new products, while maximising the sustainability of its products. The new Varia Ecoresin collection was also developed on the basis of this philosophy. It consists to a level of 40% of recycled material and presents new textures inspired by nature - for example the 'ICE' panels, which are reminiscent of a lake frozen over in winter.
Start your summer romance now with the Architonic App!
Architonic is, of course, your online architecture and design resource for all seasons, but now that summer's here - which means you're probably out and about even more - why not download the Architonic App for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch? It puts the entire Architonic products and materials database in your hands, allowing you, as architect, interior architect, planner or, simply, design consumer, to carry out your professional research on anytime, anywhere.

The intuitive navigation across product groups, manufacturers, designers or free-text searches allows you to locate the right products at the right time.

And all of this with breathtaking speed and brilliant picture quality - and, of course, it's always up to date.

So what are you waiting for? A three-month subscription costs just €3.99.

It's a summer romance just waiting to happen.
  Start your summer romance now with the Architonic App!
Light Headed
Architonic reviews the recent Euroluce 2011 fair in Milan
Excuse me. Have you got a light? No? Well, maybe you should have visited this year's edition of Euroluce, the international lighting fair that rides pillion with the Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile. But not to worry. Architonic has made a selection of some of the show's luminaries for you, so sit back and light up.
  Light Headed  
Werner Aisslinger's 'Behive' table light for Italian brand Foscarini

Among the larger, louder objects currently on display at London's Design Museum is the rather modest overall winner of this year's Brit Insurance Design Awards: a light bulb. Leaving aside the institution's somewhat hyperbolic description of the plaudits as 'the Oscars of the design world' for a moment, young British designer Sam Wilkinson's formally intriguing, low-energy 'Plumen 001' bulb - which marries expressive aesthetics with a sound eco-awareness - serves, among other things, to demonstrate that our love affair with artificial light is still going strong.
'Beth' by Carlo Colombo for Italian manufacturer Oluce
Milan Talking
Architonic interviews from the Salone del Mobile 2011
Leading designers, among them Erwan Bouroullec, Barber Osgerby, Patricia Urquiola, Monica Förster, Noé Duchaufour Lawrance, Claesson Koivisto Rune and Werner Aisslinger, share their thoughts on this year's Milan Furniture Fair on film with Architonic.

Spectacular Vernacular
Contemporary applications of craft-based building methods
There was a time when context was everything in construction. Local materials were transformed by the ambition and skill of the builder into a functional, stylistically appropriate structure. In the face of an, at times seemingly inexorable, movement towards a homogenous, global design language in architecture, a number of architects have recently completed projects that embrace low-tech, craft-based building methods to add real environmental and cultural value.
  Spectacular Vernacular  
Dutch architect Arjen Reas chose to use thatch for this house on the outskirts of the city of Zoetermeer, as the owners requested a contemporary design incorporating traditional values; photo Kees Hageman

In the countryside and in small rural towns, there tends to be greater protection against inappropriate architectural styles, and a level of respect for the history of a place is encouraged. This was an important consideration for B + B Bureau while designing the Het Entreehuis, a pilot house that forms part of a proposed collection of dwellings to be constructed in the grounds of the Groote Scheere country estate in the north east of the Netherlands. The architects chose craft techniques appropriate to the local vernacular and combined them with a form that is both resolutely modern and a direct response to the typical farm buildings nearby.
Guinée + Potin Architects used wooden shingles typical of the area to weatherproof the exterior of this museum extension in France; photo Stéphane Chalmeau
Recent Projects from 'Architecture & Design'
Mitsutomo Matsunami Architect & Associates
  Recent Projects from 'Architecture & Design'  
Apartment in Katayama; photo Mitsutomo Matsunami

Mathieu Lehanneur
Église St Hilaire à Melle: photographer © Felipe Ribon
Patkau Architects
Winnipeg Skating Shelters; photographer © James Dow
Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
La Gaîté Lyrique; photographer © Philippe Ruault