Newsletter 03.2009

Dear Readers

The Architonic Guide Milano 2009 is now ready for you to download! As imposing as the array of manufacturers is during the Salone del Mobile, the extent of the fair has achieved critical mass. To enable you to enjoy your visit to the fair without any stress we have once more compiled a selection of the best manufacturers in our Architonic Guide.

ISH has been taking place for over 50 years now, but now the news is slowly getting round that the bathroom is transforming itself into a living space - and that a radical reinterpretation of sanitary objects is taking place, transforming them into items of furniture. Here are our impressions, with a video compilation.

Shadow reliefs enjoy a long tradition in the design of facades. Thanks to digital processing during manufacturing, it is now possible to produce complex designs and effect-rich surfaces at reasonable cost.

For the first time the Interzum trade fair for suppliers to the furniture industry and interior fittings is this year opening a hall - "innovation of interior" - which is specially aimed at architects and designers. Architonic will be participating with this year's Concept Space as a partner to the initiative, and we are looking forward to your visit.

Be inspired!

Your Architonic Team
Zurich | Milan | Berlin | Barcelona | Copenhagen | London | Miami

Sanitary fixtures as furniture, taps as sculptural objects
We analyse the trends at this year's ISH in Frankfurt
    Sanitary fixtures as furniture, taps as sculptural objects  
Axo Urquiola by Partricia Urquiola for Axor Hansgrohe

Even though for 50 years it has been one of the world's leading trade fairs for the building industry, at first glance all the things which nowadays lie behind the three letters ISH are not immediately obvious. "The bathroom as a world of experience; building, energy and climate technology; and renewable energy" - the slightly long-winded supplement to the title - tries to capture the full range of the themes which are covered, but at the same time it displays the fair's basic dilemma.

Supernova by Sieger Design for Dornbracht

Fifty years ago, the bathroom was still the domain of the plumbers, with customers looking for solutions which would be functional, practical and make the best use of the available space. The bathroom was basically the location where hygienic functions were carried out. In its design successive, generations of architects restricted themselves to measuring and equipping this space in accordance with the standard specifications of the universally applied 'Neufert' architectural guidelines.
The 'Inter-loo' nickname which architects apply to ISH is a reflection of the image which the event still has today with many planners, and only those who have no choice actually attend.

Pura Vida by Phoenix Design for Duravit

However, this is doing the fair an injustice, because in our present-day lifestyle the bathroom has become a place where we spend time and relax. The extensive demand for the stimulation of all the senses by means of water, scent, light and warmth has within a short space of time aroused the bathroom from its slumbers and released it from its 'wet space' image. No other area of the home and hotel layout has experienced such radical change in recent years. New rituals in our lives have broken down the clear division between the living area, the bedroom and the functions of the bathroom, which has led in a large degree to new demands being made on today's architecture and products.

Khroma by Erwin Himmel for Roca

Although in past years concepts for open-plan bathroom areas with a living area character were already making their appearance at ISH, the fittings they contained were still the classical objects of white bathroom ceramics and chrome-plated taps. At this year's ISH, however, we discovered a new development which we regard as a really significant one: classical bathroom products such as the bath, wash basin and WC are no longer just placed in the context of a living space, they are now themselves developing into furnishing elements which can be freely positioned within the room and are adopting the presence of living space furniture.
Selected novelties from the ISH
Video summary
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"Having the right know-how about new materials and the latest trends in architecture and design within an international context is absolutely essential to our daily design work. The Architonic platform is a standard part of our research operations."
Statement of Tom Schönherr, Phoenix Design, Stuttgart/Tokio
Architonic Guide - Salone Internazionale del Mobile Milan 2009
Let yourself to be guided
Last year the Salone del Mobile was bursting at the seams. In 2009 we will, economic crisis or no crisis, once more be very dependent on good guides. Architonic has taken a good look at the 1350 exhibitors who will be on show on the exhibition site's 155,000 square metres and selected the 281 who we believe will be of the most interest to you. These you will find in our easy-to-use Architonic Guide Milano. We've taken a great deal of time over this because we want to save you time. From 22 - 27 April the Architonic Guide will be available from the stands of all the manufacturers who are listed, or as a download right here.

  Architonic Guide - Salone Internazionale del Mobile Milan 2009
The new materiality of shadows
For hundreds of years artists and architects have been fascinated by cast shadows and perspective - the two shaping factors of spatial representation. Today the direct control of production machinery by means of digital design tools imparts an entirely new complexity to 'optical reliefs', which not only enable any image to be created as a cast shadow, but also make it possible to represent a multiplicity of images in one relief surface. Another new factor is the potential for industrial production, which opens up fully new possibilities for architecture in particular. Below we present three recent examples of shadow research.

  The new materiality of shadows  
A shadow casting panel by Drzach & Suchy: depending on the incidence of light we see either Le Corbusier or Mies van der Rohe.

Cast shadow reliefs are a new technique for uniting and depicting one or more images in one physical object. For this purpose a motif is converted into a quantity of pixels and transformed into the black and white format. A third dimension is now added to this grid of pixels and a relief is created. The greyscale of the black and white pixels in the image receives the specific geometry of the relief pixels.

Mock-up of a facade study by atelier ww. A relief on the exposed concrete is created by the use of a polyurethane mould which is produced using CNC technology and can be re-used up to one hundred times.

The simplest case is an optical relief with pictorial information which becomes visible when the light falls on it. In the image below the New Zealand agency Clemenger BBDO has developed a relief made of pegs which vary in length and accordingly cast differently sized shadows. When the sun shines on it the image of a sunbathing woman becomes visible. The subline of the advertisement promotes suntan lotion: "Makes sense when the sun's out."
Innovation of Interior
Interzoom 2009
    Innovation of Interior

This year's Interzum in Cologne is taking an important step in the direction of architects and planners in the form of its hall 4.2 on the theme of "innovation of interior", or "ioi" for short. Interzum is well known as a specialist fair for suppliers to furniture producers and interior fittings. This means that a major traditional component of the fair consists of products for which today even dedicated trend exhibitions are organised: innovative materials and processing technologies.
As these topics are nowadays receiving an increasing amount of attention from architects and designers, Interzum has established in "Innovation of Interior" an exhibition hall which is aimed specially at the needs of these target groups.
Architonic is a partner in this initiative and looks forward to welcoming you to the Architonic Concept Space II from 13 - 16 May 2009, hall 4.2.
"ioi" will, in addition to the "Creative Lounge", function as a central focal point and provide special exhibitions on the subjects of materials and mobility, lightweight construction, lighting and an overview of the social changes which are becoming increasingly relevant to all planning measures.
Win one of 500 entrance tickets to Interzum
Visionary technology and innovative design - fittings and surfaces, wood and veneer, leather, upholstery and upholstery machinery - will be presented at the sector's international leading trade fair.
All those who register before 3rd of May 2009 have the chance to win one of 500 entrance tickets to Interzum. The winners will be informed by email. We look forward to welcoming you to our stand in Cologne - Halle 4.2.
Interzum Cologne, 13 - 16 May 2009

  Win one of 500 entrance tickets to Interzum
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