Newsletter 07.2009

Dear Readers

Felt is a material which is experiencing a renaissance. Not just in fashion but nowadays also in product design and architecture, more and more creative spirits are exploiting the potential of this material.Architonic presents an up-to-date and comprehensive review.

'Architecture &' is a new, large-format publication from the University of Edinburgh which twice a year takes a close look at an architectural theme with in-depth texts and attractive illustrations.

Thonet has launched a photographic competition relating to the classic chair No. 214, more than 50 million of which have been manufactured, making it the world's best-selling chair ever. Why not try your luck with a snapshot of your own!

Be inspired!

Your Architonic Team
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Feeling Felt
Felt in contemporary design and architecture

Felt is a material which is experiencing a renaissance. Not just in fashion but nowadays also in product design and architecture, more and more creative spirits are exploiting the potential of this material. In the area of tension between archaic material and norm product, between handicrafts and industrial production, its textile character requires very special handling. Architonic presents an up-to-date and comprehensive review.

  Feeling Felt  
Wosk Theater, Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance. Architect: Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design. Design and fabrication felt walls: Kathryn Walter of FELT Studios. Photo: Anne Garrison of Hewitt Garrison Photography

The increasing importance of ecological building materials in architecture and design has ensured that nowadays felt, one of the oldest materials known to humanity, is experiencing a renaissance.

Wool fibre or animal hair is processed in water, soap and clay, with the result that the fibre or hair swells and develops a rough, scale-like surface. The fibre is increasingly matted together by constant filling, kneading and pressing until it can no longer be separated. After it dries felt is a material which has useful properties, in particular for ecological interior building work. Felt made of 100% sheep's wool has, for example, low flammability and is at the same time breathable and temperature regulating, because the material can absorb large amounts of moisture and allow it to evaporate again. Because of its fibrous structure felt also has excellent heat and cold insulation properties, while also insulating against sound and vibration. And because felt is made of naturally renewable raw materials it is of course fully biodegradable.

Produced on an industrial scale felt can nowadays be supplied in almost any form: thick or thin, light or heavy, hard or soft, flexible or rigid, and in any colour.

Coat easy chair, 2009, Design: Fredrik Färg. Manufacturer: Materia

However, it is this very spectrum of different forms, ranging from traditional handmade material right down to the normed, compression-moulded industrial product, that makes felt such a creative challenge to architects and designers. The reason for this is that in spite of its many and varied possibilities, one property remains constant - the textile quality of the material can always be experienced. Accordingly we see fallbacks in the designs to images of the flying carpet or the traditional coat collar. However, in the architectural field in particular new departures are being explored, as the initial examples interpreting felt as a kind of wall covering show.


With 'Fashioning Felt' the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is dedicating a major exhibition to the material. The exhibition runs until 7 September 2009 and is accompanied by a catalogue of the same name.

Here Architonic has compiled an extensive and up-to-date overview of the subject of felt in design and architecture.

Architecture &
a themed publication by the University of Edinburgh

Founded in 2009 by the School of Arts, Culture and Environment at the University of Edinburgh the Journal Architecture & provides a platform for innovative ideas in design and research practices.

  Architecture &  
Each issue features on the cover a work by a Scottish artist: Volume 01 features Donald Urquhart`s `North Uist Drawing`

'Architecture &' is a themed publication, edited by Dr. Cary Siress, with each issue featuring a select topic set in conjunction with that of architecture. The aim is to understand the diversity of relationships and interactions that continue to broaden the field of architecture, while offering readers a mix of perspectives on the implications of such exchanges. Each edition appears in print bi-annually and is circulated to selected venues worldwide. The launch issue (Volume 01) considers 'Architecture And Property', currently a theme at the heart of many unresolved but critically important debates.

From 'Architecture and Property': "Happy Together?" by Catherine Ingraham: The reconstructed Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room (orig. 1893-94, by Adler & Sullivan) showing ornamental stenciling on ceilings and walls.

Scheduled for publication in Autumn 2009, Volume 02 considers Architecture & Work. This theme takes on poignant significance in light of the current global financial turmoil. The next conversation will be opened by asking how work, in all its varied meanings, is situated within current architectural thinking and related fields of enquiry. To engage such questions, Mark Jarzombek (Professor of History, Theory, and Criticism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Architecture), whose work includes the recently published book A Global History of Architecture, is invited for an extended contribution with cover art by Donald Urquhart and Photographer John K McGregor.

'Architecture &' welcomes contributions from individuals and groups, including practitioners, researchers, educators, artists and activists. Contributions are reviewed by an editorial collective comprised of ACE faculty as well by seminal figures in academia and practice abroad.

Architonic Poster Series

The first two issues of the Architonic Poster Series can now be ordered online - each one of them showing over a hundred products selected by our international team of architects and designers. As the name hints, our posters are conceived as a series. Every half a year there is a new poster with a new theme which you can add precisely to the end of the one before. Like this your overview of the best products will grow constantly - like our database. Detailed information about the products shown on the poster you can find on at any time. Just type in our web address and add the product ID behind it. Of course you can also request catalogues, ask the manufacturers about prices and find a specialist dealer who provides the product nearby.

  Architonic Poster Series
Thonet Photo contest 214x214
Thonet is seeking the best 214 photos of chair no. 214

214 is often called the chair of all chairs. No other chair has ever been reproduced as many times. To date, more than 50 million copies have been made. And the family enterprise Thonet is still producing it in Germany following the original well-tried and proven principles.

The basis for the chair was a new technique that enabled the bending of solid wood. Michael Thonet perfected the process during the 1850s and thus introduced serial production. And there was an ingenious distribution concept as well. 36 disassembled chairs could be packed in a single box and sent anywhere in the world. They were assembled on site - in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. Therefore, Thonet is considered a pioneer of industrial design, and chair no. 14, today 214, is considered the most successful industrial product in the world.

  Thonet Photo contest 214x214

The jury consisting of Peter Thonet, Philipp Thonet, Roland Ohnacker, Susanne Korn, James Irvine, Judith Brauner, and Claudia Neumann will select 214 of the best images from among all the submissions, and the winners can look forward to great prizes such as a trip for 2 to New York. Anyone (except for employees of THONET GmbH) can participate free of charge. Submission deadline is on August 31st 2009.

Gestalter gesucht: Manager PR

Die DE SEDE GROUP mit den Marken de Sede, FSM, Machalke&Machalke und Living by Machalke sucht Sie als Manager PR für die Kommunikation aller unternehmensrelevanten Themen gegenüber der Öffentlichkeit. Haben Sie eine abgeschlossene Ausbildung im Bereich Kommunikations-, Medienwissenschaft oder Journalismus und erste Berufserfahrungen?

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Remembering Jan Kaplický - Architect of Future Systems
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Tape installation
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Nomiya replaces Everland
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Green Architecture for the Future
29 May - 4 October 2009 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen

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Sara Sheth: Weaving Vision and Elbow Grease
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If you ever receive an invitation to explore the inner workings of Maharam's New York headquarters, accept quickly. This all-white office space is clearly the domain of a laudable neatnik.
New & Renewed Memberships on Architonic
    New & Renewed Memberships on Architonic