Newsletter 02.2010

Dear Readers

VIA, the successful French 'platform that encourages exchanges between designers, art directors, manufacturers and distributors', took this year's Maison & Objet fair as an opportunity to celebrate its 30 years in existence with a comprehensive retrospective. Architonic visited the show and you can read what we thought of it in this issue of our newsletter.

MADE in Milan is one of the most important international fairs for materials and constructions and a real treasure trove for curious material enthusiasts. Below you can find our extensive summary of the most impressive discoveries.

The new-year trade-fair marathon has begun. Allow us, in our first video summary, to present to you our selection of novelties from this year's imm cologne.

In a few weeks' time, light+building - the most important architecture and engineering trade fair - takes place in Frankfurt. Not only has Architonic once again put together its handy guide to the fair, but we'll also be there with our new Concept Space. We'd love it if you paid us a visit.

Let yourself be inspired!

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

Prototype, prototype, prototype
Architonic spends some time with VIA, the Paris-based organisation committed to identifying and supporting young French design talent.
    Prototype, prototype, prototype  
'The Zelfo Embrace' chair by Elise Gabriel & TheGreenFactory, 2010

"We'll always have Paris", says Humphrey Bogart reassuringly to Ingrid Bergman in the film classic 'Casablanca'. For many of those attending this year's Maison & Objet design fair at the French capital's Parc des Expositions, there was also a feeling of reassurance as high-end, big-name manufacturers set up their glittering pitches in healthy numbers, leaving us with the feeling that things aren't, just perhaps, that bad after all. 'Who says there's a crisis?,' leading Gallic brand Ligne Roset goes as far as asking in its new catalogue. (More of the house of Roset later.)
'Flex' chair (detail) by Itamar Burstein, 2010

Elsewhere in Paris, running concurrently with Maison & Objet and beyond, two design exhibitions display a rather different focus, showcasing the work of tomorrow's furniture-design stars, rather than that of designers who've already made it. Both shows are organised by VIA, the body founded by CODIFAB (or the Comité pour le développement des industries françaises de l'ameublement, if you're not that acronymically minded), with the support of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, VIA, which stands for Valorisation de l'innovation de l'ameublement, describes itself as 'a platform that encourages exchanges between designers, art directors, manufacturers and distributors'. Patrice Juin, head of projects at the organisation, has a more succinct way of describing what they do: 'We're a laboratory.' Every year, VIA puts its money where the mouth of so many other design-promotional associations is by actually financing through a grant scheme the realisation of projects by young designers, and in doing so reveals new creative talent. Many of the new generation of French designers to have emerged over the last few years, which includes such well-known names as Philippe Nigro, Inga Sempé, and before them Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, had their early projects funded by VIA.
MADE Milan - Materials Report Part 1/3
MADE 2010, short for Milano Design Architettura Edilizia, took place at the city's trade-fair grounds, wowing visitors with an exciting exhibition of building and other materials
The old guard also got a look-in from fair-goers, as there were some great material discoveries to be made at not only the more but also the less obvious stands - discoveries that delighted through their innovation and high quality. The Architonic crew was very impressed. Because of the wealth of materials on show, which we gathered over three days, we've decided to deliver our report on the exhibiton's novelities in three parts - a trilogy, if you will. We start with day one....
  MADE Milan - Materials Report Part 1/3  
'Il canto del Fuoco'® chimney by antoniolupi

antoniolupi, in collaboration with designer Domenico De Palo and the fireplace specialists Massimo Pistolesi, presented a developed concept for the living/bathroom.
All the fireplaces in the 'Il canto del Fuoco'® collection are ethanol-fuelled; two litres of the stuff produce five hours of fire. The comfortable thing about it all is that the fire can be lit, and turned off, at the touch of a button. No cinders, no soot, minimal emissions - "Il canto del Fuoco"® is a clean and environmentally friendly provider of warmth. The fireplaces' sophisticated designs and the cosy atmosphere they create make them a comfortable and desirable luxury-bathroom accessory.
Egger laminate bonded panelling with concrete look

Egger is one of the world's leading manufacturers of wood-based materials, for example melamine resin-coated boards and laminate bonded panelling with fascinating architectural surfaces. Egger also produces acoustic panelling. The structures and coatings can be applied, according to the function and need of the planner or architect, to different substrates (MDF, lightweight building panels, oriented strand board). Therein lies in a question, however. Are the products wood or are they slate? You decide.
Alpi 'Concept Wood' collection

The source of inspiration for the new Concept Wood collection from Alpi, one of the leading manufacturers of plywood, can be found in healing plants, like dill, mugwort, marigold, St John's wort, psyllium and thyme. They are cues for a series of textures, which draw on the plants' chromatic language and achieve special, refined nuances and successfully applied colours; Alpi translates the botanical forms in a original manner, focusing on the morphology of the branch, be it bark, leaves or blossom.
News from Cologne
Our video summary from this year's imm cologne

Architonic Guide light + building 2010
Find your way through the international fair for architecture and technology in Franfurt
Every other year the light + building in Frankfurt opens its gates. Architonic will be present with the new Concept Space. We look forward to seeing you in Hall 1.1 stand G30.
To help you prepare yourself well in advance we have compiled our indispensable Architonic Guide for light + building. Our selection of key manufacturers is presented in a handy format and in a well-organised way, with stand numbers and a layout plan of the exhibition halls. You can help yourself to the Architonic Guide at the stands of the manufacturers who are listed - or alternatively you can download it here in PDF form. Architonic Guide Light & Building Frankfurt 2010
New Projects from 'Architecture & Design'
Hanasaki-House by MoNo
  New Projects from 'Architecture & Design'  
Photo by Koshimizu Susumu

Schwellenmätteli by Matti Ragaz Hitz Architekten AG

Tsai Residence by HHF architekten
Photo by Nikolas Koenig

Mint Plaza by CMG landscape architecture

Conversion of Café Moskau into a conference center by HSH Architekten
Photo by Stefan Müller
More Articles from 'News &Trends'
Vitra Brings It Home
  More Articles from 'News &Trends'

It's all round to Vitra's place in Weil am Rhein as the leading design manufacturer opens its striking new VitraHaus, designed by Herzog & de Meuron.
MADE Milan - Materials Report Part 2/3

Here are our discoveries from the second day of the MADE expo in Milan, the fair that makes every materials fetishist's heart beat faster...including ours...
Lucienne Day: 1917-2010

The sad news of revered British designer Lucienne Day's death in January, at the age of 93, brings to an end the joint-reign of one England's most renowned designer couples.
Limited Edition

Massenproduktion oder individuelle Einzelstücke? Auf den ersten Blick ein widersprüchlicher Gegensatz, scheint jedoch im Möbeldesign unglaublich eng miteinander verflochten zu sein, sei es mit Prototypen, mittels kleiner Abweichungen von den grossen Masse...(only in German)