Newsletter 01.2011

Dear Readers

A convincing programme featuring high-calibre manufacturers helped this year's imm cologne regain its former glory. While in Munich, BAU - the trade fair for architecture, materials and systems - took place. In this issue of our newsletter, you'll find our impressions from the two fairs, plus the best new products on show.

Contents in brief:
- Interview with A&W Designer of the Year Tokujin Yoshioka
- [D3] Design Contest: young design talent at imm cologne
- Photo galleries from this year's imm cologne
- Fair review: BAU 2011
- 'TURN ON', the architecture festival in Vienna

Let yourself be inspired!
Your Architonic Team

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The Bearable Lightness of Being
Architonic meets Tokujin Yoshioka at imm cologne
    The Bearable Lightness of Being  
Now you see it, now you don't: Yoshioka's armchair from his 'Invisibles' collection for Kartell plays with the fantasy of invisibility and immateriality

'Maybe I don't like objects.' It's not every day you hear such a statement from a designer, particularly one as celebrated as Tokujin Yoshioka, who was recognised as A&W Designer of the Year 2011 during this year's IMM Cologne. But, then again, there's a certain (pleasing) contradiction in the design language of the Japanese creative's work, which, through its ongoing engagement with the ideas of transparency and lightness, gives expression to objects that sit somewhere between presence and absence. Architonic met up with Yoshioka in Cologne to trip the light fantastic.

There's a photomontage by Marcel Breuer from his Bauhaus years that articulates clearly the modernist fixation with formal lightness. The short, photostrip-like series of images features a (masked) woman sitting first on a traditional four-legged chair, then on one of Breuer's, at the time, radically reduced tubular-steel cantilevered pieces and, finally, thanks to some pre-Photoshop literal cutting and pasting, on a 'Luftsäule' (or 'column of air'), her body, in a seated position, resting on what appears to be an entirely invisible structure. This progression from a certain formal mass in furniture design to the fantasy of nothingness, of pure visual absence, is as entertaining as it is challenging. It raises an eyebrow and a smile in equal measure.

Let there be light: Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka's paean to transparency and lightness in the form of his retrospective at the Cologne Kunstverein, which coincided with him being named A&W Designer of the Year 2011

Anyone visiting Cologne's Kunstverein during last week's international design fair was served up a generous (yet amazingly light) helping of this 'Look Ma, no hands!' take on designing furniture in the form of master of transparency Tokujin Yoshioka's retrospective to mark his winning of the coveted title of A&W Designer of Year 2011. The space's full-height glazing, back-lit wall panels and rather theatrical clouds dry ice all served to foreground the visual levity of the work on show: chairs and other furniture types designed over the last decade that, either through their form or material, occupy a liminal position between being there and gesturing towards a denial of their presence.
imm cologne in pictures on Architonic@Facebook
For all of you who weren't able to visit this year's imm cologne or would like to relive their impressions of the fair, we've published the most exciting shows and new products for you in the form of a number of photo galleries.

  imm cologne in pictures on Architonic@Facebook
Architonic Disco at the King Georg
As ever, we saw many of our friends and colleagues after a long day at the fair at the must-visit Architonic Disco, held for three nights at the unique King Georg.

We were glad you could make it and have put together a few impressions from the party for you on Architonic@Facebook.

  Architonic Disco at the King Georg
When We Were Young
[D3] Design Contest at imm cologne
    When We Were Young  
Beyond the visual virtuosity of Dohoon Kim's 'Tension Bentwood Chair' lies a compelling production process. The young designer uses laminate wood that is bent using tension only, without recourse to steaming, moulding or pressing

Punching well above their weight this year at imm cologne were the young guns exhibiting in the sixth edition of the [D3] Design Contest, the platform for emerging international design talent. Here, we talk to one of the two joint-winners, Harry Thaler, plus select some of the most interesting designs from the convincing and highly polished body of creative work on show.
BAU Munich 2011 - Section 1
Trade fair retrospective
    BAU Munich 2011 - Section 1  
FreeSCALE "Mesh" line by Vorwerk developed with Hadi Teherani

At Bau 2011 the principal focus was very much on sustainability. For a long time now a large number of manufacturers have been responding to this trend and to the new ecological benchmarks, and at the fair environmentally certified products were firmly in the limelight. And even though it wasn't easy to keep track of all the numerous ecological and sustainability seals of approval which were on show, BAU itself was a well-organised trade fair, with the 16 halls clearly divided by theme.
Finding their way around was easy for visitors, thanks to three linear threads which led through the 16 halls with intermediate connecting corridors and open areas, while the Architonic Guide and the Architonic iPhone App once more proved highly useful by providing a three-dimensional display of the fair site.
In this first part and the following Section 2 of its look back on the fair, Architonic wishes to present an individual selection of the huge and varied spectrum of products on display at BAU, and at the same time provide you with a wide-ranging thematic overview.

Material samples at Hasenkopfs stand

For many design manufacturers a cooperation with prestigious artists and designers now represents an effective marketing tool. Long before this trend Vorwerk was already defining its brand by using collections and special editions which were developed in cooperation with well-known architects, designers and artists. This commitment to innovation and individual solutions makes Vorwerk one of the manufacturers preferred by architects internationally. Accordingly Vorwerk has an impressive library of styles and patterns, consisting both of re-editions of earlier designs such as those by Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Jeff Koons and Robert Wilson which never lose their currency, and of the latest designs by Ulf Moritz and Hadi Teherani.
Architecture Festival in Vienna
The 'TURN ON' architecture festival, now in its ninth year, takes place in Vienna on 11 and 12 March. As media partner, we'd heartily recommend a visit.

Architects talk directly with industry: the complex processes of creating architecture rely on an ever-growing exchange between, on the one hand, an industry that researches and produces, and, on the other, architects.
'TURN ON PARTNER' connects commerce with architectural professionals through direct dialogue.

'TURN ON' - Buildings
Under the headings of residential housing, infrastructure and transport, sustainability and energy efficiency, countryside and building, old versus new, and digital design methods, specific figures from the Austrian architecture scene have been invited to give a series of talks. Renowned guests from abroad will also feature in the programme. Apart from the projects discussed in the talks, central architectural themes and problems will be addressed.

With a spotlight on the economy, politics and research, this year's round-table discussion tackles a controversial subject: the role of the engaged client in facilitating ambitious architecture and what they bring to the development of building culture. What does it mean to be an engaged client in the context of a country village, a medium-sized town, an old historic town, or, indeed, a large European city?

'TURN ON' is organised by the Architekturstiftung Österreich; the Festival Coordinator is Margit Ulama.
It takes place on:
Friday 11 March 2011: 1.00pm to 7.00pm, TU Wien, Kuppelsaal, 1040 Vienna, Karlsplatz 13, entrance free
Saturday 12 March 2011: 1.00pm - 10.00pm, ORF RadioKulturhaus, 1040 Vienna, Argentinierstrasse 30a, entrance free
New Projects from 'Architecture & Design'
Cadaval & Solà-Morales
  New Projects from 'Architecture & Design'  
House at The Pyrenees, photo by Santiago Garcés
Jun Igarashi Architects
House of Trough, photo by Seiya Miyamoto
dooa arquitecturas
MENJAROSA (Virgen del Carmen school's canteen), photo by Pepe Pascual Fuentes
Architektu Biuras G.Natkevičius ir partneriai
Family house in Pavilniai Regional Park, photo by R. Urbakavičius
Assadi & Pulido
Casa Guthrie, photo by Guy Wenborne
Studio Bellecour
Le Galilée, photo by Nicolas Borel
Langarita-Navarro Architects
LOLITA, photo by Miguel de Guzmán
More Articles from 'News &Trends'
Support Structures: architecture's role in the healing process
  More Articles from 'News &Trends'

Good architecture creates environments that are, among other things, enjoyable to spend time in and practical to use, and in no scenario is this more important than the provision of treatment or support for those dealing with illness or trauma. Architonic examines some of the ways in which intelligent architecture and design can help to ensure a positive prognosis for the future of healthcare by creating buildings that are good for body and mind.
New Éire: Ireland's modernist self-fashioning revisited


Ireland is in a reflective mood these days. With the island nation on the edge of Europe facing up to the reality of a severely damaged economy and a decimated construction industry, nostalgia is doing what it's wont to do. A recently published book on how the country, back in its fledgling days, used the language of modernism in its project of nation-building and an exhibition currently running at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on the development of modernity in Ireland both contribute to a re-engagement with an internationally under-appreciated strand of Irish architecture that sought to posit the state as a modern and democratic society.
Helvetian Heroes: enduring Swiss design

It's fair to say that certain countries have, over the years, been more successful than others in terms of marketing a distinctive and compelling national design identity abroad. The very human kind of modernism expressed in the furniture of postwar Scandinavia, for example, is still very much associated in the international imagination with those Nordic countries, contemporary Scandi design profiting from this legacy as far as consumer interest is concerned. Switzerland, too, has managed to secure a place in the global design arena, underpinned by the idea of the 'Swiss made' product and its associations with consideration and craftsmanship.
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