Newsletter 09.2011

Dear Readers

Here, there and everywhere.

Summer's over and it's back to school. Here at Architonic, our batteries are fully recharged and we're raring to go, as the autumn season of international design fairs and events gets underway.

Apart from the usual suspects, there are a number of diverse dates for your design diary that we'd suggest you pencil in. (But feel free to use pen. Go on. Be bold.) In this BUMPER issue of our newsletter, you'll find information on designjunction at the London Design Festival, Vienna Design Week, PLDC Madrid, Designers' Open Leipzig, and, last but not least, INSIDE (World Festival of Interiors), whose inaugural edition takes place in Barcelona.

studio mk27's typology-challenging Primetime Nursery School in São Paulo, Brazil; photo Nelson Kon

In addition, we invite you to read our hand-picked selection of features from 'News & Trends', the magazine section of, which includes a survey of striking, recently completed kindergarten projects and a critical examination of the evolution of the plastic chair, plus a preview of CERSAIE, the leading international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings.
And, as ever, we've got a handful of the latest projects to make it into Architonic's 'Architecture & Design' section for you to get acquainted with.

So here's what's in store:

* Kindergarten Design Grows Up: contemporary nursery-school projects
* Plastic: the mouldable material of modern chairs
* Fair Preview: CERSAIE 2011 Bologna - the leading international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings
* DESIGN EVENT ROUND-UP: designjunction at the London Design Festival /
Vienna Design Week 2011 / PLDC 2011 Madrid / Designers' Open Leipzig 2011 /
and INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors 2011, Barcelona

Onwards and upwards!

Your Architonic Team
Zurich | Milan | Barcelona | Berlin | Cologne | Copenhagen | Stockholm | London | Miami
Kindergarten Design Grows Up
Contemporary nursery-school projects
A number of recently completed kindergarten projects have proved that designing user-centred environments for the more diminutive among us shouldn't be at odds with creating highly expressive structures. Architonic takes a look at a selection of nursery schools with a grown-up ambition.

Fagerborg Kindergarten by Oslo-based practice RRA, which comprises four classrooms, two for 1- to 3-year-olds and two for 3- to 6-year-olds, that can be used either independently of each other or combined; photo Thomas Bjørnflaten

It's probably no surprise that our sense of scale changes as we grow up. I once revisited my primary school as an adult and was struck by the narrowness of the corridors, which had once seemed so generously wide, by the size and weight of doors, whose opening had in those early years of my life required well-nigh Herculean effort, and by the almost comically small Robin Day polypropylene chairs that still, much to my design-appreciative relief, graced each classroom and which, at one stage, could be found in most schools, as well as church halls and doctors' surgeries around the country.

kadawittfeldarchitektur's Kindergarten Sighartstein in Salzburg, Austria, where the main circulation space doubles as a place for interaction and communication beyond the individual play-group rooms; photo Angelo Kaunat
Plastic: the mouldable material of modern chairs
In the visual arts the term 'plastic' is used for any form of creation involving a medium that can be sculpted or moulded, but it is also the term for a type of material that revolutionised the twentieth century. The name of no other material describes so clearly the inherent property which makes plastic so unique - the ease with which it can be shaped.

Using a number of plastic chairs as an example Architonic outlines the metamorphosis of this item of furniture which more than any other is deeply involved in cultural history, charting how its design idiom and technology have changed in recent decades.

Cantilever 290, Nielaus, Designer Steen Østergaard,1966, reedition 2011, polyamid (nylon) reinforced with fibre-glass, full-depth coloured and injection-moulded in one single operation

The invention of plastic was the result of the increasing scarcity of raw materials for which the process of industrialisation was responsible. Expanding markets and an increase in production demanded new solutions. As a result the early inventors and researchers concentrated in particular on imitating existing rare and expensive materials such as ivory, mother-of-pearl, precious types of wood and expensive kinds of natural stone such as marble or onyx.

Formula chair, ADELTA, Designer Eero Aarnio, 1998, material: fibreglass
Fair Preview: CERSAIE 2011 Bologna
The leading international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings
Cersaie offers not just a comprehensive overview of the variety of ceramic surfaces available on the market but also of the latest developments in the bathroom field. In Bologna at the end of September visitors will be able to discover the latest products, manufacturers, material surfaces and technologies on a site measuring 176,000 square metres. The exhibition will cover a highly diverse range of applications, not just for private bathrooms but also for hotels, public buildings and other facilities.

Mutina's 'Pico' collection, designed by Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, with its its out-of-the-ordinary format, feel and surfacing style

The fascinating accompanying programme for Cersaie includes lectures by a number of leading personalities from the worlds of architecture and design such as Kazuyo Sejima, Kengo Kuma, Patricia Urquiola and Alessandro Mendini.

Architonic has done some research for you in advance and can provide you with a preview of new products from selected top manufacturers.

Bisazza Bagno: 'The Wanders Collection'
Architonic Disco at neue räume
    Architonic Disco at neue räume

There are plenty of good reasons to make a bee-line for Switzerland's leading international design fair this November. But should you need yet another, here it is: Architonic will be hosting its now-legendary disco at the event, called, rather cunningly, Architonic Disco.

On the decks will be DJs Chopstick and Johnjon from Suol, Berlin, while drinks come courtesy of our friends Monkey 47 (the gin people) and Fever-Tree (the tonic people).

The setting will be our striking Oscar Zieta-designed Concept Space III, which will be installed in a dramatic double-height configuration. Double the fun.


Architonic Disco at neue räume
3 November 2011
From 8.00pm

neue räume
ABB Event Hall 550
Birchstrasse 150
8050 Zürich-Oerlikon
designjunction at the London Design Festival 2011
Staffan Holm's 'Spin' stool for Swedese, who are exhibiting as part of designjunction during this year's London Design Festival

Having made its inaugural appearance at this year's Milan Furniture Fair, but already a design event not to be missed, designjunction, the group show of leading British design brands has gone all international for its forthcoming London Design Festival edition and is presenting furniture and lighting from over 30 top-notch manufacturers and labels.

With creative direction from British designer Michel Sodeau, the London outing of designjunction will take up residence in the 2,000-square-metre basement of Victoria House, where brands such as Modus, Hitch Mylius, Cappellini, Swedese, Benchmark, Another Country, Beau McClellan, Anglepoise, Jake Dyson and Bocci will exhibit their wide and varied collections.

Design brand Innermost will also be showing at designjunction; shown here, their 'Tie' pendant lamp, designed by Peter Mac Cann / Made*

In addition to a bound-to-be-popular pop-up bar and café, designed by leading Brit brand Benchmark, with food and wine sourced by Australian design collective Mathilda, designjunction will play host to a series of talks and seminars, plus a special late-night Pecha Kucha on Friday 23 September. 

Entry's free, so we don't want to hear any excuses. Get up the designjunction.


Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 September 2011, 11am to 6pm
Sunday 25 September 2011, 11am to 4pm

Victoria House Basement
37-63 Southampton Row
London WC1B 4DA
Vienna Design Week 2011

Mozart was already composing at the age of five. Now in its fifth year, Austria's most important international design festival, Vienna Design Week, is also making sweet music. With product design, industrial design and furniture all featuring under its banner, the event, which runs from 30 September to 9 October, serves as a platform for celebrating some of the best-known names in contemporary design, while fostering up-and-coming creative talent.

Consciously not structured like a trade fair, Vienna Design Week instead offers a series of exhibitions, site-specific installations and talks, in cooperation with such partners as museums, galleries and companies, allowing visitors to interact with the Austrian capital in new and exciting ways - as well as network and party, of course. 

Tomas Alonso at Wiener Silbermanufactur; photo © Rüdiger Andorfer

Highlights include Passionswege, a design trail through Vienna for which design teams have been invited to create objects and venue-specific installations on the premises of long-established Viennese businesses, and Vienna Design Week Debut, an exhibition in collaboration with the James Dyson Award and the James Dyson Foundation to showcase the work of young Austrian designers. 

Vienna's calling. 


Vienna Design Week 2011
30 September to 9 October
PLDC 2011 Madrid
The organisers of PLDC are expecting 1,300 visitors to Madrid this year: photo © Patrik-Gunnar-Helin_Studion-Ketchup

Madrid is hotting up. This October sees a predicted 1,300 visitors head to the Spanish capital for the Professional Lighting Design Convention (PLDC) 2011, a major further-education event, where new lighting solutions, information sharing on research results, cutting-edge technologies and business networking are all on the agenda.

PLDC 2011's slogan is ¡vamos!, which means 'Let's move', reflecting changes in the lighting design and market structures worldwide.

PLDC is a major further-education event, where new lighting solutions, information sharing on research results, cutting-edge technologies and business networking are all on the agenda; photo © Patrik-Gunnar-Helin_Studion-Ketchup

Held this year at the Circulo des Bellas Artes building in central Madrid, the event will be structured along four thematic lines: Lighting Research, Practical Issues, Lighting Design Application and Public Lighting. Keynote speakers, selected for their experience and trend-knowledge in architecture and lighting design include: Paul Marantz, German architects Hadi Teherani and Alexander Rieck and Swiss architect Philippe Rahm, with researchers Professor Brian Cody and Professor Dr Alan Dilani introducing the sessions.

Pre-convention meetings for political discussions, 'Vox Juventa' (a mini-conference for under-35s), a gala dinner and the PLDR Award also make up the programme.

PLDC 2011 is organised by VIA Publishing, the publisher of the PLD magazine together with invited partner Professional Lighting Designers' Association, PLDA. PLDC 2011 is further supported in Spain by local coordinator APDI.


PLDC 2011 Madrid
19 to 22 October 2011

For more information, please contact:
Nils Grosseheide, VIA Verlag
Designers' Open Leipzig 2011
The 100,000-square-metre Baumwollspinnerei, once one of biggest spinning mills in Europe and now a leading production and exhibition space, will host this year's Designers' Open

Look east! Designers' Open Leipzig is hosting, once again, its a three-day festival in October, featuring a number of exhibitions, a trade fair and a host of other events. Covering the fields of interior and industrial design, fashion and communication, both German and international exhibitors will be presenting their latest work. The festival is organised in two parts: DO/Markets, aimed at clients and selling interior design and fashion; and DO/Industry, which, with an accompanying conference, focuses on industrial design and communication, with a particular emphasis this year on 'smart materials - new design'. 
'Tick', the universal leg system designed by German design studio Jakob Schenk

For the first time, Designers' Open Leipzig will take up residence in Plagwitz, the city quarter that's home to numerous artists from the New Leipzig School. The venue will be the 100,000-square-metre Baumwollspinnerei, once one of biggest spinning mills in Europe and now a leading production and exhibition space, housing hundreds of studios, plus a cinema, dance centre and a drama workshop.

The festival wouldn't be complete without the DO/Jury Awards Ceremony, special design exhibitions, DO/Spots all around Leipzig, and, last but not least, a number of cool parties. 

The festival ticket costs €10 (€8 concessions) and gives you entry to both DO/Markets and DO/Industry

Architonic Newsletter readers can register now for the Designers' Open Conference and still receive the an early-bird discount. Just click on the link below and fill out the PDF registration form.


Designers' Open 2011 Leipzig
28 to 30 October 2011
Friday/Saturday, 11am to 8pm
Sunday, 11am to 7pm

Spinnerei Leipzig
Halle 14 - Werkschauhalle - Luru Kino - Dogenhaus Galerie
Spinnereistrasse 7
04179 Leipzig
INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors 2011
Shortlisted for a coveted INSIDE award: PS Arkitektur's Skype Office, Stockholm

The inaugural World Festival of Interiors - INSIDE - which takes place in Barcelona at the start of November, running alongside the already well-established World Architecture Festival, isn't easing itself in gently. With a stellar panel of judges in place from around the world, including Jaime Hayon, Ilse Crawford, David Collins, Andre Fu and Marcus Fairs, making their final decisions as to which multidisciplinary design practices will scoop INSIDE's already much-coveted global awards, this is an unmissable event. While there are nine category winners to be named, there's only one ultimate accolade - World Interior of the Year - which will be presented at a glamorous awards ceremony on the evening of 3 November.

Also on the shortlist, Project Orange's Hoxton Hotel Prototype Room, London

In addition to an exhibition of all shortlisted entries and an extensive talks programme, which features such speakers as Nigel Coates, Paul Priestman and Mathieu Lehanneur, Marcus Fairs from Dezeen will be interviewing each of the nine category winners. What's more, a pass to the INSIDE festival allows you access to the WAF, which is located in the same building.

INSIDE is set to become an annual fixture in the design calendar. Register now to be part of it.

INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors
2 to 4 November, 2011

To book call + 44 (0)20 7554 5800, email or visit
Recent Projects from 'Architecture & Design'
Koen van Velsen Architectenbureau
Rehabilitation Centre Groot Klimmendaal, Arnhem, Netherlands, completed 2010; photographer: © Robt Hart
Puckapunyal Military Area Memorial Chapel, Puckapunyal, Victoria, Australia, completed 2011; photographer: John Gollings
Paul McAneary Architects
Faceted House 1, London, United Kingdom, completed 2009; photo © Paul McAneary Architects Ltd