Newsletter 05.2008

Dear Readers,

We all remember them from our childhood, the sunloungers consisting of PVC strapping in all the colours of the rainbow. At this year's Salone del Mobile this 'spaghetti furniture' made a comeback and in our special topic we have collected a range of classics and new designs for you.

This weekend ICFF, the international furniture fair in New York, opened its doors and we're able to give you some initial impressions of North America's major design event.

In addition we are presenting some examples of the architectural graphics created by the Rasmus Koch Studio in Denmark.

Be inspired!

Your Architonic Team

Zürich | Frankfurt | Berlin | Barcelona | Kopenhagen | London
"Spaghetti furniture" makes a comeback
A simple cord becomes a complex shape, a line circumscribes a space - furniture and lamps with laced seats or lampshades originated in the nineteen-fifties, and today some of these constructivist pieces have attained cult status.
Thanks to the designs of the Danish designers Poul Kjærholm and Hans Wegner Scandinavia was the hub of international design operations at the time, together with Italy and the USA, producing a range of classics made of wood, steel and cord which document the experimentation made with this inherently delicate material.

Deck Chair by H. Altorfer for Embru, 1949; Flag Halyard Chair by Hans Wegner for PP Møbler, 1950;PK 4 by Poul Kjærholm for Thorsen, 1952

In the last few years string furniture has been making a successful comeback. With more adventurous colours and greater geometrical complexity the tightly stretched seats and braided lampshades have once more found a place for themselves in the design world. The stylishly strung work of the American designer Kevin McCarthy reveals his twenty years' experience in the fashion industry and his intensive work with textiles. However, it was more of an amusing coincidence which was responsible for his involvement in lighting design: when he fell over a Fifties string lampshade on a New York sidewalk in 2003 he was kissed by the muse and found the inspiration for an entire collection of filigree, elaborately interwoven lamps.

Wilson by Kevin McCarthy

At this year's Salone del Mobile in Milan premium manufacturers such as Moroso and Zanotta also presented a range of furniture with strung seating. In contrast to its often very functional predecessors, the use of high-quality strips of leather has enabled Patricia Urquiola to design a stylish-looking indoor variant.
With the string version of the Club series by Zanotta the Italian designer Prospero Rasulo has extended the string furniture principle by re-creating an integrated large-scale form. The visual volume of the armchair and the sofa is shaped in the typical silhouette of their upholstered predecessors by stretching PVC cables reinforced by nylon over a steel frame.

Tropicalia by Partricia Urquiola for Moroso
Tropicalia Indoor by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso
Club by Prospero Rasulo for Zanotta

In our special presentation on the 'Comeback of spaghetti furniture' we have put together a range of string classics and new designs for you.
Some first impressions live from New York
The Big Apple - a metropolis for the arts and culture. For a long time one wondered, that New York had nothing more to offer than the, compared to European standards, rather small and heterogeneous furniture fair. But by now the ICFF has reached - thanks to the consequent engagement of Phil Robinson - a much higher quality and is today one of the major design events in the United States. Showrooms, galleries and museums offer to the growing numbers of international visitors a considerable number of events beyond the fair.

Here we have compiled a selection of discoveries for you:

A wooden masterpiece: The chair by Shelly Shelly for Bernhardt Design, Lounge chair von Viable London, C Collection by Yves Behar for HBF, LOX serie by Nolan Niu
Graphic on Architecture
The work of Rasmus Koch Studio, Copenhagen
The interplay between graphic art and architecture is a discipline in itself. Visitor orientation and guidance systems require a detailed analysis of the architecture of the building, and the operational and movement sequences of the building's users confront graphic artists with a set of requirements which differ from their normal area of operations in a number of points.

  Graphic on Architecture
The exhibition "Crossing Borders" at the Royal Library, Copenhagen (architecture: Schmidt Hammer Lassen). The typography does what it says.

Since it was founded in 2001, the Copenhagen studio of the graphic artist Rasmus Koch has, beside corporate identity, book and magazine design, typeface and web design, been occupying itself with the graphic design of visitor guidance systems, exhibitions and installations. In this field the Rasmus Koch Studio is one of Denmark's most successful design studios, in particular because of its work for international art and cultural facilities such as the 'Kunsthalle Basel', the 'Kiasma Museum of Modern Art' in Helsinki and the 'Statens Museum for Kunst', Copenhagen.

The visitor guidance system and corporate identity for the 'unges laboratorier for kunst' and the art laboratory for young people at the 'Statens Museum for Kunst', Copenhagen are excellent examples of the operating methods and unique signature of this graphic artist. The typical slanting design of the barrier tape and the temporary look of the stencilled writing generate the atmosphere of a workshop, a laboratory for young art.

Typeface design and Navigation system for 'unges laboratorier for kunst' (ulk) at the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

In 2000 and 2003 the Rasmus Koch Studio won the Danish Design Award with its typeface and graphic design for the Danish Film Institute. The fact that the typeface is broken down into individual elements means that the content of the text does not immediately become apparent. It's not until the elements begin to overlap during the animation, in other words when we watch the trailer and the animated website, that the whole text can be deciphered as the lettering turns into characters and an image.
The Danish Film Institute

Thanks to their own interest in art and architecture and a feeling for the content of the work as a whole, Rasmus Koch and his team are able to work closely with customers in developing their ideas and creating perceptive and well thought-through results.

And when Koch and his colleagues, fascinated by their craft and its significance, start up the old printing press in the cellar of their studio this only confirms the impression which his work makes - that of a graphic artist of the old school.

Information architecture (graphic identity and navigational signage) for the newly built library and cultural park in Hillerød municipality, 2001
Design Collage of the 20th Century
The aA Design Museum in Seoul
Such a stylish and lovingly designed facility as Korea's aA Design Museum can probably only be created if a real enthusiast and expert is involved.
Three years ago restaurant owner Mr. Kim started to construct this loft-type building in the heart of the modern nightlife district of Mapu-Gu, Seoul. The passionate design lover was fulfilling the dream of a lifetime and has this year opened his combination of design museum, furniture store and café. He had the tiles, balustrades and windows, some of which go right back to the turn of the century, flown in specially from Italy in order to give the new building an atmospheric patina - creating a highly successful project which is well worth a visit.

  Design Collage of the 20th Century
Industry News from "News & Trends" technology and "Green Light"
  Industry News from "News & Trends"

"The LED is the light source of the future" is the credo of the Nimbus Group, which was presenting itself at this year's "Light + Building" fair in Frankfurt with an extensive and powerful LED range based on technology.
Busk+Herzog receive Furniture Award 2008
On 24th April Busk + Herzog were awarded the "Furniture Prize 2008" at the Danish Museum of Art and Design in Copenhagen by a unanimous jury and the most esteemed representatives of the furniture industry in Denmark.
New Jobs at Architonic
We are looking for dynamic, open-minded professionals who share our vision and passion for architecture and design. Become an active part of our team which consists of 28 architects, designers and communication experts in Zurich, Switzerland, and participate in the international success of the design research portal!

We are looking for new team members in the following areas:

>Editor (with a focus on architecture) to handle our "news & trends" section (full-time salaried employment in Zurich)
>Customer relations and acquisition for our "Product Library" (requires some bi-lingual skills in both German & English, full-time salaried employment in Zurich)
>Technical editors for our "Product Library" and "Materials & Construction" section (full-time salaried employment in Zurich)
>Administration and assistant to the managing director (part or full-time salaried employment in Zurich)
>Web developement (HTML, PHP, MySQl, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, full-time salaried employment in Zurich)

Interested? Please send your application to We will be happy to send you a more detailed job description.