Architonic Newsletter 03.2013

Dear Readers,

Recent legislation and advances in technology have led to a new generation of LED lighting. Considered just a few years ago as being still in its infancy, LED – due in no small part to new design possibilities – has found its way into the roster of lighting typologies. So what better time to look more closely at the subject? And all the more, given that the Euroluce show at this year’s Salone del Mobile, where visitors are presented with the latest products from the lighting sector, is just around the corner. Speaking of which, you can download our trusty Architonic guide to Milan here.

And here's a brief overview of the contents of our March Newsletter:

  • Agenda April - May 2013
  • Easily LED: the charms (and challenges) of a developing technology
  • The Gold Standard: iF International Forum Design celebrates 60 years
  • Architonic Photo Tour ISH 2013 Frankfurt
  • Architonic Bar ISH 2013
  • Inspiring Search Results N°15: Suspended LED-lights
  • Inspiring Spaces N°8: Kitchens
  • The Most Recent Projects From Our 'Architecture & Design' Library

 

Get inspired!

Your Architonic Team

Zurich | Milan | Barcelona | Berlin | Cologne | Copenhagen | Stockholm | London

 

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Easily LED: the charms (and challenges) of a developing technology

Many hands make light work, goes the old saying. Many new LED producers also make the creative possibilities of working with such a fast-changing technology exciting, thanks to the proliferation of products they bring to the market. But, for lighting design manufacturers, an expansion of supplier choice brings with it a number of challenges. Architonic sheds some light.

 

Pioneers in LED lighting design, the Munich-based studio Ingo Maurer, headed up by the eponymous product designer, is constantly seeking new technological possibilities and formal typologies. Here, Axel Schmid's 'Jetzt' lamp

Nostalgia was better in the old days. So goes the old bon mot (which was probably funnier in the old days, too).

As the rate of technological change accelerates – or we, at least, perceive this to be the case – so the desire for the familiar forms of old would appear to grow. Take lighting, for example. Winner of the 2011 Design of the Year Award, Sam Wilkinson’s energy-efficient ‘Plumen 001’ CFL lightbulb for Hulger turns the prosaic into the poetic, introducing a rounder, more visually interesting form to a technology that tends to plough a more linear, utilitarian furrow in terms of shape. In doing so, it refers back to the now phased-out incandescent lightbulb, in all its comely fullness.

 

Ingo Maurer has also been commissioned to shape public spaces through their innovative lighting design projects. Here, LEDs are put to work at Münchner Freiheit metro station in Munich; photo Tom Vack

But from time to time a technology comes along that’s a real game-changer. The development of LED lighting has been so fast and has opened up so many creative and practical possibilities, the past isn’t getting much of a look in. LED is casting a spotlight on the future and it’s bright.

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The Gold Standard: iF International Forum Design celebrates 60 years

Three score old and in rude health: the iF design gold awards, handed out to a painstakingly selected, international cohort of companies at the recent Munich Creative Business Week for their outstanding products, is looking to the future.

Remember the days when 60 used to be a ripe old age, where everything started to head south. Well, those days are gone. Lean, lithe and limber, iF, one of longest-established design awards schemes internationally, is showing little sign of slowing down. Indeed, with operations – beyond its HQ in Germany’s expo city of Hanover – in Taipei, Seoul, Istanbul, Curitiba and Zittau, this annual gong-laden showcase of the best in product design, packaging and communication design has long exceeded its original, post-war ‘Industrie Forum Design’ remit to become a truly ‘International Forum’ for design excellence.

 

'DISCUS Evolution' LED lighting system by EOOS Design for Zumtobel embraces minimal form for maximum effect, picking up a iF gold award in the lighting category

‘I’ve travelled, on average, about six times a year to Asia in order to spread iF’s message,’ says Ralph Wiegmann, who has headed up the organisation since 1996. For the tireless, globe-trotting iF chief, increasing the brand’s profile beyond European shores, turning it into a highly covetable, aspirational mark of difference, has been central to ensuring the continued success of the scheme, which is no longer just about a one-night-only prize-giving shindig. ‘For many companies today,’ explains Wiegmann, ‘iF provides an opportunity to differentiate themselves. But what differentiates companies and brands? Are design-oriented businesses better in terms of quality or ecology? Can design put a company’s success on a stable footing?’ These questions and others iF engages with not only through its awards programme, but also in its exhibitions, both home and abroad, its books and its website projects. Many irons. Many fires.

 

Master of the fold, Issey Miyake, extends Artemide's lighting collection with his 'IN-EI' family of lighting products, a worthy winner of an iF gold award

The high point of the iF annual calendar is still, however, the iF design awards night, which, this year, pitched its tent at the brand temple that is Coop Himmelb(l)au’s BMW World in Munich, spitting distance from another architectural landmark, the elegantly canopied 1972 Olympic Stadium. The move from Hanover to Bavaria for the handing out of the iF plaudits during Munich Creative Business Week is a significant one in terms of brand positioning, speaking emphatically of the business relevance of design.

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Architonic Photo Tour ISH 2013 Frankfurt

 

 

The high-end segment of the construction sector seems to be standing its ground, in spite – or perhaps because – of the wobble that Europe is experiencing. There’s still a growing international market for high-quality spaces and buildings, in terms of design and fit-out, which is good news for designers and producers. Internationalisation was at the heart of developments at this year’s ISH in Frankfurt, too. More and more brands are crowding into the world’s leading fair for sanitary products and building technology. The fact that it’s located in a well-positioned country like Germany is undoubtedly a driving factor.

Another clear trend over the last ten years can be seen in the number of exhibitors from the high-end segment who display a growing awareness for the value of contract business – more and more companies are proving through architect- and planner-oriented solutions that they have recognised the potential in a constructive collaboration with designers and decision-makers.

Hall 9.2 at this year’s ISH was, for us, particularly inspiring and surprising; here, exponents from the wood-burning-stove branch demonstrated that they certainly haven’t missed the current sustainability trend – and the attendant fascination with self-sufficiency. The wood-burning stove, thanks to its clever combination with electrical components, is finding its way back into the kitchen of tomorrow. The marrying of age-old cast-iron tradition with high-tech is also providing refreshing design results.

Naturally, we’ve, once again, brought together our highlights from this year’s ISH in the form of an extensive photo tour.

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Architonic Bar ISH 2013

 

 

We also didn’t miss the opportunity at ISH 2013 to celebrate Architonic’s tenth anniversary. The festivities continued well into the early hours of the morning at Club Enzo Barboni with some help from Monkey 47 Gin and Gents Tonic Water, and sounds from Jimi Jules (Hive Audio, Zurich). Some pictures of the event can be found in the relevant photo album on Facebook.

Architonic Products & Materials: Inspiring Search Results N°15

Interior lighting | LED-lights | Suspended lights

Architonic Architecture & Design: Inspiring Spaces N°8

The Most Recent Projects From Our 'Architecture & Design' Library

Ingo Maurer GmbH

 

„Münchner Freiheit“ subway station | München | Germany | Completed 2010
©Ingo Maurer GmbH, Munich; photographer: Florian Holzherr, Munich

Ulrike Brandi Licht

 

Trainings- and Research Center of Bank Negara | Kuala Lumpur | Malaysia | Completed 2008

Nikolas Kerl

 

Charles | Switzerland | Completed 2012