With the opening of OMA’s Torre for Fondazione Prada, tours of midcentury Villa Borsani, and (a few days late to the Design Week party and thus not included here) the completion of Zaha Hadid Architects’ Generali Tower, Milan Design Week 2018 was exceptionally steeped in architecture. There was the usual abundance of collaborations with architects, such as Alejandro Aravena for Artemide, John Pawson for Swarovski, and David Rockwell’s The Diner with Cosentino and Design Within Reach, but it was the host of architectural installations and interventions that took it over the top. Here are ten memorable architectural moments of Milan Design Week 2018. Garage Traversi The rationalist 1938 Garage Traversi in Milan’s Montenapoleone District received a facade makeover by Studio Job for Milan Design Week. The Pop Art mural comes in advance of the building’s renovation into a “luxury hub” by British private equity fund Hayrish. The reinforced concrete building, originally designed by architect Giacomo de Min, sits on an odd lot, leading to it being built like a fan and resulting in its popularity. The iconic building has been unused for 15 years, but has retained its reputation as a cultural and architectural landmark. U-JOINT PlusDesign Gallery hosted an immensely satisfying architectural exhibition on joints. The group show offered joints of all sizes, materials, and shapes to demonstrate its importance in objects and buildings alike. Over 50 designers, studios, and research institutes, including Alvar Aalto, Aldo Bakker, Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, Konstantin Grcic, Jonathan Nesci, Cecilie Manz, Self-Assembly Lab MIT, and Jonathan Olivares, displayed prototypes and products. My Dream Home by Piero Lissoni “My Dream Home,” an installation by Piero Lissoni, stacks twelve shipping containers vertically to host an exhibition by photographers Elisabetta Illy and Stefano Guindani of photos taken in Haiti alongside drawings by Haitian children of their dream homes. Lissoni chose to build with containers as an inexpensive, sustainable option that could potentially be used for multi- and single-family homes in Haiti. Altered States Snarkitecture is no stranger to Milan Design Week installations. For its most recent, the firm partnered with Caesarstone to create “Altered States” inside the 19th-century Palazzo dell'Ufficio Elettorale di Porta Romana. The installation examined water in its three forms (ice, liquid, steam/vapor) and the way it appears in nature (glacier, river, geyser) through a collection of kitchen islands made from Caesarstone’s quartz surface material. Villa Borsani In advance of an exhibition curated by Norman Foster and Osvaldo Borsani’s grandson, the Villa Borsani opened to visitors after being newly decorated by curator Ambra Medda, who collaborated with various artists to bring in floral arrangements, scents, and a playlist that enliven the midcentury villa. James Wines X Foscarini James Wines/SITE collaborated with Foscarini to make the “Reverse Room,” a slanting black box that houses a limited edition set of lights called "The Lightbulb Series." Wines relied on his research on subconscious spatial expectations to keep visitors constantly surprised. “This series comes from the idea of disrupting the classic design of incandescent light bulbs,” Wines said in a statement. “An idea that suggests a critical reflection on the absolutely non-iconic forms of modern LED lamps. The concept, implemented by Foscarini, stems from research on the spontaneous way people identify with forms and functions of everyday objects. In this case, the light bulbs merge crack, shatter, and burn out, overturning any expectations.” Fondazione Prada On April 18, the Fondazione Prada completed the latest, and last, building in its 200,000-square-foot Milan complex. Torre, designed by Rem Koolhaas, Chris van Duijn, and Federico Pompignoli of OMA, is wrapped in white concrete and nearly 197 feet tall. This form offers a two-fold experience: From the exterior, the spare, modern block contrasts with the more ornate buildings of the campus (the Italianate-style entry building, gold-painted tower, and the mirror-clad theater, among others) and from the interior, sweeping views of the surrounding industrial neighborhood. At the back of the building, an exterior elevator core is intersected by a diagonal form that connects the Torre to the adjacent Deposito gallery. The elevator's interior is painted an electrifying hot pink, framing the panorama of the campus in madcap fashion. The gallery's floors, currently occupied by the exhibition Atlas, are similarly eclectic. Floor plans alternate between trapezoidal and rectangular and the ceiling heights increase from about 9 feet on the first floor to 26 feet on the top floor, with glowing pink staircases in between. Even so, the space complements rather than competes with massive, immersive installations from heavy-hitting artists such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. (Although the maze-like entrance to Carsten Höller's Upside Down Mushroom is so dark, this writer ran into a wall.) 3D Housing 05 Massimiliano Locatelli | CLS Architetti collaborated with Arup, Italcementi, and Cybe to 3-D print a 1,076-square-foot house on-site. The house, located in front of the Piazza Cesare Beccaria, demonstrated that 3-D printing could be used as a sustainable and feasible construction method. The house was 3-D printed from a recycled concrete that, in the event the house is destroyed, could be reused to make a new structure. Lexus Design Award This year marked two firsts for the 2018 Lexus Design Award (LDA) Grand Prix Winner: It was the first time an American design team took home the prize, and the first time a workshop, rather than a product, won. New York design research studio, Extrapolation Factory, “studies the future” and helps communities create and experience their cities’ futures through workshops and activities. “We all have a vested interest in the future. But how many people have taken a class in futures?” asked Extrapolation Factory cofounder Elliott P. Montgomery. “We’ve had classes in history, math, science, but we are never taught how to think about the future. And this seems like a glaring omission in our country’s education.” Montgomery and his cofounder Christopher Woebken conducted a workshop at the Queens Museum and presented a video alongside a few props as their LDA presentation. The unusual urban planning project garnered praise for its focus on community and its exploration of society, technology, and environment. “It’s completely different than the other participants because it isn’t product-based. It is about education and using design as a way to engage with people, and given the context of the theme, CO-, we felt that was incredibly important,” said Simone Farresin of Formafantasma, who mentored the Extrapolation Factory for the LDA. MINI Living House London-based architecture firm Studiomama created four modular co-living spaces for MINI. Each module had its own color and built-in furniture “totems” that distinguish the space’s personality. The four units share communal spaces, including a kitchen (shown above), a dining area, a gym, and home theater space.
Posts tagged with "Lexus Design Award":
After one year, 1,152 entries from 63 countries, 12 finalists, and four prototype presentations, Japan's Hiroto Yoshizoe has been named the winner of the Lexus Design Award 2017 Grand Prix during Milan's Salone del Mobile. The designer, who was a finalist in last year's competition with his water-activated color-changing planters, impressed the judges with PIXEL: an interactive device that utilizes a series of visors to create a range of light and shadow effects, inspired by a childhood memory of falling asleep to the glow of a television. The international design competition was first launched in 2013 to support up-and-coming creatives using design to build a better future. For its fifth edition, the innovation competition focused on the theme “Yet,” which Yoshizoe interpreted as the interplay between light and shadow—much like the way a sunset can be reflected on a cloud as a gradation of color. Yoshizoe is based in Tokyo and is a graduate from Musashino Art University. He explained PIXEL further in a press release: “This work does the same by acting as a filter screen to show the viewer the existence and fascination of light and shadow,” he said. In the final phase of the competition, Yoshizoe was partnered with Snarkitecture’s Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen, who mentored him during the prototype process. (The contest’s other industry mentors were Neri & Hu, Max Lamb and Elena Manferdini.) “What I personally was interested in were designs or concepts or projects that are more experiential, more about a sort of overall impression,” Mustonen said of the choice to partner with Yoshizoe. “The advice given from my mentors was very precise and accurate,” added Yoshizoe. "Their suggestion to test a form that I had not considered in the beginning allowed me to develop this work. They also gave me suggestions on new materials, which led me to a path that I did not expect. I am grateful for their advice.” Along with the industry mentors, the contest was judged by a panel of leading names including Paola Antonelli, Aric Chen, Toyo Ito and Alice Rawsthorn. As the Grand Prix winner, Yoshizoe’s design PIXEL will be on display at the LEXUS YET pavilion at the Triennial di Milano.
Have you ever found yourself thinking: “If only they had invented a/an—insert really clever device here—my life would be so much better?” For instance, a “clam kayak” that you could serenely float along in after a long week at work, or a “slide bridge” that offered the option to well, slide, rather then walk down a flight of stairs. It sounds too good to be true, but these inventive concepts were just two out of the twelve winning submissions of the first Lexus Design Award competition. The competition, conducted in collaboration with designboom, invited some of the most talented visionaries from around the world to submit their innovative design ideas. The theme of the 2012 competition was “Motion.” Contestants were asked to submit ideas that responded to issues in daily life and provided solutions related to movement. With such an abstract theme, contestants were allowed to let their imaginations run free, and they certainly did. 1,243 submissions were received, 12 winners were selected, and the top two were awarded a prize that appropriately reflects the innovation of the competition—the opportunity to see their designs come to life with the help of world-famous professionals. First place went to Hideki Yoshimoto and Yoshinaka Ono of Tangent for their “INAHO” lighting concept. The designers incorporated their natural environment into their vision for an interactive interior lighting system inspired by the movements of an ear of rice. The delicate freestanding panicles, or bulbs, arranged in a ring and emitting a golden glow, gently sway towards people as they approach the fixture. Yoshimoto and Ono will work with world-renowned product designer Sam Hecht to realize their vision. Second place was awarded to the Japanese Hitomi Igarashi for his design entitled “Making Porcelain with ORIGAMI.” The design clearly integrates the traditional Japanese paper folding technique; porcelain casts will be made from paper molds. Igarashi will be mentored by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami who will help him create the prototype for his design. Both prototypes, along with the designs of the other 10 winning entries, will be exhibited during Milan Design Week taking place this April. Some of the other winners include the Spanish Pablo Fernandez-Goula and Pablo Figuera's "Bscooter," an electric scooter whose sleek and compact design was inspired by the Swiss Army knife, the Italian Rudi Davi's "KLAVA lamp," which remains balanced in any position and emits precise illumination in any setting, and Taiwan's Dear Cai's "FLY," a device that will efficiently disperse crowds throughout Taipei's bustling metro transit. Below are the designs of the 10 finalists whose works will be featured during Milan Design Week:
Check your rearview mirrors, Audi. The Japan-based luxury car company Lexus recently announced the launch of a new design award that calls for proposals on the theme of “Motion”: ”Our daily lives are continuously filled with motion. The motion of things, the motion of people. Moving people’s hearts. Shifting consciousness…” You get the idea. And it’s one that may ring a bell—the theme of this year’s Audi Urban Design Award was “Mobility.” In an intriguing twist, architect Junya Ishigami of Tokyo, one of the 2012 Audi award finalists who dropped out of that competition before the October judging, has now reappeared as a “mentor” to the Lexus award. There’s the requisite big-name panel of judges (Antonelli, Ito, and more), and a five million yen (about $60,000) prize for each of ten winners. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Audi.