This week, Junya Ishigami was named as designer of Serpentine Pavilion 2019 – Home Design Ideas

This week on Dezeen, we revealed that Japanese architect Junya Ishigami will be the designer of this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London.

The Tokyo-based architect, who leads the studio Junya Ishigami + Associates, will become the 19th designer of the prestigious annual commission.

Due to be unveiled June 2019, Ishigami’s pavilion will feature a huge slate roof rising up out of the landscape. Like his previous architectural projects, it is intended to demonstrate how nature and architecture can exist harmoniously.

Artist's depiction of SpaceX Texas launch pad
Trump’s border wall could sever Elon Musk’s SpaceX Texas launchpad

In the US, it was reported that Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch pad in Texas is at risk of being cut in two by the Donald Trump’s border wall, after a Department of Homeland Security map revealed its proposed route.

Retail giant Amazon announced that it will no longer build its HQ2 headquarters in New York, following a major backlash from local politicians. Instead, the company will focus on developing a Virginia hub and a new operations centre in Tennessee.

Tate Modern court case: Neo Bankside residents lose battle to stop Tate Modern visitors looking into their flats
Neo Bankside residents lose battle to stop Tate Modern visitors looking into their flats

In London, the ongoing saga between Neo Bankside and Tate Modern reached its conclusion. The high court dismissed the resident’s claims that the Herzog & de Meuron-designed extension invades the privacy of the neighbouring housing.

We also reported the news that the brutalist-era Welbeck Street car park will definitely be torn down and replaced by a luxury hotel, despite campaigns to save its unique facade.

Vegan product design feature
Vegan design products will become as popular as vegan food, say designers

Veganism hit the headlines again this week, when we revealed the thoughts of designers who believe that vegan products will soon become as popular as vegan food.

Designer Erez Nevi Pana added to the discussion in an opinion column, stating that “vegan design should be developed by vegan designers”.

Katy Perry removes shoes from sale following blackface accusations
Katy Perry removes shoes from sale following blackface accusations

American pop star Katy Perry removed two designs from her Katy Perry Collections shoe line, in response to complaints that they resembled blackface, a style of theatrical makeup that is widely deemed racist and offensive.

The controversy occurred less than a week after Gucci was forced to discontinue its balaclava jumper – a black polo neck with a cutout mouth and exaggerated red lips.

Part W invites architects to create alternative all-female RIBA Gold Medal winners list
Part W invites architects to create alternative all-female Royal Gold Medal winners list

On Twitter, architects and critics revealed the buildings that they secretly like, following a tweet by critic and broadcaster Tom Dyckhoff that asked: “Do you have an architectural ‘guilty pleasure’?”.

Also on the social media platform Women’s action group Part W started crowdsourcing suggestions of worthy women to create an all-female alternative to the predominately male RIBA Royal Gold Medal winners list.

Medieval Mile Museum by McCullough Mulvin Architcts
McCullough Mulvin Architects revives medieval church with lead-clad extensions

Projects that stole readers’ attention this week include a grey-toned apartment in Taipei, the revival of a medieval church, and an apartment in Madrid with sliding partitions.

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En skincare store in Paris by Archiee features polished brass and stone – Home Design Ideas

Curving brass partitions and vaulted stone ceilings both feature inside this Japanese beauty store in Paris, designed by local architecture firm Archiee.

Designed for new Japanese cosmetics brand En, the 150-square-metre store occupies the ground floor and basement of an 18th-century building in the centre of the French capital. It is the brand’s first physical shop.

Interiors of En skincare store, designed by Archiee

En’s unique selling point is that customers are able to create customised skincare products by mixing their choice of the brand’s some 100 “essences”, which include organic plant extracts, rock salts and tea-leaf powders.

The name “En” translates as “beauty” in Japanese, but can also mean “circle” and “connection”. These three translations all inspired the design of the store.

Interiors of En skincare store, designed by Archiee

The store is divided into four main rooms. On the ground floor are two bright minimal spaces, furnished with curving brass partitions and furniture. Meanwhile the basement reveals the building’s history, with exposed stone walls and a vaulted ceiling.

Archiee – a studio led by Japanese architects Yusuke Kinoshita and Daisuke Sekine – has added brass elements in different ways in each of the four spaces.  Upstairs, they form curved partitions that frame semi-circular spaces, while downstairs they create details for lighting and furniture.

Interiors of En skincare store, designed by Archiee

The first room that customers arrive at is an entrance space that contains an enclosed boutique where products are displayed.

The second room contains the counselling and treatment space, the third contains a “hall” and two enclosed massage spaces, while a product gallery and the small circular blending counter are in the fourth space.

Interiors of En skincare store, designed by Archiee

“The external surfaces of the circle partitions are finished in polished brass to bring a distorted and warm reflection,” explained the architects.

“This beautiful expanded space creates the feeling for the visitor step into an elegant and extraordinary world.”

Interiors of En skincare store, designed by Archiee

“All of the partitions are composed in circle forms to create soft rounded internal spaces, which are suitable for private uses such as counselling, treatment, massage and essence blending,” the architects explained. “The internal surfaces of the circle spaces are finished in white to express a pure space.”

The area outside of the partitions serves as a connecting pathway that guides customers through the store.

Interiors of En skincare store, designed by Archiee

“This remaining space between the existing walls and the integrated circle partitions creates a geometrically curious form and an original circulation with an aesthetical experience,” said the architects.

“The customer cannot get into each service rooms directly, but must walk along a winding path toward the destination. This method that let the visitors walk along and enhance his expectation is typical Japanese way of hospitality, as in the traditional tea culture.”

Interiors of En skincare store, designed by Archiee

In the store’s long stone-vaulted hall space in the basement, products are displayed along either side on shallow backlit shelves.

Below the shelves, the bottles are stored in boxes made from Japanese paulownia wood recalling wine bottles in a cellar. A mirror at either end of the hall gives the illusion of an elongated space.

“The impressive point of this brand is to exhibit all its products,” explained the architects. “This reminds the excitement in a wine cellar. The display of products is inspired by the method of storage of French wineries. Each bottle is displayed separately with special lighting.”

Exterior of En skincare store, designed by Archiee

Other projects by the Parisian studio include a souvenir shop where all the products are simply hung from key rings fixed to the undulating walls in vertical or diagonal rows.

Photography is by David Foessel.

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The Blake Hotel introduces boutique accommodation to New Haven – Home Design Ideas

American studio HVS Design and London-based Alexander Waterworth Interiors have collaborated on this hotel close to Yale University, where a tech boom is resulting in a wave of hospitality projects.

The Blake Hotel opened in January 2019, steps away from the Ivy League university, in a buzzing downtown corridor of New Haven, Connecticut.

Guest room at The Blake Hotel in New Haven

The recent increase of similar projects in the area has been fuelled by an influx of software, biotech, and medical research businesses, driving up demand for contemporary boutique accommodation options.

Others include the Graduate New Haven in the former Duncan Hotel, a Hilton Garden Inn within the Webster Bank building, and an IKEA-backed conversion of Marcel Breuer’s modernist Pirelli building into a 165-room hotel.

Guest room at The Blake Hotel in New Haven

Named after Yale‘s first female graduate, Alice Blake, The Blake Hotel is intended as a design-conscious, extended-stay hotel with a culinary focus.

Guest room kitchen at The Blake Hotel in New Haven

“The creators Randy and Claire Salvatore found that there was a demand for elevated accommodations, with Yale University as a destination for academics and the expanding food scene,” said a statement on behalf of the hotel.

“So they created a place that would appeal to a more sophisticated traveler, and incorporated a lot of New York power players from the food world.”

Bathroom at The Blake Hotel in New Haven

The lobby interprets the “subtle sophistication” of traditional New England aesthetic, while balancing cues to nature and industry in its design. Refined woodwork and leather upholstery accompany concrete flooring and blackened steel accents.

Lobby at The Blake Hotel in New Haven

A two-sided fireplace in the centre of the room asserts the lobby as a gathering place, encouraging guests and locals to linger at their leisure.

Rolling library shelves are stacked with books and collectibles, with artwork and photography that nods to New Haven’s history. Instead of individual guest room minibars, a 24-hour mini-market occupies the space with local snacks, pre-made meals, and gifts.

In each of the 108 rooms, stark white walls are contrasted by rust-coloured velvet seating and plush headboards with wide channel stitching.

The interplay of raw and industrial materials is echoed by dark walnut and mahogany furnishings with metal accents. Long-term stays are encouraged by fully-stocked kitchenettes in both the suites and the guest rooms.

Hamilton Park restaurant at The Blake Hotel in New Haven

The Blake is also aiming to establish itself as a culinary destination with its lobby-adjacent restaurant Hamilton Park, run by New Zealander chef Matt Lambert. Lambert is New Haven’s first Michelin-star chef, and his New York City restaurant The Musket Room was also designed by Alexander Waterworth Interiors.

The neo-bistro is named after New Haven’s historical sporting ground, which provided a reference for the vibrant social nature of Hamilton Park’s design.

Hamilton Park restaurant at The Blake Hotel in New Haven

Elements of timber, leather, and blackened steel unify a space centred around the custom quadrilateral bar and the open-air kitchen. The menu highlights traditional New England fare, elevated through the lens of downtown New York City fine dining and service.

Cocktails are crafted by former wd~50 mixologist Eben Freeman. A second restaurant and bar is slated to open on the rooftop in spring 2019, complete with a retractable glass roof.

Photography is by Read McKendree.

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nArchitects completes red brick Equal Rights Heritage Center in New York – Home Design Ideas

Three red brickwork volumes form this cultural centre in New York, which Brooklyn-based studio nArchitects designed to commemorate the state’s fight for social equality.

The New York Equal Rights Heritage Center is located in Auburn – a city in Cayuga County, New York.

Equal Rights Heritage Center by nArchitects

It features exhibitions dedicated to key events in the state’s history of women’s rights, civil rights, the abolition of slavery, as well as the recent progress of the local LGBTQQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queen) community.

Equal Rights Heritage Center by nArchitects

nArchitects‘ design for the 7,500-square-foot (697-square-metre) building comprises three, one-storey volumes. Two of these house the exhibition spaces and a gift shop, while the third serves administrative purposes.

Equal Rights Heritage Center by nArchitects

The studio chose the red brickwork exterior to match the materiality of nearby buildings in Auburn.

“Drawing from its historic context, the one-storey building’s form pays particular attention to proportion, with large glazing shaped to echo adjacent roof lines and fine brickwork detailing,” said nArchitects.

Equal Rights Heritage Center by nArchitects

The varying orientations of the volumes are arranged to offers views of surrounding landmarks in the city. Inside, large windows capture vistas of Westminster Church, the historic town hall, and Seward House Museum – another historical site in Auburn.

Equal Rights Heritage Center by nArchitects

“In this way the immediate context is integrated with the exhibition content,” said the firm. The interstitial spaces between these volumes also creates small courtyards that are available for public use.

Equal Rights Heritage Center by nArchitects

Inside, the main structure is made of concrete, with deep wooden beams supporting the roof.

Each of the exhibition areas contains a central volume for service functions such as the reception desk, bathrooms, or utilities. This creates a circulation path around a central feature, before heading to the next room.

Equal Rights Heritage Center by nArchitects

The permanent exhibition was designed in collaboration with New York City-based design studio MTWTF. It contains elements to engage visitors such as videos, games, and interactive installations.

“One of these elements – the Social Justice Table – brings people together around a circular video display highlighting legislative milestones,” the architects said.

Equal Rights Heritage Center by nArchitects

Other similar moments are provided by a circular bench with booth-like seating that contains an audio installation.

Roughly in the centre of New York state, Auburn is the birthplace of Hariet Tubman, an abolitionist, suffragette, and civil rights hero. After being born into slavery and escaping, Tubman made several trips to bring freed slaves north to Canada.

Equal Rights Heritage Center by nArchitects

A statue in her effigy by Brian Hanlon stands at the northern side of the roughly triangular site. It is set front of a new public plaza opposite Aurburn’s City Hall and forms the main pedestrian access to the Equal Rights Heritage Center.

“Landscaping surrounding the building was designed with an aim to provide a significant new public green space for downtown Auburn,” nArchitects said.

Equal Rights Heritage Center by nArchitects

The NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center opened on 13 November 2018, nine months after construction began in February.

nArchitects’ other cultural and public projects include the conversion of a Greenpoint warehouse into the creative space A/D/O, and an undulating pier in Chicago that was designed in partnership with James Corner Field Operations.

Photography is by James Ewing, unless otherwise indicated.

Project credits:
Architecture: nArchitects, PLLC, Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang, Amanda Morgan, Thomas Heltzel, David Mora
Exhibition design: MTWTF and nArchitects
Structural engineer: Silman
MEP engineer: OLA Consulting Engineers
Civil engineering and Landscape Design: Environmental Design and Research
Lighting designer: Lumen Architecture, PLLC
Graphic design: MTWTF
Traffic consultant: GTS Consulting
Cost estimator: Ellana Inc

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Margrethe Odgaard creates Kvadrat curtains Diorama and Panorama – Home Design Ideas

Copenhagen-based textile designer Margrethe Odgaard plays with perception of colour and space in this line of satin-woven curtains for Danish brand Kvadrat.

Debuted at this year’s Stockholm Furniture Fair, the new curtain collection includes three different styles: Diorama, Panorama and Suite.

Diorama has a delicate pinstripe effect, whilst Panorama has a subtle split in the middle where the direction of weave changes, and Suite has bold vertical stripes in contrasting shades.

All three designs boast a rich colour palette, dyed in a range of 32 colours. They also all features one half that is a “polarised mirror of the other”, as one section uses a weave with a subtle shimmer effect, while the other has a more matt finish.

Diorama, Panorama and Suite curtains by Margarethe Odgaard for Kvadrat
Odgaard looked to classic architecture and interior design for the design, particularly the technique of wainscoting

Odgaard looked to classic architecture and interior design when creating the three patterns, finding particular inspiration from the technique of wainscoting – a type of wooden panelling that lines the lower parts of the walls in a room.

Her designs put a modern spin on these historical traditions through the use of horizontal lines.

“When creating the collection, I did a lot of research into traditional interior architecture,” said Odgaard.

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The direction of the weave changes at the middle of the Panorama curtain

“During the baroque period in the 1700s, for instance, it was common to divide walls with profiled timber one third of the way from the floor and up. In contrast, French modernism was characterised by the practice of extending the ceiling one third down the wall,” she explained.

“The perception of a space depends on where the dividing line is set, and can be used to make a room look larger,” she continued. “A low dividing line gives an impression of an overview, whereas a high dividing line adds a sense of security, as if you are in a ‘pocket’.”

Odgaard based the tonal palette for the curtains on her Northchromatic colour concept, which is built on a binary system of two pairs, such as warm and cold, or light and dark. She translates these pairings into a variety of shades on a colour wheel.

“Northchromatic reflects the light and colour spectrum that is so particular for the Northern hemisphere,” said Odgaard.

“Used in interiors, it can influence the atmosphere of a room and create moods that range from vivid and stimulating to light and calming, or dark and dramatic.”

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The Suite curtain features thick vertical stripes in contrasting shades

Odgaard’s curtain collection was displayed at the 2019 Stockholm Furniture Fair, which took place from 4 to 10 February.

To coincide with the launch, Kvadrat also hosted a colour workshop with Odgaard at its new Stockholm flagship showroom, designed by Bouroullec Studio.

Diorama, Panorama and Suite curtains by Margarethe Odgaard for Kvadrat
The Diorama design has a delicate pinstripe effect

A collaboration between Kvadrat, Really and Vitra was also exhibited in this space during the fair, where the brands presented pieces from the Vitra collection made out of Solid Textile Board by Really, in a bid to invite discussion about circular design.

“By casting new light on the possibilities of material, the pieces will evoke broader conversations about the circular economy and the potential of sustainable design to change the way we think about resources,” said Kvadrat.

Copenhagen-based designer Karina Nielsen Rios recently developed a line of outdoor upholstery fabrics for Kvadrat that are both hardwearing and eco-friendly, made from a highly durable, flame-retardant polyester.

Both were shown at Stockholm Furniture Fair, which took place from 5 to 9 February as part of Stockholm Design Week.

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Tell-Tale Signs Your Bedroom Comfort Needs a Boost – Interior Home Design

Bedroom comfort is at the top of the list for designs that need to be conducive to relaxation. After all, if you are like most people, you probably live a very busy and chaotic life. The good news is, you can improve this space by following a few good suggestions.

To help you along, here are some questions to ask yourself to decide if it’s time for you to take your bedroom comfort to a new level.

How is Your Bedroom Comfort Level?

Do You Struggle to Get Adequate Sleep?

The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep each day for optimum performance and well-being. If you have issues sleeping, then this is a definite sign that your room isn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Bedroom comfort reverie adjustable bed with couple

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There are several reasons for this. One of the biggest culprits is your bed and mattress. If it is old, low-quality, or at all uncomfortable, then an update is necessary. If this is the case, I recommend that you try a power bed frame, which allows you to adjust your position which will help you get a better night’s sleep than you’ve ever before experienced.

In addition to the bed, the way that you design the space also impacts your overall sleep patterns. If you have many complex patterns or bold, vibrant colors, they might cause excessive stimulation for your brain which makes it hard to sleep. Instead, choose warm or neutral, soft colors, along with the right lighting to help you relax and get to sleep faster.

Do You Avoid Spending Time in Your Bedroom?

While your bedroom is considered a functional room, it also needs to be a place where you enjoy spending downtime. The goal is to make your room an amazing oasis within your home for your own personal get-away from the world.

Bedroom comfort flexible bed frames lavender green cream serene color scheme

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There are many ways to increase your bedroom comfort level and it might be easier than you think. Take a look at the list below to see if there’s something you can incorporate to increase your relaxation.

  1. Layer plush comforters and pillows.
  2. Declutter the room for a clean, serene feeling.
  3. Add a diffuser for aromatherapy or burn incense.
  4. Ad an overstuffed chair, ottoman, and a reading lamp.
  5. Install dimmer switches to easily adjust lighting.
  6. Turn off all blue light devices before bedtime.

If the only time you care to go into your bedroom is to go to sleep, then that’s a strong indication that this space is simply not inviting. At this point, it’s definitely time to enhance this space so you can fall in love with it once again.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

9 Tips to Design Your Bedroom for a Peaceful Sleep Experience

How to Make Your Bedroom Art Unique

How to Design Summer Bedroom Style

6 Beautiful Styles to Create Your Dream Vintage Bedroom

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10 off-grid homes for a self-sufficient lifestyle – Home Design Ideas

From an isolated house in a Californian nature reserve, to a rural house in China that encourages villagers to be self-sufficient, here are 10 off-grid homes where people are living sustainably


Black Barn by Studio Bark in Suffolk, England

Black Barn, England, by Studio Bark

Designed to have minimal environmental impact, this off-grid house by Studio Bark is fully powered by solar and bio-diesel.

It has a tapered form designed to help minimise heat loss, while the gable’s glazing is slightly set back to help the building self-shade and keep cool in the summer.

Find out more about Black Barn ›


The Off-Grid Guest House by Anacapa Architecture

The Off-Grid Guest House, USA, by Anacapa Architecture

This house on an isolated site in a Californian nature reserve was designed by Anacapa Architecture to function completely off the grid.

Power is provided by a photovoltaic system, with a propane generator available as a backup, and it also has a private well and water treatment system.

Find out more about The Off-Grid Guest House ›


House of the Year 2018: Lochside House by HaysomWardMiller Architects

Lochside House, Scotland, by Haysom Ward Millar Architects

This rural cottage sits on the edge of a lake in the Scottish Highlands and is crafted from natural materials that complement its scenic location.

It functions entirely off-grid by producing its own electricity from solar panels, and sourcing clean water from a borehole.

Find out more about Lochside House ›


House For All Seasons by John Lin

House For All Seasons, China, by John Lin

John Lin adapted a traditional rural Chinese courtyard house to create this off-grid dwelling, which encourages village residents to be more self-sufficient.

A number of courtyards are contained behind the walls of the house, accommodating a pig pen and biogas boiler that generates energy from the animal waste. Its roof is also used to collect rainwater.

Find out more about House For All Seasons ›


Conservatory House by Nadine Englebrecht in South Africa

Conservatory House, South Africa, by Nadine Englebrecht

Nadine Englebrecht followed passive building principles to design this South African house, which is characterised by a double-height conservatory at its centre.

Its glass panels collect solar heat that can be circulated into adjoining spaces, and it uses water from two neighbouring dams while solar panels provide its electricity.

Find out more about Conservatory House ›


Off Grid Home, Spain, by Ábaton

Ábaton renovated a crumbling stone stable in western Spain to create this self-sufficient family home, which is too remote to be connected to an electrical grid or water supply.

The orientation of the building helps to generate a solar heat gain, while two nearby streams provide hydro electricity and clean water for drinking and bathing.

Find out more about Off Grid home ›


Maui House by LifeEdited

Maui House, USA, by LifeEdited

LifeEdited developed this family home on Hawaiian island Maui as a model for sustainable, off-grid living. With a combination of design and technology features like solar panels and rainwater collection, the house harvests more energy and water than it consumes.

Find out more about Maui House ›


Camp Baird, USA, by Malcom Davis

This house sits in a coastal valley dotted with oak and bay trees, and is designed to feel like a camp rather than a conventional home.

An array of photovoltaic panels on an exposed slope generate power for the building, while its swimming pool is heated by solar thermal panels.

Find out more about Camp Baird ›


Ibiza Campo by Standard Studio & Ibiza Interiors

Casa Campo, Spain, by Standard Studio

Nestled within the mountains at the north of the Balearic island, this 45-square-metre house named Casa Campo comprises two bedrooms and one bathroom.

Its electricity and underfloor heating is powered by solar panels located on the roof, while a private well provides its water supply.

Find out more about Casa Campo ›


Hill Country House by Miro Rivera Architects

Hill Country House, USA, by Miro Rivera Architects

Miro Rivera Architects designed this residence for a meadow in Texas as a prototype for a sustainable countryside community.

It has a rainwater collection system that provides over 750 litres of water a day, uses a geothermal system for heating and cooling, and solar panels to supply 61 per cent of its annual energy usage.

Find out more about Hill Country House ›

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Gio Ponti furniture including Mariposa armchair and D5551 side table – Home Design Ideas

The work of Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti is the focus of a major exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Curator Salvatore Licitra, who is also Ponti’s nephew, picks out five of the most important designs in the show.

On show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs until 5 May 2019, Tutto Ponti: Gio Ponti Archi-Designer explores the full scope of Ponti’s six decade-long career as a designer and architect, from 1921 to 1978.

Ponti designed both buildings and furniture as well as producing interiors, tile and textiles, and his ideas and methods crossed back and forth between the disciplines. And despite working at a time of increasing mass production, he was just as interested in craft.

“A way of looking at the present”

With the exhibition, Salvatore Licitra wanted to address how Gio Ponti “a man born in the 19th century and who passed away 4o years ago, continues to be and has increasingly become, a reference for architects, designers and artists around the world”.

“This is not a case of presenting an account of ‘Italian arts’ and of a figure from a bygone age, but rather a way of looking at the present, and at the sources to which important contemporary expressions of creativity refer and look for inspiration,” he said.

Here, Licitra picks five of Ponti’s most influential furniture designs and explains how they embody his design principles:


Gio Ponti furniture: 811 armchair

811 armchair

“The 811 armchair effectively represents the switch from artisanal furniture and cabinet-making to industrialised mass production.

“The expression of this chair is basically provided by its wooden frame, which suggests fine craftsmanship, but also boasts a suspension system for the seat and backrest with elastic belts made by Pirelli, which was decidedly innovative for those years. An example, therefore, of hybridisation between industrial production and sophisticated aesthetic finishing and material solutions.

“Those were the years when Ponti, with his creative flair, was busy laying the foundations and promoting, via Domus magazine, what later came to be known as Italian design; mass production backed by a time-honoured culture of top quality craftsmanship.”


Gio Ponti furniture: Mariposa armchair
Photo © Gio Ponti Archives

Mariposa armchair

“In Spanish, the word mariposa means butterfly. And in fact this armchair, with the moving lines of its volumes, and in the profile of its arm and backrests, is effectively reminiscent of a butterfly.

“This was a model, created by Ponti for the Villa Planchart in Caracas, which aesthetically recalls the lines and proportions of Venezuelan villas, but also of Villa Nemazee in Teheran.

“These Pontian villas are architectural butterflies, in the way their plans open up like fans, with their visually suspended walls defining the body of the building, with their flat, lightweight roofs, designed as if they had just alighted, with their canopies protruding like antennas.”


Gio Ponti furniture: D5551 side table

D5551 side table

“This small table, designed by Ponti in the early 1950s, is key to understanding Ponti’s poetics, in both design and architecture. In its elementary simplicity, it sums up and embodies procedures and principles that animate all Ponti’s work. It is a good example of his creative journey, along which his works do not follow one another in a linear fashion.

“The grid that supports the glass reflects the refined small rosewood tables that Ponti had been designing since the 1930s, where the framework of the table is part of the object’s aesthetics. A key feature of this item is that the grid is painted to achieve different colour effects according to the point of view.”


Gio Ponti furniture: Sedia di poco sedile
Photo © Gio Ponti Archives

Sedia di poco sedile

“Ponti used to say that, after the Superleggera chair and the Pirelli skyscraper, he had produced two more equally important designs: Taranto Cathedral and the sedia di poco sedile, or small-seated armchair.

“This chair, with its slender, linear steel frame, which supports the two thinly padded surfaces of the seat and the backrest, looks more like a design than a piece of furniture.

“Here too it is the lean frame itself that interprets the aesthetics of the model. The shiny steel line that supports the backrest proceeds downwards to form the front legs and the one that supports the seat extends to form the back legs.

“This cross-over criterion, which Ponti had been using since the 1950s, even for furniture of completely different styles, like the items for the Andrea Doria ocean liner, enables the surfaces of the seat and the backrest to be completely independent, thereby expressing the utmost lightness.”


Gio Ponti furniture: Lamp with light modules
Photo © Gio Ponti Archives

Lamp with light modules

“Technology developed in the 1960s led to the mass production of lamps using neon tubes as their light source. Ponti masterly interpreted the possibilities that this offered by focusing on the beauty of linear light.

“This is a project of light modules that could create hanging lamps or round ones but also self-standing lamps, and individual or multi-body wall-lamps or ceiling-lamps.

“In this lighting system, designed in the name of essentiality, there is nothing more than the light source and a curved screen for the luminous rod, made with ultra-thin gold anodised aluminium, to provide a body to the lamp and to give direction to the light.

“Anodised aluminium was a material that Ponti knew well, having used it since the end of the 1940s to embellish and brighten up the rooms of the ocean liners that he had furnished, sometimes lining whole walls with it.”

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Pablo Limón coats furniture in silver nitrate for chromatic effect – Home Design Ideas

Mexican designer Pablo Limón has produced a set of furniture pieces with chromatic rainbow finishes, created by gently buffing surfaces covered in layers of silver nitrate.

Limón’s designs are the result of experiments with metallic coatings, applied to medium-density-foam bases shaped like simple seats or side tables.

Furniture coated in silver nitrate by Pablo Limon

Over the forms, primed so they become non-porous, the silver nitrate is applied one layer at a time. Each is left to dry at 32 degrees celsius, “then a catalyst is applied to create a chemical reaction with which the chrome effect comes out”, Limón told Dezeen.

He also adds paint dyes to the material to produce different hues. Finally, the surfaces are polished so the next layer can be applied on top.

Furniture coated in silver nitrate by Pablo Limon

The process is repeated three or four times, depending on the desired depth of colours. Once satisfied, Limón takes a circular sander to the surfaces, gently eroding away portions of the layers.

“This process is done by hand and the control of the effect is limited by chance,” he said. “The erosion is very delicate, and done with water sandpaper that removes the matter that is wanted.”

Furniture coated in silver nitrate by Pablo Limon

The result is an effect similar to an oil slick, with ribbons of colour trailed across the surfaces in fluid patterns.

“After many tests with very clear ideas, and others more random, we managed to create this process that plays with the chromatic effect in such a three-dimensional and graphic way,” said Limón. “It’s so graphic that it looks like it was printed.”

The designer first discovered the technique through the DS Paint workshop in Barcelona, where he became fascinated by the potential finishes possible with metals – as seen in the work of artists like Jeff Koons.

Furniture coated in silver nitrate by Pablo Limon

Limón sees the initial products he created during the collaboration with DS Paint as prototypes, and now plans to develop the forms onto which he can apply his finish.

“I think now comes the second part of the game, which defines how you can get a perfectly designed form for this type of effect,” he said.

Furniture coated in silver nitrate by Pablo Limon

Limón runs his own design studio PLDO, and is also partner and architecture director at Savvy Studio, which has offices in New York City and Mexico City.

As a collective, the they created a set of “brutalist” furniture, while Savvy Studio’s recent projects have included a hotel in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighbourhood and a nautical-themed cafe in Manhattan’s Tribeca.

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Nature meets tech in Studio Swine’s Wave Particle Duplex installation – Home Design Ideas

Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves of Studio Swine discuss their Wave Particle Duplex installation at Brooklyn creative space A/D/O, in this movie produced by Dezeen for MINI.

The installation represented the culmination of a residency that Japanese architect Murakami and British artist Groves have been undertaking at A/D/O, a design hub that was founded by MINI in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Wave Particle Duplex is an installation by British-Japanese duo Studio Swine and was installed at A/D/O, a design hub founded by MINI in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Wave Particle Duplex is an installation by British-Japanese duo Studio Swine

Wave Particle Duplex comprised two sets of artworks that manipulate light using analogue and digital technologies.

“The installation is an exploration into the duality of light in an architectural context” Murakami told Dezeen in the video interview, which was shot by Dezeen at A/D/O.

Wave Particle Duplex is an installation by British-Japanese duo Studio Swine and was installed at A/D/O, a design hub founded by MINI in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Comprising two artworks, Wave Particle Duplex was installed at A/D/O in Brooklyn

Visitors to the installation, set inside a closed cuboid volume in A/D/O’s atrium, passed through a dark corridor before entering a womb-like room with a red carpet, walls and lighting.

This room was used to exhibit artworks titled Dawn Particles, which comprised four wall-mounted panels holding blown-glass tubes filled with light-emitting plasma.

Wave Particle Duplex is an installation by British-Japanese duo Studio Swine and was installed at A/D/O, a design hub founded by MINI in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Dawn Particles features four wall-mounted panels that hold blown-glass tubes filled with light-emitting plasma

“We worked with local glass artists to blow these tubes,” said Murakami. “We’ve encapsulated a gas called krypton inside them.”

Krypton is an inert gas found in the Earth’s atmosphere that forms plasma when charged with a high-voltage. “It’s the most abundant state of matter in our whole known universe,” Groves said.

Wave Particle Duplex is an installation by British-Japanese duo Studio Swine and was installed at A/D/O, a design hub founded by MINI in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Voltages pulse through the tubes at intervals, creating a range of fluctuating light effects

Voltages controlled by algorithms pulse through the tubes at intervals, creating a range of fluctuating light effects.

The activity of the plasma within the tubes responds to environmental conditions, including the proximity of visitors’ bodies. “The light reacts to electromagnetic fields, so when you go near it some tubes really respond to your body,” Murakami explained.

Wave Particle Duplex is an installation by British-Japanese duo Studio Swine and was installed at A/D/O, a design hub founded by MINI in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
The second work, titled Fog Paintings, features two wall-mounted vitrines filled with fog and moving lights

A second room, which features a yellow carpet and walls, was accessed by passing through a curtain, and contained two artworks mounted on the wall that the duo describe as Fog Paintings.

Each was made up of a vitrine into which fog is pumped at intervals, obscuring moving LED lights behind. “Robotic mechanisms pass moving lights behind this constantly swirling fog,” said Murakami.

“The fog paintings are a real convergence of analogue, digital and real materials,” she continued.

According to Studio Swine, the installation is an exploration of a convergence between nature and technology. “We wanted to create a new sensation you wouldn’t get with either technology or nature, but something that you get by combining those two,” said Murakami.

Wave Particle Duplex is an installation by British-Japanese duo Studio Swine and was installed at A/D/O, a design hub founded by MINI in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Murakami describes the Fog Paintings as “a convergence of analogue, digital and real materials”

The duo is known for a portfolio of multidisciplinary projects that encompass art, small-scale architecture, design and film.

Previous works include an installation featuring a metal tree that produces smoke-filled bubbles, and a huge ceramic sculpture installed at the Eden project that emits scented mist.

Wave Particle Duplex was on show from 17 January until 11 February 2019 at A/D/O.

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