March 27, 2012

FLOS Wins 2 Good Design Awards 2011

FLOS is proud to announce the recognition of the Kelvin LED and Light Spring in the 2011 GOOD DESIGN AWARDS in the lighting category.

Founded in Chicago in 1950 by architects Eero Saarinen, Charles ad Ray Eames, and Edgar Kaufman Jr., Good Design bestows international recognition upon the world′s most prominent designers and manufacturers for advancing new, visionary, and innovative product concepts, invention and originality, and for pushing the envelope beyond what is considered ordinary products and consumer design.

March 23, 2012

The Bay Lights - Lighting the Bay Bridge to Illuminate the Arts

The Bay Lights is an iconic light sculpture designed by internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal. This stunning fine arts experience will live for two years on the Bay Bridge West Span, starting with a Grand Lighting in late 2012.

The Bay Lights is a monumental tour de force seven times the scale of the Eiffel Tower’s 100th Anniversary lighting. Created with over 25,000 white energy-efficient LEDs on the Bay Bridge West Span, this ever-changing, dazzling light sculpture will be 1½ miles wide and 230 feet high – viewable from the city’s northeast side but not by drivers on the bridge itself. Shining from dusk to midnight for two years, it will impact an audience of over 50 million people in the Bay Area alone, with billions more seeing The Bay Lights in media and online.

The Bay Lights is the brainchild of Ben Davis, founder of Words Pictures Ideas, the San Francisco creative agency that branded the build-out of the Bay Bridge East Span – California’s largest public works project – and continues to serve it daily. Inspired by internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal’s exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Art, Davis began a campaign to realize this stunning fine arts experience – starting with a momentous Grand Lighting in 2012 for the Bay Bridge 75th Anniversary and continuing through 2014.
Leo Villareal orchestrates complex, rhythmic artworks composed exclusively of points of light; his groundbreaking work is part of the permanent collection of major museums including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and has earned him prestigious international commissions and solo exhibitions worldwide. The Bay Lights will be his largest public light sculpture yet.

The Bay Lights will put the Bay Area in the global spotlight from 2012 through 2014, and especially in 2013, “The Year of the Bay,” which will feature the America’s Cup, the Port of San Francisco’s 150th Anniversary, the opening of the new Exploratorium at Pier 15 and, toward the end of the year, the long-awaited completion of California’s largest civic works project – the Bay Bridge East Span – within days of the America’s Cup’s finale.
Cultural alliances have been forged with some of the Bay Area’s most creative organizations: Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, Black Rock City LLC, Exploratorium, Grey Area Foundation for the Arts, SF Museum of Modern Art, zero1: The Art and Technology Network, Berkeley Center for New Media, Black Rock Arts Foundation, Friends of the Gateway, Maker Faire, SJ Institute of Contemporary Art, and SJ Museum of Art.

Government agencies including Caltrans, The Bay Area Toll Authority, and the City and County of San Francisco collaborated on a thorough environmental review and have worked to finalize permits over the past year in the spirit of helping to ignite civic pride and highlight the important role Bay Bridge infrastructure plays in our lives.

March 16, 2012

In Marcel's Place - Marcel Wander's Design Studio

Elle Decor Italia
by Marc Heldens
photo by Mark Seelen

Marcel Wander's new studio in Amsterdam is a horizontal building over several floors.

He spends half his time abroad, and the other half in Amsterdam. Every morning Marcel Anders strolls through the Jordaan area to get to Westerhuis, the building where his design studio is based. It is during these walks through the city that he finds the ideas for his latest projects. He looks inside his soul to find the "burning flame", as he defines his creative mind. He loves working like this and inspiring his team in the process. "My task is also to spread my creativity around", he explains, "which is why I needed a new design office. This horizontally-structured building is perfect for my kind of organization. All the members of the international team work on the same floor, which creates great synergy." The studio is split across two levels, with reception areas on the fourth floor and the beating creative heart of the operation on the third floor. "This space is a very fertile ground", Wanders continues. "The people who work here are important to me and their creative spirit needs total freedom. My studio is like a home from home, and my team is like a family that fills me with energy.

My projects are like puzzles, and everybody makes their contribution: myself, the Marcel Wanders Studio, the various international manufacturers and clients. My work has sometimes been defined as quirky, but I believe it's better described as a "fantasy", because what counts is creating surprise, happiness and innovation. I also have a deep respect for everything that is old. I like working with past and present archetypes from different cultures, because they often reveal wonderful values." When we ask him to talk about his greatest fantasy and his greatest vision, Marcel Wanders doesn't think twice: his fantasy is to design a mosque. Meanwhile, his greatest vision is already coming to fruition: a book called "The World Heritage", a collection of his sources of inspiration and of various archetypes from around the world, all mixed up and captured in photographs.

March 13, 2012

The Spirited Workshop - Anish Kapoor

Elle Decor Italia
by Paolo Campostrini
photos by Vincent Mercier

Located in an old building in London is the studio of Anish Kapoor. Where things are cut, welded, ground and polished. All focused on the Absolute.

In his workshop, where almost impossible solid engineering takes shape, Anish Kapoor searches for unexplored spaces between matter and light; those metaphysical flashes which emerge from steel when it is polished so rigorously that it seems like liquid mercury and becomes a misshapen mirror (the Cloud Gate in Chicago), where onlookers can discover the face they never knew they had. It is a workshop of solid people run by Kapoor; 15 post-conceptual art labourers who work with him in a large industrial warehouse south of London. "I want them to be agile, in their heads and in their legs," says the Anglo-Indian sculptor of anti-matter. "An idea is worth nothing in itself but only makes sense as the conclusion of a journey of experimentation and work".

After spending just a couple of hours in the workshop, it becomes clear that art, in order to become a spiritual adventure, must first involve the body. Kapoor and his workers use masks because it is dangerous to bring out the soul of matter: splinters, smoke, chemical emissions, acids which peel away even the more resistant surfaces. It is a veritable Vulcan hothouse which supports a construction madness that is attempting to overcome the borders between solids and gases.

In 2012, we will see the highest installation ever constructed: a spiral (the Orbit) which will rise above Olympic London for 115 meters. It is a tower of Babel which, for some, is an anthem for the useless and, for others, is the unexplored, the latest among many works to challenge the static. Works which reveal his obsessions: for red (My red Homeland at Besana, in wax) or for the dragon (The Leviathan for Monumenta 2011, at Grand Palais, in PVC). We, too, have our obsessions, but by getting into his works, we can at least learn to recognize them.

March 6, 2012

Chalet Béranger by Noé Duchaufour Lawrance

Elle Decor Italia
by Jeremy Callaghan
photos by Gaelle Le Boulicaut

A collector of designer pieces entrusts the renovation of his Savoy home to Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance. The result: a creative, modern version of the classic Alpine chalet.

The owner of this house describes himself as a collector and art and design enthusiast, with a particular interest for the French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance. When he later purchased this chalet, a former restaurant with an adjoining farm, where the three valleys of the French Alps cross each other, he entrusted the renovation of the property to the designer. Duchaufour-Lawrance accepted only on the condition that the owner would give him carte blanche and reinterpreted the external landscape of the interior design with a constant reference to the natural Alpine architecture.

Surrounded by the immensity of nature, the strong symmetrical geometry of the traditional chalet was abandoned in favor of the organic curves that are so characteristic of this designer. Soft, organic and fluid, a strip of wood used as seating, walls and ceiling, emphasised by the tradition of wooden slats, expresses the double passion of Duchaufour-Lawrance for materials and for shapes. The concrete flooring is transformed into a raised surface in Corian for sharing meals. A white monolith by Boffi hides all the elements of the kitchen. The designer has infused great lightness into the materials, more traditionally associated with a rustic presence.