designjunction returned to the London Design Festival for its third iteration (its second in the former Royal Mail sorting office) with a cacophony of design, color, pattern and texture that was at times almost overwhelming in its intensity. Providing a moment of calm amongst the chaos, Thorody’s new fabric (above) is named after the founders’ cat Ivor!
The ground floor was a consumer-friendly collection of pop-up shops and food stalls and included a lot of emerging designers. It was great to see Lovely Pigeon’s new stationery range including flashes of very on-trend copper.
I love Kangan Arora’s colorful cushions. She said: “My collection is inspired by Indian street culture. It’s all about celebrating color and pattern in a very contemporary context.”
Lindsay Lang’s contemporary twists on mid-century patterns are hotly tipped to be the next big thing in interior products. Originally trained in fine art, she said: “My aim is to create high-quality functional products that are truly original works of art for the home.”
Upstairs larger stands created a calmer atmosphere where new designers rubbed shoulders with established brands. Chair for the Roof of the Palmyra Hotel by Martin Boyce, David MacKenzie, and Raymond MacDonald was part of the GOODD – Visual Objects for the Home stand: a collection by ten artists and designers produced to showcase the creative work coming out of Scotland.
Base is a collection of functional pots for daily use from Bravo!, rocking two of the London Design Festival’s key trends in one item – wood and copper.
It would take a hard-hearted dog person to walk past Gavin Coyle’s Companion Rack without a smile. I wonder if it can fetch slippers too!
More talent from Scotland: I loved Catherine Aitken’s Fade Stool. Catherine won the Time to Design 2012 award and created the Fade collection during a residency at the Danish Art Workshops. The stools combine a powder-coated steel structure with a round sheet of plywood, which is wrapped in intricately woven cotton cords sourced from Japan.
And finally, the lovely Kyla McCallum launched her Sonobe lighting collection, the result of years of experimentation with an origami module originally invented in the 60s.
Our trip to the London Design Festival was supported by Airbnb.com.
It’s a question that begs to be answered and worth delving into. In order to best answer this question we need to take a look at today’s modern families and their lifestyles. We are busier than ever before. Our days are longer than in the past. Today’s school children have longer days with more activities and more homework, perhaps, than those of previous generations. The greatest difference may be that today’s homes consist of, primarily, two working parents/partners.
Gone are the days where the mother stayed home and tended to the house and greeted her husband and children when they came home at the end of the day. Gone are the days when the workday ended at 5:00pm. Today’s family members come and go at various times and into the late evening hours. Because of this it is not uncommon to have a staggered family meal, depending on what time everyone gets home. For those who do sit down and plan a family meal, this can take a great amount of coordination and effort and, does not often happen 7 days a week. What does this have to do with the dining room? A great deal!
How often is the dining room used?
Our lifestyles tend to be more casual today, and our homes are a direct reflection of this shift. Older homes, those built between 1920 and 1970s, with the smaller kitchen were outfitted with dining rooms just off the kitchen. Food was prepared in the kitchen and then transported into the dining room. Once a meal was finished, people would then relocate to another room… to the kitchen, perhaps, to clean and do the dishes, or to the common living area or to a bedroom.
Dining rooms, once used daily are not seeing much use at all these days. Some use them from time to time while others not at all. Whether a dining room is used or not really comes down to lifestyle. Very few of these rooms are used on a daily basis. Many are used for entertaining or for family gatherings and holiday meals. Some use this room but just once or twice a year.
Where are people dining?
Our kitchens see more traffic and more use, perhaps, than any other room in the house. This is especially the case with busy families. The kitchen has become central not only in our homes, but in our home life. We are spending more and more time in the kitchen. It is where we cook, congregate, work, entertain, discuss the day’s events, plan future engagements and pay bills. We also happen to eat in here. Our kitchens are outfitted with music and television sets and this space has become a true living room. Today’s kitchens are larger than those of years past and often have more than one seating area. It is not uncommon to see both an island surrounded with chairs and a separate space large enough to fit a table and several chairs. With two eating areas is there really a need for another?
What’s happening to existing dining rooms?
Many formal dining rooms are sitting vacant, empty – gathering dust and cobwebs. Others, however, aware of this grand wasted space and have decided to turn these unused rooms into something that better fits their lifestyle. These unused dining rooms are being converted to accommodate today’s lifestyle. We are seeing them become dens, playrooms, offices, libraries,. craft rooms, art studios, exercise rooms…
The walls are coming down!
Expanded spaces and open floor plans are very much in demand these days. Newer homes are built with this thought in mind, and older homes are being reconfigured and redeveloped so that they too can have this open feel. Even small Colonial and Cape style houses can have an open floor plan. As long as weight is redistributed properly, load-bearing walls can easily be removed. For many this is ideal. Not only does this open up the home, making it feel larger, but for those with young families, some feel it’s easier to keep tabs on everyone without having to be in the same room. Homes with open floor plans are hot commodities in the real estate market, in fact, Realtors often promote their listings as having an “open floor plan” to create interest among buyers. This isn’t, however, the case for every home.
Open floor plan vs separate, traditional dining room
Which is more desirable, the newer, open floor plan or the more traditional, dining room? There is no right or wrong answer here and people seem to be equally divided here. Some prefer the modern look and feel of a more open floor plan while others prefer the traditional setup with separate living areas. As with everything, the beauty here, too, is in the eye of the beholder. It comes down to family, living and lifestyle and perhaps even tradition.
Those who grew up with traditional dining rooms, with memories of great holiday meals, loud, boisterous and energetic family get togethers may want to continue with tradition and pass this down to future generations. While some view these rooms as a waste of valuable space, others prefer to hang tight to these rooms, even if they are only used a handful of times a year. It’s about preference, lifestyle and choice. In an informal poll, about half the people responded to preferring a separate, closed off dining room with the other half preferring a specified dining space, but not in a separate, closed off space.
Dining areas in smaller homes and apartments
Many Americans and most Europeans live in homes and apartments too small for separate dining areas. For those residing in apartments, lofts and smaller homes, the kitchen is, once again, the center of the home for entertaining as well as dining purposes. In lofts with open floor plans, large farm tables are often central to the space. Much in the same way a kitchen table has become multi-functional, these have as well, providing hours of family meals, and entertainment as well as a place for homework, crafts and board games.
The family dynamic is changing
With the rising costs of living and a poor economy, many young people cannot afford to live on their home. It is becoming more and more common for today’s youth, after finishing university, to move back home while they look for work and to try to save a little money. In addition to this, as our population ages and is living longer, many elders are moving in with their children as well, making many homes multi-generational and redefining the term modern family. For these families more living space is therefore needed as opposed to the need for a separate dining area.
Whether or not a formal dining room is wanted or needed depends a great deal on tradition, lifestyle as well as size of the home. Those who view the space to be antiquated and unnecessary opting to turn these spaces into offices, bedrooms and libraries. Some, however, are choosing to have a room that is multi functional – a room that can best be served for different purposes – a room that could be converted from office or library to dining area, and if designed properly, this conversion is easily done. Maximizing the use of a home’s square footage is most important all around.
UK-based designer Benjamin Hubert has designed perhaps the world’s lightest wooden table as part of an internal studio research project into lightweight construction. His Ripple table is a little over 8 feet long and about 3.2 feet wide, weighing in at just about 20 pounds (9 kilograms).
Made using 70-80% less material than a standard timber table, Ripple can be assembled and moved around fairly easily by just one person. The lightweight design is due to using a process that corrugates plywood just like cardboard through pressure lamination. Hubert developed this technique with Canadian manufacturer Corelam.
The table is about 0.8mm thick and made from 3-ply birch aircraft plywood.
Ripple was launched at Aram Store during the ndon Design Festival in September as part of Benjamin Hubert’s inaugural UK solo exhibition, Antecedents. It will be available to buy from September on as a commission through Benjamin Hubert.
Architects: Oscar Gonzalez Moix
Location: La Molina District, Peru
Design Team: Ernesto Bartra, Jose Miranda, Edith Rojas. Beatriz Rodriguez
Constructor: Enrique Matellini Ingenieros E.I.R.L.
Area: 590 sqm
Photographs: Juan Solano Ojasi
From the architect. The Project is located in an existing condo in La Planicie, overlooking the Golf. Importantly, one of the family members is disabled, so the project should not have any barriers and integrate the lives of others, without altering the aesthetics and function. All in equal conditions. The project is articulated through a 1.50 axle wide circulation, containing all functions in two volumes. The first volume, a strip running the length of the field, adding a second volume containing double height social area and expansion of the terrace. The concept of the house was looking for a functional integration, structural and formal, with a simple modulation responding to the program. The proposed materials synthesized warmth and formal language of the project, creating a comfortable home.
The brief for this project, but had to meet the needs of the life of a typical family, we had to pay attention to every single detail and operation, to be used by a disabled person, having a normal life without barriers.
After intense searches of land suitable to develop the project, we found an area of almost 663 m2. The land with a frontage of 18.40 m and bottom 36.0 m, had the peculiarity that its left side and adjacent to golf, with a privileged view , so that was reason enough to take this as a trigger condition for our Party . The rules allow us to build on opposite side and the bottom, leaving a golf retreats and main entrance. With all these strong data intensions begin the process of projective and seek a viable concept.
The project will in probate spatial coupling functions housed on two floors and are organized on a tour through the circulation axis, separating the most private areas of the house with double height social area. Allowing also communicate the outside and inside, on this axis, marking on the main facade, as a crack, which divides the two main volumes, private and social. The volumes are clear and simple, contains and expresses the architectural gestures functions with pure lines, stripped of ornament and respecting the parameters of modern and functional design. These boxes harboring function functional , fully open through large windows achieving transparency and permeability of view , lighting and ventilation to all main rooms of the house , taking the view of the golf, simulating an infinite garden .
Swedish designers Mats Broberg & Johan Ridderstråle have given the humble oil lamp a sophisticated contemporary spin with this exquisitely refined series of Patina oil lamps. Available in three sizes, the lamps are comprised of two unadorned cylindrical forms—polished copper base and slender glass chimney—joined together by a delicately ornate nickle plated burner. Packaging enthusiasts (count us in) will be happy to see the lamps arrive encased in bespoke wooden boxes, which are very nearly objet d’art in themselves.
Robert and John are travellers. They collect sculptures by local artists and bring them home. They have a keen eye for modernism and minimal design and they don’t settle for ordinary. They love cooking and they avoid the unnecessary. In building their home, rzlbd respects their curiosity for style.
A totem is sculptures within a sculpture. The totem in Totem House is a vertical gallery that exhibits John and Robert’s souvenirs from around the world. Each piece has been carefully measured and placed in a designated niche inside the Tower. An open wooden staircase connecting the three stories of the house gently circulates around the totem allowing one to observe the artworks from many different angles. During the day the skylight above the staircase naturally illuminates the totem, and at nighttime dedicated LED lights installed inside the niches light each piece. The totem naturally becomes the focal point in the house, as it is visible from every corner on all levels.
Jivan Vartanian, Minster of Transport for Rostov, described Twelve Architects’ proposal as the “most memorable and unique” out of the ten other competing practices, saying that the “project may look too risky now but in future it will become the most advanced”.
The £600 million airport is set to handle an initial demand of five million passengers a year, incorporating ”offices, a hotel, a business centre and a high-speed railway station”. According to Twelve, the design, dominated by four arches, “was inspired by the idea of an airport as a bridge connecting cities together” and “celebrates the principal routes for passengers when going through the arrival and departure process”.
The design also “responds to local climate to create an environmentally sensitive solution that embraces passive design and renewable energies and responds to both the summer and winter climate”.
Time travel continues to be, well, a timeless concept. And what better way to think of it as an urban-city setting as seen in the 7th edition of the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam: The City as Time Machine.
From Oct. 10-13, more than 100 urban architecture and design films on current trending topics will be screened at the LantarenVenster cinema in Rotterdam. As if that weren't enough to make you want to hop on the next plane to the Netherlands, no film fest can be complete without a series of debates, lectures, and talk shows in the program.
Many of the films emphasize the ever-changing urban city as a limitless source of inspiration for filmmakers--with stories on renovation, reuse, temporary function, disused buildings, and more. Opening the festival on Oct. 10 is Angel Borrego's "The Competition" from Spain, a film that reveals the true nature of "starchitects" and how architecture firms go about their work.
Films like Bert Oosterveld and Peter Frankenest's "Reaching ...
Every Fall, when the air gets crisp, and sweaters start making their first appearances… so do decorative gourds. For those of you who just can’t help yourselves when it comes to autumnal vegetable décor – here is a round up of chic modern alternatives. Happy Fall everyone!
These Bulawayo baskets by Design Afrika are handmade by traditional artisans from all over Africa as part of an effort to provide a sustainable income to indigenous people and preserve their local traditions. These dramatically proportioned one of a kind baskets are inspired by the over-sized vessels of South African potter Louise Gelderblom – but we find them remarkably gourd-like.
Aluminum-spun lampshades from Komplot Designs are soft and organic in shape but sleek and modern with their mirrored finish. We love the way they reflect the surrounding space and light.
These simple gourd flowers are a fun way to sharpen your knife skills!
Metallic gourds… Monochromatic copper leaf application…
Chrome, gunmetal or silver, the gourd shape enhances room décor with or without flowers.
Gathering candlesticks and cake stands to create varying heights of gourds in bright pops of color mixed with stark white and gold is a fun way to invite fall into your home. Project via Chatelaine Magazine.
Archinect's Architecture School Lecture Guide for Fall 2013
Here on Archinect we recently launched "Get Lectured", where we'll feature a school's lecture series--along with their snazzy posters--for the current season. Check back regularly to stay up-to-date and mark your calendars for any upcoming lectures you don't want to miss.
Today's list is the 2013-14 "Quality" Lecture Series at the University of Arkansas, Fay Jones School of Architecture.
Want to share your school's lecture series? Send us your school's lecture series poster and details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All lectures will take place at 5:30 pm, unless otherwise noted.**
All lectures will be at the Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall, Steven L. Anderson Design Center, Room 250, Vol Walker Hall.
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien / Co-Founders - Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
A Building is a Verb
Cromwell Architects Engineers: Charles Thompson Memorial Lecture
Coffey Architects joined two individual apartments in a historic building in Clerkenwell, central London, to create one substantial residence. The two units were stacked, one on top of the other, and had to be completely reconfigured to work together, as well as installing a joinery wall that goes from one end to the other to tie them together.
The massive wall not only joins the units together physically but it visually links them by becoming two levels of storage, all seen through the glass floor. The glazed panel becomes the floor for the top floor allowing for viewers to peek down to see what’s going on and vice versa for the people below. It also allows light to flow throughout the home.
The storage wall acts as a divider between certain areas of the home. Behind it, you’ll find the bathrooms, entrance spaces, and staircase. The living spaces with the kitchen, bedrooms, and living room are on the side with the large windows. The upper floor acts as the more public spaces while the lower floor houses the bedrooms.
A natural basalt floor finish was chosen for both floors as a neutral backdrop. White walls, ceilings and cabinetry are balanced out with the original brick walls. The hallway below is filled with natural light from the glazed floor.
The bathroom walls are clad in basalt stone to continue the look from the floor.
Photos by Timothy Soar.