Products

Taking a focussed peer at some of the current stars of interior and luxury design and their back-stories
Architectural Finishes - What are they and what purpose(s) do they serve?

Architectural Finishes - What are they and what purpose(s) do they serve?

An analysis of architectural finishes and the role they play. What is an architectural finish? We often talk about ‘architectural finishes’ within the construction industry and in everyday language in relation to aspects of a building that is visible to anyone using or viewing both the exterior and interior parts of a building. Architects and designers typically use this terminology specifically to describe a wide range of surface treatments to horizontal surfaces (floors and ceilings) and vertical surfaces (walls) fixed to the main structural elements of the building (floor and ceiling slabs, block walls or stud walls) to complete or…
Colour in contemporary furniture design

Colour in contemporary furniture design

A review of modern coloured furniture. Solid colour makes a comeback High metallics are wonderful but there is also a place for solid colour and this is where powder coat comes into its own. Reviewing powder coated products it seems the Scandinavians are ahead of the rest of Europe in its use - playing on its strengths of density of colour and using it exuberantly on modern forms. The Dimma chair and table 2016 by Alexander Lervik manufactured by Tingest Lervik, a very well-known designer in Sweden, was inspired by Thonet’s Bistro chairs which have taken a solid place in…
Colour on the streets

Colour on the streets

A look at some fun and functional pieces of street furniture Lucky Beam and Supreme Beam by Katch I.D. It is good to see that Scandinavia is not completely dominating the coloured outdoor furniture scene. Lucky Beam is an outdoor bench designed by sisters Steph and Pamela Katch. They run an interior design studio, Katch I.D. in New York, founded in 2007, which works on luxurious projects so it may be surprising to some that they have come up with this witty and colourful solid piece of industrial inspired furniture. The sisters quote "We always obsess over materials, color, proportion,…
Street furniture meets sculpture meets marketing

Street furniture meets sculpture meets marketing

A look at some powerful ways that street furniture is used to convey messages Bryant Park Litter Bins designed by Ignacio Ciocchini Ciocchini is known for his work with a few Manhattan business improvement districts including the 34th Street Partnership and the Rosslyn Streetscape Plan. Ciocchini sees public space as a product and one that needs to attract clients – the clients being the people who live, work and visit the area. He believes that cities cannot be passive about attracting people and must proactively design their spaces to be alluring for people to spend their time. Ciocchini believes that…
Colour and industrial furniture design

Colour and industrial furniture design

A look at how colour has moved industrial-style furniture into a new era Jennifer Newman Studio Ltd Based in Clerkenwell in London, Jennifer Newman produces a range of bright furniture which would have an industrial look except for the super-bright powder coats she uses to create a range of fun an functional tables and chairs. Her furniture designs are for use in hotels, offices, homes and outdoors and fabricated in powder-coated aluminium and a variety of timbers. She does export but prefers the sustainable option of granting a license to a manufacturer in the locality for them to make the…
Glass Overview - Chapter 3: A simple question - a City without Glass

Glass Overview - Chapter 3: A simple question - a City without Glass

The concluding chapter of an exploration of the use of glass in architecture... Glass – 03 How would the city be if glass wasn’t been invented yet.. well.. we are where we are, glass is everywhere, it is not only in the windows: glass is one of my best friends since the first thing I do even before I stand up in the morning, is to put on glasses to be able to see. Glass is in the hob when we warm up food, it is in the glasses when we drink, in many cooking trays in the kitchen. In…
Glass Overview - Chapter 2: A simple question - a City without Glass

Glass Overview - Chapter 2: A simple question - a City without Glass

Continuing an exploration of the use of glass in architecture... Why Glass? To imagine London without glass is quite hard, maybe Italo Calvino could help us to exercise our imagination with the Invisible Cities.. if glass wouldn’t have been invented then maybe another material which is now unknown, or used for different scopes, could have been used; or maybe a completely different strategy would have been developed to allow for the light to come in and reach ours sofas. As a consequence, buildings and cities would be probably completely different now. There is perhaps a possible path toward a more…
The History of Toasters

The History of Toasters

An engaging account of the design story of these kitchen appliances... The ancient art of toasting bread Toasting bread is an ancient practice. Early civilizations placed bread over an open fire in order to preserve it, to keep it from growing mold. The bread was toasted on a hot stone in front of the fire. Later on, simple devices were created to toast bread in the fire such as wire frames, to cook the toast more evenly, or sticks like those we use to toast marshmallows over a campfire today. The Romans brought the idea back from Egypt in 500…
The anatomy of the door: a few vital organs

The anatomy of the door: a few vital organs

A forensic examination of the door... Don't open that door! To open and to close doors is so deeply part of our routine that we don’t even have to think about it, we just do it… unless the keys are lost somewhere, at the bottom of the bag or, worse, forgotten right behind that door that you have just closed, and you wish you could re-open now! To open and to close are almost unconsciously driven acts. However, in order to be enabled to do so a conscious and deep level of design is required to allow the technical control:…
Glass Overview - Chapter 1: A simple question - a City without Glass

Glass Overview - Chapter 1: A simple question - a City without Glass

Exploring the origins and use of glass in architecture I was just looking outside of the windows of our living room, from where we can see in the background all the tallest towers in the City, the “Shard”, the “Cheese Grater”, the “Gherkin” and other friends made mainly of glass and steel when my son asked a simple question: how would the City be if glass wasn’t been invented yet? The Shard, London. Photo by Jason Hawkes Yes, sometimes parents don’t have the answer and well, sometimes this can be frustrating, like in this case, since I am an architect…
Spiral, Helical and Elliptical Staicases

Spiral, Helical and Elliptical Staicases

An essay about Imagination and Construction The origins of stairs Stairs are one of the oldest constructions in architectural history. It is believed the first stairs dated from 6000 BC: in order to overcome difficulties imposed by the terrain, men fitted together wood trunks, so that they could move fast, easily and safely. They were not designed, calculated or even planned. They were just an intuitive way to solve a problem. With the years, and along with mankind’s evolution, the stair was used for religious devotions; a metaphorical way to reach the Sky connecting the Earth/Men with the Gods. Stairs…
Architectural wire mesh

Architectural wire mesh

We look at the development of mesh into a material for indoors and out. Architectural wire mesh Wire meshes are being increasingly used by architects and designers the world over both for external and internal applications. Wire mesh is a very versatile material that exists in a range of different metals and manufacturing techniques. For instance stainless steel mesh or galvanized steel mesh are often specified for external applications whilst finely woven wire mesh or brass wire mesh are often used in interior design. Welded wire mesh is produced through the electronic fusion of two wires together to create a…
Signs of the times

Signs of the times

We look at just how far we have come from cave-painting and mediaeval sign-writing up to modern day laser-cutting and back-lighting in the world of signs. It's a sign of the times perhaps that modern developments have brought massive changes to the way placards and notices are designed and made. Throughout the 20th century new eye-catching features have emerged such as light bulbs, neon, flashing letters and the most recent innovation, digital displays. In the last few decades the sign writing industry has been almost swallowed up to be replaced by signs designed on computers, often in 3D. However up…