From the early morning coastal fog cloaking the toothy shoreline of the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance emerges a matte orange visage, the fog parted by the creased silhouette of BMW’s latest expression of design. The BMW Concept Z4 roadster has arrived.
The Concept Z4 presents itself as the 2-seat distillation of the company’s currently evolving design language – a complement and continuation of the foundation set forth by the recently unveiled Concept 8 Series. Imbued with a similar, though not identical, attention to proportions as the Concept 8 – here, BMW aimed for the spirit of a sports car vs. the Concept 8’s more luxury-focused intentions – a muscular dynamism paints the Concept Z4 as a wholly new interpretation of the roadster, demolishing the softer curvilinear silhouettes characterizing previous Z3/Z4 vehicles. It’s like BMW sent the Z4 away for a few months of Crossfit, returning lean, mean, and chiseled with muscle in a state of perpetual tension.
In person, the Concept Z4’s angularity communicates both lateral movement of motion with the perception of verticality accentuating the car’s low-slung posture. One can identify many sections sharing design DNA with the Concept 8 Series coupe, just reduced and lowered in servitude of driving in intimate contact with the road and the elements.
From Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design:
The BMW Concept Z4 in an all-out driving machine. Stripping the car back to the bare essentials allows the driver to experience all the ingredients of motoring pleasure with supreme directness. This is total freedom on four wheels.
Those who’ve followed news about this highly anticipated announcement undoubtedly have read about the partnership between BMW and their Japanese counterparts at Toyota in co-developing the shared platform underpinning this concept car, alongside an upcoming return of the Toyota Supra. When asked about this pairing of companies, BMW’s Adrian van Hooydonk emphasized each of the company’s design teams worked isolated from each other, only speaking later in passing, mostly to admire each other’s explorations in affirmation, not in co-development.
“The Concept Z4 is through and through an expression of BMW design, a conclusion that could only emerge from our company’s heritage and focus. Toyota’s car will be something entirely different and represent their goals, but this is completely a declaration of BMW design,” explained the always amiable van Hooydonk.
Those seeking specifics about performance will have to make due for now knowing the eventual production vehicle will be a rear-wheel drive partnered with a straight-six engine; thankfully a manual transmission option will be available, allowing roadster aficionados to enjoy driving old school in a very new school ride.
The Concept Z4 will most definitely see alterations to its aspirational expression in its journey from concept to production, hopefully with only minimal changes to what we like most about its new aggressive personality. BMW insists this show car is close to what we’ll see racing across roads eventually as a 2019 year model, a definitive teaser rather than a wildly explorative concept. With two-seater roadsters becoming an increasingly rare automotive commodity for sports car enthusiasts, we’re excited the segment will soon be served by a design that promises to look as exciting as it drives.
Porcelain Bear unveiled a series of lights called Acrobat that are suspended by a hanging trapeze, taking inspiration from the aerial performances acrobats are known for. The four piece collection merges the simplicity of Bauhaus design with the sophistication of Brancusi’s 1923 Bird in Space sculpture to result in imaginative fixtures that have you envisioning an actual person doing tricks on a high wire.
Double Act allows for two components to be balanced on one shared “trapeze.”
Back Flip features a curved, 90 degree bend with two translucent porcelain shades reaching out from each side.
Forward Bend is slightly more complex than the Back Flip with its 180 degree curved metal bar, which has two parallel shades extending down.
Flat Bar is the most simple with a single bar extending out on both sides.
100% Design is the largest trade show in the UK for architects and designers and the cornerstone event of London Design Festival. This year, the show is returning for its 23rd edition in Olympia London from September 20-23. There’s a lot to see and do, as the show is covering five distinct sections: Interiors, Workplace, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Design & Build, and Emerging Brands. If you’re not registered yet, get a ticket here!
Every year, there’s also a theme that gets reflected across the show’s installations, features, talk programs, and show design. This year’s theme is “Elements,” which will cover overarching themes like fundamentals of design to the nitty gritty like the nuts and bolts of a product.
Emerging Brands will spotlight the freshest ideas from new, up-and-coming talents. Fun fact: the platform has been the launchpad for leading designers such as Ella Doran, Tom Dixon, and Barber Osgerby! This year exhibitors include Odddot, Thirty Line Design, Mash.T Design Studio, Citradi, and Mairi Helena.
The Workplace section is not one to be missed if you’re fascinated with how design affects productivity, creativity, and the experience of the workplace itself. Design in the workplace is growing globally so you’ll see innovative advances in desks, seating, acoustic panels, storage systems, lighting, and flooring from brands like Alki and Okamura. Swedish designers Lintex will be showcasing their writable surfaces for the first time to a UK market. The Arper Bloggers Lounge will also return for the second year to host informal discussions regarding workplace design.
Interiors will cover everything from furniture and lighting to fabrics and accessories from brands all over the world. You’ll see mid-century modern and art-deco inspired designs from brands like Mambo Unlimited, Due, and Mullan Lighting, as well as new collections in upholstery, furniture and lighting by Bow and Arrow, Andy Thornton Ltd, and Wooklikes. It’s no surprise that Pad Home, Designheure, Jetclass, and Turnstyle Designs will also be there – they’ve exhibited at every 100% Design since its inception!
Expect to see new advances in the realm of Kitchens and Bathrooms, a space that’s growing due to the demand of the hospitality and interior design trades. Eco-friendly and materials that demonstrate harmony with nature is a trending theme, so you’ll see Esthec Terrace’s sustainable terrace system at the show. You’ll also find new collections in ceramics and tiles from brands like Apicer and Concrete LCDA.
Design & Build is the largest of the five sections and will feature a materials showcase, surface innovations, technology and home automation. Exhibitors include Grestec Tiles, Sky-Frame, Domus Faces, and Ermetika srl, with Timbertherm exhibiting for the first time with its wooden floor heating.
Excited? We definitely are! Be sure to register so you can experience it all. Register here.
For more information, visit 100percentdesign.co.uk. See you there!
Italian designers Giulia Pesce and Ruggero Bastita delved into the world of cohabitation for homeless people and refugees who tend to share spaces with others, therefore, not having a space of their own. That research led to their final industrial design project, called Patchwork, at Designskolen Kolding.
With a rise in homelessness and immigration, shelters have to house multiple people in large, open spaces. That means little to no privacy for those staying there. Patchwork aims to improve the quality of their lives by offering a flexible personal space they can customize as they wish. The design allows for various functions, like sleeping, working, storing clothes and belongings, etc., with amenities like hooks, a mirror, and a shelf, that can all be adjusted to their needs and liking.
Patchwork was developed in collaboration with the Danish design studio Hans Thyge & Co, where the duo now work as designers, and the Department of Architecture and Design of Politecnico di Torino as advisors for the research.
Mattia Albicini looked to the agave plant’s leaves for inspiration when designing a recent outdoor furniture collection for Italian brand Ethimo. Agave is made of solid teak, the perfect material for outdoors, and it is given a smooth, thin profile complete with a “silky” surface, much like the plant the series is named after.
Agave comprises a collection of chairs and tables that while made for an outdoor setting, they’re easily sophisticated enough to be used indoors. With a 1950s vibe, the pieces feature black metal bases with solid wood seats, backrests, and tabletops. Shallow grooves were incorporated into the designs to ensure that water drains properly.
Rotterdam-based designer Sabine Marcelis created a collection of light for Carrara-based marble brand, Bloc Studios. The Voie light series merges marble bases with rings of neon lighting to create sculptural pieces that explore the “manipulation of light-paths.”
By setting the neon rings in their block-like bases, the light’s path is intercepted by the marble material. Due to the nature of stone, each base is different but they emit light through it as it’s translucent, letting the uniqueness of each piece be highlighted.
After their children left for college, a couple chose to move from a large family home in Kensington to an apartment in Notting Hill and enlisted the help of Louise Holt Design to remodel the interior. The goal was to design an elegant space with bold pieces that make a statement, while at the same time highlighting the homeowners’ art collection.
In the front sitting room, B&B Italia sofas are paired with Minotti chairs, a custom Lindsey Adelman chandelier, a marble fireplace, and a bronze cabinet above that opens up to reveal the TV.
First up was changing the layout in order to create an open floor plan with four separate zones. After that, the walls were painted white to become a fresh canvas for the art, while wide herringbone floors were laid to ground the space and add texture.
A custom semi-circular sofa was made to fit the terrace, along with a wood floor that matches the back and seat of the bench. The table doubles as a fire pit.
Bronzed framed, sliding glass doors hide within the wall when not needed and allow light to pass through when they’re closed.
Photos by Andrew Beasley.
Schiavello just launched a new series of furniture designed in collaboration with designer Gavin Harris. The Toku Collection aims to bring people together through interaction and communication by creating environments that encourage talking and collaborating. Toku, which is ‘talk’ in Japanese, includes benches, ottomans, tables, stools, and screens that can easily be moved around to design workplace setups based on various needs.
Toku’s ottomans and benches are in block-like forms and come in single, double, and four seat modules, with half or full backrests available. Each of the pieces are designed to work in conjunction with each other or individually, and the upholstery combinations are fun and complementary. In addition to the seating, Toku includes two table collections and privacy screens.
Legendary British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes tells Jaime and Amy how her early early textile designs were considered too extreme for the traditional purveyors, so she had to take manufacturing into her own hands. As a fashion designer, she pioneered the use of printed textiles as an intrinsic part of the garment’s composition. Now 50 years into her career, she attributes her extraordinary work ethic to her mother. Oh, and she has been known to frolic in the sea alongside Burt Bacharach. Listen:
Stay tuned for a new episode of Clever in two weeks! Don’t miss an episode: Subscribe to Clever on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, SoundCloud, or use our feed http://clever.libsyn.com/rss to subscribe via your favorite podcast app.
Common Sense, the fourth international presentation organized by experimentadesign, in partnership with Assimagra, is an exhibition that invited product designers to create products out of Portuguese stone. The exhibition brought together a handful of contemporary designers from around the world and the result is 11 pieces that are designed for everyday use in a multitude of scenarios in modern times, each out of stone. The designers taking part in the exhibition are Claudia Moreira Salles (Brazil), Campana Brothers (Brazil), Fernando Brízio (Portugal), Miguel Vieira Baptista (Portugal), Jasper Morrison (United Kingdom), Michael Anastassiades (Cyprus), and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec (France).
From Guta Moura Guedes, curator of the project:
The 11 pieces presented demonstrate a strong emphasis on creativity and the ability to innovate, as well as the creation of different proposals from the invited designers. It is also interesting to see how the Brazilian designers decided to add materials from their country to the Portuguese stone, offering a new dimension to the project as a whole.
Photos by Fernando Lazslo.
Canadian artist and designer Zoë Pawlak calls Montreal home where she has spent the last decade as a successful painter. Most recently, she’s added collections of rugs and furniture to her repertoire solidifying her place as a designer. Her personality is evident in her vibrant work and in this month’s Where I Work, we get a glimpse into her colorful world and work process. Take a look.
What is your typical work style?
We work Monday to Friday, 9 to 5ish. I come in a few times a month outside of those hours to have time alone or produce more work if we are on a deadline.
What’s your studio/work environment like?
We have our full team in about 3 days a week and then 2 days a week, it’s just Ariane and I. We have music on about half of the time and otherwise we are in meetings or deep in our headphones. We eat lunch together every day.
Our studio is about 12 square feet and divided into office, lounge, packaging area and the studio area by the natural light where I paint.
How is your space organized/arranged?
The ladies work primarily in the office, lounge and shipping. I have my own space to create.
How long have you been in this space? Where did you work before that?
We have been in this Montreal space for 2 years. Before that, I was in a semi-shared space with Fiona Ackerman, for almost 5 years. My first studio after University was a tiny converted carport behind our little house that smelled so bad, but it was my own and that was magic.
If you could change something about your workspace, what would it be?
I love where I work. We have a rad view of Montreal. We add to the walls of the space every couple of months. I plan to install better lighting soon. In the winter, I can’t paint past 4 pm, as it gets too dark.
Do you require music in the background? If so, who are some favorites?
When music is on, we listen to a total range. We love the rap tunes, especially on a Friday. If I want to listen to emo lady-music, I use my headphones.
How do you record ideas?
I have a sketchbook that I use daily. I write every day, and keep notes and voice memos in my phone.
Do you have an inspiration board? What’s on it right now?
I am inspired by colour schemes and images of women for my figurative work. You will always find inspirational quotes all around my studio. I am big on getting ideas out and up!
What is your creative process and/or creative workflow like? Does it change every project or do you keep it the same?
My workflow is pretty similar each project. I ruminate. I am often perceived to be a total extrovert, but I am actually quite pensive. I pray and read a lot and consider ideas through writing. Writing always informs my art and design work. I believe that what I experience and feel, is felt and experienced by others, and part of my job is to distill and execute those ideas, experiences and feelings into an accessible, respectful visual language.
What kind of art/design/objects might you have scattered about the space?
Around the studio, we have quite a collection. I have a bookcase that is home to many crystals and trinkets, as well as design books. Some of my favourite books include Kelly Wearstler’s Hue, and Todd Selby’s The Selby Is in Your Place. I sometimes look to these books for inspiration. On the walls of the studio, there is artwork by some local artists from Montreal. I’m very lucky to have this space, decorated with art and objects that are meaningful to me.
What tool(s) do you most enjoy using in the design process?
My sketchbook. I am usually working alongside a technician, where my role is art direction.
Let’s talk about how you’re wired. Tell us about your tech arsenal/devices.
When I am not in the painting process, and am around the studio for meetings, I have my iPhone with me. I take lots of photos and videos of what’s happening in the studio, of new paintings and works in progress. I post that sort of content on my Instagram stories, I like to share the ‘behind the scenes’ of what we do at the studio.
Is there a favorite project/piece you’ve worked on?
I am very proud of my collaboration with Jeff Martin. We worked together to create these great credenzas, combining Jeff’s design and my painting. I hand-paint the front panels of each credenza, so each one is unique.
Do you feel like you’ve “made it”? What has made you feel like you’ve become successful? At what moment/circumstances? Or what will it take to get there?
When I did not install my first rug collection. When I wasn’t there to get them up on the walls and walked into the room for the first time, that was a moment where I was very proud and simultaneously humbled that other people had taken so much time and resources to execute my work. It’s the same feeling I have now when I see my team working so hard on our behalf. There is never one moment. It unfolds.
Tell us about a current project you’re working on. What was the inspiration behind it?
We are currently making a line of mirrors. I wanted to incorporate my figurative work onto a new surface. The mirror works well because it is reflective and semi-opaque. The materials align with what the work is about. This is imperative to me; that we not deviate from the meaning of the work.
Do you have anything in your home that you’ve designed/created?
After 12 years with my husband, I finally brought one small figurative painting home at his request. It’s from an exhibition I am very proud of and reminds me to stay true to myself.
Advertised as the “Most Compact Laser Engraver”, the Cubiio by Taiwanese outfit Muherz is a remarkably small, pocket-sized block outfitted with a low intensity laser just strong enough to leave an artistic mark across a multitude of materials and surfaces for embellishing with customized designs.
Childhood memories of “experiments” using the sun with a magnifying glass come flooding back upon looking at the Cubiio in action. But where leaves, newspaper, and the unfortunate ant line once sufficed as experimental surfaces for our honed solar curiosities, this new app-controlled laser engraving device outputs up to 100 adjustable levels automatically at an intensity with a maximum of 800 mW across paper, fabric, leather, wood, and acrylic. The Cubiio can’t engrave metal, but it apparently can handle burning macarons and pancakes with aplomb, so we call it a wash.
The core of the Cubiio is a semiconductor laser rated for 10,000 hours, outputting at an equivalent of 152 – 254 dpi resolution using a pair of current-driven mirrors. The engraving size, position, and rotation angle are all adjustable within the 100mm x 100mm canvas zone, with two CPU-controlled mirrors manipulating the laser to direct the beam according to plans. The Cubiio works with uploaded photos, G-Code file formats, or phone/tablet input as graphic sources for the laser to imprint in a single or batch mode.
There’s also the CubiioShield, an optional accessory designed to contain and filter harmful fumes, a common byproduct of laser engraving. The 140mm x 175mm x 155mm containment cube uses active charcoal and zeolite to reduce emissions.
The fact is the Cubiio isn’t the most powerful, the cheapest, nor the highest resolution laser engraving device available. But its size and portability opens up a host of possible applications for smaller designers, crafters, or chefs to leave their mark in limited batches using nothing but the Cubiio, an iOS or Android controlled app, and their imagination.
An exclusive new club comes to Lake Tahoe and it’s one that you’re going to want to join. Available only to resort guests of the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe via a short shuttle ride, the Lake Club is a luxurious waterfront amenity that will make you want to spend all your time outdoors enjoying the scenic views of the lake and mountains of Northern California.
Principal architect Clare Walton and designer Jennifer Loving, both of Walton Architecture + Engineering (Walton AE), drew upon the property’s picturesque surroundings when choosing materials for the building. Natural materials like ledgestone and walnut & cedar wood pays homage to the mountains and provides a warm, grounding feel to such a luxurious club. Floor to ceiling glass windows were a must for a scenic landscape like Lake Tahoe.
The interiors tell another story with its contemporary design aesthetics. Turquoise elements and white accent lighting are reflections of the waters and (in the winter) snow outside.
Art pieces by both renowned and local artists (including Jacob Hashimoto, Jennifer Hannaford, Karen Margolis, Pat Blide, Marianne Rosenfeld, Marybeth Hamilton, and Troy Corlis) are sprinkled throughout the club.
Guests have direct access to the lake from the Lake Club, as well as a private boat pier for summer recreational water activities. Other amenities include an outdoor spa, fire pits for gathering around at night, storage facilities for all your water equipment like kayaks and paddle boards, and indoor/outdoor dining spaces.
What: The Lake Club at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe
Where: 13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Court, Truckee, California 96161, United States
How much? Rates start at approximately $195
Highlights: This lake house is only available to Ritz-Carlton resort guests, which means you get a private entrance and view to the lake for dining al fresco and enjoying leisure & water activities.
Design draw: The interiors and exteriors of the Lake Club are reflections of the property’s surroundings, with warm cedar wood and turquoise accents mirroring the trees and waters of the environment.
Book it: Visit the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe
The music scene is definitely alive and well in Los Angeles, so when it came time for Jonathan Adler to design a suite at the Andaz West Hollywood, it’s no wonder that he chose to showcase a “rock ’n roll meets chic glamour” look. This isn’t just any suite though. The Andaz and Jonathan Adler collaborated with (RED), the AIDS organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver, to support the fight against the disease. For every booking of this suite, 30% of the room rate will go towards the charity. As for the room name, the (ANDAZ)RED Suite was perfectly fitting.
The suite features graphic patterns all over (on the walls, floor, artwork and furniture), metallic touches (including a mirrored coffee table that seems to blend in like an optical illusion), hand-painted murals and unique furniture.
Says Jonathan Adler:
Working with the Andaz team has been a dream. They understand that design doesn’t have to just look good, it can also do good.
The suite starts at $519 per night with complimentary sparking wine served upon arrival. To book your stay, visit the Andaz West Hollywood.
Studioilse, the London studio of designer Ilse Crawford, created a family of furniture for Portugal-based wood furniture company De La Espada that aims to support you in everyday life. The four-piece Companions collection is made from solid wood ensuring durability with careful attention paid to design details. Companions includes a writing desk, a bedside table, a low bedside table, and a bed.
The Companions Writing Desk is a narrow design perfect for compact spaces. It features a cork bowl that hangs underneath to help contain wires and plugs and the top closes for easy laptop storage.
The Companions Bedside table, which is available in two heights, also comes with a removable cork bowl where you can store stuff you want kept out of the way.
The Companions Bed has a headboard with spindles that sightly resemble those of a Windsor chair.
Designer Savvas Laz explores the relationship between the often taboo world of fetishism and the world of luxury in a project called Boudoir Fétiche. While they seems to be complete opposites, Laz unites them through craftsmanship to result in a mirror and a servomuto.
Both objects, which pay homage to spanking tools, can be used from either side and become props in an erotic room allowing people to act out their fantasies. Laz incorporated materials like leather and buckles further exploring the fetish world by referencing things like bondage and whips.
Moroso originally launched the Edward Van Vliet designed Sushi Collection back in 2008. The playful collection featured a mesh of fabrics and patterns, layered together to form an eclectic, yet visually stunning, menagerie that included an armchair, pouf, sofa, and stool. Now, he’s adding to the Sushi collection with a new face-to-face bench, a series of high-walled armchairs, a stool, and a new floral fabric., continuing the bold series in refreshing ways.
JuJu Rendez-Vous is a clever face-to-face bench that allows two people to sit side-by-side and carry on a conversation or to sit back and relax as you face the other way.
Ikebana is a new fabric by Van Vliet that’s based on nature and features botanical style flowers. His feelings are that just because we’re surrounded by the artificial world in our modern lives it doesn’t mean we can enjoy nature and let it rejuvenate us.
Marshemellow is a stool that easily coordinates with the rest of the seating in the collection helping to round out a cohesive look.
Based in the Aso region of Japan in a small town called Minamioguni, FIL just recently launched as a modern and minimal lifestyle brand that’s based on “fulfilling life, a life that is full.” Their goal is to create furniture, objects, and fragrance products that are environmentally friendly with the hope of preserving the natural landscape of their surrounding area with a minimalist sensibility.
Each product they create utilizes locally grown, high-quality Oguni cedar that is native to the region. The beautiful wood is paired with materials like copper and Nordic fabric to make up the MASS Series collection. Any wood that goes unused has its essential oils extracted from the branches and leaves to create another product, the Lava Potpourri Susano fragrance, which was developed in collaboration with Miya Shinma Parfums of Paris.
Photos by Chani Kim, Yusuke Onitsuka, and Hideki Makiguchi.