Wallpaper* News Feed http://www.wallpaper.com Design Interiors Fashion Art Lifestyle - Wallpaper* News feed EN Copyright (c) 2015 Wallpaper* <![CDATA[Blossom rain: Studio Wieki Somers and Kvadrat add a touch of magic realism to Alexander McQueen]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/design/blossom-rain-studio-wieki-somers-and-kvadrat-add-a-touch-of-magic-realism-to-alexander-mcqueen/8776 Studio Wieki Somers and Kvadrat took up residence at Alexander McQueen's Milan boutique during Salone del Mobile with a mystical installation. 

Titled 'Blossom Rain', it was inspired by McQueen's Spring/Summer 2015 collection and featured three geisha warriors holding a series of lamps against a bloom-like, hazy backdrop of laser cut Kvadrat textiles.

Along with the compelling window dressings, the Via Verri home of McQueen also played host to the magic realism of Studio Wieki Somers, including their famous 'Mitate' and 'Frozen in Time' pieces, as well as more recent works like 'Time Flies', 'Sprout' and 'Magic Mirror'.

Comprising Wieki Somers and Dylan van den Berg, the Rotterdam-based design duo is known for its whimsical designs, always anchored in history, immaculately engineered and with a natural way of introducing a touch of fantasy to the otherwise mundane. Paired with the distinctive garments of the famous fashion house, the effect was overall quixotic.

To celebrate the partnership, the Wallpaper* team hosted a party, inviting some of the most fashionable guests of Salone del Mobile to wander around the Milanese boutique and take in the sights, along with a glass or two champagne. 

<![CDATA[Le Corbusier, remembered: Paris celebrates an icon of modernism with a trio of exhibitions]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/art/le-corbusier-remembered-paris-celebrates-an-icon-of-modernism-with-a-trio-of-exhibitions/8772 Le Corbusier is having a moment in Paris. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Charles-Édouard Jeanneret's death, two Left Bank galleries and the Centre Pompidou across the river celebrate his artistic and architectural achievements in exhibitions small and large. 

Le Corbusier built his name in the post-World War II boom with his social-minded skyscraper housing block designs and polemical urban theory more than he did with his art. The partnership between Galerie Zlotowski and Galerie Eric Mouchet to present 'Le Corbusier: Panorama d'une oeuvre', a two-part show which opened this week, was born from a shared passion for the modern trailblazer as both an architect and an artist.

Galerie Zlotowski, which specialises in Le Corbusier's visual artwork, shows a series of the Swiss-born artist's mixed media collages of pastels, paint, pencil and newspaper until 25 July. Just around the corner Galerie Eric Mouchet has a wider selection of Le Corbusier's works on display, including his sculptures, until 13 June. Mouchet, who opened his namesake gallery just last October, is also an architect and Le Corbusier expert who occasionally serves as a witness in legal matters concerning his drawings.

It comes as little surprise that the same clean, modular lines and curves of Le Corbusier's architecture also show up in his visual artwork. The difference here is that they do not describe buildings, but people. The intimate gallery settings offer an up close and personal look at those characters Le Corbusier created in his paintings and drawings. Most notable are the two women who star in his 'Deux Femmes' series. 'Deux femmes à la terrase Piquey' (1934) at Galerie Zlotowski shows a woman, with her undulating form and cantilevered hair, sitting nude at a cafe table with a self-pleased smirk next to a blasé companion. She stares squarely ahead, fully clothed in a blue dress. Another snapshot shows the abstract pair on the beach.


Galerie Mouchet displays a number of works from Le Corbusier's last major painting phase that began in 1951 and lasted until his death. (Le Corbusier drowned in 1965 while swimming in the sea at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, also locale to fellow architect Eileen Gray's iconic home, E1027, for which he had painted a series of murals in the 1930s.) Many of the works on display feature a bull motif, reminiscent of Picasso's taurine works. 

If this small taste of Le Corbusier's works at the galleries leaves you wanting more, the Pompidou's upcoming retrospective will feature some 300 pieces, with a focus on his work as an architect and his major influence on modern design and urban planning.'Le Corbusier, Mesures de l'homme' opens on 29 April.

Galerie Zlotowski, 20 rue de Seine, 75006 Paris

Galerie Eric Mouchet, 
45 rue Jacob 75006 Paris

Centre Georges Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 750]]>
<![CDATA[Noiz Architects take on tatami, weaving a new path for the Japanese craft]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/design/noiz-architects-take-on-tatami-weaving-a-new-path-for-the-japanese-craft/8766 Not long ago, tatami (thick mats made of a core of rice straw and a covering of woven soft-rush, called igusa) were the flooring material of choice for any room except the kitchen in a Japanese house. The soft mats are comfortable to walk, sit and even sleep on, adding a layer of insulation. They are also excellent at absorbing or releasing moisture, acting as natural (de)-humidifiers. Always rectangular in form, with a standard size of about 1x2m, they have defined the Japanese concept of space as a whole for centuries. Noiz Architects (founded in 2007 by Keisuke Toyoda and Jia-Shuan Tsai) are challenging all this with their usual flair, mixing hi-tech computer programming with real-life manufacturing.

Noiz approached tatami manufacturer Soshinsha after having seen an article about a new line of non-rectangular mats that the company had been developing. Noiz wanted to take this idea even further and proposed creating an online platform that would make it possible for anyone to order their own uniquely shaped mats based on designs from a Voronoi shape generator. From information on the shape and size of the room, and the number of mats desired, the website generates a series of Voronoi patterns that the user can choose from. You can even decide the angle of the weave before ordering these bespoke tatami mats through the website. The generator takes into consideration odd angles and sizes that even Soshinsha's skilled artisans would not be able to, so what you see is exactly what you get.

In the not too distant future, Noiz envisions that users will simply be ably to scan their rooms with a 3D scanner and upload this image to the generator, which would then produce a suggested layout of the tatami. Not having to rely on standard sizes and shapes, this might just be what is needed to turn the somewhat fading tradition of these rush-mats in a whole new direction.

If everything goes according to plan the generator should be online and ready to take orders by the end of the year.


<![CDATA[Small fortunes: Alexander Calder's miniature marvels on display at Dominique Lévy gallery]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/art/small-fortunes-alexander-calders-miniature-marvels-on-display-at-dominique-lvy-gallery/8769 Alexander Calder's aerodynamic mobiles and monumental stabiles may be well-known fodder to modern art aficionados, but a new show that opened at New York's Dominique Lévy gallery this week is set to surprise even those most familiar with his work. Entitled 'Multum in Parvo', the Latin translation for 'much in little', the exhibition puts over 40 rare miniature sculptures by Calder under the spotlight in a reverent setting, specially designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava.

Spanning more than 30 years and comprised of rarely seen maquettes, models and studies, the smallest of which stands just over an inch high, the exhibition is an unreal presentation of Calder's recognisable style and methodology. In spite of the works' diminutive scale, no detail has been sacrificed. Tiny models made from coiled coloured wire share similarities with Calder's recognisable jewellery pieces, and are both delicate and robust at the same time. Intricate constructions, such as 'Eight Black Dots' (1950) and 'Untitled' (1947) articulate a profundity, despite only being made from painted sheet metal and wire. Small-scale stabile studies, which Calder often made as part of early proposals for clients, buoy and move just as their life-size counterparts would do. There are six of these in the show, including a model for the artist's submission to the Smithsonian Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in 1939, made from wood, wire, lead and metal. They are being exhibited together for the first time in 15 years.

'For me, Calder is the only artist who's been able, over and over again, to go from the miniature to the monumental, and the monumental to the miniature, to the point of wondering, "is miniature not monumental"? This is really what we wanted to share with you in this exhibition,' the gallerist Lévy says.

'Intimacy to me was essential. We were fortunate with the size of these rooms because they are not monumental. There's an incredible joie de vivre and tenderness on display. What I really wanted is [for visitors] to feel the power of the small works so that you actually forget that the works are small, because they're far from.'

To make the most of the differences in scale, Calatrava and his son, Gabriel, created an abstract curvilinear landscape that divides both floors of the gallery's space. It's meandering form harks back to the mid-century architectural aesthetic that prevailed during the sculptures' creation. The larger works are each displayed on elegant mirrored plinths that balance on top of thin poles which emerge from this setting, allowing viewers to examine their assembly from all angles and up close. In contrast, the tinier thumb-sized sculptures are exhibited in mirrored glass cases, where they can still be admired closely, albeit from a safe distance away.

'We have chosen to deal with the space in a way that the objects are not only tangible, but they are also visible in all directions. They grow around us, as architecture does,' says Calatrava, whose artistic approach to engineering and architecture mirrors Calder's engineering approach to art. Sculptures and environment combined, 'Multum in Parvo' is an inspiring, heartfelt tribute to Calder's enduring legacy.

Dominique Lévy
909 Madison Avenue
New York
NY 10021

<![CDATA[Felice Varini puts painting in perspective at the pavilion Paul Delouvrier]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/art/felice-varini-puts-painting-in-perspective-at-the-pavilion-paul-delouvrier/8767 Anyone familiar with Felice Varini's work knows the rules: you must orient yourself at a precise vantage point in order to view his dimensional perspective paintings as completed pieces.

Entering the pavillon Paul Delouvrier to be met by three of his installations sharing such a confined space leaves the impression that Varini exceeded even his own highly technical expectations. Add in a fourth creation - an enormous outdoor pattern of concentric circles - and it's as if the Paris-based artist has performed the painting equivalent of a quadruple axel.

Initially, as expected from Varini, the interior array of markings appears strategically staggered throughout the 1,000-sq-m retro-future building, completed by Catalan architect Oscar Tusquets in 1991. But you soon realise that some of the primary-hued shapes relate to each other better than others.

In the age of photo sharing, Varini's style of geometric trompe l'oeil is irresistibly dynamic. In person, however, you get the privilege of seeing the shapes dance and play. When not forced into their proper formations, they stretch or shrink like shadows at the mercy of the sun. They drift across the skinny support columns and the sloped roof like rogue fragments from a Joan Miró canvas. In transparent panels, they bisect windowpanes and skylights like minimalist stained glass.

'La Villette En Suites' is not the first time that Varini has realised a multi-perspective project (the large-scale, three-way intervention of the Place Édouard-VII in central Paris offers a good counterpoint). Here, he says the challenge was not so much about keeping the works 'isolated' from each other, as the particularities of the space.

 'When I first saw the pavilion, I was terrified,' Varini told Wallpaper* 'I found it very strange and wondered why it was constructed like this. But as with all previous spaces, I looked for its attributes as well as its faults and in the end, it proved to work really well for what I set out to do.'

Despite his recurring themes and techniques, Varini says his process begins by forgetting all that has come before so that he can better develop the relationship between his work and the site. Over a month, his team of around 15 people painstakingly applied the paint and adhesive tape, always analysing and responding to the environmental variables. With the outdoor piece, for example, the direction of the sunlight will affect the viewer's perception. 'You can never work against the sun,' he said. 'It's always a huge problem. Beyond that, you're always considering factors such as architecture, materials and volume.'

This fourth installation, in what might arguably be Varini's signature shade - safety orange - runs nearly the full length of the adjacent Grande Halle, coating expanses large and small, from railings to rafters. Only once you've strolled through, do you notice the work extending to part of the neighbouring music museum, where an irregular panel of tangerine brightness temporarily defaces the Christian de Portzamparc building.

Indeed, Varini doesn't seem sentimental about the impermanence of this project, saying he's learned over time that each site furthers his architectural insight and provides specific realities that he may not have otherwise imagined.

Including perhaps, comparisons to David Bowie. When it was suggested that his colour blocking style seemed to echo the makeup of Ziggy Stardust, who gazes out from a giant poster nearby (the original Victoria & Albert exhibition is currently on view at the Philharmonie de Paris), he let out a hearty laugh. 'That's very funny,' he said. 'In fact, I think David Bowie invented it all!'

Le pavilion de Paul Delouvrier
Galerie de la Villette
75019 Paris

<![CDATA[The rebirth of Eastern European fashion house Nehera]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/fashion/the-rebirth-of-eastern-european-fashion-house-nehera/8751 Over the last few years, it has become fashionable to reinvigorate sleepy fashion houses; note the success of Carven, Delpozo, and, of course, Céline. Unlike those former couture designers, Jan Nehera was a Czechoslovakian entrepreneur renowned for his garment manufacturing in the first half of the 20th century. He opened over 130 fashion stores throughout Europe, Russia, USA and Northern and South Africa in the thirties before the developments of WWII halted business.

Skip to 1998, and the forgotten name, Nehera, was acquired by Ladislav Zdut, an expert in marketing and brand management. He got Samuel Drira in 2014 to run the creative side and reposition the name in the luxury sector. Drira, a French stylist and creative consultant who has worked with top tier luxury brands including Hermès, The Row and Christophe Lemaire, is also founder and editor of the Parisian magazine Encens, which portrays and discusses fashion as an art form, operating outside of seasonal trends.

Indeed, that's precisely the tack Drira is taking with Nehera. 'The title of the first collection for S/S 2015 was "Blank Canvas"; we had to invent everything from scratch,' he explains. 'We spent two months thinking about the basics; like "What is a white shirt? How should the collar be? The pocket? The cut?" I don't think a designer anymore is someone who just makes a beautiful sketch, that's a cliché, and that's what I learnt from the designers I worked with in the past.'

Drira, who splits his time between Paris and the studio in Bratislava, showed his third Nehera collection for A/W 2015 at Paris fashion week in March. Rather than focusing on individual garments, Drira considers the whole silhouette, taking care to position details like trouser pockets in line with vents in an accompanying jacket or shirt. 'The shape of a comma provided the framework the silhouette. The finished look had a very narrow shoulder; there were elongated jackets with a big slit on the back so you can tie it and keep some volume.'

The benefit of reinvigorating an under-the-radar brand means Drira can design without the shackles of history or an extensive archive. 'It's not like working for a designer like Yves Saint Laurent,' he readily admits. But, he is quick to point out, original founder Jan Nehera was a visionary in his own right. 'If you look back into history, around Prague and Vienna, which Bratislava is very close to, everybody was obsessed by the future and its optimism. In the painting and the literature [of the time] you see that, and Jan Nehera introduced something that had not been seen before; that was ready to wear. This is very inspiring somehow because he jumped into the unknown and it was an adventure, it wasn't just a business.'

<![CDATA[Piero Gandini talks shop, Salone and how Flos still lights the way in international design]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/design/piero-gandini-talks-shop-salone-and-how-flos-still-lights-the-way-in-international-design/8764 The Flos stand at Milan's Salone del Mobile is always packed with cutting edge lighting by the design world's hottest talent. At the centre of the swirl is Piero Gandini - a creative minded businessman who hand-plucks every designer he works with (including this season's Philippe Starck, Jasper Morrison, Michael Anastassiades and the Bouroullec brothers) with meticulous care. Gandini sold the majority of his family's lighting company to a private equity firm in January, but he has maintained his role as CEO and has just launched Flos' first outdoor lighting range. Gandini insists that the creativity is as sizzling as ever and he tapped Ron Gilad to design an art gallery for Flos, complete with a special piece of video art and a sculpture garden inside Milan's Fiera, to prove it.

Wallpaper*: Why did you pick Ron Gilad to design your booth?

Piero Gandini: We were very behind in January, so I thought: 'Who is the man who can help?' Ron sent us the art gallery project in just 10 days. It was beautiful, poetic really. Then he came to the company and worked like crazy, day and night! He was sending me text messages at 2am, leaving the studio at 3am and he was back the next morning at 6am.

W*: Wow! He's as crazy as you.

PG: It's a good challenge, yes! But everybody loved the project from the beginning - it was like an incredible tsunami of energy that submerged us all.

W*: Was the short timeframe the most complicated aspect of the project?

PG: The construction itself was very challenging because we have ceilings everywhere. We basically built a house, and then Ron created this unbelievable artificial garden to show our outdoor lights.

W*: What were the trees made out of?

PG: The poles were made of wood and the branches were made of either aluminum or flexible fibre-reinforced plastic.

W*: Tell us about your special art project - the video of the ladies and lamps getting dressed together - created for the gallery. It was pretty racy, Piero!

PG: Really? You think it's provocative?

W*: Well, it's just fun to see naked ladies at a light show - it's a first.

PG: I didn't find them very sexy [laughing]! Maybe I have to check my testosterone levels. Seriously though, the idea was to show what the products do and how they are built. We kept referring to Philippe [Starck's] lamps as naked and dressed, so Ron said 'I know what we're going to do! We are going to do a video where we have a naked lady and a floor lamp naked and somebody dressing them both up!' So he called Francesca Molteni and they shot the whole video in one night. The guy that's dressing the girl and the lamp is my driver. He drove them to the studio.

W*: One of the most impressive things about you is the way you inspire such creativity with the designers you work with. What's the secret with working with them?

PG: The only secret is that I'm a ballbreaker.

W*: You're a ballbreaker? And that works?

PG: Look, if you are working with talent like Philippe Starck, Michael Anastassiades, Ron Gilad, you really need to go deep into their souls and see what we can all get together from our qualities. Once you have a sense that you've got the right person with real talent - it doesn't happen that often - you share with them the idea of challenging each other. This is what gives you a real reason to be out there in life, to share and to improve.

W*: What changes do you see for Flos now that you have a new investor?

PG: Nothing. We sold the majority of the company to Investindustrial for two main reasons. One; I didn't want a third generation of my family to be hostages of this profession. Two; we were doing our job a little bit on autopilot. You can't continue to walk on a path that you've already trodden ten thousand times.

W*: Will you remain?

PG: Absolutely. Today the company is the same, the team is the same [as before]. They haven't put one person in the organisation. I still make all of the decisions.

Corso Monforte 9
20122 Milano

<![CDATA[Villa Mörtnäs by fourfoursixsix is an exercise in Swedish simplicity]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/villa-mrtns-by-fourfoursixsix-is-an-exercise-in-swedish-simplicity/8756 In the heart of the Stockholm Archipelago, the stark concrete form of this Modernist-inspired property in the small community of Mörtnäs is a sharp contrast to its quaint cottage-style neighbours. Appearing as a solid light grey box, with a number of uniformly sized openings providing the sole definition to its otherwise seamless elevations, the Villa Mörtnäs, by London-based firm fourfoursixsix (part of the 2011 Wallpaper* Architects Directory), is an exercise in purity and simplicity in design.

Inside, the spatial arrangement follows a reverse hierarchy, with key living spaces situated at the top and the bedrooms below. Garage and storage zones are located on the lower ground floor. "The steep gradient and aspect of the site dictated the hierarchy of the living spaces", explains project architect Thomas Gray. "The lower level could only provide windows to the north, so it suited bedrooms with ceiling heights at a more residential scale." Floor heights increase as the building rises. This is mirrored on the escalating importance of internal areas, and reflected in the façade arrangement and window size. 

Assembly was dictated by a strict six months deadline to completion (aiming to finish before the frosty Swedish winter settled in). A simple Aeroc blockwork - an energy saving material that provides excellent thermal insulation - was used for the concrete construction, finished with a light-grey render. Interior décor is just as minimalist, with painted white walls and ceilings, slender white fixtures and whitened pinewood floors, generating an ambience of serenity. Careful detailing ensures a high level of precision throughout, with flush skirting, concealed door architraves, meticulous joining between elements and floor-to-ceiling living room glazing. The black window frames are concealed from the inside, but are visible externally to emphasize and outline the openings.

Whilst the top floor promotes open plan living, with just a small separate television room and toilet, the floors below divide into more private spaces. Externally, the family house may appear fairly sober and introspective; even the outdoor space is secluded, with a south-facing terrace on the top floor, nestled into the rock face behind. The interior however tells a different story. The generous 3.2m high openings along the perimeter of the spacious living room create a relaxed and outgoing atmosphere, framing stunning views out to the sea, and breaking down the barrier between the inside and outside.

<![CDATA[Lancel + Wallpaper* Itinéraire collection]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/w-bespoke/lancel-wallpaper-itinraire-collection/8659 Versatile accessories and a passion for democratised world travel have long placed French luxury goods brand Lancel ahead of the curve. Established by Angèle Lancel in Paris in 1876 – originally selling items for smokers, then gifts, jewellery and its first bags – it was specialising in beautifully crafted grand tour luggage by the 1920s. 

Over the years, its designs have been swift to acknowledge the evolving nature of travel. They have also connected with the stylish and the creative. A 1970s collaboration with Salvador Dalí produced the ‘Daligramme’ bag, still on sale today, dedicated to his wife Gala; its handle references a bicycle chain as the symbol of attachment between two energies travelling in the same direction. And to this day, Lancel’s iconic bucket bag, first launched in 1925, communicates a timeless elegance.

Now, a new ‘Pop’ collection continues the Lancel tradition for smartly accessorised adventure. To accompany the collection, Wallpaper*, always a discerning world traveller, has booked first class seats next to Lancel on a collaborative flight of fancy. Lancel + Wallpaper* Itinéraire is a set of three slickly organised, butter-soft leather accessories, designed by the Wallpaper* creative team and Lancel’s creative director, and executed by the Lancel atelier.

The trio comprises a document case with a removable, concertina-style inner wallet, with six pockets perfectly proportioned for Wallpaper* City Guides or travel documents; a Wallpaper* asterisk key ring; and an envelope-engineered passport and credit card holder with a zipped compartment for spare euros. Producing your documents has never been such a pleasure.

The Lancel + Wallpaper* Itinéraire collection is available from May exclusively at lancel.com. 

W* Bespoke
<![CDATA[Lettuce entertain you: Bethan Laura Wood creates installation for Tory Burch]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/design/lettuce-entertain-you-bethan-laura-wood-creates-installation-for-tory-burch/8761 Nothing quite says 'party' like a canapé and a beautifully set table; this much is true. Merging both worlds with aplomb are British designer Bethan Laura Wood and American fashion designer and philanthropist Tory Burch.

Marking her entrance into tableware, Tory Burch has collaborated with the legendary Palm Beach ceramicist Dodie Thayer to revive the lettuce-themed plates and accoutrements once loved by the likes of Jackie O and the Duchess of Windsor. To celebrate the launch of Lettuce Ware at Salone del Mobile, the lifestyle brand and Wallpaper* commissioned Bethan Laura Wood to create a unique installation.

Known for her rather unique approach and style, Bethan set about interpreting the brand's history and design - by way of retro party nibbles. The result? Instantly cheering, pastel-toned, giant canapé sculptures.

'I was inspired by party food from the 1960s and 1970s for these canapés. I wanted the colours and patterns to really compliment the design and history of the plates,' the artist told Wallpaper* at the via della Spiga store where the installation held court during Salone del Mobile.

Disks of fake meats and cheeses, jellies, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, olives - and even a jumbo-sized shrimp - were all stacked on the iconic lettuce plates. A larger sculpture used the dishes as decorative garnish, too.

Each one of Bethan's sculptures was named after a TV chefs or a character from that period, 'so there's Delia, Margot and Barbara from The Good Life, Fanny Craddock and others,' explains the artist. 'I really wanted to design something that was joyful. Something for the "hostess with the most-est".'

Following their debut in Milan, the installation is due to tour around Tory Burch stores in London, Munich and New York.

<![CDATA[Modern mobility: Salone drives a new definition of car creativity]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/lifestyle/modern-mobility-salone-drives-a-new-definition-of-car-creativity/8760 One of Alfredo Häberli's pieces for BMW, exploring the car as an autonomous object There was a time when carmakers came to Milan to observe. A handful of the more advanced designers would visit Salone del Mobile to be inspired by the wider creative community. This, however, is beginning to change, with an increasing number of car manufacturers partaking in the last few years - with mixed results.

Milan acts as a fantastic branding exercise, which is naturally part of the pull. Yet there are certain silent codes when participating here. The Salone is not, for instance, a platform for unveiling a new car and showcasing products and furniture based on the contour of the latest concept perhaps lacks imagination.

Take a tour of all the auto brands' projects at Salone

Surely with the concentration of creative minds gathered here for the week, Milan should be the ideal platform for discussions on contemporary subjects - namely mobility. These are urgent matters that can benefit greatly by involving original minds from outside the insular auto world.

This year BMW, Mini, Lexus, Mazda, Ford and Hyundai participated in Milan, and what they showed with their choice of collaborations provides an insightful window into their philosophy.

The BMW Group took on the theme of future mobility by engaging non-automotive designers in the dialogue. Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon embellished Mini's latest Citysurfer with bold colours and textures displaying the foldable scooter concept in a fictional city of marble roads and oversized road lamps.

Zurich-based designer Alfredo Häberli worked closely with the team at BMW to unravel a range of scenarios that address driving in the future. It was an inspiring study of how we could move from place to place - of our relationship with driving once the car becomes an autonomous object. The display here addresses mobility in a much wider context, taking on the vessel, road structures, architecture and city planning.

Others took on a more linear approach. Ford, for example, exhibited a range of objects inspired by its latest GT concept including a boat, chair, chaise lounge and guitar. Elsewhere, Mazda took on a similar scheme with a different objective allowing the non-car products to interpret the marque's Kodo design philosophy in novel ways. Hyundai, on the other hand, looked at how the finance and art world could connect.

Finally, Lexus offered a highly conceptual installation. This was a journey through the 'cycle of life', via designer Philippe Nigro's latticework cocoons and enhanced by unusual tasters created masterfully by chef Hajime Yoneda. The idea was to excite us, to awaken our senses in order to explore the possibilities of design, making the act of driving a more sensory experience.

<![CDATA[Chanel fine jewellery director Benjamin Comar discusses the technology and talent driving a new era of design]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/watches-jewellery/chanel-fine-jewellery-director-benjamin-comar-discusses-the-technology-and-talent-driving-a-new-era-of-design/8754 Tapping into the cosmopolitan tempo, Art Deco lines and bohemian flair of the 20th century's jazz era, Chanel's latest fine jewellery collection, Café Society, toys with geometric mosaics and architectural marquetry in a shimmering ode to Coco Chanel's own social set.

It's been over two decades since the French fashion house relaunched its fine jewellery category in 1993 - some sixty years after Mademoiselle Chanel famously debuted her one and only fine jewellery collection, Bijoux de Diamants in 1932 - and two years since the brand took production in-house with a state of the art workshop overlooking place Vendôme. Later this year Chanel will also unveil its largest fine jewellery store on London's Old Bond Street, designed by Peter Marino. It's testament to its investment in the category.

Of late the fine jewellery market has undergone a profound transformation as old family names have diversified into luxury brands with handbag and sunglass lines, just as haute couture houses have added high jewellery to their fashion repertoire. Jewellery is, after all, the design category where the price range is the most pronounced. 'Say £1,000 to £10 million, with some brands going from £500 to £50 million,' explains Chanel fine jewellery director Benjamin Comar, sitting in a salon within the house's place Vendôme HQ. 'You don't have a standard price so your spectrum of clients is very wide.'

So what is Chanel bringing to this re-invigorated sector? Mirroring their runway prowess, a design-driven fine jewellery offering. Unlike traditional houses, at Chanel, creation begins with design, rather than building pieces around procured stones, a typical approach at other fine jewellery brands. '95 percent of our designs are done first and then we find the stones after,' continues Comar. 'So as we don't start with the stones our lead time is very long - two and a half years.'

Just upstairs, Chanel's six-strong design team are already working on 2017. The house's state-of-the-art workshop, manned by 25 artisans, is cleverly located just across the hall as each bi-annual collection includes between 70 and 80 pieces - staggeringly large by industry standards, and driven by client demand.

The contemporary fine jewellery arena is currently seeing a wealth of new, independent design talent. 'We are very pleased that there are newcomers, because when there are not, a business is not dynamic.' Comar remembers Chanel's's entry to market in 1993: 'In a time of minimalism we came with these big camellia rings.'

Picking up an Art Deco piece from the latest Café Society collection he adds, 'The way of manufacturing has changed a lot. The mix of technology and craft allows us to do pieces that are more flexible and easy-to-wear.' The storied fine jewellery tradition of matching box sets is also drawing to a close at Chanel. He explains that their clientele is instead mixing pieces from different collections and pairing their diamonds with denim, in the same way that Madame Chanel wore hers with strings of faux pearls, and Karl Lagerfeld teams the house's signature tweed jackets with sneakers. 'I don't like categories. I think mix and match. You have a Chanel jacket with jeans, you have high jewellery with a t-shirt. That's Chanel.'


Watches & Jewellery
<![CDATA[Elmgreen & Dragset document a life in progress at Galerie Perrotin]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/art/elmgreen-dragset-document-a-life-in-progress-at-galerie-perrotin/8752 When last we encountered architect Norman Swann he was between bankruptcy and his 75th birthday, still stubbornly ensconced in his family home - a grand residence that shared an address with the Victoria & Albert Museum. The ornery bachelor, now 76, has recently traded South Kensington for New York's Upper East Side, where he has downsized to a single splendid room - double-height, dentil moldings, crimson walls - in a landmark 1930s building on Madison Avenue. Until 23 May, visitors are welcome to barge in and snoop around.

'Be a not-so-polite guest - sneak into his private stuff!' encourages Michael Elmgreen, one half of the Danish-Norwegian artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, as he reaches for a leather-bound photo album resting not far from a half-drunk cup of tea. 'The more you look at things, the more curious you will get.'

Despite the ephemera of a life in progress - personal photos (handsome young men, gorgeous buildings) and correspondence, shelves of well-thumbed books (Foucault, Proust, a 39-volume set of Shakespeare's complete works in miniature) and stacks of yellowing magazines - Swann is not a real person. He is the creation of Elmgreen & Dragset and his bedroom is their latest solo exhibition, on show at Galerie Perrotin.

Entitled 'Past Tomorrow' and accompanied by a short book written in the style of a screenplay, it picks up where the artists' 2013 V&A installation left off, with Swann realising he has little more than maquettes to show for a life that prized utopia over reality, theory over practice, dogmatism over compromise.

'We were jealous that filmmakers could focus on a few characters and comment on society through those fictional characters, so that's what we've done over the last few years - look at different characters and try to tell their stories and also our stories through their objects, their collections, all of the traces they leave in a domestic setting,' says Ingar Dragset. 'It's quite rare to make a sequel in an art context, but we're always up for a new challenge.'

Under the hungry gaze of a gilded vulture (dubbed 'The Critic', who appears in all Elmgreen & Dragset shows) perched atop Swann's bed, elements of the artists' previous projects mingle with clues into their character's past and present: a ghostly portrait of the architect as a young man, a poster for a 1959 'Building for the Masses' exhibition in Utrecht, a sculptural adaptation of Magritte's shrouded 'Lovers' placed beside a metronome on the piano, a bedside drawer left ajar to reveal protease inhibitors and other antiviral medication.

And if Swann's shrinking world, with its framed sampler embroidered with a reminder that 'Home is the place you left,' is a plush monument to failure, then its creators have succeeded. 'We love to describe failure - it is such an underestimated virtue in today's society, where everything counts on success,' says Elmgreen. 'Norman didn't do so well in life, but a lot of interesting things come out of failure.' Surely Swann wouldn't have it any other way.

909 Madison Avenue & 73rd Street
Upper East Side
New York
NY 10021

<![CDATA[Jean-Michel Othoniel brings the Sun King back to life at Versailles]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/design/jean-michel-othoniel-brings-the-sun-king-back-to-life-at-versailles/8750 In the spring light of the Gardens of Versailles, there are winks and flashes from every gilded surface. Yet few of them radiate quite like the 2,000 Murano-glass globes filled with gold leaf that dance across the remodelled Water Theatre Grove.

Paris-based artist Jean-Michel Othoniel designed Les Belles Danses in homage to the Sun King, Louis XIV, who first commissioned the classical gardens here. The difference between his contemporary fountain and the surrounding landscape, masterminded by André Le Nôtre in the 17th century, is the audience. 'This is my republican project,' says Othoniel. 'This fountain is literally for the public. It serves the people.'

The elaborate Water Theatre Grove historically served as an outdoor stage where spectacles were performed for the king's pleasure. Louis XVI had it dug up during his reign, and a series of storms in the 1990s destroyed it completely. When palace officials chose landscape architect-du-jour Louis Benech to bring it back to life, he plucked Othoniel to fashion its central feature. The public will first experience this fresh take on the Sun King's legacy when the grove opens on 11 May.

Othoniel arranged the glass bulbs - his artistic signature - in three seemingly abstract arrangements titled 'The Entrance of Apollo', 'The Rigadoun of Peace' and the 'Bourée of Achilles'. In fact their shape can be traced back to 17th-century ballet notations popularised by the king and published by Roger-Auger Feuillet. Othoniel discovered Feuillet's artfully printed work - one of only three in existence - during his 2011 residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardiner museum in Boston.

'When I first saw them, they were so similar to my own sketches. They were exactly what I had been missing in my research. As a French artist, being asked to do this project was very moving, but also stressful. Those drawings formed the connection for me. They were my key to entering the world of today.'

The recreated grove is the first modern addition to the Versailles landscape since the French Revolution and 'Les Belles Danses' is the most significant project of Othoniel's career. In one of Versailles' largest groves, the grand scale of the fountain has been a revelation.

It's also the artist's first moving piece. To complete it, he expanded his studio from five to 10 employees, who spent a year installing it alongside Versailles' official fontainiers. It all slipped into place when they began testing the jets, which force the water through the glass in the same arc as Versailles' historic main fountain. 'Antique jets coming from the contemporary sculpture,' says Othoniel. 'That's where the piece takes its rhythm.'

Les Jardins de Versailles
Place d'Armes
78000 Versailles

<![CDATA[Fashion brands leave their sartorial imprint on the 2015 Salone del Mobile]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/fashion/fashion-brands-leave-their-sartorial-imprint-on-the-2015-salone-del-mobile/8717   

<![CDATA[Shanghai's Natural History Museum is at one with its collection]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/shanghais-natural-history-museum-is-at-one-with-its-collection/8716 With a captivating collection of over 10,000 artefacts - including everything from dinosaurs to deep-sea monsters and mummies from the Ming Dynasty - the new home for the Shanghai Natural History Museum, designed by internationally acclaimed practice Perkins+Will, captures the essence of nature through biomimicry.

Previously housed in the former 1920s Shanghai Cotton Exchange, the old museum suffered from space constraints and was able to display just one percent of its entire collection at any given time. In contrast, the generous new structure accommodates six levels of exhibition space and offices, a 30m high entrance lobby and an IMAX cinema, covering a total area of 45,086 sqm.

Inspired by the pure geometry of a spiralling nautilus shell, the building curves elegantly downwards, with the lower three floors dropping below ground level. Enclosed within this 'shell', the serene surface of a centrally placed pond gives way to a series of rocky garden terraces, in the style of a traditional Chinese 'Mountain and Water' garden.

Global Design Director Ralph Johnson headed the project, which lies in the Jing'an Sculpture Park in central downtown Shanghai. 'Through its integration with the site, the building represents the harmony of man and nature and is an abstraction of the basic elements of Chinese art and design,' he says on the concept.

In keeping with the building's nature-inspired approach, each of the four external walls symbolises a separate element of the natural world: the living wall represents forests; the north wall is a rock face relating to Earth's geology and plate tectonics; there is a glazed façade harnessing the power of the sun; whilst the internal lining of the 'shell' displays a beautiful white lattice in a cellular pattern - combining an intricate multilayered glass, concrete and steel construction - which references the complex system of a living organism. 

The spiralling planted rooftop becomes a fifth façade, overlooked by the high-rise apartment blocks which surround the sculpture park. Accessible to visitors, the roof provides a viewing platform over the garden at its heart, and doubles up as a rainwater collection system with storage in the courtyard pond.

Sustainable design solutions (such as greywater recycling and a geothermal energy system) are displayed as part of the exhibition and reveal the story of the museum, explaining the benefits of environmental strategies.The abundance of natural references throughout ensure that the museum's architecture becomes as much a part of the exhibit as the collection it hosts.

<![CDATA[Dubai unveils new design district with three days of festivities at Meet d3]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/design/dubai-unveils-new-design-district-with-three-days-of-festivities-at-meet-d3/8739 Dubai Design District – known as d3 – is the latest addition to the city's cultural landscape and was launched at the beginning of the month with Meet d3, a public music, design and fashion festival.

Unlike many of its global contemporaries, d3 is not a story of urban-regeneration. The district, much like its emirate home, is a feat of conjuring something from nothing (albeit with significant financial backing). This sandy lot was originally destined to be a sterile development, slated as the innocuous Dubai Business Park, and was halted by the economic crisis. Acquired by TECOM investments in 2013 – a government entity lead by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid – the district was re-imagined as 'the region’s first master planned hub and incubator for design and fashion excellence.'

In a city peculiarly regimented and segmented by industries and clustered into districts, Dubai aims to ensure swift international integration. Within this context, conjuring a design district from scratch, with a targeted 10,000 tenants to occupy the 11 Woods Bagot-designed buildings delivered in phase one is a highly ambitious and confident statement of intent.

The launch event itself was unrecognisable by Dubai standards – there were no fireworks or record attempts here. Instead, the event confidently signalled its desire to join a growing global network of urban design enclaves. 

The response from the diverse audience was unremittingly positive. Time and again, the sense of inclusivity was remarked upon. It felt like a crowd more representative of this multi-national city than the audiences seen and re-seen at the calendar of established creative events. While it may have felt sterile in comparison to the more ‘organic’ reinventions of the less salubrious areas of western cities, this story of urban generation presents a different kind of potential.

But now the pop-up infrastructure of the Meet d3 event has moved on. Everything from the Andy Wahloo tent to the 'Dragon Skin' ceiling, the outdoor Cinema Akil, fashion stores from Resident and Not Just a Label, and the Restronaut curated food trucks and Bompas and Parr factory were temporary installations. We shall have to wait and see if the inclusive, public spirit of the event will live on.

Ultimately, whether its potential can be realised will depend on ongoing public planning and the concerted efforts of the landlord to continually curate. There have been mutterings of prohibitively high rental prices for start-ups and a few who speak of an overly zealous curation process; access is not only about making the financial cut, prospective tenants must apply and are judged based on their relevance to the future community. However, the weekend's events comprised a mix of 100 creative businesses across art, design, fashion and food; it was a diverse teamsheet that promises much, if it is mirrored in the fledgling community’s tenants.

Richard Wagner, of soon to be tenants Wanders Wagner Architects, the firm behind the event master plan, says this balance is being well struck. ‘What's important is that d3 remains close to the people, that it doesn't become a top-down directive, that they continue to let the designers, the creatives and the users direct the evolution.’ The potential is for proximity to breed opportunity and integration. Only time will tell if the city has the district it wishes existed already.

<![CDATA[In the frame: Marta Sala reflects on the architectural perspective of her new furniture line]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/design/in-the-frame-marta-sala-reflects-on-the-architectural-perspective-of-her-new-furniture-line/8718 To launch her furniture brand, Marta Sala plucked more than one decree from the rulebook of her uncle Luigi Caccia Dominioni, one of Italy's greatest post-war architects.

'In my uncle's time, spaces were conceived entirely by the architect,' explains Sala. 'They designed not just the walls but all of the objects too. It was all thought out according to the needs of the owners.'

Sala's new project, a 12-piece furniture collection entitled Marta Sala Editions follows much of the same logic. Sala is not only the CEO and owner of the burgeoning enterprise, but also muse to Claudio Lazzarini and Carl Pickering, the first of what she hopes will be a roster of cherry-plucked architects behind the brand's designs.

The team spirit very much reflects the collaborative approach that Caccia Dominioni fostered in 1947 when he founded the furniture label Azucena in Milan with fellow architects Ignazio Gardella and Corrado Corradi dell'Acqua, along with his wife Franca Tosi and Maria Teresa Tosi, Sala's mother. 'Caccia designed [the furniture], while my mother produced it,' explains Sala, who started working at the family company herself more than 20 years ago, and left only in January last year. 'My mother had a very close relationship with my uncle, and she was the one to say, "yes, this is working" or "no way."'

Sala has reproduced the same intimacy with Lazzarini Pickering, a Rome-based duo whose pieces mingle functionality and intelligent design with the highest quality handcraft, and promise long, useful service. 'It's about designing pieces that have limitless possibilities and can sit in a real house,' says Pickering.

The prices in this collection are not astronomical. 'I don't want to be Promemoria or Armani or Hermès,' she says. 'Bauhaus is my guide here, they had the best quality, the best design at the best price.'

The company's new showroom, also designed by Lazzarini Pickering, features a maze of graphic painted stripes on the walls and is lined with contemporary art. 'It's definitely not the clean white showroom that everyone else has in Milan,' Pickering observes. 'I think it's going to shock a lot of people.'

The only person it likely won't shock? Caccia Dominioni himself, who is still alive at age 101. 'I'm looking forward to his judgment,' Sala says, hopefully.

For the full, unabridged version of this article, turn to our May 2015 issue, W* 194 - out now

Marta Sala Editions
Corso Monforte 15

<![CDATA[On tour: Louis Vuitton's debuts new additions to its 'Objets Nomades' collection at Salone]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/fashion/on-tour-louis-vuittons-debuts-new-additions-to-its-objets-nomades-collection-at-salone/8714 Louis Vuitton is providing a little respite from the Salone-filled streets of Milan this week with a show dedicated to its 'Objets Nomades' at Palazzo Bocconi.

The French giant has transformed the opulent interiors of Milan's Palazzo Bocconi into a scene straight out of a luxury jungle safari this week, as part of the city's annual Salone del Mobile festivities. Arranged across the Palazzo's marble and marquetry floors and interspersed with lush green foliage, the exclusive 'Objets Nomades' collection of lighting and furniture was originally launched in 2012 and is inspired by the maison's history of innovative luggage design. 

'Before Louis Vuitton, all trunks were leather and had domed tops - the idea being that if it rained the water would run off,' explains Jay Osgerby of London studio Barber Osgerby, one of the founding design firms behind the 'Objects Nomades' collection. 'Then along came Louis Vuitton and invented this impregnated canvas finish in the familiar check pattern, that meant you could have a square, stackable, flat-topped trunk with 20 percent more storage capacity. Their success as a company has always come through careful thinking about the market and through beautiful making.' It's this philosophy, or savoir faire as Vuitton calls it, that the Nomades collection seeks to celebrate.

Barber Osgerby's portable, solar powered 'Bell' lamp, blown from Murano glass and housed in a hand-stitched leather enclosure, was debuted back in 2012 alongside a portable, hanging cabinet covered in recycled leather off-cuts by the Campana Brothers. Featuring alongside was a knitwear-inspired leather hammock and a folding travel stool by Atelier Öi. Since then, the collection has grown year-on-year, fortified by products such as a portable 'Beach' chair by Maarten Baas, a perforated leather 'Surface' lamp by Nendo and Patricia Urquiola's ingenious handbag that folds into a stool.

For 2015, new additions include a 'Concertina' chair, side table and lamp made using a series of folding leather panels by design studio Raw Edges. 'We like to find a principle and then to try and apply it to different objects,' say the London-based duo. 'In this case we started with the armchair, which is the most challenging, then applied the comfort, foldability, strength and finally the mechanism to the table and light, which was a very joyful process'. Gwenaël Nicolas' folding fabric lamp and roll-up, leather-edged canvas bed were inspired by Ernest Hemingway's travels to Africa, while Damien Langlois-Meurinne's elegant valet stand and hanging plant holder, assembled from leather-covered poles and gilded brass brackets, nod to Louis Vuitton's historical made-to-measure trunks that opened up to reveal clever storage compartments and mechanisms. 

Following this year's debuts, the meticulously crafted collection now comprises sixteen luxury items fit for the most discerning of travellers, from the deck of a superyacht to the dunes of the Sahara and beyond.

<![CDATA[Garden of Wonders creates a feast for the nose and eyes in Milan's Botanical Gardens]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/design/garden-of-wonders-creates-a-feast-for-the-nose-and-eyes-in-milans-botanical-gardens/8715 If the wisteria waterfalls of Brera's Botanical Garden (or the charming spread of gleaming, golden Laviani animal statues dotted around) don't get to you first, Be Open's Garden of Wonders will.

The international foundation of design and creativity has taken the world of fragrance to heady new heights with its latest project, a threefold approach to the world of fragrance. 'It is our way of proposing an alternative way - through design - to preserve traditions by adapting them to contemporary challenges and eventually explore new possibilities for small brands,' explains Be Open founder Yelena Baturina.

To begin with, the educational piece, 'A Journey Through Scent', narrates the evolution of perfume and fragrance - as well as its production and history - through an olfactory experience. Submerged in a dark mini-museum, large glass flasks and bottles hold what appear to be granules of salt. Giant atomisers reveals an ingenious way to share intense bursts of the different scents without these mixing up into a strange, sickly concoction.

Back in the garden, in the far side, the 'Houses of Wonder' are most exciting of all. These eight 'casitas' house pavilions have been created by various designers to revive and interpret long-forgotten perfume brands. Among the designers looking back at defunct luxury labels are Tord Boontje, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Dimore Studio, Front, Jaime Hayon, Piero Lissoni, Jean-Marie Massaud and Nendo. Their design aesthetic is clearly recognisable - the Campana Brothers interpretation of Veredas, for example, was inspired by Gruta do Veredas, a natural grotto in the state of Bahia in Brazil, and brought to life with a wicker, cave-like installation. Others, like Front and Dimore Studio, have taken a more sensory approach by using fading lights and the sound of rain respectively to illustrate their fragrances.

For the the third and final part of the project, 'A Vision in a Box',  a golden cube-like display holds the bottles of nine totally different designers. Illustrating the importance of packaging, names such as Werner Aisslinger, GamFratesi, Mist-o and Thukral & Tagra have taken on the challenge of imagining bottles for the fragrance of the future.

The exhibition's Salone debut has undoubtedly been well received - no doubt in part thanks to the glorious weather which brings out the best of the Brera gardens - and is set to continue for EXPO 2015 in May.

The Orto Botanico di Brera
via Brera 28
20121 Milano