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Tag Archives: Sustainability

10 Questions With… Matteo Thun

Cala Beach Club at Hotel Cala di Volpe in Porto Cervo on Sardinia. Photography courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

A holistic approach to nature and wellness drives Matteo Thun’s built projects. The award-winning Italian architect and Interior Design Hall of Fame member co-founded the iconic Italian design and architecture collective the Memphis Group with Ettore Sottsass in 1981, before striking out on his own, forming Matteo Thun & Partners in 2001. Thun’s happiest designing something new, he admits, and his firm’s creative eye, honed out of a headquarters in Milan and an office in Shanghai, is behind a long list of high-profile hospitality and healthcare projects spanning the globe.

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Most recently, summer saw the reassembly of Thun’s temporary beach structure, Cala Beach Club on the breathtaking Emerald Coast of the Italian island of Sardinia. Situated at Hotel Cala di Volpe in Costa Smeralda, a playground for the rich and, at times, famous—many of them yachting enthusiasts—Cala Beach Club is an environmentally sensitive structure only accessible by foot or boat. In summer it hums with private parties, with clientele seduced by the stunning natural landscape. Interior Design sat down with Thun to hear more about the Cala Beach Club, what toy kicked off his imagination at a young age, and which project reachable solely by cable car he considers a career turning point.

Interior Design: What was your overall design goal for Cala Beach Club?

Matteo Thun: Cala di Volpe is a beautiful beach in Sardinia. We wanted to create a shady oasis just between the woods and the sea. Restaurant, bar, and treatment rooms have been designed to melt within the landscape, to respect the charm of this special place.

ID: What was particularly challenging about this project?

MT: This property is reachable only by boat or on a path through nature. Since it serves only for the season, we designed a removable structure that is easily to assemble and dismantle.

Cala Beach Club at Hotel Cala di Volpe in Porto Cervo on Sardinia. Photography courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: What materials did you use and why?

MT: The structure unites with the beach vegetation, terraces value the inclination of the land, and views are open to the sea. We only used natural materials that integrate with the surroundings, such as chestnut wood and bamboo. All colors are natural and warm.

ID: What else have you completed recently?

MT: We like to bring nature inside and believe in concepts that emphasize an overall healthy lifestyle as a main approach. Healthy architecture and interior design guarantees physical and mental well being, allowing a relationship between humans and the environment. In Obbürgen, Switzerland, the Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort, which opened at the end of last year, is a space for wellness and medical services. It’s made from local stone and wood, and nature will take over in a few years so that the building will melt with the mountain. As with most of our projects, we also designed the entire interior.

Another recent project is the new headquarters for Davines, an Italian beauty company dedicated to sustainability and based in Parma, Italy. Here, we grouped traditional rural shapes and innovative volumes around a greenhouse that serves as a restaurant for the employees. Maximum architectural transparency with a minimum amount of masonry elements provides every working station with a view of the green areas.

The Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Andrea Garuti, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: What’s upcoming for you?

MT: The Evangelisches Waldkrankenhaus Spandau in Berlin at the largest university orthopedic center in Europe. Waldkrankenhaus means ‘hospital in the forest’ in German, and the new hospital building and rehab building connected to it will transform the hospital campus into a health center with a hotel character. This project represents our idea of a healing environment, an architectural and organizational structure that helps the patient and his relatives endure stressful situations caused by illness, operations, treatments, and sometimes pain.

Another hospitality project, a health bathing spa with medical treatments and maximum comfort, is underway in Bavaria, at Tegernsee, a resort town on the banks of Germany’s Tegernsee Lake. Nature is also the point of departure here and was key to the project. The landscape design integrates the existing flora and references the natural presence of water, allowing a direct communication with nature without interfering with the privacy of the patients.

The Evangelisches Waldkrankenhaus Spandau in Berlin by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: Is there a project in your history that you feel was particularly significant to your career?

MT: I designed the Vigilius Mountain Resort in South Tirol more than 15 years ago. It was one of the first design hotels, made from local larch wood and reachable only by cable car. The owner and I shared the same vision: to create a hotel that fuses with its surroundings, a place where you can breathe and relax instantly. Now, after all these years, the wood has a beautiful patina and the hotel a constant influx of international clientele.

ID: What are you reading?

MT: I very much like to read books in parallel: such as German philosopher Martin Heidegger with a novel or short story by Italian journalist and writer Italo Calvino

The Vigilius Mountain Resort by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Serge Brison, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: How do you think your childhood influenced your design thinking?

MT: My parents took me regularly to the Venice Biennale, so I became familiar with art and architecture at quite a young age. I grew up in nature, in the mountains near Bolzano, Italy, where my mother worked with pottery. She gave me clay to play with—so I had to use my imagination to have fun with it. I was always very close to material and materiality.

ID: How do think the Italian design culture influences your overall approach?

MT: In Italy, architecture is approached holistically. Let me quote Italian architect and writer Ernesto Rogers: ‘From spoon to city.’ This means working on a chair, on a lighting product, and on a house at the same time. We’ve worked like this in my office since the beginning, and the different teams of architects, interior designers, and product designers perform across disciplines.

Another big strength is Italian craftsmanship. At Salone del Mobile 2019, we launched a wood chair collection produced by F.lli Levaggi, a small manufacturer in Liguria, Italy, and work regularly with the glassblowers from Murano, such as Venini, Barovier & Toso, and Seguso. We very much believe in ‘Made in Italy.’

The Vigilius Mountain Resort by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Vigilius Mountain Resort, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: Is there a person in the industry that you particularly admire?

MT: Ettore Sottsass, chief designer of Olivetti. I first worked for him as an assistant, then we formed Sottsass Associati and in 1981 we co-founded Italian design and architecture collective Memphis Group. Memphis had an important formative influence on my career, and provided a platform to experiment with the challenges of constant innovation. Ettore designed the first Italian computer—in the late 1950s.

Keep scrolling for more images of projects by Matteo Thun >

The Vigilius Mountain Resort by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Florian Andergassen, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Andrea Garuti, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The alpine suite at the Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Waldhotel, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The pool at the Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Waldhotel, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners
The Davines headquarters in Parma, Italy by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Andrea Garuti, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The Nudes seating collection by Matteo Thun, launched at Salone del Mobile 2019. Photography by Marco Bertolini, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

Read more: 10 Questions With… Gert Wingardh

Continue reading 10 Questions With… Matteo Thun

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Beyond Amenities, What’s Next for Workplace Design?

At a panel discussion titled “The New Basics,” designers, developers, and facilities experts tried to work out what will be essential to the office of the future.

 

From private chefs to meditation rooms, companies have pulled out all the stops when it comes to amenities in the workplace. Whether driven by the battle for talent or employee demands, tech and media organizations in particular continue to vie with one another to provide employee benefits. Cafes, phone booths, and lounges have become commonplace, with nap rooms and fitness centers following suit. But how much amenity is too much amenity? Is there any downside to this trend, and what should we consider to be the new basics of the office?

A group of workplace experts gathered at the Poppin showroom in San Francisco earlier this year to discuss these questions and point to a way forward in office design. Primo Orpilla, whose award-winning firm Studio O+A created some of the first amenity-rich offices in the tech sector, spoke to the origins of the trend. “We really just wanted to create a place where people would come together, collaborate, share ideas and maybe spend a little more time, and that time be more meaningful,” he said. “It was also a great way for the company to show that they cared.”

But now the pendulum might have swung too far, said Alex Spilger, vice president of development and director of sustainability at Cushman & Wakefield: “I see friends that work for these tech companies that say, ‘I want to leave my job but I’m afraid to give up the free massage and the free food,’ and I have to ask them, ‘Are you staying there for the right reasons?’”

Amenities cannot be expected to stand in for a sense of purpose among employees, and companies have to work at fostering that spirit of community. “The spaces have to have meaning to the company and to the employees,” said Verda Alexander, cofounder of Studio O+A. “The idea of superficial amenity spaces really needs to fall by the wayside.”

So what kinds of amenities would not be considered superficial? Sometimes, essential amenities are determined by the culture of the organization, said John Liu, facilities director at Rakuten. At his company, “AV is gargantuan everywhere because that allows [companies] to have video conferencing with every office, to be able to sync up without having employees travel as much.” Hoteling is another such amenity, which Liu finds he has to figure more and more into his headcount projections.

However, workers aren’t just concerned about short-term benefits for themselves or their employers. “People want to work for companies that care,” Spilger said, “so a commitment to sustainability is a core amenity.” The urban (or suburban) context, and the company’s commitments to the community outside also figure heavily in employees’ list of wants. “Those values are part of the new basics,” said Jason Bonnet, vice president of development at Brookfield Properties. “I can get a paycheck from any tech company here, but what are you really doing when I step outside as it relates to improving where I live?” At Brookfield’s new developments in San Francisco, such as 5M and Pier 70, office spaces are situated within a mixed-use context. The developers have built social impact into the plans, offering ground-level activations and donating spaces to non-profits.

Talking about the backlash against tech giants in Seattle and San Francisco, Alexander said she wished offices could integrate “more amenity spaces that are maybe on the ground floor, accessible to the public and that interact with the public. I would love to see more social responsibility, environmental responsibility, and any kind of amenity space that could directly engage the public.”

Spilger summed up the discussion by offering a demographic analysis of where workplace design needs to focus next. “A lot of amenities were driven by millennials—ping pong tables, foosball, free food, happy hours,” he said. “Those millennials are starting families. They no longer need the happy hour or the ping pong table; they want flexibility, autonomy, and purpose behind the work.”

Categories: Workplace Interiors

Continue reading Beyond Amenities, What’s Next for Workplace Design?

New in Brooklyn: 10 Hip Coffee Shops, Offices, Apartments, and More

With NYCxDESIGN and Brooklyn Designs at the Brooklyn Navy Yards about to get underway, we’ve rounded up the most recent projects in New York City’s buzziest borough, including warm cafés and reading rooms, fresh offices, and light-filled apartments.

1. The Center for Fiction by BKSK Architects Brings Books and Sustainability to Brooklyn

The Center for Fiction started out as the Mercantile Library in 1821 and moved locations throughout Manhattan over the years. In 2008, it was rebranded, and more than 10 years later, the Center has a permanent home in a new downtown Brooklyn building by BKSK Architects with sustainability in mind. Read more about the bookstore/library/café

2. StudiosC Creates Positive/Negative Volumes for L&R Distributors in Brooklyn

L&R distributes more cosmetics than any other American company—25 brands and 8,000 SKUs in all. Its new corporate headquarters in Brooklyn’s Industry City circulates something else: a wide variety of staff, each with their own spatial needs, within what StudiosC principal Stephen Conte calls “an industrial blank canvas.” Read more about the office

3. Gensler Fashions a New Brooklyn Showroom for Lafayette 148

Brooklyn’s Navy Yard is among the most fashionable new areas in the borough, but until Lafayette 148 decided to leave its seven-floor SoHo digs and venture across the water, there wasn’t a fashion brand that called the historic concrete warehouse home. Gensler made sure the 68,000-square-foot headquarters, comprised of 15 different departments and large community work cafes, was as rousing as the exterior landscapes. Read more about the showroom

4. Idan Naor Thinks Horizontally for a Brooklyn Brownstone

The archetypical Brooklyn brownstone is a study in verticality, with a few stories of narrow corridors and dark rooms piled atop each other. However, when the local Idan Naor Workshop got the chance to reprogram a gem from the 1920s into a 5-unit apartment building, they decided on a different direction: horizontal. This 2,350-square-foot apartment jettisons the piles of hallways and instead utilizes a gallery to connect public areas to the three bedrooms, while ample natural light floods the expansive open plan. Read more about the brownstone

5. Five Retail Wonderlands Subvert Reality

This retail environment at Gray Matters brings customers into a product-inspired wonderland. Riffing on the brand’s Mildred Egg mule, Bower Studios chose table bases that are ovoids of painted resin composite. See all five stores

6. The Wing Brings Custom-Designed Mother’s Rooms to Brooklyn Office Buildings

When thinking of comfortable and relaxing spaces for a mother to pump or otherwise care for an infant, the office is likely ranked dead last. Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, cofounders of the women’s co-working space, The Wing, want to change that. Gelman and Kassan have mobilized The Wing’s internal design team to bring secure, private spaces for working moms into the close-knit community of offices in DUMBO, starting with office buildings under Two Trees Management. Read more about the rooms

7. Jessica Helgerson Interior Design Brews Up a Stumptown Café in a Brooklyn Firehouse

New York relies on coffee shops almost as much as municipal services. Now the two are merging—architecturally, at least—thanks to Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ first Brooklyn café, housed in an 1860’s former firehouse in leafy Cobble Hill. Jessica Helgerson Interior Design re-envisioned, along with the help of Structure NYC, the 1,875-square-foot space, most recently an indoor archery studio. Read more about the café

8. Coliving Goes Grand at a Restored Clinton Hill Mansion

A 6,200-square-foot row house on Grand Street in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn is the newest of Common’s coliving spaces. Built in 1901, Common restored the five-floor home to function for 23 people. Rather than keeping with the two-family tradition, Common densified the historic mansion in order to make the most of the much-desired square footage that Brooklyn has to offer. Read more about the house

9. LOT Office for Architecture Designs Oasis-Like Digs for Devoción in Downtown Brooklyn

When Devoción‘s first location opened in Williamsburg, Brooklynites delighted at the roastery’s oasis-like design and authentic Colombian brews. The beloved coffeehouse has returned for round two with a 1,700-square-foot space near the borough’s bustling downtown corridor. Greek-American firm LOT Office for Architecture spearheaded interiors that honor local traditions and mother nature in equal measure. Read more about the café

10. Inside Ample Hills Creamery’s Brand-New Exhibition Space in Brooklyn

As if the ice cream wasn’t draw enough. Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith, founders of Ample Hills Creamery, have just opened the largest ice-cream factory in all of New York City—and have included an interactive museum, like a cherry on top. A brick building, part of the former Beard Street Warehouses complex in Red Hook, contains 12,500 square feet of production space, plus 2,000 more for exhibits, party areas, and of course a retail shop by Danielle Galland Interior Design. Read more about the factory

Continue reading New in Brooklyn: 10 Hip Coffee Shops, Offices, Apartments, and More

Material Bank Lab, Offering Speed and Sustainability, Debuts at NeoCon

Material Bank Lab debuted at NeoCon in theMART and will operate there for at least a year. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Material Bank debuted its first physical location, Material Bank Lab, at NeoCon today. The first-floor location at theMART in Chicago (#113) will remain a permanent storefront, giving specifiers a place to explore, discover, and collaborate.

Adam Sandow, CEO and founder of SANDOW, developed Material Bank’s revolutionary platform.

 

“We opened Material Bank Lab with the intention of creating a completely new way for designers to discover and interact with brands and the products they create,” says Adam Sandow, CEO and founder of SANDOW, who developed Material Bank’s proprietary platform to answer the architecture and design community’s need to streamline and speed up the material searching and sampling process. And Sandow would know as the owner of leading design brands, including Interior Design, Luxe Interiors + Design, Material ConneXion, and ThinkLab.

Material Bank Lab will give design professionals access to the platform’s new cutting-edge Material Desk technology and Smart Swatch system. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

The Material Bank Lab will also give design professionals access to the platform’s new cutting-edge Material Desk™ technology and Smart Swatch™ system, as well as to Material Bank’s material experts. “Our Smart Swatches are a revolutionary system that dramatically improves the efficiency of sampling by seamlessly bridging the physical to digital,” says Sandow, adding that the interactive Material Desk™ will also help designers create digital palettes and sample with a click of a button.  

Thousands of physical materials are on view at the new Material Bank Lab at theMART in Chicago. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Material Bank’s powerful platform, which is becoming the go-to resource for designers when it comes to samples, allows specifiers to search textiles, wall coverings, flooring, paint, solid surfacing, and other materials from more than 160 leading manufacturers—in one place. What previously took two-plus hours trolling 12 websites and entailed five packages delivered over many days is now reduced to three minutes of browsing on one centralized site. And an order sent in by Midnight (EST) is delivered in a recyclable box by 10:30 am the next day.

Material Bank Lab works in a revolutionary new manner that can ship materials overnight for sampling and specification. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Material Desk technology makes it easy for design professionals to access materials from over 160 leading manufacturers. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Material Bank Lab is located on the first floor of theMART (#113) in Chicago. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Interested in exploring materials in a revolutionary way? Visit Material Bank Lab on the first floor (#113) of theMART in Chicago. 

Continue reading Material Bank Lab, Offering Speed and Sustainability, Debuts at NeoCon

New in Brooklyn: 10 Hip Coffee Shops, Offices, Apartments, and More

With NYCxDESIGN and Brooklyn Designs at the Brooklyn Navy Yards about to get underway, we’ve rounded up the most recent projects in New York City’s buzziest borough, including warm cafés and reading rooms, fresh offices, and light-filled apartments.

1. The Center for Fiction by BKSK Architects Brings Books and Sustainability to Brooklyn

The Center for Fiction started out as the Mercantile Library in 1821 and moved locations throughout Manhattan over the years. In 2008, it was rebranded, and more than 10 years later, the Center has a permanent home in a new downtown Brooklyn building by BKSK Architects with sustainability in mind. Read more about the bookstore/library/café

2. StudiosC Creates Positive/Negative Volumes for L&R Distributors in Brooklyn

L&R distributes more cosmetics than any other American company—25 brands and 8,000 SKUs in all. Its new corporate headquarters in Brooklyn’s Industry City circulates something else: a wide variety of staff, each with their own spatial needs, within what StudiosC principal Stephen Conte calls “an industrial blank canvas.” Read more about the office

3. Gensler Fashions a New Brooklyn Showroom for Lafayette 148

Brooklyn’s Navy Yard is among the most fashionable new areas in the borough, but until Lafayette 148 decided to leave its seven-floor SoHo digs and venture across the water, there wasn’t a fashion brand that called the historic concrete warehouse home. Gensler made sure the 68,000-square-foot headquarters, comprised of 15 different departments and large community work cafes, was as rousing as the exterior landscapes. Read more about the showroom

4. Idan Naor Thinks Horizontally for a Brooklyn Brownstone

The archetypical Brooklyn brownstone is a study in verticality, with a few stories of narrow corridors and dark rooms piled atop each other. However, when the local Idan Naor Workshop got the chance to reprogram a gem from the 1920s into a 5-unit apartment building, they decided on a different direction: horizontal. This 2,350-square-foot apartment jettisons the piles of hallways and instead utilizes a gallery to connect public areas to the three bedrooms, while ample natural light floods the expansive open plan. Read more about the brownstone

5. Five Retail Wonderlands Subvert Reality

This retail environment at Gray Matters brings customers into a product-inspired wonderland. Riffing on the brand’s Mildred Egg mule, Bower Studios chose table bases that are ovoids of painted resin composite. See all five stores

6. The Wing Brings Custom-Designed Mother’s Rooms to Brooklyn Office Buildings

When thinking of comfortable and relaxing spaces for a mother to pump or otherwise care for an infant, the office is likely ranked dead last. Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, cofounders of the women’s co-working space, The Wing, want to change that. Gelman and Kassan have mobilized The Wing’s internal design team to bring secure, private spaces for working moms into the close-knit community of offices in DUMBO, starting with office buildings under Two Trees Management. Read more about the rooms

7. Jessica Helgerson Interior Design Brews Up a Stumptown Café in a Brooklyn Firehouse

New York relies on coffee shops almost as much as municipal services. Now the two are merging—architecturally, at least—thanks to Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ first Brooklyn café, housed in an 1860’s former firehouse in leafy Cobble Hill. Jessica Helgerson Interior Design re-envisioned, along with the help of Structure NYC, the 1,875-square-foot space, most recently an indoor archery studio. Read more about the café

8. Coliving Goes Grand at a Restored Clinton Hill Mansion

A 6,200-square-foot row house on Grand Street in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn is the newest of Common’s coliving spaces. Built in 1901, Common restored the five-floor home to function for 23 people. Rather than keeping with the two-family tradition, Common densified the historic mansion in order to make the most of the much-desired square footage that Brooklyn has to offer. Read more about the house

9. LOT Office for Architecture Designs Oasis-Like Digs for Devoción in Downtown Brooklyn

When Devoción‘s first location opened in Williamsburg, Brooklynites delighted at the roastery’s oasis-like design and authentic Colombian brews. The beloved coffeehouse has returned for round two with a 1,700-square-foot space near the borough’s bustling downtown corridor. Greek-American firm LOT Office for Architecture spearheaded interiors that honor local traditions and mother nature in equal measure. Read more about the café

10. Inside Ample Hills Creamery’s Brand-New Exhibition Space in Brooklyn

As if the ice cream wasn’t draw enough. Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith, founders of Ample Hills Creamery, have just opened the largest ice-cream factory in all of New York City—and have included an interactive museum, like a cherry on top. A brick building, part of the former Beard Street Warehouses complex in Red Hook, contains 12,500 square feet of production space, plus 2,000 more for exhibits, party areas, and of course a retail shop by Danielle Galland Interior Design. Read more about the factory

Continue reading New in Brooklyn: 10 Hip Coffee Shops, Offices, Apartments, and More

Humanscale’s “Bodies in Motion” at Salone del Mobile 2019

Humanscale’s Todd Bracher talks about “Bodies in Motion,” his interactive installation in partnership with Studio TheGreenEyl at Salone del Mobile 2019, which allows users to materialize their movements onto a light-generated figure on a screen. See it in action here. Video by Steven Wilsey and James Eades.

Continue reading Humanscale’s “Bodies in Motion” at Salone del Mobile 2019

ASID Press Release

ASID and DIFFA Announce Design Impacts Life Fund

Industry-Leading Organizations Partner as ASID Creates $375,000 Grant Fund

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is excited to announce a donation of $375,000 to DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, creating the new Design Impacts Life Fund. The Fund will offer grants to nonprofits that provide services, education, and treatment to those affected by HIV/AIDS, with the potential to expand its reach to support others in need. This donation represents one of the largest single gifts ever to DIFFA.

The gift comes from the ASID Benevolent Fund, which was started in 1974 by ASID members to provide funds to those in need in the design community during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. ASID paused fundraising for the Benevolent Fund when DIFFA was launched as a larger design industry focused organization. This donation closes the chapter on the ASID Benevolent Fund and opens opportunity for DIFFA to increase its organizational impact and reach. The ASID Design Impacts Life Fund will be leveraged to create the greatest possible impact on those living with HIV/AIDS and the DIFFA organization. Thanks to the national reach of both ASID and DIFFA, potential grantees may apply from all over the country.

“ASID is passionate about positively impacting lives beyond the practice of design,” states Randy Fiser, Hon. FASID, ASID CEO. “This profession is made up of diverse individuals whose shared goal is to make the world better for its inhabitants. Our new Design Impacts Life Fund speaks to our mission: to touch lives thanks to the power of design. We’re thrilled to give back to such a worthy cause and can’t wait to see how together with DIFFA and the entire design community, we can make a difference in people’s lives.”

In addition to its grant support, the Design Impacts Life Fund will leverage the combined power of ASID and DIFFA to spur the industry to action. Through their various programs and partners, the two organizations will continue to broaden the scope of the fund to inspire support from the design world and maximize its effect on all communities in need.

“With the generous donation from ASID—a huge thanks!—and DIFFA’s strong network of design professionals behind it, the Design Impacts Life Fund has so much potential to help HIV/AIDS-affected communities,” says Cindy Allen, Interior Design magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and DIFFA’s Chair of the Board of Trustees. “DIFFA remains as committed as ever to helping those in need and galvanizing our community to push the boundaries of what is possible.”

Adds Dawn Roberson, DIFFA Executive Director, “We are thrilled to start the Design Impacts Life Fund with this most generous donation from ASID! These funds, combined with the continued generosity of the design community, will contribute significantly to DIFFA’s granting for years to come. We could not possibly be more grateful to partner with ASID in such a meaningful way.”

In the U.S., 80 percent of the interior design community is female, and Hispanic and Latin women are among the most affected by HIV/AIDS. The CDC estimates that roughly 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV – and nearly one in eight of those are not aware that they are infected. Increasing levels of intravenous drug use, linked to an epidemic of opioid misuse, are threatening the gains made on reducing HIV among people who use drugs. HIV-related stigma remains a huge barrier to preventing HIV and is linked to the low number of people who receive HIV testing, as well as poor adherence to treatment, particularly among young people.

Both ASID and DIFFA have a rich history of helping others. ASID provides monetary support through the ASID Foundation, which advances the profession and communicates the ability of interior design to enhance the human experience through research, scholarships, and education. In addition to its fundraising and volunteer events, DIFFA has granted more than $44 million to support nonprofit organizations across the country supporting HIV/AIDS.

The Design Impacts Life Fund was officially announced at the annual NYCxDesign Awards on Monday, May 20, 2019 at New York’s Pier 17. Both the Society and DIFFA will continue promotion of the fund through their various annual programs.

About ASID

The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design transforms lives. ASID serves the full range of the interior design profession and practice through the Society’s programs, networks, and advocacy. We thrive on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. We lead interior designers in shared conversations around topics that matter: from evidence-based and human-centric design to social responsibility, well-being, and sustainability. We showcase the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

ASID was founded over 40 years ago when two organizations became one, but its legacy dates back to the early 1930s. As we celebrate nearly 85 years of industry leadership, we are leading the future of interior design, continuing to integrate the advantages of local connections with national reach, of small firms with big, and of the places we live with the places we work, play, and heal. Learn more at asid.org.

About DIFFA

DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS raises awareness and grants funds to organizations that fight HIV/AIDS by providing treatment and direct care services for people living with or impacted by the disease, offering preventative education programs targeted to populations at risk of infection, or supporting public policy initiatives. DIFFA is one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the United States, mobilizing the immense resources and creativity of the design community. Since its founding in 1984, DIFFA has emerged from a grassroots organization into a national foundation based in New York City with chapters and community partners across the country that, working together, have provided more than $43 million to hundreds of HIV/AIDS organizations nationwide. www.diffa.org.

MEDIA CONTACT

Joseph G. Cephas
jcephas@asid.org

Continue reading ASID Press Release

Chemistry as an Agent of Sustainability, Health, and Well-Being



Chemistry is the science behind sustainability. From healthy, efficient, and sustainable buildings, to light-weighting vehicles and medical devices – chemistry helps create the groundbreaking, innovative materials that designers depend on. This webinar will explore the advances chemistry is making possible in buildings and building products, how chemical companies are providing more information More

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New in Brooklyn: 10 Hip Coffee Shops, Offices, Apartments, and More

With NYCxDESIGN and Brooklyn Designs at the Brooklyn Navy Yards about to get underway, we’ve rounded up the most recent projects in New York City’s buzziest borough, including warm cafés and reading rooms, fresh offices, and light-filled apartments.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Enter the 2019 HiP Awards by May 17th

1. The Center for Fiction by BKSK Architects Brings Books and Sustainability to Brooklyn

The Center for Fiction started out as the Mercantile Library in 1821 and moved locations throughout Manhattan over the years. In 2008, it was rebranded, and more than 10 years later, the Center has a permanent home in a new downtown Brooklyn building by BKSK Architects with sustainability in mind. Read more about the bookstore/library/café

2. StudiosC Creates Positive/Negative Volumes for L&R Distributors in Brooklyn

L&R distributes more cosmetics than any other American company—25 brands and 8,000 SKUs in all. Its new corporate headquarters in Brooklyn’s Industry City circulates something else: a wide variety of staff, each with their own spatial needs, within what StudiosC principal Stephen Conte calls “an industrial blank canvas.” Read more about the office

3. Gensler Fashions a New Brooklyn Showroom for Lafayette 148

Brooklyn’s Navy Yard is among the most fashionable new areas in the borough, but until Lafayette 148 decided to leave its seven-floor SoHo digs and venture across the water, there wasn’t a fashion brand that called the historic concrete warehouse home. Gensler made sure the 68,000-square-foot headquarters, comprised of 15 different departments and large community work cafes, was as rousing as the exterior landscapes. Read more about the showroom

4. Idan Naor Thinks Horizontally for a Brooklyn Brownstone

The archetypical Brooklyn brownstone is a study in verticality, with a few stories of narrow corridors and dark rooms piled atop each other. However, when the local Idan Naor Workshop got the chance to reprogram a gem from the 1920s into a 5-unit apartment building, they decided on a different direction: horizontal. This 2,350-square-foot apartment jettisons the piles of hallways and instead utilizes a gallery to connect public areas to the three bedrooms, while ample natural light floods the expansive open plan. Read more about the brownstone

5. Five Retail Wonderlands Subvert Reality

This retail environment at Gray Matters brings customers into a product-inspired wonderland. Riffing on the brand’s Mildred Egg mule, Bower Studios chose table bases that are ovoids of painted resin composite. See all five stores

6. The Wing Brings Custom-Designed Mother’s Rooms to Brooklyn Office Buildings

When thinking of comfortable and relaxing spaces for a mother to pump or otherwise care for an infant, the office is likely ranked dead last. Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, cofounders of the women’s co-working space, The Wing, want to change that. Gelman and Kassan have mobilized The Wing’s internal design team to bring secure, private spaces for working moms into the close-knit community of offices in DUMBO, starting with office buildings under Two Trees Management. Read more about the rooms

7. Jessica Helgerson Interior Design Brews Up a Stumptown Café in a Brooklyn Firehouse

New York relies on coffee shops almost as much as municipal services. Now the two are merging—architecturally, at least—thanks to Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ first Brooklyn café, housed in an 1860’s former firehouse in leafy Cobble Hill. Jessica Helgerson Interior Design re-envisioned, along with the help of Structure NYC, the 1,875-square-foot space, most recently an indoor archery studio. Read more about the café

8. Coliving Goes Grand at a Restored Clinton Hill Mansion

A 6,200-square-foot row house on Grand Street in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn is the newest of Common’s coliving spaces. Built in 1901, Common restored the five-floor home to function for 23 people. Rather than keeping with the two-family tradition, Common densified the historic mansion in order to make the most of the much-desired square footage that Brooklyn has to offer. Read more about the house

9. LOT Office for Architecture Designs Oasis-Like Digs for Devoción in Downtown Brooklyn

When Devoción‘s first location opened in Williamsburg, Brooklynites delighted at the roastery’s oasis-like design and authentic Colombian brews. The beloved coffeehouse has returned for round two with a 1,700-square-foot space near the borough’s bustling downtown corridor. Greek-American firm LOT Office for Architecture spearheaded interiors that honor local traditions and mother nature in equal measure. Read more about the café

10. Inside Ample Hills Creamery’s Brand-New Exhibition Space in Brooklyn

As if the ice cream wasn’t draw enough. Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith, founders of Ample Hills Creamery, have just opened the largest ice-cream factory in all of New York City—and have included an interactive museum, like a cherry on top. A brick building, part of the former Beard Street Warehouses complex in Red Hook, contains 12,500 square feet of production space, plus 2,000 more for exhibits, party areas, and of course a retail shop by Danielle Galland Interior Design. Read more about the factory

Continue reading New in Brooklyn: 10 Hip Coffee Shops, Offices, Apartments, and More

10 Questions With… MoMA Curator Juliet Kinchin

Juliet Kinchin, curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA. Photography by Robert Gerhardt, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Juliet Kinchin, dressed in black accented by pops of color from her necklace (a find at the MoMA Design Store) and ruby-red square bracelet, walked through The Value of Good Design exhibition at theMuseum of Modern Art in New York, pausing at an armchair designed by Hans Wegner in the 1940s as if seeing it for the first time. But this was hardly Kinchin’s introduction to the object in front of her—she curated the exhibition.  

As Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA since 2008, Kinchin has organized design retrospectives ranging fromCounter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen (2010-11) to Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000 (2012) and held faculty positions at The Glasgow School of Art and at The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in Design in New York. Positioning objects in ways that create new dialogue is her forte.  

The Value of Good Design runs through June 15, 2019 and features household objects, furniture, and appliances from the late 1930s through the 1950s when the U.S. emerged as what Kinchin calls a “design superpower.” It also spotlights MoMA’s Good Design Initiatives, which served as an incubator for innovation at the time. After the walk-through, Kinchin shared some insights into her curatorial process with Interior Design, including her earliest design influences, addressing inclusivity in exhibitions, and the joy of re-purposing vintage curtains.

The Anywhere Lamp by Greta Von Nessen (1951), made of aluminum and enameled steel. Photography courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Interior Design: What does ‘good design’ mean today?

Juliet Kinchin: The words ‘good design’ are always going to conjure up different things for different people. And something that was considered good design in the 1950s doesn’t necessarily hold up nowadays. Good design should reflect technological advances and the social conditions or aspirations of each generation. It goes without saying that most people don’t want to live in the past or dress like our parents and grandparents. Having said that, some objects and core values do seem to have stood the test of time—generally those which combine eye appeal, functionality, and affordability. This was a combination of values that MoMA curators, like Edgar Kaufmann Jr., were trying to seek out at mid-century. What’s perhaps different is the way we are now thinking more about sustainability and the ethical dimension of the way things are made and sold.

ID: Why choose to explore the value of good design through mid-century pieces?  

JK: The second world war and its aftermath brought design into focus as a tool for engineering change, whether social, technological, or economic. It was a time of tremendous experimentation, innovation, and idealism in the design of everyday objects and, from 1945 at least, a time of optimism about creating a different, more egalitarian future. I think we are all hungry for that kind of optimism and innovation right now. ‘Good Design’ at mid-century was an international phenomenon and in our exhibition at MoMA we wanted to show the commonality of approaches and thinking in different parts of the world, and the networks through which so many designers and manufacturers moved freely.

Read more: 10 Questions With… Lisa White

Prototype for Chaise Lounge (La Chaise) by Charles Eames and Ray Eames (1948), made of hard rubber foam, plastic, wood, and metal. Photography by Jonathan Muzikar, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

ID: What’s the greatest challenge when curating an exhibition like this? 

JK: The exhibition includes objects of such different scales and media, which is also half the fun, from a Tupperware popsicle to printed textiles, a Fiat Cinquecento, and a film made by Charles and Ray Eames for the 1959 American National Exhibition held in Moscow. It’s about trying to arrange them in meaningful and visually coherent groups, bringing designed objects into friendly dialogue, or argument, with each other. It is also a challenge to put developments in the U.S. in a broad international context. We have included stunning and familiar design from Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, and the U.K. but also wanted to move beyond them to countries like Czechoslovakia, Mexico, Japan. It was interesting to see how good design was coopted into a framework of Cold War politics. One only has to think of the face-off in 1959 between Nixon and Kruschev in front of a fitted American kitchen on view in Moscow. It is a timely reminder about the power of design as an ideological weapon.

ID: How do you address inclusivity, especially when revisiting work from the 1930s through 1950s?

JK: There is no doubt that in those decades the design professions were far from inclusive in terms of gender and ethnicity, and that often credit was not always publicly given where it was due. We don’t want to whitewash the past, but through research into the collections and staging exhibitions that pose sometimes difficult questions about whose values we represent, we can often throw light upon objects and individuals from the past that reflect current concerns with inclusivity. To give a couple of examples, in the Organic Design competition of 1940 organized by MoMA, prize-winning designs by Ray Eames, Noémi Raymond and Clara Porset were all credited to their respective husbands. We have little representation of African American designers working at mid-century, but we now know a little more about Joel Robinson whose textiles were featured in magazines like Ebony and were highly lauded at the 1951 Good Design exhibitions held in MoMA and the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It is also true to say that the Good Design program was a lifeline for many women at mid-century who were perhaps working in relative isolation and found it difficult to make headway in larger corporate firms of the period.

Butterfly Stools by Sori Yanagi (1956) made of molded plywood and metal. Photography courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

ID: You’ve lived and worked in Europe and the U.S.—what most distinguishes the design appetite in these areas? 

JK: Each city, region, country has its own design culture and material feel, even if many of the actual products are actually the same in different parts of the world, and our high streets are increasingly homogenized by global corporations. New York has a different pace and energy from anywhere else I’ve lived, but I don’t feel design is given as much priority in government-led initiatives and agendas as in many other parts of Europe.

ID: What is your earliest memory of being impacted by design?

JK: As a young child, I remember being mesmerized by the version of Ray Eames’s Hang-It-All coatrack finished with colored plastic balls, and the colorful abstract patterns of curtains my mother had bought in the 1950s—I have patched and relined these over the years and still use them in my own home.

Mitsubishi Sewing Machine Silkscreen by Hiroshi Ohchi (c. 1950s). Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

ID: Back in 2012, you organized ‘Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000’ at MoMA; did any of your favorite childhood toys make it into the exhibition?  

JK: Like many children (and adults) the world over I played for hours with a Slinky. As we speak, I can remember the transfer of its weight from hand-to-hand, and the clinking whirring sound of the spring as it unfurled and sprang back. And the smell of the metal in tiny hot hands! I was delighted to feature this mainstay of MoMA’s Good Design exhibitions in both ‘Century of the Child’ and the current show.

ID: What’s your process when it comes to curating spaces, either for exhibitions or in your home? Where do you start?

JK: I love stuff—not only the way it looks and feels, but sounds, smells, perhaps even tastes … I find the things that ‘call out’ to me often reflect the issues or things I am thinking about in the present. Whether we are looking at design from the past, or future-oriented design, we are always filtering perceptions through the present. Curation is about exploring relationships between artworks. I like to think of it in terms of creating a new social life for things, introducing them to new friends, making up with one-time enemies, having a civilized conversation with strangers. And it’s about trying to pace the experience, creating contemplative as well as abrasive moments, and about mixing familiar favorites with less well-known pieces. Exhibiting everyday objects like an axe, a shrimp deveiner, a cookie cutter in the context of an art museum forces people to look twice at such things and to see them in a different light.

The 500f city car by Dante Giacosa (designed 1957; example pictured from 1968) made of steel with fabric top. Photography by Jonathan Muzikar, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

ID: What most surprises you about the way people interact with exhibitions through social media?

JK: I think people are often using their phones as a means of looking in detail at design rather than recording and saving images for posterity. Taking and posting photos on social media has become an incredibly important way of consuming design without having to actually purchase it or possess it physically.

ID: What’s your ‘go to’ source of inspiration?

JK: Flea markets, old magazines, libraries and archives, artists’ studios, podcasts, street signs and sounds, factories … design is everywhere you care to look.

Low Chair by Charlotte Perriand (designed 1940), made of bamboo. Photography by Jonathan Muzikar, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Read more: 10 Questions With… Caroline Till

Continue reading 10 Questions With… MoMA Curator Juliet Kinchin

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