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May/June 2021
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Lively, fresh, forward-looking, but also socially relevant — this defines Azure, the leading design publication covering the expanding world of international contemporary architecture and design. Each issue delivers readers inspiring ideas and cutting-edge innovations, from state-of-the-art green building to the latest in furniture and home accessories from around the globe.

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Azure Publishing Inc.
8 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
interior life

“Form follows function.” When I started at Azure, that was the first design-world mantra I absorbed as part of my new lexicon. A journalism school grad beginning my first internship, I wasn’t versed in the world of architecture, but soon embraced this phrase as gospel. In the 18 years that followed, I learned — and continue to relearn — that it’s only the tip of the iceberg. As I begin my role as Editor in Chief, and after more than a year of an ongoing pandemic, the notion of “function” has become increasingly enriched by more inclusive perspectives, and more than ever, it must reflect how people of diverse groups, identities, abilities and backgrounds experience space. It also encompasses the feeling of safety and solace that our interior worlds must…

2 min.
everyday beauty

“The day I make an uncomfortable sofa, it is no longer a sofa,” says Antonio Citterio. For the acclaimed Italian designer, this straightforward edict reflects a design philosophy rooted in the joys of the quotidian — the basis for a decades-long collaboration with Flexform. “The story of my relationship with Flexform runs through everyday products and the normality of everyday life,” he says. The partnership has evolved while remaining true to a distinct combination of timeless elegance and comfort. This year, however, Citterio and the manufacturer have reached a new high-water mark in design, introducing an outdoor furniture collection of informal refinement. A centrepiece for any outdoor living space, the Atlante sofa balances understated lines and a hardy, weather-resistant frame. The sofa’s generously plush upholstered cushions, accented with tasteful grosgrain piping,…

1 min.
fz1 stool

For its three-part Next collection, Danish manufacturer EO tapped the minds of a number of leading designers — including Jean-Baptiste Fastrez — to develop signature products that would be distinctly contemporary yet wholly futuristic, with an eye for use by all ages. The result: FZ1 stool, the Paris creative’s latest object. Boasting a tubular powder-coated steel frame paired with a solid ash seat in three monochromatic hues — lab green (shown), matte black and clinic white — the 69.8-centimetre-tall stool recalls the gentle curves of bentwood as seen through a retrofuturist lens. What gives the 33-centimetre-deep seat its unique edge, however, is the addition of two arms. Though a graphic formal feature, the added supports lend stability to the object, whether it’s being put to use by an elderly person or…

2 min.
5 things we learned from olalekan jeyifous

From his home in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, Olalekan Jeyifous is busy building fictional worlds. The speculative architect and public artist — with commissions in the works for the Venice Biennale and Exhibit Columbus and currently showing as part of “Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America” at MoMA — has taken a unique approach to the built environment ever since his studies at Cornell in the early 2000s. Borrowing tropes from science fiction, Jeyifous’s richly layered, narrative images, he tells Azure, are in fact reflections of current conditions and disparities. After a sustained viewing, here are a few insights we’ve gleaned. 1 Chart your own path in architecture. After graduating, I was applying to artist residencies and focusing more on visual representation in order to conceive of these speculative ideas and concepts. I…

2 min.
pressing space

“For several years now,” explain Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg of Space Popular, “we’ve been thinking about the coming of the virtual and how one would make that part of the job of an architect.” The London-based pair respond to this impending future by imagining architecture for an augmented world. These ruminations have manifested across a number of installations and immersive online realms, from 2020’s “Freestyle” at the RIBA (a VR-enhanced historical study of the many links between mass media and British architecture) to a number of screen-based conferences (such as the all-digital version of the architecture festival Arquia/Próxima). As Lesmes notes, these works not only introduce visitors to emerging technologies but also facilitate discussion of where they might lead. While they think “the digital world has already become a ‘real’…

2 min.
memory lapse

To say that DesignTO 2021 was a bit unusual would be an understatement. Undeterred by the prospect of limited viewership and the logistics of manufacturing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sylvia Lee, executive and creative director of Toronto glass-blowing atelier Jeff Goodman Studio, took the opportunity to work on a project close to her heart. The result is a two-part collection of circular side tables and wall art, dubbed Telescope, that explores the vestiges of her past. “As I get older, I realize that I’m losing my memory,” Lee says. “But I have all these snippets from my childhood, from my youth.” The individual telescopic glass shapes (or “views,” as she calls them) home in on those that Lee holds especially dear. “I remember skating with my family when I was…