category_outlined / Art & Architecture

AZURE July - August 2018

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.

Azure Publishing Inc.
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8 Issues


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behind the prize

Carved from Carrara marble, the 2018 AZ Awards trophy is a minimalist yet multi-faceted sculpture that – appropriately for a prize – fits satisfyingly in one’s hand. Working with Italian stone innovator Salvatori, designer Michael Anastassiades – the London-based talent best known for his elemental lighting fixtures – has crafted the piece with a timeless quality reflective of his work. “I’m curious to see the different functions the object takes on,” Anastassiades says. “It has been designed to facilitate multiple uses: as a decorative object perhaps, as something that might have a more practical function, like a paperweight.” On June 22, the trophy was handed out to the 20 category winners of the eighth annual AZ Awards, for which Anastassiades was also a juror (meet the full jury on page 66). Honouring…

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where are they now?

Konstantin Grcic and Vitra The winning relationship between Vitra and German designer Konstantin Grcic continues apace. Their Waver chair – whose seat is suspended, like a paraglider’s harness, from a metal frame – won an AZ Award in 2012 for Best Furniture Design. It was also just one of the pair’s many successful collaborations. The latest is the exhibition Night Fever, on view at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. Night Fever explores how clubs and lounges have been de facto laboratories for disciplinecrossing innovation, pushing architecture, interior design, lighting, graphics and even fashion to their limits. The highlight is a multisensory installation created by Grcic and lighting designer Matthias Singer. The exhibition runs until September 9. design-museum.de Mason White and Charles Waldheim Together with his Lateral Office partner Lola Sheppard, architect Mason…

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africa rising

Peter Mabeo Through his eponymous design brand, manufacturer and distributor Peter Mabeo has made it his mission to bring “a uniquely African sensibility” to the global design scene, emplying countless craftspeople in the process. Hit releases have included Garth Roberts’ Seri series of solid-wood tables, stools and containers, distinguished by intricate edging hand-carved by artisans in Botswana, Mabeo’s home country. More recently, French designer Inès Bressand’s sleek Lebone lamps, showcased in Milan this spring, feature sheet-metal bodies and shades, their surfaces hand-beaten in the manner of traditional forgers. mabeofurniture.com Dundun Coffee Table “The revival of African design sometimes risks being interpreted with preconceptions,” says Studio Lani founder Lani Adeoye, whose sculptural furniture, inspired by her Nigerian roots, is anything but cliché. Take her bent-metal Dundun coffee table, which evokes West African talking drums…

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midnight in milan

Call it a resistance to millennial pink. Although the (waning) colour du jour was still in evidence at this year’s installment of Salone del Mobile, neither it nor Ultra Violet – Pantone’s colour of 2018 – matched the ubiquity of a darker, more sophisticated usurper: midnight blue. It was everywhere, from Fernando and Humberto Campana’s latest chair for Edra (appropriately named Blue Velvet) to Neri&Hu’s modular Lan collection of seating and accessories for Gan. “The indigo colour palette used for the various modules, rugs and cushions inspires the name of the collection: Lan means blue in Mandarin,” a Gan spokesman says. “The designers wanted to pay homage to the Eastern tradition of using indigo for dying fabrics that are normally used in the home.” Specific motivations aside, the emergence of deep…

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grain man

You may not want to run your hand over the surfaces of Tijs Gilde’s latest creations, a series of roughly textured silica furnishings including vases, lidded vessels and sculptural outdoor side tables. But the young Dutch designer, who has worked as a trend strategist for brands such as Ikea, is okay with that. In fact, it’s rather the point of his colourful Gravel line, which he showed at SaloneSatellite during Milan Design Week. “I was reflecting on how our digital society is more attuned to things that aren’t real or physical, but also craves things that bring it back in touch with being human,” Gilde says from Eindhoven, where he studied and now works. By creating something enticing out of a “very rough, elemental” substance, he explains, he’s compelling users to…

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marble’s arc

Striding through the palazzi and passageways of Milan, it’s difficult to fathom that marble’s appeal might ever go through phases. But in North America anyway, the original gangster of luxury building materials has given ground in recent years to upstart alternatives such as quartz, granite, slate and concrete. One reason for its eclipse is the comparative affordability of stone such as quartz. Another could be its residual rep as an old-school material. On that latter score at least, this year’s Salone del Mobile proved how contemporary all manner of marble can look and feel. For Arketipo, Gino Carollo adopted a veiny dark variety to reinforce the “universality” of his Moon Invaders tables. At Salvatori, none other than master minimalist John Pawson created exquisitely austere furniture out of classic Bianco Carrara. “For…