category_outlined / Art & Architecture

AZURE June 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.
Read Morekeyboard_arrow_down
8 Issues


access_time2 min.
we asked…

Do you prefer to work in solitude or surrounded by activity?DANNY SINOPOLIAzure’s Senior EditorPut me in the quiet camp. I’m easily distracted, so I need a certain degree of seclusion when I’m writing or editing. It may look nutty, but I would love to test drive the Helmfon (pictured) by Ukrainian design agency Hochu rayu. It’s a mobile cocoon concept that allows wearers to work, Skype and make or take calls free of outside noise and distractions – your own portable fortress of solitude.What was the best workspace you’ve experienced?MATTHEW SOULESWriter, “Welcome to the Jungle” (page 050)I sometimes bring my laptop cross-country skiing so that I can work in the lodge between runs. That is an amazingly stimulating environment to work in. When I’m writing I tend to oscillate between…

access_time1 min.
bow chair

Featuring a slender base that opens into a wide, stipule-like seat, the Bow chair has a pointedly botanical quality, although the material from which it’s made – 3D-printed bioplastic – is decidedly futuristic. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and produced by Spanish newcomer Nagami, Bow is the product of a shared captivation with exploring and exploiting the ability of digital design and robotics to shape spaces and products. Founded two years ago by Manuel Jimenez García, Miki Jimenez García and Ignacio Viguera Ochoa, Nagami printed ZHA’s design using a pellet extruder and polylactic acid plastic, a biodegradable material that incorporates such renewable sources as corn starch. Deceptively sturdy, the peculiar perch is distinguished by translucent black striations – a digitized interpretation of a natural growth process found in marine ecosystems…

access_time2 min.
flexible foam

Michael YoungMichelangelo favoured marble. Frank Gehry has a thing for titanium. For British-born product designer Michael Young, it’s all about aluminum foam, a material he first began working with when he moved to Hong Kong, his current base, more than a decade ago. Young eventually started making it in his own facilities, infusing solid aluminum with gas using tooling he developed himself. The upshot has been a product range, from tabletop items to furniture, shown and sold worldwide – and a marriage between medium and maker that, Young has said, “could keep me entertained for the rest of my life.” michael-young.comCaixaForum Cultural CentreOf the additions made by Spanish architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra to Seville’s CaixaForum Cultural Centre, the most dramatic is the building’s new entrance canopy. A big part of…

access_time2 min.
the power of polymer

With so few moving parts, the Silq chair enabled its design team to refine the details to an almost organic level – instead of visible nuts and bolts, the pieces join together seamlessly.What happens to a task chair when its moving parts are replaced by a single material that can achieve the same dynamic motion? In 2008, James Ludwig, Steelcase’s vice-president of global design and product engineering, attempted to answer this question with a simple sketch. “I asked my engineers, ‘Could we do that?’” he recalls. “They told me, ‘Not yet.’”So began a quest to create the perfect chair. Research into the different ways people sit led to the fine-tunable Gesture in 2014 – what Ludwig calls the “ultimate sitting machine.” Gesture was followed in 2016 by its opposite, LessThanFive,…

access_time2 min.
raw nerve

Circular mirrors, seating and lighting echo porthole windows throughout the restaurant. Pinkish pigment was added to plaster to give the walls their silvery grey finish.Tell people in Spain that you’re going to Casaplata and they might think you’re heading to an old-fashioned silver shop: Casaplata is Spanish for “silverhouse.” In Seville, however, Casaplata is also a restaurant that recently opened in La Alameda, an up-and-coming district in the city. The architects, Cristina Domínguez Lucas and Fernando Hernández-Gil of Madrid, had completed another eatery, El Pintón, for one of Casaplata’s owners, who approached them again for this new venture. The idea was to transform an uninteresting cafeteria that had occupied the site since the 1990s into a contemporary tapas and cocktail bar. The result is a 150-square-metre space that mixes colour…

access_time1 min.
bright idea

One of the latest interventions by 100architects of Shanghai has its users seeing red – in a good way.An open-air crimson swath covering 245 square metres of an otherwise grey retail plaza, the Red Planet playground, as the architects have called it, is located in one of their home city’s biggest shopping centres. Designed to attract customers to the mall and to foster interaction among those who use it, the permanent installation features organized spaces for a variety of activities atop a vibrant patch of PVC sport flooring. One end of the playground is defined by a running track. The other side contains a “bubbling” basketball court dotted with mounds that even the smallest children can climb, sit on and slide down.According to the architects, who specialize in street architecture…