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  • The Top 10 International Design Events You Don’t Want To Miss

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    Need to find new design inspiration? Whether its interior, furniture or architectural design look no further. Here is a top 10 list of design events in 2014 that you won’t want to miss.

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    IMM Cologne: 13-19 January in Cologne, Germany

    Kicking off the New Year of design is the IMM Cologne whose slogan is “Create. Furnish, Live.” Expect to find the most riveting designs at this event where more than 1,100 companies from 50 countries present their latest creative creations. Expect to see many exhibitions, trend events, guided tours and special-interest meetings to find out what the hottest trends in interior design is.

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    MAISON&OBJET: 24-28 January in Paris, France

    Since 1995 Maison&Objet has been presenting the world with inspirational furniture objects, accessories, fabrics and decorative ideas. There will be 5,400 exhibitors taking over 260,900 square meters  to showcase the best in home interiors. Make sure you’re one of the 150,000 visitors at this highly anticipated event.

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    Stockholm Design Week: 3-9 February in Stockholm, Sweden

    Make sure you’re in Stockholm at the begging of February so you get access to Stockholm Design Week and the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair. Take in the beautiful city of Stockholm while attending 60 events that are scattered about in connection to the yearly fair. This is one of the world’s biggest events for Scandinavian furniture and lighting design, so you’re guaranteed to walk away with new ideas for your home.

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    Light + Building: 30 March- 4 April in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

    Explore even more lighting and building ideas at the Light + Building Expo in Germany.  More than 196,000 visitors flock to Frankfurt am Main to take in 2,300 exhibitors who have endless expertise in the connection between people and light as well as lighting sustainability.

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    International Contemporary Furniture Fair: 17-20 May in New York, USA

    This year represents the 26th annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair and it will be held at NYC’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. It boasts to, “lure those in determined pursuit of design’s timely truths and latest trends to an encyclopedic exhibition of up-to-the-moment offerings, as well as a series of fascinating, fun, edifying programs, and a packed schedule of exhibits and features.”

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    Clerkenwell Design Week: 20-22 May in London, UK

    Spend the early days of Spring in London for the Clerkenwell Design Week. For its 5th year celebration this festival celebrates independent design from international brands. There will be over 60 showrooms and “more architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet.”  Enjoy the fair by attending showroom events, pop-up exhibitions and special installations.

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    Belgrade Design Week: 25 May – 1 June in Belgrade, Serbia

    Known as the capital of the European design scene, the Belgrade Design Week  brings in the world’s top-notch architects and designers for talks and presentations.

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    Paris Design Week: 8-14 September in Paris, France

    Last year 100,000 visitors attended Paris Design Week to enjoy design exhibitions, parties, encounters and innovations. Every year, the events scattered throughout Paris are themed. Last year included Art & Design, Design Digital and Design & Architecture.

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    Dutch Design Week: October in Eindhoven, the Netherlands

    Want to know what the future of design looks like? Dutch Design Week offers a glimpse into innovative design and smart solutions. More than 2,000 designers present at the event, where the open public gets a face to face experience with some of the greatest Dutch designers.

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    Design Miami/: 3-7 December, Miami,  USA

    Head South in December for the Design Miami event which gathers influential collectors, designers, curators and critics from around the globe. “Design Miami/ is more than a marketplace for design. Each show balances exclusive commercial opportunities with progressive cultural programming, creating exciting collaborations with designers and design institutions, architecture, art and fashion, and unique commissions from the world’s top emerging and established designers and architects“

    Check out 10 more events at Freshome.com.

     

  • AirBNB’s New Office Designed After International Apartments

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    To fully grasp the AirBNB vision and spirit, design firm Gensler spent four months with the rental community marketplace company. The end of the four month friendship resulted in an open floor plan and zero private offices at the company’s new headquarters based at 888 Brannan in San Francisco.

    The overall design also included open ceilings and skylights to provide natural light during they day to boost the employee’s energy. Employees have designated desks, but they can move about the open floor plan and really work wherever they please in the office. Included in the design are special meeting rooms – one is a circular boardroom – library and a dining area. On the top floor of the building you’ll find an area called the “All Hands Space,” which is promoted for employee usage to kick back and relax in the many rooms that include a full kitchen, larger dining area and a storage room.

    Other than the many structural elements, Gensler called in designer and illustrator Timothy Goodman to help with some of the interior design elements. He decked the offices with many of his art pieces, one wall is filled with his work inspired by special moments the employees have experienced over the years.

    The most amazing and true to the company’s mission are the many rooms that have been designed after global AirBNB apartments. Some of them include a Parisian, Bali and Milan apartments, amongst many others. This feature was key to the founders of the company who wanted their new office to give their employees the joys of traveling without having to leave the office.

    Below are some interior pictures of the office and to see more check them out at PSFK.com.

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    Photo Credit: AirBNB

     

  • Singapore’s Newest Multi Family Residence is “Living Landscape”

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    Singapore has a new residence in town, and it’s futuristic design, both inside and out, is a testament to both modern vertical architecture and the artistic potential of multi-family housing.

    Dutch architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio led the design of the 36 story tower Ardmore, aiming to transmogrify the mundane and oft replicated skyscrapers that dominate the skyline of many asian cities. An artistic marvel of vertical architecture, van Berkel combines “tailored silhouettes, integral plantations, and luxurious amenities for residents that combine to form a living landscape,” according to designboom.com.

    The first floor of the Ardmore building is eight floors up, facilitating visual connections to the surrounding urban fabric. The residential building’s facade is composed of four story sections of large glazed openings and carved balconies. The modern, undulating pattern crafted by UNStudio utilizes structural elements with sun-shading for a cohesive and captivating aesthetic; this unified skin continues indoors transforming into window seats and soffits appearing as though the building were made from a singular monolithic material.

    The buildings location within Singapore’s high-end shopping district provides panoramic views to both downtown Singapore and the natural landscapes that extend miles beyond; the layout of each family suite promotes indoor and outdoor occupancy. The relationship between nature and architecture is clearly seen in both these panoramic views and within the building’s architecture itself: a true living landscape. A testament to the future of multi-family residences.

    Take in the breathtaking images of Ben van Berkel’s Living Landscape, Ardmore,  below.

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    Photo Credit: Iwan Baan

  • Fuksas Design Completes Modern LEED Hotel

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    Architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas have designed an LEED certified, mixed-use building complete with hotel, part of a larger modern complex entitled Warsaw Business Garden. Specifications are below the gallery. Their interior design agency Fuksas Design completed interiors (not pictured) for the complex which sits in a natural eco-system. The complex is connected with the Warsaw city center as well as a nearby international airport; it boasts office and retail space, dining areas, and conference facilities in addition to its primary role as a hotel. The hotel features five floors of 206 private rooms; the complex caters to 800 people total.

    The Warsaw Business Garden consists of seven buildings, located on six acres, of predominantly biologically active land. The surrounding environmental systems assist in water and energy usage reduction; selected materials meet sustainable development objectives and are in compliance with LEED certification. On the interior design, the Warsaw Business Garden website notes that “Innovative solutions selected by SwedeCenter create a pleasant, healthy, comfortable and very effective work environment.”

    Corporate residents include Adidas, Ricoh, Credit Agricole Bank of Poland and the European Leasing Fund.

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    Warsaw Business Garden Specifications:

    Site: Business Garden, Warszawa Hotel
    Construction Period: 2008-2013
    Architects of Building n.1: Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas
    Area: 14,926 sqm (160,662 sqf)

    Program:
    Business Hotel: 5,253 sqm (56,543 sqf), 206 rooms
    Conference Center: 2,717 sqm (29,245 sqf)
    Restaurant: 1,228 sqm (13,218 sqf)
    Offices: 4,991 sqm (53,722 sqf)

    Developer: SwedeCenter
    General Project: JSK Architekci
    Interior Design: Fuksas Design
    General Contractor: Hochtief Polska

    Photo Credit: Piotr Krajewski

    via DesignBoom

  • Crowdsourcing Design

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    Crowdsourcing Design

    A recent article by Steven Litt on Cleveland.com (a news site for Northeast Ohio) details an upcoming free public forum hosted by the architects of a planned convention hotel. The county asked the architects from Cooper Gary to host the forum in hopes of crowdsourcing design ideas for the hotel.

    “[We] have done an enormous amount of public work and what we’ve learned is that it’s important to show up with our hats in our hands and start a conversation,” said Pope Bullock, one of the two architects.

    The forum will explore how the building can best serve the surrounding community, how it will fit with nearby buildings, and other important design concerns.

    We like this plan for two reasons. Firstly, a convention hotel is necessarily going to become a large part of its surrounding community. Making the community a part of the planning process is a great way to start on the right foot. Secondly, it encourages discussion rather than focusing on dry data. Cooper Gary could have just thrown together a 10 person focus group. The architects could have called everyone in the county around dinner time to ask about their hopes and concerns. Neither of these approaches would have been as helpful or as unifying as a public forum.

    Read more about the forum at Cleveland.com.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Ondrey for Cleveland.com

  • Preserve24 Design: Proudly Baroque

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    Preserve24 Design 1

    If you want a subtle, understated restaurant design, don’t hire a sculptor (the same rule can be applied to painting famous chapels). Sculptor Brian Goggin is the mind behind the Preserve24 design – a grand celebration of food and style on the Lower East Side of New York. Goggin used liberal interpretations of the restaurant’s “explorer” theme. His ceiling fans are made of plane propellers, and his bar is crafted from pianos.

    Everything in Preserve24 seems to have been made from something else: Booths made of old doors made of distressed wood seat excited customers. Is there a cohesive statement in Goggin’s design? It almost doesn’t matter. With each detail carefully, joyfully realized with as much intention as one would expect from a sculptor, the Preserve24 design is admirable because it’s proudly baroque. Guests are treated to a feast for the eyes as much as the stomach, enhancing their dining experience in a city full of potential dining experiences.

    Have a look at the photos below, then see even more at Gothamist.

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    Photo Credit: Gothamist

  • The Future of Office Stairwells

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    Office Stairwells

    When’s the last time you took the stairs at work? For most of us with desk jobs, the idea of trudging up more than three flights of stairs every day is less than appealing. New York’s health conscious mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is hoping to make a daily climb more tempting to the city’s office workers. He is using the Center for Active Design to promote attractive office stairwells.

    “With the doors held open and more attention paid to paint color and lighting, stairs are more attractive,” board member Rick Bell said.

    The Center for Active Design is suggesting that offices install large windows and create grand office stairwells similar to those found in older buildings like the New York Public Library. If the journey is visually appealing, perhaps workers will embark.

    The idea sounds good to us. Beautiful staircases are a glorious part of architectural and design history. Nevertheless, it’s hard to imagine many developers will be willing to put a large amount of money into a less convenient way of getting from floor to floor.

    Read more about the plan at The Commercial Observer, and let us know if you think greater consideration should go into the design of office stairwells.

    Photo Credit: My Pixelated Oasis

  • Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort – A Visual Treat

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    Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort

    CNN‘s Travel Blog recently published an article about the above building – the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort. Designed by Ma Yansong of MAD architects for Sheraton, the horseshoe-shaped resort is located in Huzhou, a Chinese city relatively unknown to Western tourists.

    Sheraton reportedly spent about $1.5 billion on the 321 room hotel which features a baroque lobby paved with Afghan white jade and Brazilian tiger’s eye stone. The ceiling illuminates the room through 20,000 Swarovski crystals.

    It might seem extravagant for extravagance’s sake (And, for the most part, it is.), but there is a method to Ma Yansong’s madness. Sheraton says that the building is “the perfect embodiment of water, giving every room a view of the lake, natural light and ventilation no matter where it is located.”

    The Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort is part of an ongoing push into China by the global brand. Subtlety is not Sheraton’s modus operandi, but when you’re trying to attract travelers to a new location, perhaps a heavy touch is necessary.

    Is the design clever, overly extravagant or both? Let us know in the comments. Be sure to read more about the hotel at CNN.

     

  • Another Ian Schrager Profile

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    Ian Schrager Profile

    The Independent recently published an interview with Ian Schrager, the famous hotelier and night club visionary. You’re probably thinking, “Do we really need another Ian Schrager profile?” Maybe not, but this is a good one. Read our favorite excerpts below, then head over to The Independent to read the full profile.

    “I practiced law for three years. I had a very successful case, I changed the law and I got bored with it … At that time, it was the Seventies, when the sexual revolution was just coming into full swing. The gay population was emerging and everyone from Europe who wasn’t attached was rolling into New York, everyone from California who wasn’t attached was rolling into New York. I used to drive around at night and see people waiting on the lines to get into a nightclub and taking abuse to get in. So I thought, ‘That’s the business I gotta get into!'”

    “It took motivation, not a business plan … I never had a business plan. If I did… I don’t want you to take this the wrong way… if I did then maybe Steve and I would be the Hilton or Marriott today. Because there are thousands of versions of what we did, and I think the entire industry has changed.”

    Read the full interview here.

    Photo Credit: The Independent

  • Marriott Pop Up Restaurants

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    Marriott Pop Up Restaurants

    Pop up restaurants aren’t a new thing. Even pop up hotels are getting the attention of ambitiously creative designers. What’s new, however, is a chain as large as Marriott implementing pop up restaurant designs into its spaces. According to Hotelier Middle East, the global brand will be building spaces into its hotels for pop up restaurants intended to change up to once per month. Paul Cahill, the senior vice president of global brand management for Marriott told Hotelier Middle East that the Marriott pop up restaurants idea is specially earmarked for the Middle East.

    “At some point in the day walls would close, ceilings would change in one section and there would be a whole new entry to a new restaurant that would be a hybrid restaurant,” Cahill said. “It can be French one month, Italian one month … All of that’s built in knowing there’s going to be five or 10 concepts that we could use.”

    So why is this a good idea for the Middle East? The two key words are “emerging markets.” The people at Marriott know they could build one expensive restaurant intended to pass the test of time, but with a naturally unpredictable emerging market, it’s smarter to build something that can quickly adapt to new circumstances. When a dozen competitors spring up around the hotel, Marriott can change focuses to keep guests happy.

    Another factor is the Marriott’s target generation. Younger travelers might not care as much about the black tie restaurant that’s been around for twenty years. They want something fast, accessible and modern. At least, that’s the bet Marriott is placing.

    Do you think Marriott pop up restaurants are a smart hotel design move, or is it better to establish a permanent restaurant people will return to again and again? Let us know in the comments below. Read Hotelier Middle East‘s report here.

    Photo Credit: Marriott

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