TRIBUTE | Colourful architectural beach accessories

With the beginning of August, the beaches of our coasts are crowded. Nowadays we see horrible beach chairs and old-fashioned beach umbrelas everywhere. Thank God, French design studio 5.5 designers has managed to design a lovely new line of beach products.

Inspired by the iconic architecture of the city-resort La Grande Motte, the designers have reviewed and reinterpreted this village. The resort was entrusted to the architect and philosopher Jean Balladour, who spent twenty years exclusively on this project. The result was an architecture-sculpture made of triangles, truncated circles and trapezes, thus providing a kinetic effect to the place. The city obtained in 2010 the label "20th-century heritage site".

Since 2013, La Grande Motte has been supporting creators willing to revisit and reinterpret the seaside resort with an objective: transcend legacy to make it a living heritage and breeding ground for all artistic creations.This year 5.5 designers expressed their fresh and own vision of the city through a new series of objects. Beach mattresses, parasols, towels, buckets and deck chairs are revisiting this popular lifestyle.

The beach accessories offer vacationers a new experience and create multiple ephemeral installations reacting with the architectural landscape of La Grande Motte. The "beach pyramids" are parasols that resonate with the pyramidal buildings of the city. Meanwhile, the "sand pyramids" are buckets that allow children to reproduce the city’s triangles and play the architects’ apprentices on the beach. The acapulco backrests, on the other hand, offer a smart alternative to the traditional deck chairs and stick firmly on the ground. As for the "towels le Provence", they offer a generous surface on the ground to relax, alone or accompanied. Poseidon mattresses, derived from the bishop’s bonnet and made in polyurethane moss, offer comfort to the feet in the sand. And, finally, the grand mottois tables, made with painted metal, can be anchored to the ground to protect personal belongings from the sand.



VXLAB | Bringing design culture to Cersaie 2017

Brace yourselves, September is coming! Nowadays we are feeling the pressure as the deadline is getting closer. This is the time of the year when we are working at full speed for Cersaie. Just a few weeks before we start with the different set ups that we will be taking to fair, we are already finishing the execution projects of the stands, so that our clients can start the building process.

After weeks of sketching, preparing the spaces, executing plans and 3Ds, and more, we will see the long awaited final result in a few weeks. This year we have designed stands in which we have managed to develope unique spaces that represent the essence of each company. Thanks to the design and the communication of these spaces, costumer experience has been developed to improve and create the most favorable atmosphere for sales.

Besides the design of spaces, also for this fair we have created different promotional materials that are essential for stand out from the rest through innovative ideas and creative designs that display products coherently and also help achieving more sales. Through a careful study of materials and market analysis, we provided the best and most effective way to promote our clients’ products.

We are looking forward to the results. Meanwhile, we are happy to waite with good ice cream for beating the heat, we'll keep you informed.

TRIBUTE | Dreamlike bookstore

Did you ever think that a bookstore could blow your mind? Usually, when we think about bookshops we imagine boring old-fashioned stores in which books are displayed in shelves, but studio Wutopia Lab has designed this vibrant and stylish shop called Zhongshu Bookstore located in Suzhou.

Space has been divided into four main zones and several subdivided zones: The Sanctuary of Crystal for new arrivals; The Cave of Fireflies for recommendations; The Xanadu of Rainbows for a reading room; The Castle of Innocence for children books.

The Sanctuary of Crystal welcomes the visitors with a space full of books where they become leading products. These new arrivals are arranged on the pre-fabricated transparent acrylic shelves, outstanding the presence of the books. By using glass bricks, mirrors and acrylic, the room is a bright and airy space that reminds us a celestial space.

After the whiteness and lucidity of The Sanctuary of Crystal, The Cave of Fireflies is a darker tunnel connecting the main hall and the entrance. In this area, clientswill pick recommended books and follow the guide of optic fibers into the main reading area.

After a narrow corridor, The Xanadu of Rainbows is a huge open space. The large windows, allow natural light to tour inside the room. Taking advantage of the different heights of shelves, steps, and tables, the studio creates an abstracted landscape of cliffs, valleys, islands, rapids, and oases. The thin perforated aluminum sheets in gradient colours simulate the appearance of rainbows installed in the bookstore.

The perforated panels create different layers of scale and rhythm, dividing this area in communication and public activities, reading areas and also a secret camping site.

At the end of The Xanadu Rainbows the space surrounded by white ETFE walls is the children books area. With the translucent ETFE , The Castle of Innocence is an inner world inside the bookstore. This space has everything for kids, the studio has built a world where children can interact with each other and with the bookstore itself.

Images CreatAR

TRIBUTE | Psychedelic labyrinth

Bold, bright and colourful design proposals took over our design feed and Camille Walala’s latest installation is an example of that. She has created for theNow Gallery in London's summer program a really fun and immersive installation called "Walala X Play" in which the New Memphis trend strikes back.

By combining stripes, dots and primary-colored backgrounds, the installation welcomes visitors to explore, inspect and enjoy a psychedelic labyrinth. An imaginative puzzle which invites the visitor to identify the inconsistencies between two otherwise identical images is a key part of this installation. With walls with different heights, passageways of different widths, enclosed spaces and curved and zigzag paths"WalalaX Play" invites visitors to linger and explore colour, shape and scale.

Visitors have to pass through the labyrinth and experience a range of spaces, some open, some tight and uncomfortable, some with dead ends. Some mirrored panels reflect the space back on itself; suspended shapes introduce a feeling of lightness and playful disorientation.

This installation is full of good vibes and good feelings thanks to the use of vibrant colours and bold patterns that stimulate the senses and inspires joy.

Images Charles Emmerson

TRIBUTE |Technicolor basketball court

It's summer and most of us started to practice some outdoors sports. Practicing basketball in a technicolor court instead of a random blacktop is inspiring and motivational. We are not great athletes, but surely this colorful basketball court is the perfect place to start a sports career. Maybe we have a Michel Jordan in our ranks! We can imagine ourselves dribbling and doing alley-oops like NBA stars.

It’s been clear to us that the world of sports there is life beyond the big leagues and Paris just got the coolest basketball court ever. Decorated by the French fashion brand Pigalle and design agency Ill-Studio with the support of Nike used a distinctive and striking palette of pink, purple, yellow, and indigo.

Actually, this is not the first time that this basketball court was overhauled with bold patterns. Back in 2015, this field wasa lready decorated by Pigalle and Ill-Studio. Located in Paris between two old apartment buildings in the 9th arrondissement, the classic Parisian background makes the court's more dramatic and recognizable.

This field reminds us of a fluorescent 80s themed video game, with bright colored walls and mind-bending geometric designs which played with our perception. Pure psychedelics!

"Through this new court, we wish to explore the relationship between sport, art and culture and its emergence as a powerful socio-cultural indicator of a period in time," said the team.

The rubber court surface blends from blue at the ends to pink in the centre, while gradients have also been applied to the surrounding walls.

Backboards made from translucent pink plastic were added, while the playing area and zones are marked out in white.

So, if you planned to go to Paris, don’t forget to visit the spot for a basketball game or for an original Instagram update.

Photography is by Sebastien Michelini.


VENICE BIENNALE'17 PICKS | Top events and installations

A must see in our calendar is The Venice Art Biennale. Being the world's biggest and oldest art festival every odd year over half a million people visit Venice to discover new artists and the latest art trends.

This 57th International Art Exhibition, titled "VIVA ARTE VIVA" has been curated by Christine Marcel of the Pompidou Centre in Paris, which she describes as "a Biennale designed for artists, by artists, with their practice in the centre"

At Arsenale and Giardini venues we can find the vast majority of works, although we can find different art pieces along the city.

For those of you who are planning a trip to Venice, you have a chance to visit the Biennale until November 26, 2017. Here you have our list of favourites, so you can't miss anything.

Support by Lorenzo Quinnat Ca’ Sagredo Hotel

Two large hands emerge from the Grand Canal to protect and support the historic building of the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel. The hands symbolise tools that can both destroy the world, but also have the capacity to save it.
With this installation, Quinn draws attention to the delicate situation of global warming and climate changes. The sculpture generates an immediate understanding of the environmental impact for places such as Venice (and the world) is threatened by rising sea levels.

“Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” by Damien Hirst at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana

This exhibition is his most complex project to date. It is displayed across 5,000 square meters within the space of two museums: Palazzo Grassi and Punta dellaDogana.“Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” tells the story of the ancient wreck of a vast ship, the ‘Unbelievable’, and exhibits simulations of what was discovered of its cargo: the impressive collection of Aulus Calidius Amotan – a freed slave better known as Cif Amotan II – which was destined for a temple dedicated to the sun.

PalazzioGrassi main atrium keeps the biggest discovery of the cargo: an 18 meters gargantuan statue of the "Demon with bowl".

Olivetti showroom by Charles Zanaat Piazza San Marco

For the centenary of EttoreSottssas birth, the architect Charles Zana sets up the exhibition “DIALOGO”, which brings together over 70 pieces.

The exhibition of Milanese designer and Memphis group founder EttoreSottsass and his little-known ceramics is displayed at Olivetti’s Venice showroom, which was renovated by Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa in 1957.

Golden Tower by James Lee Byars at Campo San Vio, Dorsoduro

The sculpture was created by the late American artist James Lee Byars in 1976 but is being exhibited in a public space for the first time. Presented by Fondazione Giuliani and Michael Werner Gallery, the glowing tower is entirely gilded and took several months to craft.

This giant gold beacon is located in the Dorsoduro, between the Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and it is visible throughout many areas of the city. The tower’s brilliant gilded surface echoes the golden mosaic façade of the adjacent Palazzo Barbarigo.

Images via:
Halcyon Gallery
Damien Hirst and Palazzo Grazzi (Photographs by Prudence Cuming Associates, courtesy of Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS/SIAE 2017)
Matthieu Salvaing and Francesco Allegretto
Fundazione Guiliani

TRIBUTE | The Inclusive Pavilion

With the beginning of summer comes the good sunny weather, the nice weather brings people to the parks and those people gather for the opening of the Serpentine Pavilion. Like ice-cream and watermelons, the pavilion is a summer must in London.

Diébédo Francis Kéré, the award-winning architect from Gando, Burkina Faso, has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2017, responding to the brief with a bold, innovative structure that brings his characteristic sense of light and life to the lawns of Kensington Gardens.

Kéré, who leads the Berlin-based practice Kéré Architecture, is the seventeenth architect to accept the Serpentine Galleries’ invitation to design a temporary Pavilion in its grounds. Since its launch in 2000, this annual commission of an international architect to build his or her first structure in London at the time of invitation has become one of the most anticipated events in the global cultural calendar and a leading visitor attraction during London’s summer season.

"The concept was simple, I was inspired the form of a tree in the landscape" said Keré

Inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life in his home town of Gando, Francis Kéré has designed a responsive Pavilion that seeks to connect its visitors to nature and each other. An expansive roof, supported by a central steel framework, mimics a tree’s canopy, allowing air to circulate freely while offering shelter against London rain and summer heat. The structure is enclosed by curving sections of indigo-coloured wall which has a particular significance for Kéré.

‘In my culture, blue is an important colour to a young man, as well as for the girls, on a first date. I wanted to present myself, my architecture, in blue. It is a great place, and if you have the chance to do something like I have just done here, you always have to show your best side and this is indigo blue. by the way, the walls look like textile but, in fact, it is just wood. natural, traditional materials that we simply used to create this shape and its openness,‘ continued Kéré.

The Pavilion has four separate entry points with an open-air courtyard in the centre, where visitors can sit and relax during sunny days. In the case of rain, an oculus funnels any water that collects on the roof into a spectacular waterfall effect, before it is evacuated through a drainage system on the floor for later use in irrigating the park. Both the roof and wall system are made from wood. By day, they act as solar shading, creating pools of dappled shadows. By night, the walls become a source of illumination as small perforations twinkle with the movement and activity from inside.

More info at their website


VXLAB | Ten years reinforcing brand value

Last week we had breakfast with this article about the studio in" El Levante de Castelló". In the local newspaper, they dedicate their back cover to the most outstanding business within the city. On the occasion of our tenth anniversary, the press wanted to come to meet us and interview us to know more about our services and experience.

Turning ten is still shocking for the older members of the studio. Time flies! In these ten years, we reinforced the value of the companies that have placed their trust in us. The headline of the article “El diseño total”, summarises our method of implementing design culture in the way companies do business.

The most memorable part of the interview was when we went outside to take the team photo. First, we had to choose the best spot to fit the group and then came the difficult part: choosing our poses, the awkward smiles, the blinking eyes... Thankfully, the result was fantastic! Ready to hit the runway.

If you want to read the full interview, you find the article here