Art

April 1 2009



Never before has your brand's visual language been so crucial to your business. In the age of "blink and you'll miss it" attention spans, your visual identity acts as a shorthand, expressing your brand's personality and values literally at a glance.



Brands are like us, they don't just want to be heard, they want to be understood and embraced, they want meaningful connection. Our global team of innovative creatives will bring your brand to life. The Cool Hunter Design represents a paradigm shift in the creative process.



Why use one studio when you can draw upon a global community of creatives - the international roster of collaborators who inspire hundreds of thousands of The Cool Hunter readers every day.     Click here for more info



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Offices

March 30 2009



Giorgio Borruso Design of Marina Del Rey, California, designed the new airy and fluid headquarters for Milano’s Fornari SpA (Fornari Group).
 
Located in the Navigli section of Milan, the 35,000 square-foot building was converted from the historic porcelain workshop of the centuries-old Richard Ginori brand.


 
The Fornari family’s road to fashion fame started in the mid 1940s from footwear manufacturing. It entered the fashion apparel business in 1998 and has since flourished in other fashion, design and lifestyle brands, including the Fornarina fashion concept stores across Europe and the U.S.
 
The main entrance of the headquarters on Via Morimondo opens to a space lit by color-changing LED lights that seems to suck the visitor gently into the reception area. The open space is flexible, airy and fluid with rounded corners, curved edges, transparent partitions and unexpected waves of color. The hard and exposed concrete floors and steel structure contrast beautifully with the wavy feel of the new walls, partitions and staircase.


 
There is also a slight, vertigo-inducing sense of controlled imbalance, of not being completely sure what is floor, what is ceiling and what is wall. This was the intention of Giorgio Borruso designers describing the result as “Giving the illusion that there is no gravitational force; that you can walk on any surface; you can rotate the system ninety degrees, and it still works.”
 
The Italian architect and designer Giorgio Borruso is known for experimenting with and testing the boundaries of form, shape and structure throughout his career. He has won awards for product design, retail design, architecture and interior design. His famous retail work includes the tortellini-shaped shoe fixtures for Fornarina and the cocoon-like fitting rooms for Miss Sixty. - Tuija Seipell



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Ads

March 30 2009



Call it buzz, guerrilla, viral, word-of-mouth, whatever – marketing and advertising stunts and ideas that achieve free attention are working now perhaps better than ever before. Of course, they are much less expensive than TV or print ads so they are a good alternative in this economic climate. And even if the marketer had the money to spend on lavish conventional media campaigns, using guerrilla tactics appears frugal and smart and appeals to an audience that appreciates such attitudes.

If the guerrilla stunt works and gains news media coverage and serious online buzz, then it has also achieved the coveted third-party endorsement and peer-reviews  that are so important to today’s consumers.

We’ve recently highlighted a few simple and clever examples of this in our advertising section. The most recent was the People as Fleas idea.

A similar large-scale floor sticker was used in January by a Swiss skydiving school. Their agency, Wirz/BBDO Switzerland, managed to execute a simple idea that achieved media coverage and is still making the online rounds. The images of the city skyline make it extremely clear what Swiss Skydive.org can do for you. - Tuija Seipell

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Design

March 25 2009



Barcelona’s new wholesale flower market – Mercabarna-Flor – near the Barcelona International Airport was designed by Willy Muller Architects.
 
The most striking features of the new market are the multi-faceted angular roof structure and the multi-colored outer shell inspired by an aerial view of flower fields in full bloom.


 
The new complex – 15,000 square-meters of buildings on a 44,000 square-meter lot – houses three main sections, one for cut flowers, one for plants and one for accessories. The location near the airport cargo terminal is crucial to the flower business that relies on fast air delivery of fresh flowers.


 
The impressive building joins a line-up of several much talked-about new structures in Barcelona: Fira de Barcelona’s (Barcelona Fair grounds) nine pavilions and two 114-meter towers designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito; Terminal Sur at the Barcelona Airport by Barcelona’s own Ricardo Bofill; and the Hesperia Hotel and Towers by the British Pritzker Prize winner, Richard Rogers.



 Willy Muller’s Barcelona office is led by Muller, a native of Argentina, and by Frenchman and associate architect, Frédéric Guillaud. They also have an office in Brazil. - Tuija Seipell

Architecture

March 24 2009




From the street, this Edwardian house might seem unassuming, undeserving of a second glance. From the back, however, the addition to the Trojan House by Jackson Clements Burrows, where three children’s bedrooms are cantilevered above a large living space, is anything but ordinary.



The entire addition is wrapped in a seamless timber skin that conceals any obvious openings. Windows, covered by shutters that follow the pattern of the façade, reveal nothing of the interior space. 



Incidentally the inside is just as remarkable as the outside. A thermal chimney and a breezeway corridor allow for passive cooling in the warmer months as each room was designed to allow for cross ventilation.  Additionally a rain screen provides extra shade from the hot summer sun, and also insulates the inside in the winter by forming a space for warm air. - Andrew J Wiener





 


Music

March 20 2009



The reports of the demise of Nick Zinner’s guitar have been greatly exaggerated. While the band’s new found admiration of Giorgio Moroder and the synths-and-sequencers party vibe of lead single Zero led many to think that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had ditched their signature guitar-drenched sound, it’s not the case. Zinner still wields his guitar like a pro on It’s Blitz!, yet it’s used in such measured and considered strokes throughout the album, complementing the richer sense of space and detail than we’ve yet seen from the band. It’s a more artful, rather than arty, version of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

That's not to say that the band still don't rock, because they really do like on the afore-mentioned single Zero, or Dull Life which gallops at full speed aboard Zinner’s tumbling riffs. But the NYC trio truly shine when they push themselves and their sound headlong into unexplored territories. Take the gorgeous Hysteric, with a skeletal synthesis of organic and programmed drumming, and sparingly used guitar atmospherics, it’s the band at their most tender, before they decide to throw everything at their disposal — horns, trumpets, whistles — into the song, only making it sound bigger and more poignant than before.

Such slow-burning tracks have quickly become the band’s strongest suit, and accordingly It’s Blitz! (a deceptive title it turns out) is dominated with layers of trembling synthesizers and Zinner’s rich guitar-mist. It's a fairly staggering leap from the bratty rush of Fever To Tell and the polished-rock-sheen of Show Your Bones, but the Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound so comfortable and assured of themselves while they jump from sound to sound that you shouldn't hesitate about jumping off with them. - By Dave Ruby Howe

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Ads

March 17 2009



No more living in denial about the size of your waist line, thanks to this fantastic albeit terrifying guerrilla marketing initiative from the health club chain, Fitness First. Unsuspecting commuters in the Netherlands are faced with viewing their body weight in bright lights - quite literally - when they take a seat at this Rotterdam bus stop. Scary to say the very least, but extraordinarily clever and likely to increase membership numbers at the local Fitness First. The brainchild of Netherlands’ agency N=5, the initiative takes the concept of guerilla marketing to a whole new level. - Lisa Evans

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Architecture

March 14 2009




Paris-based Agence Jouin Manku took on its first large-scale integrated architectural and interior design commission in 2003, when YTL Design Group from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, invited it to design the residence of a Malaysian power family.


 
Completed in the latter part of 2008, the residence is the ultimate expression of the taste, influence and industrial-scale capabilities of the prominent family whose entrepreneurial activities have shaped Kuala Lumpur’s skyline.


 
Three generations of the family inhabit the 3,000 square-meter residence designed to accommodate both private and public functions.


 
The building includes nine bedrooms, two family rooms, a family kitchen and a private dining area, a family library, a game room, a study, a public reception area, a formal dining room, a ballroom, chapel, 21 bathrooms, a swimming pool, two guest suites plus indoor private and guest parking.


 
The initial sketches exploring the owners’ usage requirements reveal resemblances to the boring stacked-boxes look still so ubiquitous in residential architecture. And while traces of the ”heaped trailers“ syndrome remain in the finished building, this is not the Jetsons, neither are we looking at EPCOT, Tomorrowland or the 1964 New York World's Fair.


 
We are in the lush vegetation of a posh Kuala Lumpur residential area, and in spite of the boxiness of the structure, an elegant circular softness manages to permeate the sightlines and key details of the building, making it an agreeable part of its landscape.


 
Inside, prominent examples of this curvilinear elegance include the amazing staircases resembling the inside of a shell when viewed from above, and the round ballroom chandelier of 13,000 custom-designed undulating petals of unglazed cast porcelain biscuit.


 
The curved walls both inside and out have a functional purpose of providing privacy and enclosing each function gently in its own space. The overall sweeping feel inside the spaces invites the viewer in and creates soft, arching vistas.


 
The concept consists of three layers: the base for public functions, the ring for guests and the private house for the family.


 
The inside of the magnificent residence is gorgeous with its high ceilings, large windows and abundance of light. White color and natural wood are dominant elements but they allow the view from the vast, mostly retractable, windows to remain the main visual attraction.


 
The residence is also a wonderful study of contrasts between inside and outside, private and public, traditional and ultra modern, man-made and natural.


 
YTL Design Group of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was the architect of record. The Agence Jouin Manku design team included Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku, Yann Brossier (architect), Richard Perron (designer). Officina del Paesaggio from Lugano, Switzerland was in charge of the landscape design, and L’Observatoire, New York, USA handled the lighting. - Tuija Seipell

Images - Roland Halbe

 

Art

March 14 2009

Tomokazu Matsuyama’s work -- mostly acrylics on canvas or paper -- has a sense of intrigue, mystery and secrecy that draws the viewer in and demands a further look. There is also a feel of lightness, floating and movement that seems to suggest fleeting glimpses of something impermanent. At the same time, his art carries a strong implication of tradition and of enduring order.

His colors are subdued but lively, and much of the work suggest a paper-cut collage. Humans, mostly men, and animals, especially horses, populate his art, and even in the abstracts, there is a hint of an eye, a wing, a presence just beyond the immediate first glance. The implication of story and the touch of subtle whimsy make his work accessible and inviting, yet the viewer is not hit with rigid answers. One is left with an oddly comfortable sensation of incomprehension.



Tomokazu Matsuyama was born in Tokyo in 1976. He is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York and the Sophia University in Tokyo. He lives and works in New York City. He has held solo exhibitions in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo and Osaka and participated in numerous shows and installations around the world. He has also worked with well-known brands including Levi’s and Nike and Adidas. Tuija Seipell

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Offices

March 13 2009



Ogilvy & Mather’s Guangzhou office has been selected as one of the recipients of the third annual China's Most Successful Design Award 2008, sponsored by FORTUNE China magazine and China Bridge International.
 
Designed by M Moser and Associates, Ogilvy & Mather’s office is the first interior design project to receive this award. Aiming to offer its current and future staff an environment that inspires creativity Ogilvy & Mather allowed M Moser to go all out with the theme “Carnival of Ideas.”


 
The height of the space and the central staircase create a background for a theme park of environments that flow freely and openly from one to another.
 
This is Ogilvy & Mather’s expanded office, relocated from the business hub of Guangzhou to the edgier arts and culture region in the city-fringe, with views across the Pearl River toward the historical Sha Mian district.
 
Michael Lee, Ogilvy’s Shanghai & Southern China COO, was quoted as saying that although the commute time has doubled for many staffers, they still love coming to work because the new environment is so much fun.


 
In a media release, M Moser Associates’ director Wendy Leung is quoted as saying that although seeing the workplace as a strategic tool to support business goals is a new concept in China, it is gaining recognition as a serious trend.
 
In operation since 1981, M Moser has offices in 11 countries, specializing in workplace environments including design, strategic planning, engineering and construction.


 
The 25 winners of China's Most Successful Design Award 2008 include cars, other products, and retail and office spaces. - Tuija Seipell

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