Amazing Architectural Photography by Anna Devís and Daniel Rueda

Anna Devís et Daniel Rueda sont un duo de photographes créatif originaire de Valence en Espagne. Ils ont travaillé sur des projets avec des marques de renom comme Netflix, Disney ou Facebook… Ils ont récemment figuré dans la liste Forbes « 30 Under 30 Europe » pour leur « utilisation inventive des objets du quotidien et de la lumière naturelle » dans leurs photos.


 Anna et Daniel sont tous les deux architectes même s’ils ne pratiquent plus cette discipline. Ils se sont rencontrés à l’Université polytechnique de Valence et sont tous les deux diplômés de l’École d’architecture. « Notre intérêt commun pour l’architecture a complètement façonné notre façon de voir le monde et d’interagir avec lui. » nous disent-ils.

Aujourd’hui, Anna et Daniel mettent à profit leurs savoirs pour raconter des histoires à travers des images créatives et colorées qui sont loin de la photographie d’architecture conventionnelle. « Nos photographies visent à brouiller les mondes de l’architecture, du surréalisme et de la photographie à elles seules. Nous apportons un regard neuf sur les bâtiments que nous percevons comme acquis dans notre vie quotidienne. » nous expliquent-ils.

« Tout a commencé après qu’Anna et moi se rencontrions. Ca semble ringard, mais c’est vrai ! Avant de commencer à travailler ensemble, nous avions chacun une approche très différente de la photographie. En raison de ma formation en architecture, j’ai commencé ma carrière en tant que photographe d’architecture, qui est un type de photographie très technique. Prendre de belles photos de bâtiments et de structures dépend de la lumière, de la géométrie et de la composition, pas tellement de l’histoire et/ou de la créativité. D’un autre côté, Anna a toujours été très créative. Elle travaille avec ses mains depuis qu’elle est enfant. En plus d’être architecte, elle était aussi peintre et illustratrice ! Elle était toujours à la recherche du bon médium pour raconter ses histoires. Ses œuvres étaient bourrées de couleur et d’humour, cela m’a toujours manqué dans ma pratique. La combinaison de nos deux approches très différentes est ce qui rend notre travail tel qu’il est. Ce qui est amusant, c’est que non seulement nous apportons à nos projets communs ce que nous savons faire de mieux, mais nous apprenons aussi constamment l’un de l’autre et comment nous améliorer dans les domaines où nous ne sommes pas si à l’aise. » ajoute Daniel.

Anna et Daniel créent leurs images surréalistes sans utiliser de logiciels de retouche photo ! Ils mettent soigneusement en scène des scènes de la vie réelle en utilisant du papier, toutes sortes d’objets du quotidien, des lieux inattendus et une tonne de lumière naturelle. Leur objectif ? « Sensibiliser les gens à l’architecture et à la passion des architectes pour les villes qu’ils conçoivent. Au lieu d’être reléguées à l’arrière-plan, les structures banales, mais belles que nous rencontrons tous les jours sont mises à l’honneur dans nos images, obtenant toute l’attention qu’elles méritent vraiment. Nous espérons qu’en faisant prendre conscience aux gens de l’état des villes dans lesquelles nous vivons aujourd’hui, nous pourrons contribuer à changer le monde dont nos enfants hériteront dans l’avenir. » finissent-ils par dire. On adore !


The world’s first ‘convertible travel pillow’ transforms in shape to let you nap anywhere

First came the spoon, the fork, and the knife… then, in the interest of versatility and portability, someone fused them into the modern-day Spork, which integrates all three tools into one form, allowing you to eat any type of food anywhere with ease. Think of the napEazy as doing the same thing for pillows. Designed as a combination of the bed pillow, the back-rest pillow, the desk-pillow, and the neck-worn travel pillow, napEazy lets you comfortably nap anywhere, whether you’re sitting or lying down. Its design looks pretty ordinary at first, barring the presence of a parting line that runs vertically across its center. Pull the two halves apart and the parting line reveals a telescopic pole on the inside that helps extend the pillow, allowing you to prop one end between your legs as you use the other to rest your head as you’re sitting – enabling you to keep your spine straight as you nap. Close the pillow down and you’ve got yourself a perfectly compact regular pillow you can use in bed, in a park, on the beach, or anywhere you get the opportunity to stretch your legs while traveling. You can even go ahead and use it as an extension pillow to expand the area on those ridiculously narrow airline armrests!

The napEazy was designed to be the one go-to pillow you could use when you’re away from your own bed. Whether at work for those quick power naps, or during your long commute, or even while traveling, the napEazy’s all-in-one nature makes it, well, as the name suggests… easy to nap. The concept was incubated at Airbus Bizlab, before evolving into its own independent company. The napEazy’s two-part design uses a carbon-infused memory foam that’s just the right amount of soft while also being water-repellent and hypo-allergenic. A travel-case-inspired telescopic rod allows the napEazy to split into two, turning it into a prop-up pillow you can use to help you sleep forward or sideways while sitting, keeping your spine straight to avoid aches or posture-related problems. The split-pillow can be used on flat surfaces too, allowing two people to share the same pillow at a distance.

napEazy’s pillow design is the result of months of conceptualizing at Bizlab, an incubator/accelerator run by Airbus, and rigorous testing and prototyping at Airbus’s ProtoSpace. Compact enough to be carried anywhere, and comfortable enough to induce sleep while sitting at a desk or in those airline seats, the napEazy gives you the benefits of a face-pillow as well as a neck pillow – in the avatar of a regular pillow that’s small enough to fit in most travel cases and backpacks. The napEazy comes in two sizes for adults as well as children, and in a wide gamut of colors… although knowing me I’d probably pick the black one, given that I can use it for months without worrying about it looking dirty… or the adorable Penguin-print one, if I’m picking it for a toddler!

Designers: Arvind Kumaran, Pradipta Sahoo & Soham Patel

Click Here to Buy Now: $45 $75 ($30 off). Hurry, only 5/105 left!

napEazy – The World’s First Convertible Pillow

napEazy is the only pillow that facilitates front, side and back sleeping postures.

All you need to unlock napEazy’s potential is the push of the button to extend it to the length of your liking.

Ergonomic Design

Expert opinion on napEazy by Dr. Deepankar.

napEazy Features

Light Weight – Carry napEazy anywhere. Around 1.3lb.
Hypoallergenic – Dust Mite resistance. Lab certified.
Water Resistance – Forget about spills and stains.
Durable – Extensive user testing with 500 beta-testers.
Machine Washable – Easily wash the cover in your washing machine.

Dual-Layer Memory Foam – napEazy is made of dual-layer memory foam with differential density to give you comfort never experienced before.

Easy to Carry – Attach it to your bag; Slip it inside your bag; Slip it out.

Powered by Biocrystal – The combination of precisely defined quantity is a result of 9 year research. The ratio is ground and mixed in a special procedure with no added chemicals.

napEazy Styles – Available in Blush Cherry, Qtee Panda, Northern Lights Kiwi, Qtee Owl, Smokey Kiwi and Qtee Penguin.

Click Here to Buy Now: $45 $75 ($30 off). Hurry, only 5/105 left!

Studio Dwell stacks black volume onto brick structure to form top-heavy Hermitage Residence

Hermitage Residence by Studio Dwell

US architecture firm Studio Dwell has stacked a rectangular volume clad with black zinc on top of a pale brick structure to form this residence on a corner lot in Chicago.

Hermitage Residence by Studio Dwell

Hermitage Residence is located in the Bucktown neighbourhood of Chicago on a residential and commercial street. The clients, a professional couple, asked local firm Studio Dwell for a house with privacy and natural light.

In order to withdraw the 6,800-square-foot (603-square-metre) home from the busy road, the studio installed raised plant beds around its perimeter which reduced the area the brick volume could occupy.

Hermitage Residence by Studio Dwell

An overhanging structure clad with black zinc is stacked on top of the brick structure to form the second floor.

“In order to provide a buffer from the busy street corner to the home, a deep landscaped relief region was established by drastically carving back the first floor of the residence,” the studio said.

Hermitage Residence by Studio Dwell

“This was further expressed by cladding the first floor in this area with a lighter brick, which produces the effect of a lighter volume supporting a heavier cantilevered volume above.”

Rectangular windows of various sizes are cut into each of the structures and outlined with black frames that contrast against the pale bricks.

Hermitage Residence by Studio Dwell

A grouping of windows on the south elevation flood natural light into the interiors and offer a glimpse of a glass and metal staircase situated in the centre of the house.

Studio Dwell designed the staircase to act as the “epicentre” of the house. It comprises a black steel stringer that is paired with a tempered glass enclosure, steel railing and wood steps. A bed of rocks and plants form a small garden underneath the geometric structure.

Hermitage Residence by Studio Dwell

“The epicentre of the house is the cantilevered glass and steel staircase that unites the floors,” the studio added.

Main living areas, the kitchen and a guest room occupy the ground floor, while the basement houses recreational space. Four bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms are located on the top floor.

Hermitage Residence by Studio Dwell

All of the walls are painted white and the floors are covered with hardwood. A number of wood accents throughout the houses contrast against the plain walls, including a custom-built teak bench in the master bathroom, a row of cabinets in the dining room and a built-in study unit.

In the kitchen, the cabinetry is finished with white lacquer that matches the white quartz countertops. Three bulb-like pendant lights hang over the kitchen island.

Hermitage Residence by Studio Dwell

Other details of the house are the grey striped porcelain tiles that clad the walls and floor in the master bathroom and shower and the abstract splatter artwork hanging on the living room wall.

Studio Dwell is a Chicago architecture firm led by Mark Peters. It has worked on a number of projects in Illinois including a house hidden by brick screen and an aluminium clad structure with cantilevered terrace.

Photography is by Marty Peters.

Project credits:

Principal in charge: Mark Peters
Project manager: Jonathan Heckert
Engineer: Louis Shell Structures
General contractor: Allianz Construction Inc

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Format Architecture Office imbues Manhattan office with "boutique sensibility" and cafe seating

Midtown Office by Format Architecture Office

Cafe-style seating and muted interiors outfit this New York office that local studio Format Architecture Office has designed with places to mingle, eat and work.

Called Midtown Office, the project spans an entire floor of a high-rise building in New York City’s Midtown area. Close to Bryant Park, it was designed for a global tech company that occupies several floors of the building.

Midtown Office by Format Architecture Office

Brooklyn studio Format Architecture Office designed the renovation of one floor for the company’s executive and sales teams.

Interiors feature white walls and many different floor materials, ranging from pale wood in a herringbone pattern to polished concrete, white tiles and grey carpet. The flooring changes to signal different areas acting like a “code social and work zones,” the studio explained.

Midtown Office by Format Architecture Office

“Polished concrete and bespoke wood flooring differentiate circulation and gathering space from more utilitarian work zones,” said Format Architecture Office.

Other details like white panelled walls of ash wood veneer, nooks with cabinets in different colours, terrazzo and dark accents to offer further distinctions between the different spaces.

Midtown Office by Format Architecture Office

The middle of the floor is filled with volumes that house individual pods with glass doors, other meeting areas, private offices, stairwells and restrooms.

A walkway wraps around the centre structure to connect to the meeting rooms and open offices that are arranged around the perimeter of the floor plan, culminating in a long room with a kitchen and dining areas.

Midtown Office by Format Architecture Office

“The design approaches the layout of the space from two distinct angles – one, by creating a variety of collaborative and private work zones that maximise efficiency without sacrificing personal space; and two, by anchoring the plan with ‘jewel-box’ social zones that imbue the project with a boutique sensibility and help to break down the large scale of the floor,” the studio said.

Midtown Office by Format Architecture Office

Furnishings that add to this “boutique sensibility” include a series of small, black cafe tables and rattan chairs, curved wood booths and a built-in bench that runs across a wall.

Round terrazzo tables attach to the built-in structure with rods in a hooked shape for support.

Midtown Office by Format Architecture Office

Pale green cushions add colour, and a geometric mural with soft blue, orange and mustard hues anchors another area with a white high-top table and black barstools. Nearby is a prep station constructed from a free-standing, pale wooden volume.

Rows of white desks, black office chairs and desktop computers can be seen through an archway.

Midtown Office by Format Architecture Office

The office spans 30,000 square feet (2,787 square metres) and is complete with a large boardroom.

Swedish studio Halleroed has also designed a floor for an office that has multiple storeys in a building in Manhattan’s Garment District with moody details evocative of a David Lynch movie.

Midtown Office by Format Architecture Office

Other New York offices include Glossier’s headquarters with curvy pink couchesBIG’s architecture office in Brooklyn, and the home base of Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global.

Photography is by Nick Glimenakis.

Project credits:

Engineering and lighting design: Cosentini Associates
Consruction management: AECOM Tishman

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8 don’ts for your industrial design portfolio!

For an Industrial Designer, there are few things more significant than your portfolio. It’s the number one reason you still haven’t landed your first design job. Alternatively, it’s the main reason you got the job you are in. We all understand its importance, so here are a few pointers you should AVOID in your design portfolio.

Shiny Renderings, Shitty Ideas

Don’t get us wrong – high quality sketches and renderings are a plus in every portfolio. But an experienced recruiter will also judge your ideas, design decisions and know-how.

Products Without Process

Your portfolio is not a product catalog. It’s about you and how you work – so make sure to highlight your process.

User is Missing

Good research is more than a google search for competitor products. Go deeper and show that you know how a user-centered design approach looks like.

No Story

Don’t be boring – the product development process can be exciting! Use (visual) storytelling to build a portfolio that sticks.

Quantity Over Quality

Don’t start to fill your portfolio with low quality projects, only to reach a certain number of pages. A portfolio should contain your BEST work.

Decorative Graphic Design

Like Dieter Rams said: “Less but better”. You don’t have to highlight your awesome graphic design skills, keep it simple and let your designs shine.

Too Many Details

Yes, show the process (research, sketches, prototypes ect.) but don’t show EVERYTHING. Do a selection and show the relevant stuff only.

Lack of Structure

Where does one project end and the next start? Why don’t you use a proper layout grid? Provide a solid structure, it will definitely help you.

This guest post is by Boostfolio.


Listen Up

Glamorous, meditative, intimate, powerful and buoyant new music from the week

Becky and the Birds: Paris

Gentle and meditative, “Paris” by Becky and the Birds (aka singer/songwriter/producer Thea Gustafsson) was written in a hotel in the French capital, as Gustafsson couldn’t escape thoughts about a person back home in Sweden. The atmospheric tune, with distorted vocals drifting over it, appears on Gustafsson’s upcoming EP, Trasslig, which is out next month.

machinegum: Kubes

machinegum (the artist collective that counts Strokes drummer Fab Moretti, Ian Devaney and Martin Bonventre as members) crowdsourced scenes of everyday routines for their “Kubes” music video. Justin Bartha directed the work after the band put out instructions for submission on their website back in February, a prescient move. The track first appeared on their debut album, Conduit, released last year on French Kiss Records. A vinyl edition will be available this July.

JONES: Giving It Up

East London-based JONES (aka Cherie Jones-Mattis) created a buoyant alt-pop song in “Giving it Up”—a tune that she says was a “chocolate addiction confessional turned audio diary entry about a story where I found love in a very unexpected person.” Her soft, soulful vocals carry the song, while production from Fyfe and Mike Spencer lends a bright and airy tone. The Nina Ljeti-directed video contrasts craggy cliffs and grey skies with Jones-Mattis dressed up in opulent gowns.

ROLE MODEL: For The People In The Back

Premiering on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show, “For The People In The Back” by ROLE MODEL (aka Tucker Pillsbury) is an ode to independence, a notion that’s emphasized through the chorus, “I don’t need / No, no, nobody.” Throughout the rest of the track, ROLE MODEL reverts to the rap-sing style he favored on previous releases. In his second to last verse, he comes to a conclusion: “I found a place to be myself / And there’s not room for no-one else.” The accompanying visual treatment, directed by Dylan Knight, mirrors the carefree lyrics through DIY photoshoots, dance routines and more.

Juls + Sango: Angele Ni Fe

A fusion of Brazilian funk, Amapiano (South African house), Afrobeat and Latin-influenced rhythms, Juls and Sango’s collaborative track “Angele Ni Fe” marks the first release from Soulection Records this year. This song (alongside “Ritmo Coco”) appears on their joint EP, Fufu & Grits. Vocal and drum samples comprise the track’s foundation, while horns and deeper bass notes are blended in to form a danceable, upbeat tune.

Celeste: I Can See The Change

Celeste’s expressive, velvety, soulful vocals take centerstage for “I Can See The Change,” a piano-led orchestral song about finding hope. The moving ballad (produced by Finneas O’Connell, aka FINNEAS, who is best known for his work with sister Billie Eilish) will appear on her eponymous debut studio album, which is set for release this summer.

Zella Day: My Game

From Zella Day’s forthcoming EP, Where Does The Devil Hide (due 28 August), “My Game” is retro-inflected delight. Produced by Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys), the track is “a disco game board with a pair of cherry red dice rolling in my favor,” according to Day. With plenty of disco influence, a touch of Motown, and nods to the ’60s in the video, “My Game” proves transportive and true to Day’s glamorous style.

Nils Bech: Foolish Heart (2019)

Starring Silas Henriksen of Norway’s national ballet, the official video for Norwegian singer-songwriter and performance artist Nils Bech’s “Foolish Heart (2019)” swells with instrumental warmth that dresses an intimate physical performance. The track appears on Bech’s latest album, also named Foolish Heart, out today. Its melancholic lyrics address the heartbreak Bech felt at the end of an eight-year relationship. In fact, it was the first song he penned after the separation.

Listen Up is published every Sunday and rounds up the new music we found throughout the week. Hear the year so far on our Spotify channel.

Cluster of hull-like roofs form The National Maritime Museum of China

Australian practice Cox Architecture designed The National Maritime Museum of China in Tianjin as four metal-clad wings that fan out to overlook Bohai Bay.

China’s first National Maritime Museum, the building is located in the Binhai New Area. This wetland area has been recovered from the bay and extensively developed over the past decade.

The National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Architecture

Cox Architecture won a 2013 international competition to design the museum, which has been six years in the making.

Across an area of 80,000 square metres, the museum houses six display areas and 15 exhibition halls.

The National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Architecture

Diamond-shaped panels of silver aluminium cover the exterior of each form, with some perforated and others solid.

The underside of the of the roofs deep reveals –  designed to cope with heavy snowfall in winter – are lined with of wood.

The National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Architecture

Landscaped areas create a new series of promenade-like routes along the bay, sheltered by the cantilevering forms of the museum.

Winding paths that cut through its wooded parkland surroundings and extending into the bay with two long jetties.

The National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Architecture

Rather than a single, monolithic structure, Cox Architecture broke the museum down into a cluster of long, thin pavilions, that project towards the bay like upturned hulls of large ships.

“From Philip Cox’s initial watercolour sketches, the design evolved and certain compelling metaphors either resolved or emerged,” said Cox Architecture.

“Jumping carp, corals, starfish, moored ships in port and and open palm reaching out from China to the maritime world.”

The National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Architecture

This “open palm” arrangement is focused around a central glazed reception hall, providing access between the three exhibition levels and lower-level storage areas, creating a dramatic visual axis through the building and out towards the bay.

Inside the wings, each of which is dedicated to a particular exhibition theme, a ribbed steel structure creates a dramatic space alongside the core areas housing exhibitions and circulation.

The National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Architecture

A stone floor and white walls create bright, open atrium spaces, overlooked at the upper levels by balconies in contrast to the more enclosed exhibition halls.

“The articulated pavilions provide a constant connection between inside and out,” said the practice. “The user experience exists within the landscape and is a key organising device of the plan, helping to orientate visitors on their journey.”

The National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Architecture

Cox Architecture was founded by Philip Cox in Sydney in 1967. The practice recently revealed designs for a new airport in Sydney designed with Zaha Hadid Architects.

The National Maritime Museum of China joins several other interestingly-shaped public buildings in the city.

Bernard Tschumi Architects has designed a copper-coloured museum in Tianjiin shaped like a factory with chimneys, and MVRDV built a public library shaped like a giant eyeball.

Project credits:

Architect: Cox Architecture
Cox Team: Hang Ling, Alex Leese, Jack Dodgson, Ashley Beckett, Jayson Blight, Jaegeun Lim, Alex Munoz, Michael Bailey, Philip Cox, Lei Li, Leon McBride, Troy Rafton, James Ryan, Mitchell Page, Julian Farrell, Andrew Butler, Belinda Williamson, David Reasbeck, Ayo Akinola, Mark Sierzcula, Perry Gustafson, Kim Huat Tan, Spyros Barberis, Megan McKenzie, Gary McFeat, William Gray, Michael Rayner, Adrian Taylor, Roger Mai, Joseph Hartley, Karen Appleyard, Matthew Napper, Brendan Gaffney, Katy Roberts, Katie Holzberger, Mark Hadfield, Maxie Navius, Jaclyn Sun, Casey Vallance, Marianella Picon, Robert Callanan, Martin Hayes, Tae Won Kang, Solomon Romion, Brendan Kenny, Vesna Lazarevic, Steve Hunter, Thomas Nelson, James Sia, Tracey Maree, Akiko Spencer, Joachim Clauss, Tim Morgan, Brett Miles, Tommy Miller, Anya Meng.
Client: National Maritime Museum Preparatory Office Chinese Government and Tianjin Municipality
Local design institute partner: Tianjin Architecture and Design Institute (TADI),
Key consultants: Arup, Lord Cultural Resources, Urbantect

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Read and Rest Hotel in Beijing includes a library dedicated to print magazines

Read and Rest Hotel by Office AIO

Guests can flick through a curated selection of contemporary publications in this Beijing hotel, which Office AIO has finished with minimal greyscale interiors.

Read and Rest Hotel is nestled amongst the winding alleys of Beijing’s Xiang’Er hutong.

Read and Rest Hotel by Office AIO

Office AIO – which completed a coffee bar in Xiang’Er back in 2016 – has designed the hotel’s 60 guest rooms, communal areas and its in-house library, which is stocked with a global roster of print publications.

“While reading spaces are not traditionally regarded as a ‘standard’ in terms of hotel amenities, we do find this focus especially embraceable and refreshing,” said the studio’s founders, Tim Kwan and Isabelle Sun.

“Though the habit of reading can happen essentially anywhere, incorporating a library into a hotel highlights and promotes this action,” they told Dezeen.

Read and Rest Hotel by Office AIO

The hotel takes over a solemn grey-brick building that had been originally constructed for government use in the 1960s.

To make its facade appear more inviting, the studio expanded two ground-level doorways and a pair of windows on the first floor to create four huge openings.

Read and Rest Hotel by Office AIO

These look through to a dramatic double-height entryway, which is meant to feel like a marked departure from the busy Beijing streets.

It features natural stone floors and pleated grey-plaster walls.

“Through this passage of scale and space the guests can let go of their sense of time and reach a state of enlightenment much like entering a utopian fairy tale,” explained the studio.

Read and Rest Hotel by Office AIO

After traversing the hotel lobby, guests eventually reach the library which is almost entirely lined with oakwood.

It’s flanked on both sides by a sequence of alcoves – one side has been fitted with creamy cushioned bench seats, where guests can perch with a publication of their choice, while the other has built-in work tables.

Magazines are displayed on a tiered, wall-mounted shelf towards the front of the room. Domed glossy lamps have been suspended from the ceiling.

Read and Rest Hotel by Office AIO

During the booking process guests are encouraged to share their personal interests, so that complementary print titles can be included in their rooms upstairs.

The studio has tried to make each room a “quiet nest” where guests feel they can retreat to unwind. Walls have been washed with a soft-grey plaster, complemented by light-hued wooden flooring.

Read and Rest Hotel by Office AIO

Chunky ledges installed beneath the windows offer a spot for reading, along with the writing desks that appear in the corner of the rooms.

Some of the larger suites also come with a relaxing lounge area. These are separated from the bedrooms by sliding cane screens.

Read and Rest Hotel by Office AIO

Office AIO was established in 2014 by Tim Kwan and Isabelle Sun, who will both be on the judging panel of this year’s Dezeen Awards.

The studio’s Read and Rest Hotel isn’t the only getaway that’s great for reading enthusiasts – at the end of 2019, Atelier Tao+C completed a glass-walled capsule hotel in the mountains of China’s Zhejiang Province, the interiors of which are lined with bamboo bookshelves.

Photography is by Wen Studio.

Project credits:

Design: Office AIO
Lead design: Tim Kwan
Project team: Isabelle Sun, Xue Zhao, Steven Tse, Haipeng Ren
Contractor: Beijing Dongyi Yuanda Building Decoration Engineering
Cement surfaces: Beijing DaGu Architecture Technology Development
Graphic designer: MEAT

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There are only two days left to enter Dezeen Awards 2020

With only two days left to enter Dezeen Awards 2020, it’s time to start finalising your entry.

Here are some entry tips to help you get started:

Entry form: Follow the instructions on the entry form precisely and read the terms and conditions carefully before entering.

Images: Your square hero image should best represent your project or studio and will be published if you get shortlisted. You can upload up to ten gallery images. Do not upload renderings or digital visualisations. Include architectural plans where appropriate. There is a 10MB limit on each image that you upload.

Video: We recommend that you include a link to a video in the relevant field on the entry form.

Entry text: You will need to provide a short and long project description and explain why you should win a Dezeen Award. Entries that do not answer the questions set will be at a disadvantage. Write your entry succinctly and clearly, avoiding exaggeration and sticking to the facts where possible.

Word count limit: Please take the word count limit into consideration when writing your entry.

Entering on behalf of the designer: You will need the architect’s or designer’s permission if you are entering on their behalf.

Editing your entry: You may return and edit your entry as many times as you like. However, once you’ve made payment, you cannot change your entry.

Submitting your entry: Once you’ve paid, we will send you a confirmation email as well as a VAT receipt.

Enter Dezeen Awards 2020 today

Make sure you complete your entry well before the deadline at 23:59 BST on 2 June.

Enter Dezeen Awards now. If you have any questions or need help, please email

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Mexican students build low-cost solar lamps from natural waste materials

Six students from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico have designed low-cost solar lamps made from mud, beans and cactus slime for people living in isolated rural areas with limited electricity.

Led by Moisés Hernández, the Solar project saw six students develop six different lamps made from waste materials found in rural Mexico, such as wicker, coconut bark and the maguey pulquero plant.

Using solar cells and LED technology, the lamps propose a sustainable solution to the need of nearly seven million Mexicans that live in isolated rural areas with limited or no access to electricity.

Mexican students design low-cost solar lamps for people without electricity
Each of the six solar lamps are made from waste materials found in rural Mexico including wicker, coconut shell and mud

Taking cues from the solar-powered Little Sun lamp by Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, Hernández and his students aimed to create lights with the lowest possible carbon footprint using bio-materials and low-cost manufacturing methods.

While some of the chosen materials will not last as long as Eliasson’s plastic Little Sun, Hernández told Dezeen, the goal of the project was to design lamps with bodies that can be easily produced using local materials.

This way, people would need just the simple electronic components and the solar panel. The main structure could be fixed or replaced by making another from materials found in the surrounding environment.

Mexican students design low-cost solar lamps for people without electricity
Rafael Sánchez Brizuela made the body of his lamp from a coconut shell

“What we intend with this project is to look for new ways of production in rural areas or isolated communities where they do not have any injection plastic facilities to make the main bodies of lamps,” Hernández explained.

“With these new material ideas that came from different sites across Mexico, where the weather and context are so different, the students visualised new scenarios where these type of technological objects can be assembled and distributed to local people.”

Mexican students design low-cost solar lamps for people without electricity
Luis Fernando Sánchez Barrios’ lamp is made from mud, recycled paper and cactus slime

The Adobe solar lamp by Luis Fernando Sánchez Barrios is built from mud, recycled paper and cactus slime – a mixture that the designer says offers a substance similar to cooked clay.

Designed for marginal communities that are dispersed throughout Mexico, Barrios’ lamp references “pre-hispanic knowledge” of materials as well as an environmental awareness.

Mexican students design low-cost solar lamps for people without electricity
Oscar Andrés Méndez Hernández used black beans to build his solar lamp

Oscar Andrés Méndez Hernández looked to the black bean when considering natural materials for his solar lamp, which is designed to provide light on a worktable.

The LED sits above a circular cut-out in the centre of the structure, allowing the user to appreciate the texture and colours of the material as the light shines on its surface.

Mexican students design low-cost solar lamps for people without electricity
Discarded animal tissue was used to create Naoto Ricardo Kobayashi Utsumoto’s lamp

A coconut shell was used to form the body of Rafael Sánchez Brizuela’s lamp, while animal tissue waste – also known as collagen – that has been pulverised and injection moulded was used to create Naoto Ricardo Kobayashi Utsumoto’s translucent, brown-hued lamp.

Mexican students design low-cost solar lamps for people without electricity
Viridiana Palma Dominguez used waste from the maguey pulquero plant to make her lamp

Viridiana Palma Dominguez made the body of her lamp from the cuticle and skin of the maguey pulquero plant – the contents of which is used to make an alcoholic drink called pulque.

Aniela Mayte Guerrero Hernández, on the other hand, looked to more traditional materials, using handmade wicker by craftsmen in Tequisquiapan, Queretaro, a region located in the centre of Mexico.

Mexican students design low-cost solar lamps for people without electricity
Aniela Mayte Guerrero Hernández’s lamp body is made from wicker

Hernández and his group of students are just some of many designers who seek out unusual materials to make more interesting and sustainable products.

Other creations include a fashion collection made from seaweed, lighting made from discarded cow intestines and tableware made from out-of-date eggs.

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