Meditative work space gives you a great view of the city landscape

Sometimes when I’m dreaming about my ideal work and relaxation space, I think of full glass windows that’s overlooking something scenic like a beach or nature. But knowing that I’m really a city girl at heart, I know I wouldn’t survive living away from the concrete jungle. So the next best thing would be having a great view of the city, even if they’re just building landscapes and the occasional spots of green in between.

Designer: Luke Ogrydziak and Zoë Prillinger from OPA

This “retreat” designed on top of a four-story house may probably be close to the city space that I’ve been dreaming of. Aerie allows the users to have a work space that can be turned into a recreation space that is both meditative, minimalist, clean-looking, and “breathable””. They consider it both a physical and psychological space so you can work, read, relax, and rest with a view of San Francisco in front of you. Of course, you should not be afraid of heights if you have to enjoy it since it is cantilevering over the house.

The ceiling of this space is “open to the sky” so you can experience natural illumination during the day, which some consider as a better energy source than light bulbs, literally and figuratively. There are several diffusion layers that the sunlight will go through and is connected to the interior through the sun’s daily cycle. The entire space is evnveloped in a horizontal glass ribbon with just a few minimal breaks, giving you a feeling of immersion as you can see the city landscape at any angle.

There is a built-in desk for working and an upholstered chaise lounge both located on the “edge” while a living room set up and built in shelves are at the back part. Since I spend most of my day working and then relaxing by reading (or scrolling through my phone), this is the perfect set up. All is missing is an area for food and I’m all set. Well, if I could afford to have something like this and if I had a four story house where it can be built on. One could always dream.

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Small Homes Could Benefit From This Cleverly Designed Ottoman Stool with a Built-In Storage Shelf

I’m not one to advocate for folding furniture because they look incredibly utilitarian (unless it’s the Transformer Table), but I definitely love furniture that’s multifunctional. Take the Berliner Pouf for example. Designed to look like a visually eye-catching pouf, the Berliner also doubles up as a storage shelf thanks to its wormhole-like cavity running through the middle. This cavity doesn’t affect the pouf’s comfort in any way, but it adds a unique feature to it, giving you the perfect place to store books, magazines, and remotes, or even use it as a lounging space for small pets!

Designer: Tugce Sonmez Evin

“In today’s housing or workplace understanding, space is a thing that we all want to save. Instead of filling each void with another object, we all seek smart solutions to save some unaccompanied space for a feeling of comfort. Berliner is designed for this purpose,” says the Berliner’s designer, Tugce Sonmez Evin.

The Berliner gets its name from its resemblance to the eponymously named iconic German pastry, which also has a slice running through its center that’s then filled with cream. The Berliner Pouf replaces that with a concave inner surface, spacious enough to store reading material like books, magazines, newspapers, or even regular living room items like chargers, pet toys, etc.

The Berliner Pouf can be visually divided into its two distinct parts. The soft outer, and the wooden interior. The wooden core is hand carved on a turning lathe from Ayous timber, and is layered with foam on the top and bottom, that’s then capped with faux fur for a comfortable seating experience. The area separating the wood from the fur is lined with brass detailing, giving the pouf a touch of elegance. The brass rings are bent by hand and welded to fit tight. All production is a close collective work of 3 ateliers working with different materials. While the initial production is finished by hand, the design is suitable to be produced by CNC machines.

The Berliner Pouf is a Silver Winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2023.

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Dezeen Debate features Bugatti's "clumsy" design for its first residential skyscraper

Bugatti skyscraper in Dubai

The latest edition of our Dezeen Debate newsletter features Bugatti’s designs for a skyscraper in Dubai that will feature two garage-to-penthouse car liftsSubscribe to Dezeen Debate now.

Luxury car manufacturer Bugatti has unveiled designs for a 420-storey skyscraper in Dubai that will have two garage-to-penthouse car lifts.

The building, named Bugatti Residences, will be the first residential development completed by the brand.

One unimpressed reader said the manufacturer “should stick to what they know and make beautiful cars”. Another agreed, describing the design as “clumsy”.

Counters inside Cubitts store on Broadway Market
EBBA Architects transforms former jellied-eel restaurant into eyewear store

Other stories in this week’s newsletter that fired up the comments section included EBBA Architects’ store design for eyewear brand Cubitts, architect Peter Cook questioning whether The Line megacity will be built according to plan and the restoration and conversion of a power plant by Herzog & de Meuron.

Dezeen Debate

Dezeen Debate is sent every Thursday and features a selection of the best reader comments and most talked-about stories. Read the latest edition of Dezeen Debate or subscribe here.

You can also subscribe to our other newsletters; Dezeen Agenda is sent every Tuesday containing a selection of the most important news highlights from the week, Dezeen Daily is our daily bulletin that contains every story published in the preceding 24 hours and Dezeen In Depth is sent on the last Friday of every month and delves deeper into the major stories shaping architecture and design.

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HW Studio creates austere white home in Mexico to evoke "sense of security"

A white cube house on a street corner with telephone poles

Local firm HW Studio Arquitectos has completed an all-white stucco home in Morelia, Mexico, whose hermetic design serves as a haven for the residents.

Morelia-based HW Studio completed the 375-square metre (4,036-square foot) house in 2023, taking up an entire corner plot in the city in the state of Michoacán.

A white cube house on a street corner with telephone poles
The house has a minimalist design

In their previous home, located on the same site, the clients had amassed a collection of religious objects and imagery, creating a sacred environment within their residence. However, rising crime rates and a burglary shook the clients’ sense of security.

Rather than reconstructing the decorative house they previously had, the clients were looking for a minimalist design that could evoke a religious spirit and make them feel safe.

Exterior of a white cube house by HW Studio Arquitectos with a man, horse and dog out front
The exterior has discreet white stucco facades

“For this reason, they were looking for a very discreet, austere project without ostentatious ornaments, with high walls and without windows to the outside,” explained lead architect Rogelio Vallejo Bores.

“We understood that this would be the way in which architecture could give them back the loss of their sense of security.”

A white room with an arch ceiling, grey sofa, grey rug, coffee table and glass doors on one side leading outdoors
White stucco also covers the internal walls

From the outside, the house is a solid block with a recessed doorway. On the interior, rounded geometry softens the spaces. White stucco serves both the exterior and interior material, and white and grey marble slabs cover the floor.

The neighbourhood has long been home to shifting styles and eclectic designs, Bores explained, so “in this sense the austere white box absent of color opens the door to the possibility of being modified and thus maintain the changing face of the neighborhood.”

The L-shaped single-level house comprises the entire site, walling off a series of courtyards.

The main bar of the home contains a kitchen, dining and living space, a central primary suite, and two secondary suites at the end of a long corridor.

White interior room with an arched ceiling, built-in white wardrobes, a bed with grey bedding, a wooden chair and sliding glass doors
Rounded ceilings were designed to soften the interior spaces

Each of the three linear courtyards – that illuminate and ventilate the interior spaces through floor-to-ceiling folding glass walls – are arranged next to a barrel vault that disperses light and references nearby baroque churches.

“The house reminds us of the arcades around the courtyard of San Agustin convent under which pilgrims and travelers sheltered, drank, and fed from the many orange trees planted,” said Bores.

A white interior corridor with a rectangular opening leading to a living room with a blue painting
A long corridor connects the spaces in the L-shaped home

Around the corner from the home’s public spaces sits a garage, service suite and another small courtyard.

The furniture is all low-profile and neutral in colour, while flat, wall-to-wall storage creates a panelized texture in the bedrooms.

A white bedroom with sliding glass doors opening onto a white courtyard
Courtyards help ventilate the house and let in natural light

The patios and high ceilings allow the home to maintain stable microclimates, drawing on the vernacular building standards of the local Tarascan population. The house also uses solar panels, negating the need to be connected to the electrical grid.

This house isn’t the only monotone design HW Studio has completed in the area. Nearby, the studio replaced an abandoned warehouse with all-white forms to create a food market that infills historic stone walls. Also in Morelia, the studio designed a house sunken into a hillside.

The photography is by César Béjar.

Project credits:
Lead architect: Rogelio Vallejo Bores
Architects: Oscar Didier Ascencio Castro, Nik Zaret Cervantes Ordaz
Clients: Cesar Cortes and Sonia Patricia Serrato

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Ten standout pavilions from the 2023 London Design Biennale

Openwork pavilion, Turkey, by Melek Zeynep Bulut at London Design Biennale 2023

A giant wind chime, touch-sensing bio-textiles and windows for Ukraine are among the most intriguing installations from the London Design Biennale, which opens at Somerset House today.

The biennale’s fourth edition was curated by the Nieuwe Instituut and its artistic director, Aric Chen. With the theme of The Global Game: Remapping Collaboration, the event aims to rethink how nations communicate and collaborate.

“Why don’t we use this as a trial run, a microcosm, to see how design can crate an alternative geopolitical landscape – driven not by competition and conflict, but instead through cooperation,” Chen said at the biennale’s opening.

The event features 40 exhibitors from around the world from Chile to Nigeria, as well as the event’s first-ever humanitarian pavilion designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.

Here are the key installations not to miss:

Poetics of necessity, Poland, by TŁO Michał Sikorski Architects, Petro Vladimirov and Zofia Jaworowska at London Design Biennale 2023

Poetics of necessity, Poland, by TŁO Michał Sikorski Architects

This multi-national pavilion is based on a humanitarian project by architects Petro Vladimirov and Zofia Jaworowska, which has seen the duo collect disused windows from Poland to help rebuild homes in Ukraine.

This is crucial as windows are frequently destroyed by Russian shelling, but most of Ukraine’s glass supply comes from Russia.

As part of the biennale, the project was extended to the UK with more than 30 windows donated by Londoners displayed in the exhibition before they are sent on to Ukraine.

The installation also demonstrates one of the more than 100 techniques, devised by Vladimirov and Jaworowska in collaboration with local architects, for how the windows can be installed regardless of size or shape.

Materia Prestada, Chile, by Borrowed Matter
Photo by Tom Ravenscroft

Materia Prestada, Chile, by Borrowed Matter

Sheets of bio-textiles made from tree cellulose and natural dyes are suspended from the ceiling in the Chilean pavilion, one of which is dipped in water and will slowly degrade over the course of the exhibition.

Others act as touch sensors, interwoven with conductive metal yarn and hooked up to speakers that emit different sounds as the textiles are stroked and prodded.

The aim is to explore the value and possible future uses of the biomaterial, which is one of the main products of the forestry industry in both Chile and Finland – the home of designer Sofía Guridi, who conceived of the pavilion.

Openwork pavilion, Turkey, by Melek Zeynep Bulut at London Design Biennale 2023

Openwork, Turkey, by Melek Zeynep Bulut

Set in the central courtyard of Somerset House, the Turkish pavilion acts like a giant hexagonal wind chime that forms a series of steel gates.

Steel rods dangle from the three progressively smaller arches that make up each gateway, musically jingling in the breeze.

The pavilion was conceived by architect Melek Zeynep Bulut to act as a theatrical exhibition on the concept of gates and their role in enforcing borders and social hierarchies.

Creative Differences by Automorph Network at London Design Biennale 2023

Creative Differences by Automorph Network

Self-burying seed pods that unfurl in response to moisture and tiles that curve in the firing process through strategically placed grooves feature in this showcase from the Automorph Network collective.

The group of designers, architects and scientists has dedicated itself to exploring self-shaped objects, which get their form as much through natural forces such as air or heat as through the hand of their maker.

Also featured in the show is a more playful take on the topic in the form of many-limbed sea creatures made from silicone, that appear to flop around of their own accord as their internal air channels are inflated and deflated.

Bidi Bidi Music & Arts Centre by Hassell and

Bidi Bidi Music & Arts Centre by Hassell and

Visitors can try their hand at pressing raw earth building blocks as part of this installation by Australian architecture firm Hassell and the foundation, who are currently using the bio-bricks to construct a music centre for refugees in northern Uganda.

The eathen blocks are displayed alongside a full-scale mock-up of the building’s roof, which will collect rainwater through a huge funnel, informed by the work of Burkinabé architect Diébédo Francis Kéré.

The aim is to explore how simple local resources and techniques can be used to create low-impact buildings and contribute to sustainable development.

Natural Synthesis, Nigeria, by Omotunwase Osinaike
Photo by Tom Ravenscroft

Natural Synthesis, Nigeria, by Omotunwase Osinaike

A giant stick-insect like metallic form filled with sand occupies the centre of the Nigerian installation.

Designed to draw attention to the global connections between ecosystems, the sand is slowly falling through the insect’s central section to represent the tonnes of phosphorus-loaded sand that is blow from the Sahara to the Amazon basin each year replenishing its mineral composition.

Set alongside of the insect-like form are a series of pieces of furniture informed by arthropodal forms. “Using animals to tell stories is part of our West African cultural production, this is an advancement of this method,” Omotunwase Osinaike told Dezeen.

Paper Sanctuary by Shigeru Ban

Paper Sanctuary by Shigeru Ban

The biennale’s first-ever humanitarian pavilion comes in the form of Japanese architect Ban’s modular Paper Partition System, which has most recently been used inside temporary shelters housing Ukrainian refugees.

Typically, the system composed of cardboard tubes and textile screens provides privacy in crowded refugee centres. But in this case, its function is reversed as the fabric is emblazoned with poems and anecdotes illustrating the experience of everyday Ukrainians, collected in collaboration with writer and translator Svetlana Lavochkin.

The pavilion also encourages donations to help Ban to fund a more long-term system of prefabricated houses for those displaced by the war.

Baking the Future, Austria, by Chmara.Rosinke
Photo by Jennifer Hahn

Baking the Future, Austria, by Chmara.Rosinke

Throughout the biennale, designers Anna Rosinke and Maciej Chmara, will be baking bread in the Austrian pavilion as part of ongoing research project into the geopolitical contexts and microbiological processes behind this common food.

Alongside the bakery, the designers have created a collection of exhibits aimed at investigating the sensory experience of bread including a record player that allows visitors to listen to the bread.

“A loaf or slice of bread may seem simple, but there is a curious complexity to the matter of bread,” said the designers.

Chowk & Charpai: An Urban Living Room, India, by Archohm

Chowk & Charpai: An Urban Living Room, India, by Archohm

Set on the riverside terrace, this pavilion explores two vernacular Indian design typologies that create spaces for community and conversation – a traditional woven day bed known as a chairpai and an open-air chowk market, which design studio Archohm describes as “the urban Indian living room”.

The pavilion is formed from woven ropes set over an angular frame, with a metal stall at its centre decorated in hundreds of kullad clay cups used for drinking chai.

The cups are left unglazed and fixed to the structure with magnets, so they can ultimately be returned to the earth.

ImPrinting: the artist's brain by Beatie Wolfe

ImPrinting: the artist’s brain by Beatie Wolfe

Artist and musician Beatie Wolfe has contributed an installation on the brain and its different functions in the form of a “thinking cap”, custom-made by fashion designer Michael Fish who famously dressed David Bowie and Mick Jagger.

Woven into the cap are glass discs encoded with musings and conversations, which Wolfe had with a range of different artists on everything from collaboration and music to memories, fears and a range of other topics, each embedded into the cap in the area where this information is processed in the brain.

Visitors can listen in to these insights and get a glimpse into the brain of an artist via a row of old-school telephones mounted to the wall.

The photography is by Taran Wilkhu, unless stated.

The 2023 London Design Biennale is on show at London’s Somerset House from Melbourne from 1-25 June 2023. For more information about events, exhibitions and talks, visit Dezeen Events Guide.

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3D Printing Hack: Filament-Splicing for Printing in Two Colors

This Baobab Lamp, named for a tree species with a chunky trunk, is by Japanese brand New Craft House.

Looking at it closely, it’s obvious that the lamp is 3D-printed.

However, less obvious is that it’s printed in one shot, on a single-filament FDM 3D printer. The two-tone scheme is accomplished by splicing the filaments at just the right point:

If you’re curious about that device they used to measure the filament…

…it’s the Tokyo Nihos Handy Measure.

Bring in some old-school feels with this retro camera-looking speaker

Kodak, as we all know, has a very peculiar visual style. They value results over aesthetics. It began with a simple box camera with a 100-exposure roll of film. And now, the newest proposal for a new Kodak Bluetooth speaker concept is designed for audio enjoyment rather than visual pleasure as a new product lineup after Kodak’s corporate expansion.

Designer: Hyunjun Yu

The field of audio technology is continually developing, bringing us chic and new products that improve our listening experience. The Kodak C400R Bluetooth Speaker combines the appeal of retro design with the practicality of contemporary wireless technology. With its retro-inspired design and advanced audio capabilities, this speaker not only delivers high-quality sound but also adds a touch of nostalgia to any space.

The Kodak C400R Bluetooth Speaker honors the classic aesthetics of old-school audio gear. Inspired by archival film cameras, this speaker’s slim, minimal, and portable design makes it look like a vintage camera. A genuine vintage feel is produced by retro-inspired elements, including textured fabric, metallic highlights, and the Kodak branding. The speaker becomes a focal point that delivers excellent music and gives any space a nostalgic and upscale feel.

The minimalism of the design seems to follow the principles of Dieter Rams, who truly believes in the concept of ‘less is more.’ This design has a minimum variety of tangible elements which aligns with their tagline; you press the button, and we do the rest. The speaker only has two buttons for UI requiring minimum user intervention. Just press the button and get quality audio feedback.

It is a perfect fit for people who focus on quality and functionality over the aesthetic value of products. With its cutting-edge audio components, it reproduces sound in a clear and balanced manner. The speaker can nonetheless create deep bass, clear highs, and finely detailed midrange tones, resulting in an immersive listening experience despite its small size. The Kodak C400R Bluetooth Speaker provides excellent sound quality whether you’re listening to music, viewing a movie, or participating in a conference call.

The Kodak C400R Bluetooth Speaker uses contemporary wireless technologies despite its retro look. It effortlessly links with smartphones, tablets, and other compatible devices using Bluetooth connectivity, enabling a hassle-free wireless music experience. Because of the speaker’s wireless range, you can walk around and fully enjoy the sound of your favorite music or podcasts without being tied to your device. The speaker comes with two rechargeable batteries and a charger, so you always have one charged to use, and your speaker never runs out of charge, just like a camera.

The Kodak C400R Bluetooth Speaker skillfully integrates contemporary wireless technologies with retro looks. This speaker offers a distinctive audio experience that mixes nostalgia with portability with its retro-inspired design, cutting-edge audio capabilities, and portability. The Kodak C400R Bluetooth Speaker is a tribute to the ongoing attraction of both classic appeal and cutting-edge audio technology, whether you’re a fan of vintage aesthetics, a music fanatic, or simply appreciate the fusion of classic design with modern functionality.

The post Bring in some old-school feels with this retro camera-looking speaker first appeared on Yanko Design.

Design Overkill Object of the Week: Cast Iron and Walnut Coffee Scoop

I used to listen to a podcast with a funny segment called “Who the F buys this S” that talked about ridiculous items you can purchase. I thought of that after seeing this:

That’s Sqoop, a $45 coffee scoop made out of cast iron and walnut. It was designed “to hold 10 grams of coffee grounds, ideal for a single cup of coffee.” Being cast iron, it’s also touted as being magnetic, if that’s important to you.

On the one hand I’m tempted to say “Jeez, what a use of raw materials.” (If it was upcycled from other objects, the product description doesn’t say.) On the other hand, objects like this are like illegal drugs: They wouldn’t keep making them if so many people didn’t want to buy them.

Brottö chair by Atolmar

Brottö by Atolmar

Dezeen Showroom: Swedish design brand Atolmar has launched a directors-style chair that is made from teak and can be used in both indoor and outdoor settings.

The chairs have a hand-sanded teak frame that is slightly wider than typical director’s chairs so that it can be used for both dinner and lounge settings.

Brottö by Atolmar
Brottö Directors Armchair was designed by Atolmar

Its back frame is slightly angled and has an acrylic fabric back and seat to ensure maximum comfort. As a result of the fabric back and seat the chair can be folded into itself.

Through using a synthetic fabric, the seat and backrest are water, stain, UV and mould resistant and therefore can withstand a variety of different outdoor weather conditions.

Image of Brottö by Atolmar
It can be used indoors and outdoors

The chair’s fabric seat and backing are available in a range of different colours including sand, nougat and anthracite.

Product: Brottö Atolmar Chair
Brand: Atolmar

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iGuzzini's Libera lighting system allows users to create graphical lighting compositions

iGuzzini's Libera lighting system

Promotion: launched at this year’s Milan design week, Italian lighting brand iGuzzini‘s linear Libera lighting system is made up of modular components that can be used to create complex compositions.

Designed by Catalan designer and founder of Artec Studio, Maurici Gines, Libera is made up of three components: a light rod, joint and base.

The sleek light rods are connected together with the decorative brass joints to create sculptural standalone lamps or angular compositions that can snake through a space.

iGuzzini's Libera lighting system on concrete wall
The system was launched at Milan design week

Designer Maurici Gines said that the Libera’s brass joint is a key element of the design.

“Unchromed brass is not merely a necessary technical element but also an integral part of the design narrative, adding material depth and character by transforming its colours and appearance, and layering the passage of time,” said iGuzzini in a statement.

Designed for use in a variety of settings – from offices to homes to public spaces – the versatile design is the result of what the studio describes as a “conceptual and holistic approach” to lighting design and a desire to create a lighting system that gives the user creative freedom to create bespoke lighting solutions.

iGuzzini's Libera lighting system
Libera lighting system is made up of modular components

“A beneficial degree of formal ambiguity allows the lighting system to generate hybrid graphics,” said the brand. “The design can engage with the environment in which it is positioned, facilitating conversation with those who reside there.”

Libera incorporates the brand’s Opti Diamond optics – a professional optic that delivers visual comfort and efficiency within compact dimensions – while its opal diffuser includes up/down functions in two different colours.

iGuzzini's Libera lighting system in blue
The components of the lighting system can be used to create complex compositions

The system is equipped with smart sensors and can be controlled through Bluetooth technology using a device such as a smartphone or voice control speakers.

According to the brand, in comparison to a standard linear lighting product that uses fluorescent sources, Libera can save users 82 per cent of energy due to the addition of a control system, and overall the product has an efficiency of 103.2 lumens per watt.

The light rods and base come in four colours – white, black, titanium and blue – which match the colours of the joint and cable accessories.

Libera was launched during Milan design week 2023 as part of iGuzzini’s Living Vibes collection.

iGuzzini's Libera lighting system in blue
The light rods come in four colours, including blue

Comprising four new designs – Allure, BeTwo and Whisper – the collection draws on the brand’s wealth of experience in the professional lighting sector, where its focus has been on light performance and the miniaturisation of luminaires, and brings it to living and hospitality settings where warmth and intimacy are fundamental requirements.

Founded in 1959 in Italy, iGuzzini is an international group dedicated to researching and producing lighting solutions for cultural institutions, hospitality and living spaces, work environments, retail spaces, urban settings and large infrastructures.

iGuzzini's Libera lighting system in blue
Libera was launched as part of iGuzzini’s Living Vibes collection

Previous projects have included a pulsing, interactive light sculpture for London Design Festival and a snake-shaped light designed by Ron Arad.

To learn more about iGuzzini and Libera visit its website.

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