Shovel to dirt, we head underground to dig up some of the latest innovations in subterranean construction. We offer information on The Lowline, an underground park set to open in N.Y.C., and expand on international projects taking place in Pushing the Boundaries of Underground Construction.
We wander to Copenhagen to visit Space10, IKEA’s innovation hub, and Toulouse to the Bauhaus exhibition with Thonet, considered a more innovative version of IKEA well before its time; don’t miss our exclusive interview with Thonet that offers advice. This issue kickstarts our “In Time” collection where we encounter some of the most reputable designers and architects located in specific regions. We begin in the south of France.
We take you to Frankfurt for Ambiente, London to visit the Garden Bridge, Stockholm for the New Way Out exhibition and more. From Europe to South America, we cover Brazil’s most promising and important furniture fair Movelsul and there’s a lot of young talent worth hearing about.
Building underground has never been easy, presenting designers and engineers with a unique set of problems. Yet today, thanks in part to some innovative technology, more and more architects are exploring the widening possibilities of subterranean space.
Something Old, Something New
Six meters under a street in...
February 2016, ArchiExpo visited IKEA-sponsored innovation hub Space10 located in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The space hosted a streaming of the main TED event in Vancouver on Thursday 18. Simon Caspersen, director of communications at Space10, welcomed us to the event to meet part of the community. The educational and...
The showroom Galvani in Toulouse welcomed the first exposition in France withBauhaus classicsedited by Thonet. Sixty pieces from designers such as Marcel Breuer, Mart Stam and Mies van der Rohe were on display from March 2 to April 2, 2016.
Philipp Thonet, the 5th generation to Michael Thonet who founded the company in 1819, presented the company’s historical chain of events, including its collaboration with Bauhaus and the latest products.
Learn more about the two remarkable inventions by Thonet in the timeline below. Their signature bentwood is a hard one to match; and whilemany might look to IKEA—founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad—as the industrial king, Thonet exemplifies an even greater strategy well before this time.
After his presentation, Philipp Thonet took time to speak to ArchiExpo about the forgotten years (1930-1950) when the company—much like the world—took a hit and Thonet’s collaboration with other companies like the Japanese shop Muji. Thonet also gives some advice on how designers might propose their ideas to the company.
Philipp Thonet: It was after World War II. All the factories in Czechoslovakia were taken away by the State. Nothing was really left, but the one factory in Germany.Thonet was forced to shrink from seven factories with 5,000 employees to only one. That’s when the collaboration with Bauhaus came up and we took a different direction. The factory in Frankenberg was the only factory at that time that had a steel shop where steel was worked with and also bent.
ArchiExpo:Different challenges today?
Philipp Thonet:At the time when Michael Thonet invented the bentwood technology, labor was really inexpensive and materials were expensive. So what he did was minimalize the use of materials and employ a ton of workers. Today, labor cost is much higher than the cost of material. We have to consider that it’s a totally different situation. Back then, the number 14 chair cost about 3 kilograms of pork or 10 liters of beer.
Philipp Thonet: Many designers just throw their ideas at us and say “Do you want to produce this?” It’s kind of cute. It might have worked twenty years ago, but we have such tight product planning today with a lot of requirements that it’s not possible to work this way. You need to know the market, what the company needs and the other factors that influence a product. If you’ve studied the product line, you can brief yourself to come up with a proposal and perhaps it’ll catch our interest and meet our needs.