Like fast fashion, ‘fast furniture’ is a problem for our planet

Written by Francesca Perry, CNN

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Russian designer Harry Nuriev’s latest sofa is made from a pile of garbage bags. Recently seen at the collectible design show Design Miami, the Trash Bag Sofa was inspired by garbage on the streets of New York, and Nuriev wants it to draw attention to how we use and waste things.

The piece builds on an idea he first explored at the same fair in 2019 when he presented a bank of discarded clothes. As well as commenting on the fashion industry’s waste problem – much of which is generated by cheap, trend-responsive “fast fashion” – the project also drew a direct line between waste and the furniture industry.

Russian designer Harry Nuriev’s sofa made from discarded clothes. Credit: James Harris for Design Miami

“People have started to treat furniture like a fashion, where we can change our decisions very quickly, move around and buy things,” Nuriev said at this year’s Design Miami, which concluded on Sunday.

While there is increasing consumer awareness of the environmental impact of fast fashion, can the same be said for fast furniture? The chairs and tables that fill many of our homes and everyday spaces are mass-produced, and the cheaper items often end up on a pile of junk destined for landfill.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans threw out more than 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings in 2018 (up from 2.2 million tons in 1960), and more than 80% of that ended up in landfills. Add to that the carbon emissions caused by manufacturing and shipping, and the furniture industry looks like the next big elephant in the climate crisis room.

Buying furniture can be very expensive – and it often takes weeks to arrive. Many of us resort to cheaper, instant brands like IKEA or Wayfair, but what is this doing to the planet? To maintain low price points, manufacturers of affordable furniture often use cheaper yet less robust materials, such as veneered particle board, which is both more susceptible to damage and harder to recycle. When furniture is not designed for longevity or recyclability, it is much more likely to end up in landfill.

With growing calls for sustainability, brands that typically make “fast” furniture are announcing efforts to change – although the impact of these promises remains to be seen. In its current sustainability strategy, IKEA commits to using only renewable or recyclable materials in all its products by 2030 in an effort to practice “circular” design and reduce emissions to zero. In 2021, the company launched a “buy back and resell” scheme through which unwanted pieces of used IKEA furniture can be returned, refreshed and given a second life.

The concept of circular design has gained increasing traction over the past decade. In a circular system, furniture products would be made without virgin materials, designed to last longer and be fully reusable or recyclable, thus forming a closed loop.

“Longevity has long been a key selling point among more responsible furniture companies,” Katie Treggiden, circular design expert and author of “Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure,” said by email. “But we also need them to embrace the rest of the circular economy, by designing out waste and pollution, offering repair and reupholstery services and take-back schemes to extend life even further.”

One person’s trash is indeed another person’s treasure. And, as Tregidden’s book shows, many designers have embraced this idea by turning waste materials into new furniture products, from Bethan Gray’s Exploring Eden series, which is made from scrap shells and feathers, to James Shaw’s ongoing Plastic Baroque furniture series made with colorful recycled plastic.

However, the process of recycling certain materials can result in significant carbon emissions – and it relies on waste to begin with. “We often focus on the symptoms and not on the solutions,” Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, who is known for making furniture with found materials, said over video call. “It’s broader than recycling.”

Cabinet made from scrap wood by the Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek.

Cabinet made from scrap wood by the Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek. Credit: courtesy of Piet Hein Eek/The Future Perfect

Back at Design Miami, Eek shows off a cabinet made from scrap wood. “I try to be as efficient as possible with what the world offers me,” he said, explaining that his pieces start with the materials on hand – often sourced from lumberyards – rather than ideas for which he then has to find materials. He believes that people’s attitude towards waste wood needs to change in order to see its beauty. “If someone who doesn’t respect materials walks into a lumber yard, they won’t recognize its quality,” he said.

One way to embrace circularity is by simply buying used furniture, Treggiden said. “New furniture emits the highest concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the first year of its life, so buying second-hand is not only good for the planet, but good for your health,” she explained.

As well as numerous marketplaces for vintage or second-hand products, there are also designers who restore and reuse old items. In 2017, London-based designer and artist Yinka Ilori—whose solo show, “Parables for Happiness,” is currently on view at London’s Design Museum—collaborated with social enterprise Restoration Station to restore and refurbish second-hand chairs in bright , colorful new pieces.

Yinka Ilori's bright refurbished chairs.

Yinka Ilori’s bright refurbished chairs. Credit: Dan Weill

“With upcycling, you create a unique piece that has its own story,” Ilori said via email. “There’s a layering of meaning and history and you’re going to cherish that piece.”

Buying second hand is one way to get good quality furniture without breaking the bank. But designers like Eek also hope that by working with robust, natural materials, they can create new pieces of furniture that—while not as cheap as budget options—will be more cost-effective in the long run. “If you make something that lasts forever, then obviously your carbon footprint is much less than pieces of furniture that are thrown away one or two years later,” he said. “For me, quality is one of the most important themes.”

The emerging “slow design” movement reflects this focus on quality and longevity over speed and quantity. This includes not only working with responsible materials, but also celebrating craft and well-being. If anything can beat fast furniture, is it slow design?

“A phrase I always use is, ‘Slow is the new fast,'” said designer Nada Debs at Design Miami. “When you take time to do things, you really appreciate them.”

"A phrase I always use is: 'Slow is the new fast,'" said designer Nada Debs at Design Miami. "When you take time to do things, you truly appreciate them."

“A phrase I always use is, ‘Slow is the new fast,'” said designer Nada Debs at Design Miami. “When you take time to do things, you really appreciate them.” Credit: Courtesy Nada Debs

At this year’s fair, the Lebanese designer created a hammam installation for bathroom brand Kohler, using tiles made from manufacturing waste. Craftsmanship – often narrative-infused or regionally specific – is central to her furniture collections, as is the use of natural materials such as straw and hardwood.

Debs previously worked with companies that mass-produced more affordable furniture, resulting in items she admitted were “a really nice, quick buy.” But if consumers “really want to buy a piece of furniture and want to keep it, it makes more sense to buy a real handmade object,” she added. “It feels more authentic. To me, it’s sustainability.”

Building an emotional connection with a piece of furniture means you’re less likely to throw it out – even to repair it when necessary. “Every piece (of furniture) that I buy comes with me wherever I go because I have a personal attachment to it,” said Ilori. “The object is like a vehicle to create and collect memories… I make sure all my pieces of furniture are well preserved and respected.”

Designer Nada Debs creates furniture with natural materials such as straw and hardwood.

Designer Nada Debs creates furniture with natural materials such as straw and hardwood. Credit: Courtesy Nada Debs

According to the designers spoken to for this piece, there’s a lot to keep in mind when buying furniture. Look for pieces made with sustainable, long-lasting materials such as FSC-certified solid wood. Look for brands that are committed to circularity, offering help through repair or buy-back schemes. Embrace creativity by repurposing old items you’ve grown tired of. Check out second hand marketplaces that give access to good quality vintage items.

And consider investing in pieces that you will love and keep – and therefore last longer. “We want something quick and cheap, but it’s really worth investing in something more expensive that can last a lifetime and bring joy and a unique character to your home,” said Ilori.

You may not even have to buy: There are many services out there now, especially for those who move around frequently, that allow consumers to rent furniture for as long as they want, before returning it to be refurbished and reused by someone else to become. One such company, Fernish—which serves select parts of the U.S.—claims to have saved 268 tons of furniture from landfill in 2021.

However, the responsibility to tackle fast furniture cannot rest with the consumer alone. Designers like Nuriev, Eek, Debs and Ilori may champion ideas and innovations, but it is manufacturers who have the power to commit to impactful and scalable measures, from responsible material sourcing and circular design to environmental impact labelling, low-carbon packaging and low-emission transport . Should they also just… make less?

Eek believes the downscaling of production will become inevitable due to rising prices. “I think it will eventually become more expensive (to mass-produce furniture),” he said, “because we will find that we have scarcer resources … Right now, because of low material prices, producers are able to make layers. -cost pieces. But if wood is expensive, which it should be, you have to add more labor and quality to it to be competitive.”

Perhaps environmental crises will force the furniture industry’s hand – both in terms of dwindling resources and changing consumer priorities. “Companies that don’t lead the charge will soon start to feel the demand for change from their customers,” Treggiden concluded.

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The growing appeal of opulent interiors, according to a design expert

If the noughties was the decade of minimalist decor and the 2010s were all about shades of grey, then the 2020s certainly revisited the interior trends of a bygone era with the return of maximalism, cottage core and chinoiserie aesthetics. More is more – and homeowners aren’t afraid to leave their mark on spaces throughout their property, whether it’s the kitchen, study or practical spaces such as boot spaces and hallways.

“Arousing a sense of opulence comes from injecting a variety of textiles, lighting and soft interiors to add depth to the space,” explains Will Lyne, co-owner and master designer for luxury brand Christopher Peters Kitchens and Interiors.

“Unleash your imagination and build a collection of curated items, whether antique, new or custom, that you love to surround yourself with. Mood lighting and eclectic textures can instantly make a room feel larger and more luxurious. Anything goes with opulent interiors, so don’t be afraid to take risks inside – within reason.”

Having seen a real increase in the number of clients choosing this style of decor, Will shares his guidance on how to inject opulence into your home.

Rich tone

Mood lighting and eclectic textures can instantly make a room feel larger and more luxurious

Generations of homeowners before us have taught us that ceilings should be white – often with a dated case of Artex thrown in for good measure – walls should be painted a nice, non-offensive shade of magnolia and coves separate the two pretty. But it’s time to rip up the figurative rule book! Feel confident using color and pattern in all kinds of ways. If that means taking an embossed, floral wallpaper from the walls to the ceiling, then don’t be held back by past style trends. Or perhaps you are able to color a custom unit in a warm shade of teal to match accent pillows collected at a vintage fair? The best color groups to choose from are those in the tertiary group, so rich purples, dark greens and warm reds. It instantly adds depth to a space and makes it feel more welcoming.

Love where you live

luxury kitchen
A great tip to inject a sense of grandeur is to find something in your home that you already love and weave elements of it throughout the space

A great tip to inject a sense of grandeur is to find something in your home that you already love and weave elements of it throughout the space. Generally, a piece of art is a great place to start – and it doesn’t have to be a collectible to evoke a sense of grandeur, just something unique that makes you smile.

This can be the case for any space in the home. As seen here, in this family utility room, a simple print with matching blinds and painted units instantly makes the space feel more polished while still feeling lived-in and homey.

Warm lighting

designer kitchen
Layered lighting – essentially anything other than the main functional light in a space – adds another element to your living space that can be very attractive

Multi-level lighting – essentially anything other than the main functional light in a space – adds another element to your living space that can be very attractive. Pendant lighting over a dining table creates a sense of intimacy during those cozy, romantic meals for two and festive meals for larger groups. A reading light above your favorite corner of the sofa invites you to relax in the comfort of a good book and halo lighting in warm colors around a bathroom mirror gives the same sense of atmosphere that good spa lighting can achieve.

At Christopher Peters, we always advise our clients to consider the impact that good lighting can make in any room design. And in some cases, it can form our inspiration for an entire design.

Will concludes: “Luxury is a state of mind, rather than a design aesthetic, but remember that more is more. As far as interior design choices go, this is by far one of my favorites as anything goes – you can always have fun with a maximalist design.”

For a complimentary design meeting with the team at Christopher Peters, visit christopherpeters.com.

All images provided by Christopher Peters Kitchens and Interiors

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The Top 10 Countries Influencing Interior Design Trends

Do you like to keep up with the latest interior trends? Or spend hours browsing while looking for your next dose of inspiration? Well, you’re in luck – we’re revealing the hottest countries influencing interior design trends in 2022.

New research by Secret linen shop cross-referenced social media data with Google search data to discover the countries that most inspire interior design trends. The research combined the number of TikTok views, Instagram hashtags, Google searches and Pinterest boards related to interior design from more than 150 countries.

The top 10 countries currently inspiring interior design:

  1. Japanese – 2,104,093
  2. French – 1,996,598
  3. Danish – 1,739,788
  4. Brazilian – 936,815
  5. Mexican – 536,979
  6. California – 451,085
  7. Australia – 313,227
  8. Malaysian – 275,789
  9. Moroccan – 150,900
  10. Swedish – 140,977
    1. Molly Freshwater, co-founder of Secret Linen Store, says: ‘The patterns, colors and furnishings we see in international interiors are so evocative of a time and place. Incorporating it into how we style our homes helps us either relive precious memories or dream of new exciting adventures.

      ‘It’s easy to see why Japan’s interior design came out the best, as its principles resonate with how so many of us want our homes to be – light, airy and simple without clutter. It’s exciting to see a contrast of designs that inspire people, with the vibrant colors and patterns of Morocco and Mexico also making the top 10.

      Keep reading for a closer look inside the top three countries:

      • Minimalist Japanese interiors

      The interiors of Japan combine minimalism, simplicity and organic silhouettes. Japanese interiors also focus on the balance between the inside and outside of the home, with neutral colors and organic materials that evoke the calm in the natural world.

      Pendant lights, Nedgis


      top of the world framed abstract canvas art

      Japanese interiors shy away from ‘noisy’ designs, opting instead for scaled-down spaces that soothe and calm. It includes an understated color palette, wooden furniture and lots of natural light. Order and organization also play a role in Japanese homes, which tend to avoid exaggerated decorative elements in favor of clutter-free spaces.

      • Eclectic French interiors

      Home of bold fashion and an avant-garde art scene, France is also the place to find a clash of bold decor and rustic farmhouse-style interiors. Eclectic is probably the best word to describe French interiors, with a playful approach to color and the mindset that you should decorate your home in a way that is unique you.

      sophie chest of drawers

      curtain in lacewing French blue

      Curtain In Lacewing French Blue, Arley House

      Arley House

      The beauty of French interiors comes from mixing and matching a variety of pieces (both new and old) throughout the home—an antique bed paired with fresh white linens, for example. A cherished chair passed down through the generations can sit under neon wall art, or artwork found at a flea market prominently displayed in a modern apartment.

      • Functional Danish interiors

      Functionality, simplicity and the way it makes the most of your available space means that Danish interiors inspire the world year after year. Thanks to the Scandinavian concept of hygge rooted at its core, Danish interiors are also welcoming (not to mention cosy) – the perfect space for relaxed entertaining and relaxed evenings at home.

      logan weave armchair

      Logan Weave Armchair, Satara


      double cone shade

      Streamlined shapes and simple designs are a hallmark of Danish design, meaning that interiors have a timeless quality. Wooden furniture plays a big role in Danish interiors, as does rustic texture and neutral shades – all things that contribute to creating an understated space that can be further personalized with bolder decor and colours.

      Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

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    Experience: I can only paint in my sleep | Art and design

    When I was in school, I hated art. Growing up in North Wales, I couldn’t scrape higher than an E in my final exams. I wasn’t too bothered; I thought I wasn’t going to pursue this as a career.

    By the time I was about four, I started sleepwalking. in the evening, I used to go under the stairs and scribble on the wall. I have a distinct memory of sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, at the age of seven, about to go out. The doctor was adamant that there was nothing to worry about, and advised my parents to “let him get on with it”.

    When I was 15, I was still getting up in the middle of the night to make art – even if I stayed over at a friend’s house. By this point I was no longer just doodling. I sketched anything from portraits of Marilyn Monroe to abstract zeros and crosses, and fairies.

    I showed some to my art teachers. They said, “Why can’t you do this in class?” It was something I struggled to understand myself. I tried so hard to draw when I was awake, practiced and used the same tools. But no matter what I did, I couldn’t replicate the drawings.

    When I left school I became a nurse and carer in hospices, mainly helping people with brain injuries. I also met my partner. We’ve been together for 23 years, and he’s been and still is incredibly supportive of my art and sleepwalking habits – he often films me while I’m working. Watching videos of my painting is very strange because I have no memory of it. I often wake up feeling like I did something in my sleep, but I can never quite remember what. I paint with both hands, but awake I’m only right-handed.

    I will leave my art supplies in my drawers and when I sleep I will know where to go. At a friend’s place, I drew on a plasterboard with chicken bones and coal left over from a barbecue we had in the garden. I will use any tools I can find, sometimes knives and forks. That’s the only thing that worries my partner – that I will accidentally hurt myself. But it hasn’t happened yet.

    I went to several sleep clinics to try to figure out what was going on. They saw the videos and observed me while I was sleeping. I was wired, had my heart rate monitored overnight, and was kept awake for 36 hours for experiments, but nothing out of the ordinary was found health-wise. However, alcohol or sleep deprivation brings more sleepwalking, so I’m wary of that.

    I learned to embrace my unusual talent and set up my first art exhibition in 2007 at my local library to raise money for cancer research. I bought £1 frames, cut out my artwork and taped it to the walls. Within a week I had 160 calls from different media and organizations wanting to hear about my art. I was over the moon. I then decided to leave my very fulfilling job in nursing and become a full-time artist.

    People sometimes assume that I will always paint a fully developed piece of art at night. In fact, my success ratio is more like one in 50. I’ve ruined things in my sleep before. Sometimes I’ll do random squiggles or lines, only to go back three months later and finish them. Now I actually sell my work as a career, there can be pressure to produce more.

    Sometimes I’ll go months without drawing or painting, and every now and then I’ll do something I’m proud of. I had to learn to go with the flow, which helps make me relaxed enough to produce more work. I usually do about 20 pieces a year. Kim Kardashian had two of my Marilyn Monroes in her Met Gala dressing room this year.

    Some people have tried to link my abilities to childhood trauma, which doesn’t occur to me personally. Others questioned whether I was sincere. It doesn’t worry me because I don’t feel like I have anything to prove and really enjoy what I do. I do feel a little guilty that there are people who study art all their lives and then I come and do it in my sleep. I am lucky that my subconscious gave me a career that makes me truly happy. My advice to my younger self? Do your art exam in your sleep.

    As told to Elizabeth McCafferty

    Do you have an experience to share? Email [email protected]

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    How to achieve a clean, minimalist interior design look at home

    Achieving a minimalist, clean look in your home’s interior design is all about creating a stylish and functional space. This can be achieved by incorporating clean lines, minimal furniture and a neutral color palette. Keep reading to learn more about how you can achieve this coveted look in your own home.

    Via Pexels

    Start with a blank canvas

    The first step to achieving a minimalist, clean look in your home’s interior design is to start with a blank canvas. This means decluttering your space and removing any unnecessary items that are taking up valuable real estate. Once you’ve decluttered, it will be much easier to see what pieces you need and what can be removed.

    Include clean lines

    Clean lines are an essential element of minimalist design. They eliminate clutter and create a sense of order in the space. Keep window treatments simple, with minimal fabric or single panels rather than layers of complex curtains. Choose furniture with clean, straight lines and avoid pieces that have too much detail or frills. For example, use square coffee tables instead of ornate round tables. When decorating walls, opt for abstract art or minimal photos that don’t take away from the pristine look you’re trying to achieve.

    Stick to a neutral color palette

    Limit your palette to warm, neutral colors such as taupe, white, beige and grey. These colors create an airy atmosphere that is both calming and inviting. Choose furniture upholstered in these shades for added texture and dimension. To add a splash of color, consider using wood or metal accents in rich shades like walnut or rose gold.

    Keep accessories to a minimum

    Minimalism focuses on just a few select items rather than overwhelming the space with too many pieces. When it comes to accessorizing your home, choose just one or two statement pieces that really stand out from the rest of your decor. This can include an eye-catching piece of wall art or a unique chandelier. Consider adding scandi decor and home accessories for a simple, modern look.

    Choose Minimal Furniture

    When choosing furniture for your space, choose stylish and functional pieces. Avoid overcrowding your space with too many pieces of furniture or decorative items—less is more if you’re going for a minimalist look. Also, make sure that the pieces you choose serve a purpose and fit well with the overall design of your space.

    Maximize natural light

    Maximizing natural light is key to a minimalist look in your home. Keep window treatments minimal, and don’t block out too much of the outside world. Hang mirrors on walls facing windows to reflect more light into the room and make it appear larger. Add glass doors or panels to divide large spaces for even more light if possible.

    Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a stylish, functional and minimalist design in your own home! You can achieve the perfect balance between form and function in your interior design with clean lines, neutral colors, minimal furniture and natural light.

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    Doug Moran prize 2022: Graeme Drendel wins $150,000 for portrait of fellow finalist who painted him | Art and design

    Graeme Drendel won Australia’s richest portrait prize for his painting of one of his fellow finalists, artist Lewis Miller, who himself was nominated for a portrait he painted of Drendel.

    Drendel, a Victorian artist known for his figurative work, was announced as the winner of the $150,000 Doug Moran national portrait prize at a ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday. Drendel and Miller, who are close friends, were both present for the announcement.

    “We have known each other for a long time,” Drendel said after the announcement. “We have never painted each other before. Lewis is a very frequent portrait painter, and he has done many self-portraits so that people know his face.

    Graeme Drendel’s winning portrait of Lewis Miller. Photo: Provided by Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

    “I suggested to him that I would do his portrait and he said, ‘Well, I’ll do one of you.’ I had three sessions with him – I usually get a portrait done in a couple of hours, but for some reason Lewis was more difficult. But it was very nice – lots of gossip, good music and a glass of beer.

    “I expected his painting of mine to win, it’s a ripper. This is a beautiful tough painting. That’s why I feel so grateful that I won.”

    Prize judge and art historian Gerard Vaughan called it “an intriguing coincidence” that Miller’s “excellent” portrait was also a finalist, but said Drendel’s painting “stood out right from the start of the judging process, within ‘ a very strong field”.

    “Drendel’s painting technique is superb, skilful and subtle with flawless lighting and tonality…this is a quietly powerful depiction of a familiar face, a character study that is both reflective and demands attention by virtue of its emotional power and believability,” he added.

    Drendel’s painting of Miller is only 30 cm long. Vaughan said that while some viewers might find his small size “surprising”, it was a strength.

    “One characteristic of contemporary portraits is large size, presenting images of faces that are abundant, ranging from large to gigantic. In this case the reverse applies… a smaller scale can provide opportunities for the artist to present a clearer sense of reality, intimacy and authenticity, a picture that is also portable and can be easily moved around,” he said.

    Lewis Miller's portrait of Graeme Drendel.
    Lewis Miller’s portrait of Graeme Drendel. Photo: Provided by Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

    Drendel calls his win “an incredible surprise – I’ve never won a prize before, and to win with a small painting is a big shock.”

    “I hardly thought about the monetary aspect of it,” he said. “It will come. Really, it’s the recognition, after all these years of work, it’s worth so much more.”

    Drendel has twice previously been nominated for the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, in 2021 and 2017. He has exhibited since 1990 and his work appears in many collections across the country, including the National Gallery of Australia.

    Vaughan’s fellow judges were artist Lucy Culliton, and Peter Moran, whose parents Doug and Greta Moran founded the Moran Arts Foundation in 1988.

    Culliton said Drendel’s win was a unanimous decision. “Interestingly, when we viewed the paintings in real life, although I knew the painting was small, I was surprised at how small the portrait was. I am very happy with our winner. A beautifully painted painting,” she said.

    The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize invites original works from Australian artists that capture Australians from all walks of life, whether a public figure or someone from the artist’s circle of experience. All entries must be at least partially painted from life and the sitter must be known to the artist.

    Last year, the prize money was doubled so three artists could win $100,000 each because the judges couldn’t agree on just one – a first for the prize.

    There will be no physical exhibition for the Doug Moran finalists this year, due to building works at Juniper Hall, the heritage-listed building in Paddington, Sydney, where the works are usually displayed. All the finalists can be viewed online.

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    AC40 design and construction changes announced

    America’s Cup: AC40 design and construction changes announced

    by Emirates Team NZ/Sail-World NZ Nov 24 7:50pm PST
    November 25, 2022

    Emirates Team NZ’s AC40 bow has been reformed due to forces significantly greater than those experienced in AC75 incidents © Adam Mustill / America’s Cup

    Henri-Lloyd November 2022 - Gore-Tex - SW MPU
    Cyclops 2022 November Load Pin MPU

    Emirates Team New Zealand has announced the design and construction changes that will be incorporated into existing and future AC40 buildings.

    The changes were developed as a result of the catastrophic structural failure that occurred after the violent nose dive of the team’s LEQ12 on Tuesday. The test yacht had been taken out of AC40 One Design mode a few days earlier, and with the addition of a new test wing blade, was classified as a test or prototype AC75 (LEQ12) at the time of the incident.

    The LEQ12 buried its bows during a very steep, sudden and violent nosedive while testing in waves on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, resulting in damage to the forward sections of the hull and deck structure. While the team was on the water recovering the yacht and returning to the dock, the team’s engineers immediately began reviewing onboard data to identify the root cause of the problem.

    “The first things we look at in this type of dynamic event are the accelerations and rotation rates coming from yacht’s inertial measurement unit (IMU),” explains Jamie Timms, Emirates Team New Zealand Structural Engineer. “These readings allow us to derive the magnitude of the hydrodynamic loads on the hull structure, which we can then feed into our structural simulations to estimate the stress state and structural safety margins. We also use the data to run our fluid dynamics simulations of high velocity hull impacts.”

    “During the 36th America’s Cup we captured and cataloged the dynamics of every major event across the three yachts we sailed in that campaign and we enveloped them, with additional margin, to define the load cases for the AC40. About the first 18 days from when we sailed the AC40 we saw some events that caused major impacts.This was consistent with our design cargo boxes and the hull structure performed as expected.However, this latest event experienced accelerations that were far beyond was than our previous records.”

    “The figures above compare the longitudinal and lateral decelerations of the AC40 crash with the largest event seen by Te Rehutai, the team’s AC75 from the last America’s Cup.

    “Not only did we see longitudinal decelerations 70% higher than the previous worst case, but this was coupled with a simultaneous lateral loading of similar magnitude – the yacht came to a complete stop and yawed 90 degrees in just over a second .We believe it was this combined load condition that led to an initial failure of the foredeck sandwich panel.The damage we saw in the hull and partial detachment of the bow structure is likely a result of the compromised deck panel, rather than a root cause.”

    With this new data in hand, the team’s engineers designed an in-house structural upgrade package that will be rolled into all current and future AC40 yachts.

    “During the development of this class we have seen the yachts become increasingly dynamic as the performance of the yacht and the skills of the sailors grow. As with any high performance vessel there is a constant balance between reducing mass and ensuring of reliability and safety, and as our understanding of the class grows, we are evolving our approach to maintain that balance. This additional structure will restore full structural margins for the upgraded load cases and allow sailors to safely and confidently push the performance limits of the class to move. .”

    The internal structure upgrade package will be built by McConaghy’s, which builds the fleet of AC40s.

    “The good news is that there will be no change to the delivery schedule for the remaining AC40s currently being built and the bow upgrade package will soon be shipped from the McConaghy yard for retro-fitting to the three AC40s already delivered.”

    RS Sailing 2021 - MPU

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    The Design Miami fair is maximalist, colourful — and provocative

    Two weeks before Design Miami opens its doors to VIPs on November 29, Rudy Weissenberg of AGO projects has crates full of furniture and objects, ready to be shipped from his gallery in Mexico City. AGO is the only Latin American contemporary gallery participating in the fair, but for Weissenberg it is the most obvious place to be.

    “Design Miami feels younger and more experimental than other fairs, and in line with our goals at AGO,” says Weissenberg. “It’s evolved into a place where people take risks, which I think we do to some extent.”

    Weissenberg, who is from Guatemala, opened the space in Mexico City in 2019 with his partner, Rodman Primack, who was Design Miami’s executive director between 2014 and 2019. Their goal is to work with local designers and the possibilities of Mexico’s small workshops and factories. “You can get anything made here,” says Weissenberg.

    Fabien Cappello works with Cerámica Suro © Julio Rey

    In the AGO crates are designs by Fabien Cappello, French but a resident of Guadalajara, Mexico, who created candy-colored tile tables with a company that once supplied mosaics to Mexico’s modernist masters. In a collaborative project with the Guadalajaran company Cerámica Suro, known for ambitious collaborations with artists including Jorge Pardo, Cappello also designed meters of tiles to cover the loft’s walls and floor. “We’re going for full immersion,” says Weissenberg. “There is color and humor and a bit of absurdity. We’re going full maximalist in Miami. It’s a provocation.”

    Over its 18 years, the fair has established a reputation for big, bold energy and sales to match. “The first time we showed pieces by Chris Schanck and Misha Kahn here, in 2016, we sold out immediately,” says Marc Benda of the New York gallery Friedman Benda, referring to two radical American designers. Schanck’s offering was a monster-sized table covered in a brilliant metallic finish; Kahn’s, a massive, irregularly-shaped cabinet in grass and found glass, made with basket weavers in Swaziland.

    “It’s about the psychology of the fair,” says Benda. “Collectors come expecting to be blown away by new work. It may be the same customers who come to Basel in June, but here they have a different mindset. They jump right in.” This year, Benda’s stand will include work by Darren Romanelli, who comes from the fashion world and has been collecting and recycling all our consumer waste in clothes, and now furniture, for 20 years.

    Design Miami’s makeup is more focused on contemporary work, much of it completely new. (“No refried beans,” says Benda.) Even galleries like Philadelphia’s Moderne, specialists in the revered studio art of George Nakashima (who died in 1990 and whose rough walnut tables can fetch $300,000), are mixing in fresh pieces through Miriam Carpenter, an alumna of the Nakashima workshop, and the papery ceramics of Tomomi Tanaka.

    A white marble-effect table that looks carved from an angular block of material

    ‘Drop’ (2021) by Miriam Carpenter © Christian Giannelli for Moderne Gallery; Miriam Carpenter

    “There are a lot of developers here. Many restaurateurs and hoteliers. A lot of second homes,” says fair CEO Jen Roberts, suggesting that a local audience helps bolster Design Miami’s viability, along with the international art crowd that flocks to town for Art Basel and its other fringe fairs. to live (Up to 40,000 visitors are expected to pass through Design Miami over the six days.)

    Khaled El Mays, a 37-year-old designer from Beirut, presents his new Lotus series — marble tables on elaborately carved and fluted bases that refer both to ancient Egypt and to Art Deco in their details (on display with Milan gallery Nilufar). “These are expensive pieces, and they need an expansive space, or an outdoor setting,” he says. “They are Miami.”

    A dining table consisting of a mottled blue column supporting a pink oblong top with a yellow/orange frayed concertina where the top meets the support

    ‘Dining Table — The Lotus Series’ (2022) by Khaled El Mays at Nilufar © Image courtesy of Nilufar and Khaled El Mays

    However, Roberts stresses that the fair should be “a platform for a range of voices”. Roberto Lugo, a Philadelphia potter of Puerto Rican extraction, known for ceramics detailing hip-hop culture and the immigrant experience, is tapping into a rather different side of Miami’s identity. “My dad used to own a bodega in Philly,” he says. “And I turn the stand over [New York gallery] R+Co in a store.” More gift shop than grocery, Lugo’s shelves will be packed with butter dishes shaped like subway trains, coffee trays shaped like water towers and pit bull umbrella stands. “These pieces are a portrait of my working class community. Ceramics are an interesting and direct medium of communication.”

    A young man in a black hat and black T-shirt reading

    Roberto Lugo’s ceramics use contemporary themes and images, such as graffiti © Courtesy of Roberto Lugo. Photo: Ryan Collard

    A colorful mix of geometric shapes covers an ornamental pit bull that has three umbrellas protruding from its back

    ‘Pitbull Umbrella Stand’ (2022) by Roberto Lugo © Photo by Tiffany Smith, courtesy of R & Company

    Lugo will also have a talk with the musician Erykah Badu, who discovered him through his work. “She saw a sadness in it,” Lugo says. “So we’re going to talk about kintsugi — the Japanese technique of repairing pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, where the repair work is clearly displayed. We both see it as a metaphor for our own transparency about the struggle we’ve had.”

    Karen Grimson is the curator who oversees the art and design collection of Dacra, the Miami real estate company founded 35 years ago by Craig Robins and instrumental in the creation of Miami’s Design District. While neither the Design District, with its high-end shops and fancy restaurants, nor the fair itself includes Miami’s wider community, Grimson, who is Argentinian, does believe that the curation of Dacra’s art collection reflects the city’s multicultural nature and open-mindedness. – Robbins made early acquisitions of black, female, queer and Asian artists who are sought after today. “This city is an eclectic textile of people from all over the US, the Caribbean and Latin America,” she says. “It is political in its porosity and diversity. It does affect what you do here, and how you think.”

    Several palm trees sit in a white courtyard with four bottle cap-like objects hanging from the nearby tree - two in yellow and one in pink and another in blue

    ‘Rock/Roll’ (2022) by Germane Barnes © Courtesy of Germane Barnes

    Germane Barnes is the designer charged this year with making the annual fair-time interventions outside the Design Miami tent and throughout the Design District. This is the first time a Miami resident has received the opportunity and the second time for an African-American designer. “It was important to me to make work rooted in the community that actually built Miami,” says Barnes, an architect and filmmaker who is assistant professor of architecture at the University of Miami. He created brightly colored sculptures, filled with foam noodles, that people could climb inside. A 300-pound steel bar makes them move back and forth.

    “This project is a love letter to the city and its people, a tribute to carnival,” says Barnes. “You get in and you look like you’re wearing crazy carnival regalia.” Decorations shaped like steel drums will hang from the trees; A huge disco ball cut in half will function as a stage. “It’s for the people,” says the 37-year-old, who is originally from Chicago and whose work explores the value design can bring to civic and domestic space. “You don’t need to know about fancy design or buy a Bottega Veneta handbag to have fun in a rocker, to feel like you belong.”

    30 November – 4 December, designmiami.com

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    ‘It’s a bit Mary Poppins’: Lina Ghotmeh to design 2023’s Serpentine pavilion | Architecture

    A slender wooden parasol will unfold in London’s Kensington Gardens next summer, its radial ribs supporting an expansive, low canopy beneath the trees. This is the elegant vision of Lina Ghotmeh, the Lebanese-born, Paris-based architect announced as the designer of the 22nd annual Serpentine Gallery pavilion.

    ‘I wanted to create an open, inviting shelter’ … Lina Ghotmeh. Photo: Gilbert Hage

    “It’s a bit Mary Poppins,” Ghotmeh said from her studio in Paris. “I wanted to create an open, inviting shelter, a place to sit and eat and talk together in nature, and rethink our relationship with each other and the living world.”

    Titled A table – the French call to sit together to eat – the pavilion will have a ring of tables and benches arranged around the center of the space, designed for public meetings and discussions, or simply for park-goers to come and sit, read , eat or work. “It should feel like the kind of place where you can have a conversation with someone sitting not far from you,” Ghotmeh said. “It is a modest, low space where you can feel close to the earth.”

    The wooden umbrella of nine pleated “leaves” will be supported on a colonnade of laminated wooden columns, forming a sheltered walkway around the edge of the pavilion, separated from the interior space by translucent glass screens. Each side of the flower-shaped structure will curve slightly inward, in a reverent nod to the location of the surrounding trees’ roots, providing a subtle, shape-shifting geometry as you walk around the building.

    Radial wooden ribs will extend across the ceiling from a central oculus, like the gills of a mushroom, supporting a wafer-thin plywood roof, braced with rows of v-shaped ridges (and, unlike last summer’s open-to- elements) design, the oculus will be covered with a tensile membrane crown to keep out the rain). The skeletal structure and austere, stripped-down design suggest the feel of a fabric tent or a folded paper model, touching the ground as softly as possible – a departure from some recent years’ sturdy constructions and their substantial concrete foundations.

    “I’m trying to make the carbon footprint as low as possible,” Ghotmeh said, explaining how she plans to use a new type of low-carbon recycled glass developed by Saint-Gobain and design the structure with bolted connections for easy disassembly. The timber will be LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber), which uses less material than bulkier cross-laminated timber, creating the slimmest possible columns and beams.

    The exterior of Lina Gotmeh's design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2023.
    The exterior of Lina Gotmeh’s design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2023. Photo: Lina Ghotmeh Architecture/ Serpentine

    Ghotmeh says the design was informed by research into the history of community gathering places and sites of collective ritual, ranging from Stonehenge to the toguna huts of the Dogon people in Mali, West Africa. The toguna – meaning “big shelter” – usually occupies the center of a village, providing a place for the community to come together to make decisions, mediate conflicts and dispense justice. Their low-level roofs are designed to force people to sit rather than stand, helping to avoid violence when conversations get heated. The Serpentine’s artistic debates can no doubt get heated, but Ghotmeh’s structure is designed more with accessibility in mind, its ceiling varying from a comfortable two-and-a-half to three metres.

    The selection of Ghotmeh continues the Serpentine’s welcome run of widening the net and highlighting younger, lesser-known names. Born in Beirut in 1980, where she grew up in the aftermath of the Lebanese civil war, Ghotmeh studied architecture at the American University of Beirut and the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris. She worked with Jean Nouvel and Norman Foster in London, and got her big break in 2005, when she won an international competition, along with two others, for the new Estonian National Museum, which led to them being DGT Architects in Paris founded and realized the building to wide critical acclaim.

    Put another way… the Stone Garden apartment block designed by Lina Ghotmeh.
    Put another way… the Stone Garden apartment block designed by Lina Ghotmeh. Photo: Iwan Ban

    Ghotmeh established her own studio in 2016 and gained international recognition with the completion of the otherworldly Stone Garden apartment building in Beirut in 2020, which was exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale last year. The rough concrete facades, which stand like a great geological outcrop, are riddled with deep openings, echoing the bullet holes of the war-torn city, and with horizontal streaks, combed into the surface by hand as the concrete was setting. harden. It looks like a gigantic piece of sedimentary rock, chiseled into a habitable cliff, with lush bursts of greenery now spilling from its openings.

    Ghotmeh will soon complete a new leather workshop for the French fashion house Hermès, designed as a series of interlocking walls of low brick arches around a pair of courtyards. It seems poised to create a similar ethereal world of framed views, delicate enclosure and closeness to nature that we can hope to experience in next summer’s pavilion – a supercalifragilistic canopy, ready to float away on the breeze.

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    Foster + Partners to design “one of London’s largest timber buildings”

    British studio Foster + Partners has unveiled plans for The William, which will be made from cross-laminated timber and become the studio’s first timber office building in the UK.

    The William will be located in Queensway, Bayswater, opposite The Whiteley shopping centre, which Foster + Partners is also redeveloping as part of a wider regeneration of the area.

    The building will be located in London’s Bayswater area

    The six-storey building will have an exterior informed by the “natural environment”, said property investment management firm Mark, which has secured planning permission for the project. It is named after The Whiteley’s founder William Whiteley.

    The William will replace a post-war building and contain 90,000 sq ft (8,361 sq m) of office space as well as 21,000 sq ft (1,950 sq m) of shops.

    Double height entrance hall with swinging staircase
    It will be Foster + Partner’s first UK timber office building

    In addition, it will contain 32 new homes, 11 of which will be affordable. The ground floor will house a double-height lobby with a swinging, sculptural staircase, which will be designed using organic materials.

    This floor will also have 11 retail units, designed to mirror the redeveloped The Whiteley across the road.

    Terrace with purple flowers
    A terrace will overlook The Whiteley across the road

    “Bio-diverse” terraces and roofs will provide greenery that will be visible from the street level.

    “The William will be built using cross-laminated timber, a highly sustainable method of construction, making it one of London’s largest timber developments in the works,” said Mark.

    According to the management firm, The William will achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating and be operationally net-zero carbon once completed.

    It will be built using natural and responsible materials.

    Interior of the William wooden building
    The studio will use natural materials for The William

    Work will begin on The William in 2023 with the building due for completion in 2026, while the redevelopment of The Whiteley will be completed in 2024.

    When completed, The Whiteley will house 139 residences and twenty new shops, restaurants and cafes as well as Six Sense Hotel. It will also have a cinema and a large-scale gymnasium.

    The overall Queensway regeneration project will be completed in 2025 and will deliver seven new buildings in the area.

    Other recent timber projects by Foster + Partners include a demountable timber office in Spain and a winery in France.

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