Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Prada + OMA fashion show set designing

We have known the famous store designs produced by the collaboration of Prada and Dutch Architect Rem Koolhaas's OMA. But this month's Wallpaper covered an Interesting article about their collaboration for the fashion show set designing, which started from 2004 onwards.

Check out their latest work below
Grid of Blue foam seats for the S/S 2012 Prada menswear

 Here instead of having a traditional Catwalk flanked with spectators, there was field of Blue foam blocks where the spectators will be seated on carefully placed on a spread of artificial grass. As wallpaper has written about this experimental design that "Prada has questioned the peculiar spectacle of the catwalk. Who is the spectator and who is part of the spectacle? Are the lucky 600 guests with their own blue seat really the audience or an essential part of the show? Are the real spectators the millions who watch the show, live or not, on Prada.com, Wallpaper.com and other media platforms"

Some of their previous Fashion Show sets.

S/S 2011: an elevated stage, surrounding by stadium-style seating. The surface of the runway was covered in a metal grille, while neon lights concealed beneath illuminated the runway

A/W 2007 menswear: A spiralling, fossil-like creation in orange

S/S 2010 womenswear: The show was bisected by a wall featuring projections of scenes from grand hotels

S/S 2009 menswear: A series of undulating timber seating islands demarcated the show space. The modular seating units were also seen later in the year for the A/W 2009 menswear show

What I noticed from all the above examples is that a) the set itself is like a beautiful and intriguing art installation b) they have continuously experimented with the interaction between the modelling walk area and the audience.

All images via Wallpaper 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Solar powered wooden Helicopter

 I came accors this cool wooden Solar powered helicopter while surfing through Dwell.
This toy reminded me of the wooden toys I played with as a kid . The dolls, pull toys and rattles which are found in many Indian Handicraft exhibitions. My daughter has them too. They are wood and lacquer lathe turned and are simple and beautiful.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Iconic pedestrian bridge competition - Amsterdam

I believe design competitions are like an intense physical workout, but only for the brain. It pushes you to think beyond your comfort zone. Recently, we participated in an architectural competition after a long time. Last time I had participated in a design competition was during the golden days as a design student at Purdue University... I had won it (check it out here) thanks to the guidance of my Prof.
This one was an architectural competition to design an Iconic pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam. We did not win, neither did we get an Honourable mention ....bummer :((  ....but we learnt a lot during the process - it is about honing the design process and keeping on refining and refining the design concept before you finalise the actual design. And always always always ...keep it simple!!!.
I really liked the wining entry you can check it out on this website ac-ca. It was simple but out of the box and it was presented well too.

Below is our entry

Check out more pics on http://www.architizer.com/en_us/projects/view/iconic-pedestrian-bridge-competition-entry/37216/

After this experience, to be honest I am a bit glad that we did not win, because I knew even while working on the competition, that we still are not there yet.
Which reminds me of  Michael Jordon's famous quote .....no not the 9000 shots one but this one “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.”

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Park Hotel - Hyderbad

During my recent trip to Hyderabad I got a chance to check out The Park hotel.
I got to have a detail tour of the place including there VIP suites and all the works thanks to my SIL. The building is designed by SOM and is on the banks of Hussain Sagar Lake. It is the first LEED Gold certified hotel in India.
The building design is pretty SOMish and it definitely stands out in the context. I remember during my past trips to Hyderabad when the building was under construction (and I din't know what it was) I had made a mental note to check it out when its done. And so I did.
From across the lake the building looks like an angular contemporary structure with wave like pattern formed by the glazing and the cladding. Once I approached close by, I realised that the building is elevated a couple of storeys to give expansive views of the lake, especially from the central "C" shaped courtyard which holds the swimming pool overlooking the lake.
The facade is made of metal screen in varying patterns of perforations and embossing which provides a range of transparency according to the needs of the spaces inside. According to SOM "the shape of the facade’s openings, as well as the three‐dimensional patterns on the screens themselves, were inspired by the forms of the metalwork of the crown jewels of the Nizam, the city’s historic ruling dynasty." Which is very obviously evident during night time as the light shimmers through the cutouts.
To talk about the Interiors of the Hotel, let me start by saying that while many Indian five star hotels opt for a classical look for their interiors, which I like only sometimes, this one has gone in a complete hip and contemporary direction by juxtaposing the design with some very beautiful traditional local arts and crafts. Like the metal work chandeliers in the image below or the traditional Kalamkari style of textile painting on the ceiling panels. But more about the interiors in a later post.
Kalamkari painting on the ceiling panels
The metal work ceiling feature above the Reception desk
The hand blown glass Chandelier