Anybody who lives in London knows the difference between mediocre and fine public transport design. The classy post-war route master got replaced 10 years ago by terrible double decker buses made from cheap materials, ugly colours and a few poor ‘design’ elements until the once again beautiful and specially for London designed new route master finally made it in large numbers onto the streets last year or so.
The new route master (designed by Thomas Heatherwick) shows that good design can make all the difference in the experience of traveling on public transport. Besides the important iconic outside design and the fuel efficient engine my point is that beautiful detailing and good quality finishes are also essentiel.
Especially in cities where the private car usage is still an option (like in Luxembourg, where I’m from) and where you want to get people out of their own cars you have to create an alternative that is not only faster, cheaper and more ecological but it also needs to be a beautiful ride. If the public transport experience is mediocre because of poorly designed interiors & exteriors (with maybe some customised colour scheme if you are lucky), then people will still want to use their own cars..
Designed for outdoor spaces like nature reserves, parks & forests, this seating range is composed of large & chunky shapes with very simple profiles. The large – single piece – wood parts are made from locally sourced oak trunks with a simply sawn finish to resist weathering and vandalism. Due to its thickness, the wood can be sanded down if damaged but can also happily live with the added texture.
The wood profiles and tubular powder coated steel tubes are both an integral part of the structure and form objects with a strong visual contrast between natural and man made materials. The simple & sculptural shapes should integrate well in natural environments, yet stand out enough to be noticed for its quality.
The City of Luxembourg commissioned us to develop an furniture and colour guidance manual for the terrasses on one of it’s most prestigious squares in the city centre. After many years of wild west behavior of the restaurants and cafés, using mostly cheap looking plastic furniture, branded umbrellas, primary colours and endless clutter the city wanted to clean up.
The new scheme, involving a selection of muted colours and more attractive furniture typologies has now been implemented, giving the square a more dignified and calm appearance while focusing on the quality of the space, the trees and the architecture.
One of press critics wrote at the time that we want to take colour and life out of the City, thankfully the chap in his all red training outfit plus hat has turned-up on my photo (on the right) to prove that it is not furniture & umbrellas that are creating a colourful city life!
Just finished a signage & wayfinding project for the Olympic Games of the Small Nations of Europe, held in Luxembourg this year. Very refreshing to work on a fast and short term project for a change. In collaboration with Luxembourg based Designbureau. Client: Comité Olympique et Sportif Luxembourgeois
I can’t speak Catalan but this plate set into the paving in front of the long established Deli/Restaurant ‘Can Ravell’ in Barcelona says something like: ‘In the name of the City of Barcelona – in recognition to Ravell for its many years of service to the city’.
The plate seems to regroup many symbols of trade and craft and I suppose the City of Barcelona sets these plates in front of their most long serving, authentic and traditional businesses that make the city so special. What a great initiative! And the food was even better!!
The Concorde might have been a fuel guzzling, noisy and elitist plane representing the excesses of the ‘trente glorieuses’, but it also embodies a great believe, excitement and optimism in the future. Not something you can say about today…
Also great is to see a really good quality and stylish souvenir that was handed out to every person flying with the Concorde. The pen looks as fast as the the Concorde flies and even has a bit of a nose like the real thing. Try and find a pen in your drawers that you got for free that is of any quality…
“Your penny is worth more at the Cooperative supermarket” is a great slogan, and the graphics on these match boxes are even better. Not sure from which period this is ( I would guess late 70’s early 80’s), but I wish retail graphic design would more often be this convincingly simple, minimal, bold & confident (even if it looks a bit communist).
This water drinking fountain is the first of many to be installed in the City of Luxembourg. The scheme was initiated by the city’s own Service des Eaux and elaborated in close collaboration with the City Management, other administrations of the city and myself as an external design consultant.
After an in-depth research of existing drinking fountains across Europe we have identified this fountain as the most suitable product for Luxembourg. The fountain has initially been developed by the french designer Cécile Planchais for Eau de Paris and will also be rolled-out in Paris next year.
Besides the functional & hygienic qualities its subtle timeless design has convinced us to be the right choice for Luxembourg. The textured surface and distinctive shape blurs the boundaries of time, making it contemporary but also fit nicely in an heritage environment. Also, after two days in use in the city the form and shape has proven that its function and purpose is self-explanatory.
Interior concept for the 74 branches of the Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat, a national institution in Luxembourg – designed by Teisen-Giesler Architectes & integratedPlace.
We elaborated a scheme conveying the notion of safety, tradition, quality and long established values. By emphasising solid build elements made from cast terrazzo and oak we underlined the trustworthy image of the bank. Timeless shapes and high quality materials should also underline the fact that the bank, with it’s long history, is here to stay.
Design proposal elaborated following an closed competition initiated by the BCEE. No winners announced as yet…
For more information: www.integratedplace.com
Luxembourg based media group ‘Maison Moderne’ has commissioned me to design a TV set for its new venture, paperJam TV.
The design concept is based on an intricate curtain wall featuring numerous cut-outs based on the pattern of the existing paperJam logo. The idea was to create a notion of visual depth and shadows that ‘texture’ the background in an otherwise extremely confined space (4,5m X 3,5m). The pattern also helps to blur the scale and make the space appear larger then it really is.
Additionally we installed RGB LED’s to graze up the walls behind the hanging ‘curtains’. These LED’s are individually addressable, enabling the background to be animated by gently pulsating and changing colour schemes.
Photo: © Olivier Minaire / Maison Moderne (TM)
paperJam TV: www.paperJam.TV