In collaboration with the curator Marguy Conzémius from the CNA (Centre national de l’audiovisuel) and the London based graphic designer Melanie Mues, we have designed a retrospective exhibition of the luxembourgish photographer Romain Urhausen.
Romain Urhausen, born in 1930, has accumulated such an enormous bulk of work over his lifetime that one of the challenges was to fit a maximum of artworks into a rather challengingly small space. Furthermore, we thought that photographs, sculptures, inventions & design objects from the 50’s up to the 90’s deserve an analogue rather then a digital display solution. The visitor therefore is invited to discover in a hands-on and interactive way, a large number of artworks from the artist’s journey through space & time.
ROMAIN URHAUSEN – FOTOGRAF exhibition at the CNA Display 01 & 02 in Dudelange, open until 30.10.2016
For the luxembourgish Presidency of the European Council from 01.07 – 31.12.2015 the Ministry of Culture commissioned me to design three spaces in the Justus Lipsius building of the Council of Europe in Brussels.
One part of the project consisted of this curiosity cabinet exhibition made from 45 individual front or back-lit boxes. The cabinet showed a more unusual side of luxembourgish history & culture, mixing together an apparent random selection of oddities and stories from past and present. One of the aims was to focus on the people (artists, writers, film makers, cooks, engineers & inventors) but also institutions, industries & customs that contribute to the fabric of the country, showing a side that would be little known outside its borders.
Following the Presidency the exhibition was recently shown at the Ministère de la Culture in Luxembourg. Currently the concept is being evaluated to be adapted to go on tour.
The national heritage agency in Luxembourg (Service des Sites et Monuments Nationaux ) has asked me to design & develop a bespoke information panel system for two distinct archeological sites. Both sites are unsupervised, which required a simple and robust solution against weathering effects and vandalism.
The steel support structures have been designed as light & unobstrusive as possible to integrate them visually into the sensitive archeological sites.
The information panels are manufactured in the northern Vosges region in France, famous for its glass manufacturing tradition. The panels are made from vitreous enamel in one of the only remaining vitreous enamel factories in Europe. This traditional technique, where the graphics are silkscreened on low carbon steel and fired at up to 850 C°, is extremly hard-wearing, UV stable and weathering proof.
Client: SSMN (Service des Sites et Monuments Nationaux)
En collaboration avec le CNRA (Centre National de Recherche Archéologique)
Graphic design: Arnaud Mouriamé
The third installation of my project for the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Council 2015 in the Atrium of the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels.
The idea of sitting together in a more sociable and friendly way, as one does between friends that work on a common project, is also the idea behind the installation in the Atrium of the Justus Lipsius building (see previous post ‘Presidency of the European Council design project – part 2’ ). The visitors are invited to claim the space and to move the deckchairs around by reconfiguring them as they wish.
The 28 deckchairs bring together in a proportionate yet abstract manner all the colours of the flags of the 28 Member States – by collecting & rejigging these colours into a new composition which was then printed onto the fabric in a ‘traditional stripey way’. Everybody will be able to find their ‘own’ specific colours within a collectif colour scheme.
The deckchairs also refer to the poetic image of time spent with family and friends, which for many Luxembourgers, means past holidays spent at the Belgian coast – a nod also to Belgium, the country with which Luxembourg has close links, and which houses the Council.
Client: Ministère de la Culture
Graphic artwork: Laurent Daubach
The Presidency campfire meeting room, for the Luxembourg presidency of the European Council
By analysing the usually conventional set-up of meeting rooms for diplomats & heads of state one thing becomes clear, there is always a certain distance between the individual seatings – not too close and yet not too far away from your interlocutor. On this occasion I was able to challenge this status quo by creating a space where everybody had to decide for himself how close he or she wants to sit in relation to their interlocutor (and how good a friend he or she really is).
The ‘campfire’ is a space for people that share a common project & a common cause. A place where you can sit all night talking to friends, sorting out differences and coming out with a stronger bond… even if that looks like a difficult thing to achieve at this moment in time.
For the luxembourgish Presidency of the European Council from 01.07 – 31.12.2015 the Ministry of Culture has commissioned me to design three spaces in the Justus Lipsius building of the Council of Europe in Brussels.
This part of the project consists of an curiosity cabinet made from 45 individual front or back-lit boxes. The cabinet shows a more unusual side of luxembougish history & culture, mixing together an apparent random selection of oddities and stories from past and present. One of the aims was to focus on the people (artists, writers, film makers, cooks, engineers & inventors) but also institutions, industries & customs that contribute to the fabric of the country, showing a side that would be little known outside its borders.
The content has been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of culture and a booklet has also been produced to help the baffled visitors to understand the slightly obscure images & objects.
Last but not least, luxembourgish artists Paul Kirps and Filip Markiewicz have also produced specific artworks for the cabinet.
Further to my recent design & customisation project of the new bus shelter for the city of Luxembourg I have been asked to develop a graphic charta & system to integrate the city wide bus network into the existing Luxembourg city map. The political aim was to make the complex bus network more user-friendly and comprehensive for visitors that are not familiar with the network, thereby encouraging the use of public transport.
Together with the AVL (Luxembourg-city bus services) & graphic design company Monopolka we have developed a graphic charta with very constraint rules & guidelines to make both network and city map work well together.
As a base the city wanted to use a topographically accurate map (based on the local ordnance survey type map) as its used by all internal services and is updated automatically when changes are made anywhere within the city. Based on that system and with our graphic manual they are free to update their public transport map internally, without relying on external contractors and without disabling rights-of-use for the map.
Last but not least, unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to re-design the bus network diagram on the top left corner of the first image below. Something that has been of much debate in recent weeks in Luxembourg… But hey, it’s never too late.
The slogan across the facade of this church in Dieuze, northern France reads ‘vous aurez toujours des pauvres parmi vous’, which roughly translats as ‘you will always have poor people among yourselves’. That has for me more then one meaning and is brutally true..
The intricate relief sculpture is also fairly brutal, but fantastic at the same time. Also interesting is the fact that an artist ( Paul Gaudin, 1958) has been able to shape the main appearance of the building with his relief and glass design, and not an architect.
Paul Smith shop in Albemarle Street, central London designed by 6a architects
A fantastic example on how to integrate a contemporary shop front design into a heritage environment, without resorting to pastiche. The intricacy of the contemporary cast iron panels & railings marries the texture of the old facade, making both old and new stand out.
3 dimensional signage rarely works, unless you have a distinct layout or feature in the area – as it is the case on the Golden Lane Estate in London with the Great Arthur House. Despite a slightly unfortunate implementation this original cast iron signage seems timeless, has weathered well and is astonishingly clear.