Georges Zigrand's Blog

Outdoor furniture – extra bold

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.

Outdoor furniture range Outdoor park bench Outdoor lounge chair Outdoor picnic table

Have a seat and enjoy

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!

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Fair games

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

SITE_SIGNAGE TRIANGLE_3 PEDESTRIAN_SIGNAGE PUBLIC_TRANSPORT EVENT_SIGNAGE CAR_SIGNAGE

A new bus shelter for Luxembourg-city

Based on an existing JCD shelter designed by Norman Foster we fine-tuned & adapted the design in collaboration with the city and JCD to better fit todays user needs. Over 250 shelters will be installed / replaced the next couple of years across the city’s bus network.
With a user-centered approach the team developed a new back-lit independent totem that regroups a number of information that is easy to read, even from a distance. The same logic applies to the glass panel on the opposite side where we also re-grouped passenger information usually spread randomly all over the shelter.

Last but not least, in close collaboration with the city’s own topographical service and the graphic design agency Monopolka, we have designed a new map of the city with the entire bus network overlapping in a clear, geographically accurate and user-friendly design. More on this soon!

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Chamfered plywood table

Posted in My projects, Products & furniture by zigideluxe on 25/02/2013

In collaboration with furniture maker Norbert Brakonier S.A. we finalised the first working prototype of the ‘plywood table’, a product that aims to be good value and equally good quality. Manufactured from a single thickness of standard factory made plywood with white melamine surfaces, the angled legs with its chamfered corners give the table structural stability and character. Additionally, custom-made large aluminium screws in a brightly anodised colour connect the table top to the legs, all visible and obvious!

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Cheap & cheerful

DIY street stall made from an off the shelf ladder
Creating a street stall for a one day event to sell hand made scarves from Bangladesh is not my usual design brief, especially if the budget had to be kept at an absolute minimum. But there is always a way, even if it means going to the DIY shop..

Scarves designed by Luxembourgish designer Anne-Marie Herckes with the assistance of the Vocational Training and Employment Generation Project of the NGO ‘Friendship’.

Eau de Luxembourg

Posted in Branding, My projects, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 28/07/2012

Kids drinking from water fountain in Luxembourg city

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.

Quality banking

Posted in Branding, My projects, Retail environments by zigideluxe on 24/04/2012


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.

The design proposal were elaborated following an closed competition initiated by the BCEE.

Here’s one I did earlier

Posted in My projects, Products & furniture by zigideluxe on 09/01/2012


While clearing my cellar I stumbled over the box of furniture models from my diploma project dating back to 1998. Although this is a scarily long time ago I still like the design.
Above model of an office desk made from plywood & industrial rubber.

paperJam TV set design

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


Shopping info point in Luxembourg city

A very small but dynamic, elegant and highly versatile space commissioned by the Union Commerciale de la Ville de Luxembourg.
Primarily it is a place where visitors can get any shopping information (opening hours, retail services, maps, customised shopping trails …etc) the city has on offer. Within that primary task of giving out information it is also a place where the city’s retailers can celebrate particular themes and organise special events & exhibitions.

Furthermore, the second aim of the space was to establish best practice retail design with innovative materials and finishes. The floor is made from two coloured resin floor (made from cast Polyurethane). The grey brown floor is split in the middle by a central band of white that invites the visitor in from the outside. This band is then folding up to create a central display made from thermoformed partially back-lit white Corian sheets.
By contrast, all the walls are lacquered in a warm dark and super mat Nextel paint finish. This material, often used on control panels and dashboards, is hard wearing and extremely light absorbing to minimise light reflections and emphasis the artifacts & displays. Moreover, the lighting is kept low to focus on the displays and create a beautiful museum like experience.

Cramped into an area of only 50m2 the space is packed with multiple functionalities while keeping a sober and high-quality appearance.

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Decluttering

Posted in My projects, Products & furniture, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 17/11/2010

Each day our cities seem to get more cluttered with new types of street furniture and equipment that didn’t exist only a few years ago. These new elements include endless amounts of operational electrical and telecommunication boxes that sprung up as these providers have been privatised and now operate without coordination. Additionally we also see an increase in free magazines dispensers, wi-fi masts, bike hire schemes, advertising and signage …etc that are implemented by different operators. Finally, the first digital advertising screens for city centers are threatening to be creeping-up in a city near you.

This creates a messy cocktail of visual pollution that damages the perception of our cities and we think it is important that cities have an organised and coordinated approach of how to handle the visual implications to our shared public space. The level of clutter should be contained and kept to the required minimum but, as many amenities remain necessary, there is also scope to regroup these into clusters and find new solutions of how they can be brought together or integrated into existing elements.

We have produced some first thoughts on this topic based on a specific urban context but to find a holistic approach requires an in depth consultation between all stakeholders (city officials, road engineers, private companies, urban planners and designers) to work out a strategy that is easy to apply to different urban situations without costing over the odds. In some situations this would result in new designs but the overall aim should be to regroup existing elements or to find inventive solutions that don’t require new structures.

Urban amenities cluster

Designing for cities

Here a link to an article that we have written on environmental & street furniture design for a Luxembourgish newspaper (in French): http://www.land.lu/index.php/archive/items/design-for-the-city.html
The article is a general reflection on the numerous factors and contexts that need to be considered in designing appropriate products for our cities. It also is a reaction to the Design City project initiated by the Mudam (Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean)

Flower power

Posted in My projects, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 01/04/2010

To counter the slightly grim baskets of geraniums in our towncenters the City of Luxembourg has asked the design consultancy integratedPlace to come up with some ideas of how to bring flowers to their city in an alternative way and without adding clutter at ground level. Using the existing lamp post, just like the traditional baskets, this proposal would see rings of flowers and grasses creating a much larger floral area hovering above street level.

Designed by integratedplace © 2010

‘Atlantique’ streched deckchair for public parks

Posted in My projects, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 31/03/2010

A piece of furniture I’ve designed many years ago and still think it is an interesting take on the conventional deck chair for public use. I could see this new version well in a park or a managed public environment. Everybody who has had a nap in the deck chairs for rent in London’s Hyde Park knows it’s a winner. The ‘Atlantique’ has been on show in the group exhibition ‘Global Edit’ at the 2007 Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan organised by the magazine Wallpaper.

'Atlantique' deck chair bench

Atlantique deck chair bench designed by Georges Zigrand
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