My deckchairs, fitted with a custom designed fabric which shows all the colours of the 28 EU member state flags proportionally ( see post ‘Work hard, play hard’ ), have re-surfaced this summer in the old town of Luxembourg City. A year after the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Council they have been distributed to several city centre sites and used as public space furniture over the summer months.
Unfortunately we might have to take some classic blue, red & white out for next year.
Graphics: Laurent Daubach
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
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.
Conventional tables and chairs wouldn’t have worked that well for the terrasse of my local hangout. The cultural centre Carrérotondes in Luxembourg, with its concerts, exhibitions, kids theatres and parties required a flexible way of sitting (and drinking). The Lego principle gives plenty of options on how to configure the modules, leaving it up to the user and the moment to choose how to use them.
Materials: Custom designed male & female rubber connectors combined with water resistant low-cost plywood.
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
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!