Georges Zigrand's Blog

No street art please!

Posted in Colours, textures & surfaces, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 31/12/2012

EGGBOX_soundwallNot only that it is sound absorbing and weathering friendly, it also is tag and graffiti proof. Keep those egg cartons!!

Thank you for your service

Barcelona street plate celebrating a traditional restaurant
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!!

Paris bashing

It is well known that the bistro culture in Paris is a league on its own, sitting tightly packed on street corners, coffee & cigarettes, waiters that don’t care, gazing at the people passing by …
The typical Paris bistro table with a single foot and an oversized thin metal edging embodies this way of life quite well for me. Every bash and knock the metal edging gets adds character & texture to the table, making it age gracefully without aspiring to be perfect.

Typical bashed Paris bistrot table

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.

Urban ping pong

Posted in Products & furniture, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 07/06/2012

ping pong tables in the Belgian quarter of Cologne, GermanyStreet furniture doesn’t need to be limited to the basic amenities such as seating, lighting ..etc. If you want to induce live into a square, this is a good way to do it, and it keeps you fit too!

Pondicherry shows the way

Signage in Pondicherry, India
Some years ago I took this photo in the city of Pondicherry, India. Amazingly low-tech this hand-painted and sculptural road sign shows the way, also by its expressive and truly functional shape. Love it!

Grey is also a colour

Wick Lane / A12 Underpass, East London

Whoever wrote this is right to say that to many places are boring & dull – although a bit of paint, mixed with road dirt, would make this wall look a lot worse then it is now. But it is worthwile thinking about what else would work better…

Nice packaging

Posted in Colours, textures & surfaces, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 04/03/2012


A piece of streetfurniture, still partially wrapped after installation. Textured surfaces could be really nice in the public space!

3D tiles

Posted in Colours, textures & surfaces, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 02/11/2011

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Outdoor ceramic tiles in the public realm always fascinated me, especially if they are in relief. They seem to be such a good solution for buildings, street furniture and walls. There is an almost endless scope of design options; texture, pattern, light reflection, colour ..etc. The slide show shows examples from Belgium (Ostend), Portugal (Cascais) & France (Le Tréport).

If any reader knows of other fine examples, please let me know. I would like to collect more images and hopefully I can post a more comprehensive collection of examples in the near future.

Big in Japan

Road works barriers are rarely a pretty site in Europe, but if  you live in Japan it is a whole different story. To the delight of the Japanese kids there seems to be an endless variation of cartoon animals that populate the roadside. Not sure it makes much more sense in terms of safety / visibility ..etc, but I guess fun is a good enough reason and you can’t really spoil a construction site with visual clutter either.

Photo © Pierre Filliquet

Back to nature

I have seen this type of benches before in forests and parks without really appreciating them. But the concept of a bench with a cast structure that mimics root wood, as disturbing as it looks, starts to grow on me. If you choose casting as a technique you can also open up to other shape typologies, no reason to keep the geometric language you pretty much have to respect if you fabricate something in any other standard way.
To then paint it in such a colour makes the bench almost eccentric, even if it goes against the initial idea of making the bench blend into its natural surroundings.
I also wondered if Maarten Baas came here on holiday one day…

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

Picnic in Armenia

Posted in Colours, textures & surfaces, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 15/10/2010

A friend of mine sent me this amazing picture of a picnic area in the woods near lake Sevan in Armenia. The first reflex of a local authority would be to paint these structures in a camouflage green / grey to blend in. I find this choice of colour stunning and beautiful, the contrast of the cyan blue in the wood highlights both nature and man-made structures, producing a surreal fairytale ambiance.

Photo © Sandrine Scheller

Guerilla graphics

Posted in Signage & environmental graphics, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 10/10/2010

Love declaration

A very fine example of a public declaration of love, without vandalism…
I’m wondering if I shouldn’t start collecting this type of urban love messages. But surely someone has already published a book on this?

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