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Our favourite designs, trends & installations of 2015

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So the New Year is upon us and here at Hunter Dunning we decided to celebrate the end of a fantastic 2015 with a summary of our favourite designs, trends & installations of the year.

Installations

‘Glaze’ was an installation designed during the Clerkenwell Design Festival by Architects Cousins & Cousins in collaboration with Gx Glass, a leading UK manufacturer and supplier of glass to architectural interior designers.

The multi-coloured pavilion was constructed from panels of glass, alternating between transparent and opaque and celebrating the various applications of the material in construction, interiors, installation art and sculpture.

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Image atrium.ltd.uk

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Image Dezeen

Architecture

Earlier this year Guggenheim unveiled the six designs competing to become Guggenheim Helsinki.  Cleverly developed designs were shortlisted but our vote went to the “quiet animal” proposal by Asif Khan.

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Image designguggenheimhelsinki.com

Taking the form of a Helsinki city block rotated to the harbour front, the museum is proposed as “seven timber-clad galleries stacked over a basement and three levels flanked by administration and open-format halls”.

The space is divided into open areas, which connect as needed and encourage visitors to interact with it. The use of intelligent textured glass was proposed to diffuse light while giving the gallery a minimal overall feeling.

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Image designguggenheimhelsinki.com

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Image designguggenheimhelsinki.com

“The Jury praised the integration of image and technology, and called the design simple but extraordinary. Jurors thought the scheme had such a density of visual impact that it would draw a nickname from the public but also needs to develop an equally compelling internal logic as the internal program is still too diagrammatic. The proposal used the aesthetic of the building as a sustainable energy device. There were some potential concerns raised over construction risks.”

In June, French firm Moreau Kusunoki Architects was named as the winner of the competition, however we are still in awe of Khan’s stunning proposal.

Design Collaborations

Showcased during Milan design week, Seven Doors is a collection designed by Japanese studio Nendo to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Abe Kogyo, a manufacturer of wooden front and interior doors, partitions, fixtures and custom-made furniture.

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Image Nendo

With a basic default design, each door has been treated with a different ideas born from the various techniques and experience held by the company, our personal favourite being Kimuko.

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Image Nendo

Kimuko is the technique of assembling wooden interior lattices without nails, most often used in creating door fixtures for traditional Japanese tatami rooms. Here, it gradually blends into the plain portion of the door creating a simple yet intricate design.

Another partnership that made of 2015 a great year for design was the collaboration between Ilse Crawford and Ikea, which brought us the ‘deliberately low key’ Sinnerlig collection.

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Including 30 sculptural pieces of furniture, textiles and home ware which feature neutral colours and natural materials, Sinnerlig is cleverly designed to fit into any interior.

“It’s so important to get human qualities like warmth, well-being, and care into the end product,” Crawford explained in a release. “While this might sound fluffy, in practice it’s a rigorous process. It’s about constantly going back to the principles of how a product will be used and analysing its dimensions. It’s about addressing how we move intuitively, how we come together socially, [and] understanding the things that connect us on a human level.”

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Lines, lines, lines

Geometric patterns and lines graced us this year on everything from product and interior design through to architecture.

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Eley Kishimoto created an optical illusion covering the walls and floors of the Southerden Patisserie and Café in London, Caruso St John designed the Gagosian Gallery in Mayfair and Maurice Mentjens designed brain-like panels for the interior of the House of Smart Store in the Netherlands. That being said, our all-time favourite is ‘the Nike studio’ by Coordination Asia.

The Shanghai-based design studio converted a Beijing art gallery into a dynamic space including product displays, workout studios, and a multi-functional lounge, encouraging visitors to interact with their surroundings and improve their levels of fitness.

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The interiors showcase fantastic use of linear patterns and neon lighting, which clearly define the different areas while representing the intended “transparency and infinity” concept at its best.

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Photography

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Image © Fernando Guerra /Archdaily

Having just won the Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Award, Fernando Guerra’s stunning shot of EPFL Quartier Nord / Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés’ in Ecublens, Switzerland deserves a mention.

The playfulness of light versus shadows, the movement and colours create a fantastic sense of depth in a two-dimensional space.

“The architecture itself is the focus and the image regarded only as the medium. The Archaid Images Architectural Photography Award aims to put the focus onto the skill and creativity of the photographer,” said the Award’s organisers.

About me:
I am the Managing Director of Hunter Dunning Ltd, specialising in the recruitment of architectural and interior design professionals throughout the UK.  Feel free to get in touch if you are considering a move in the future, we would love to hear from you.