times are a-changing: ziiro watches
With every new phone or gadget that finds its way into our hands, it seems that technology is becoming ever more complex: so much so that we constantly have to relearn how to use it. Throughout this ever-changing stream of change there has been one, trusty constant: the humble wristwatch. Until now.
Ziiro’s handless wristwatches, designed by Robert Dabi, completely reinvent the way we tell the time. The inner circles on the face denote the hour; the outer show the minutes. The design, Dabi claims, all started with the concept of true minimalism: faces without hands or markers. The concept has now grown to incorporate a wide range that includes these new brightly coloured Gravity models. The watches are available from www.ziiiro.com/shop, and cost 110€. If you’re still a little hesitant about this new time-telling technique, trial out the faces using the free iPhone app.
devotion by design: exhibition, london
Walking around a gallery can sometimes be quite a misleading experience. Trailing past row upon row of artworks, it’s easy to be lulled into the belief that art is created purely to be exhibited in a neat picture-frame.
The National Gallery, however, is injecting new enthusiasm into exhibitions with Devotion to Design. Trying to recreate the majesty of being in a cathedral, they’ve taken some of their oldest and most intriguing pieces and returned them to the atmosphere of their original homes: medieval Italian churches. This may be an exhibition about the magnificence of Christian art, but you don’t need to be deeply religious to appreciate the glorious splendour of the works. The intention is to help viewers to grasp the impressive splendour that these works were meant to evoke, ultimately providing a way for even the most frequent visitor to see the pieces in a more beautiful light. We love it as it really captures how excellent design can tell a story, evoke an emotion and, of course, inspire desire and devotion.
Devotion by Design is on every day until 6 October, at the National Gallery, London UK.
striking seeds: seedbom
Made from egg-boxes, recycled paper and handfuls of UK-native seeds, these are ‘seedboms’: the new product innovation hailed as the weapon of choice in ‘the War on Terra’. Originating from Scottish company Kabloom, these pocket-sized projectiles have already had an explosive impact, earning themselves a place on the Scottish Green List. If that didn’t earn them enough sustainability points, they’ve also teamed up with the Guerrilla Gardening movement (featured by CPB in ‘Visual Futures: Optimism in Design 2009′) to bring flashes of floral colour to urban wastelands.
Deploying these ammunitions is a relatively simple process: simply soak in water, throw, and grow! Available from Kabloom online: www.kabloomshop.co.uk.
beautiful banking: raiffeisen
At first glance, the bright, futuristic minimalism of Raiffeisen’s new Zurich branch bears greater similarity to a high-end retail experience than a corporate bank. A closer inspection, however, reveals a series of highly innovative corporate features that render the banking experience much more engaging. Rebranding from the inside-out, Raiffeisen have been able to focus on creating a space that emphasises their core ethos: ‘client inspired banking’.
The new interiors, designed by NAU, incorporate features such as 24-hour deposit box access and info-tables (interactive screens for checking everything from market updates to sports scores). A fluid architecture dissolves barriers between client and employees in an altogether inspiring space. Portraits of celebrated past figures within the bank have been immortalised in the digitally cut-out wall portraits, as a nod to both the bank’s heritage and its future-focused outlook.
In brief, this is a design-led rebrand that channels Raiffeisen’s brand identity to create a wholly innovative, customer-engaging and fundamentally beautiful banking experience.
‘outside-in’ garden: the serpentine pavilion
Nestled away in the beauty of Hyde Park, this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, Hortus Conclusus, provides a truly reflective and tranquil space. Designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, the pavilion focuses on the concept of the walled garden as a hidden inner space.
The hortus conclusus that I dream of is enclosed all around and open to the sky. Every time I imagine a garden in an architectural setting, it turns into a magical place. I think of gardens that I have seen, that I believe I have seen, that I long to see, surrounded by simple walls, columns, arcades or the facades of buildings – sheltered places of great intimacy where I want to stay for a long time.- Peter Zumthor, architect.
The pavilion not only marks Zumthor’s first ever UK installation, but also a collaboration with Piet Oudolf, the Dutch landscape designer famous for his work on the New York Highline Park. Open daily to the public, the space is also being used for Hyde Park’s Park Nights, a series of talks, exhibitions and live performance events.
Open until October, there is still plenty of time to visit this oasis of tranquillity. For events listings, check www.serpentinegallery.org for details.
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