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April 12, 2014

Flower Power

The Art of Ikebana is Showcased at Tokyo’s Sogetsu School to Launch Modern Design Review

Ikebana expresses not only the beauty of flowers,” says the Sogetsu School's Eikou Sumura, who here demonstrates the revered Japanese art of flower arranging. “It also brings out the essential brilliance and vitality contained in every plant.” Tokyo's Sogetsu School is renowned for its contemporary outlook to ikebana, making strikingly balanced displays using branches, blossom, leaves and synthetic materials. To celebrate the inaugural issue of new magazine Modern Design Review, which launches this week during Salone Internationale del Mobile in Milan, director Matthew Donaldson traveled to the renowned institution to capture ikebana in action. The youngest school of its kind in Japan, Sogetsu has done much to open up this beautiful and under-explored discipline to the outside world. Its founding Iemoto [master] Sofu Teshigahara—dubbed the “Picasso of flowers” by Time magazine—was just 27 years old when he founded the school as means of creative expression, and the institution he started reflects his interdisciplinary attitude. The Kenzo Tange-built school features a beautiful stone garden from artist and designer Isamu Noguchi in its atrium, and continues to make evocative floral forms.

Modern Design Review is available now.

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Philippe Malouin: Crystal Clear

The Young Designer's Must-See Picks at the London Design Festival

Photographer Ben Stockley documents rising talent Philippe Malouin's curated recommendations from the 10th London Design Festival. Launching in 2003, the festival promotes the forefront of contemporary design with exhibits across the capital. This year sees an immersive sound installation by Arup taking over Trafalgar Square and 100 design brands showcased at the old Post Office sorting house on New Oxford Street. Having graduated from the Design Academy, Eindhoven, and the École National Supérieure de Création Industrielle, Paris, Malouin was recently named Winner of the 2012 W Hotels Designer of the Future Award and received a Wallpaper* Design Award for best use of material. His newest work 'blur', seen at the London Design Museum, is a spellbinding Catherine wheel of multifaceted Swarovski crystal beads that rotate within the confines of digitally motorized pictures. These temporal LED ‘light paintings’ exploring memory and motion appear alongside works by Ron Arad, Yves Behar and Maarten Baas in the exhibition Digital Crystal. Here, Malouin gives props to his festival favorites.

Prosthesis and Innesti at Gallery Fumi
Construction workers on architect Marcio Kogan’s building sites anonymously created found-object structures, which were then curated and modified by his illustrious Brazilian architecture studio MK27: “The synopsis for the show sounds amazing. Spanning 4 years, debris and construction waste products were collected, catalogued and used to create new design pieces. A bit of a flashback to the Arte Povera movement with design in mind.”
16 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NT, until 23 September.

The Wrong Shop Editions with prints by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and Pierre Charpin
The dynamic Bouroullec brothers and the enigmatic Pierre Charpin expose their design processes through limited-edition, signed prints: “I have been a fan of the Bouroullec's work since before I started studying design. These prints by the masters of form are hand-drawn and impossibly beautiful.”
twentytwentyone showroom,18c River Street, London, EC1R 1XN, until 23 September.

Hot Tools by ECAL at Libby Sellers
A new selection of work by Product Design Master students at the prestigious ECAL challenge the conventions of glassmaking: “I saw this show displayed in Milan this year and fell in love with the ingenuity these glassworks showed. Several students adopted creative manufacturing techniques and the results are beautiful.”
41-42 Berners Street, London W1T 3NB, until 22 September.

Bone China: New Works by Max Lamb, Suzanne Trocmé and Emily Johnson
“Bone China, produced by 1882 Ltd, is a contemporary bone china collection that is growing and proving to be exactly what England needed in terms of goods manufacturing. Bone china is reinterpreted by true design talents Max Lamb and Emily Johnson, and the result is very impressive.”
Bamford, 169 Draycott Avenue, London, SW3 3AG, until 22 September.

‘Blur’ by Philippe Malouin is in Digital Crystal: Swarovski at Design Museum until 13th January 2013.

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Floating Architecture

Japanese Surrealist Terunobu Fujimori Reveals His Otherworldly Vision

A one-legged teahouse suspended amid cherry trees in the Japanese mountains showcases the vivid imagination and designs of architect Terunobu Fujimori. Conceiving his first creation at the age of 42, Fujimori is considered one of the world’s first surrealists in his field. Working solely with natural materials such as earth, wood and stone, the modern eccentric has dedicated his career to pioneering contemporary design with buildings “that float in the air” and roofs covered with living leek plants. Curating the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2006, Fujimori invited audiences to remove their shoes and enter the exhibition through a hole in a wooden wall to sit in a simple straw hut. “A building should not resemble anyone else's buildings, past or present, or any style that has developed since the Bronze Age,” he explains of his fairytale structures. This month sees the release of a new comprehensive monograph, Terunobu Fujimori: Architect, illuminate by personal drawings, photographs and his own intimate words. Co-edited by curator Hannes Rössler, the tome coincides with the largest retrospective of Fujimori’s work to date at the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich, featuring a new mobile teahouse situated in the Museum’s gardens.

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