Neon lights are a bold, cosmopolitan statement that can easily revitalize or accentuate an architectural space or structure. With eye-catching brilliance, a plethora of color options, and ties to a retro aesthetic, these lighting pieces can make a space feel simultaneously modern and nostalgic. Yet few understand the scientific workings or material properties of neon, and many architects neglect its use due to its narrow association with commercial signage. Below, we explore how neon works, its architectural history, and how architects can continue to use it today.
Architects have long explored the concept of integrating interior and exterior, smoothing out the physical and visual boundaries in an attempt to bring the landscape into the architecture. However, when visiting the site to develop the project, two distinct scenarios may appear: an urban terrain, lacking a view, or natural elements; or a green area with trees and bushes, for example. In the latter case, many projects rely on the on-site location of each tree to accommodate the architectural design, respecting them, and creating new views, through patios and connecting them with the new landscape design. However, based on studies of the species and their size, it is increasingly common for these trees to be incorporated into the interior space, either partially or completely enclosed.
As the number of smaller and more compact apartments grows, architects and interior designers are challenged to create multifunctional solutions and systems capable of optimizing spaces, in a way that every inch seems to make a difference. As a result, it is increasingly common for professionals to focus on designing creative furniture solutions that allow the space to transform completely in a few seconds.
Furniture has a direct impact on the quality of interior design projects. Among other features, its presence blends with the function of the spaces, setting a boundary between them.
Over the past few decades, interior spaces have become increasingly open and versatile. From the thick walls and multiple subdivisions of Palladian villas, for example, to today's free-standing and multi-functional plans, architecture attempts to combat obsolescence by providing consistently efficient environments for everyday life, considering both present and future use. And while Palladio's old villas can still accommodate a wide variety of functions and lifestyles, re-adapting their use without changing an inch of their original design, today, flexibility seems to be the recipe for extending the useful life of buildings as far as possible.
Contrary to what we might believe, hearing loss is not always congenital, but could sooner or later happen to any of us. According to the WHO, almost a third of people over 65 suffer from debilitating hearing loss. Yet from a certain perspective, hearing loss could be considered more of a 'difference' than a 'disability'. Although the spatial demands of people with hearing disabilities are not as noticeable as spaces for the blind or for those who experience reduced mobility, the reduction of hearing capacity does entail a particular way of experiencing the environment. Is it possible to enhance this experience through interior design?
Danish company VELUX began with a belief in building healthier homes. Created over 75 years ago by Villum Kann-Rasmussen, the manufacturer has now expanded around the world, with millions of people getting fresh air and daylight through their products. With recent events on the COVID-19 pandemic, Lone Feifer and Peter Foldbjerg of VELUX explore how architects and designers can find better ways to work at home and create healthy living spaces.
When designing residential spaces, be it a new construction or a renovation, the kitchen is a space that tends to be one of the most complex. Not only does it need to serve a very specific function, but it also needs several pieces of furniture, household appliances, and the ability to adapt to electrical and plumbing considerations. Kitchens often also serve as an hub for social interactions and family gatherings, so it is critical that the space can provide a degree of flexibility.
Museums are complex organizations: curators, exhibition designers, conservationists, editors, and marketers have to work together to ensure that artworks in galleries and exhibitions are properly displayed to the public. Instrumental to this process is the use of effective display cases, which must both protect the art and highlight it aesthetically. Below, we delineate some of these visual and practical considerations with photographic examples from Goppion, giving some indication how one should choose which display cases to use.
As people are spending more and more time inside their homes, offices, and other closed areas, it is important to ensure that these spaces are safe and healthy environments, especially indoor areas designed for children and seniors. In recent years, several of the materials that shape the spaces we inhabit and directly influence the quality of the air we breathe have increasingly used a potentially dangerous chemical compound. This compound is called formaldehyde.
With a sizable portion of the world's population hunkered down at home, online activities have become the go-to for those looking to fill, often hours, of newfound free time. Thanks to the cooperation of several companies, anyone with an internet connection now has access to a trove of online educational (courses, workshops, tutorials) and recreational (documentaries, digital books, virtual tours) activities that can be enjoyed from home. Just a few years ago, Google Street View was a practical tool for virtually navigating the world's metropolitan and suburban centers. Today, thanks to technological improvements and user-driven data collection, Street View has become a way to glimpse inside some of the world's most iconic buildings.
One of the most important cities in the world –and the most populated in the United States of America–, New York is home to a great mix of cultures and history that has been shaped over the years, while art and architecture play a fundamental role in this development.
The architecture thought regarding the buildings with infrastructure programs tend, generally, to ponder its reflection in issues related to the site, flow organization, revitalization, and well-articulated uses, as these projects usually are connected to a great number of users and multiple simultaneous purposes.
With the aim of creating immersive environmental experiences in interior spaces, the design studio Aqua Creations has developed Manta Ray Light, a lighting installation built with responsive RGB LED technology that mixes the colors red, green, and blue to generate more than 16 million light tones. By presetting its color spectrum, offering a range of brightness settings on a scale of 0.1 to 100%, and even loading images and videos into its internal memory, the system allows its user to add color and movement to expressive spaces, or deliver a feeling of warmth and concentration to intimate and private rooms.