Marcus Fairs in conversation with
Lyndon Neri, Rossana Hu and Rafael de Cárdenas:
16. November 2017, 8 pm, FvF Space, Glogauer Straße 2, Berlin
The eighth edition of the Dornbracht Conversations talk series deals with the question of whether interior trends are over or not. While there has not been a dominant new architectural movement for decades, it will be discussed whether eclecticism has taken over, with people mixing and matching contemporary and heritage styles. The talk builds on the collaboration between Dornbracht, Neri&Hu and Rafael de Cárdenas in the context of the new Vaia series of fittings which was launched this year.
Discussions and debates about current design trends have always been an important source of inspiration for Dornbracht. Vaia, which was designed by Sieger Design, also results from this preoccupation with contemporary culture. The new fittings series is inspired by the Transitional Style interior design trend, which blends traditional and contemporary elements, and incorporates a soft, balanced design language – as well as being a global expression of the zeitgeist. To offer creative inspiration for architects as well as interior designers and to provide an innovative insight into this interior design trend, Dornbracht invited Neri&Hu and Rafael de Cárdenas to interpret this eclectic style in their own way. Perfectly in keeping with the philosophy “Create a new balance between traditional elegance and contemporary cool”, they developed mood boards, sketches, material collages and bathroom architecture designs. Their ideas and inspirations then formed the basis for the bathroom architectures that were developed by the communications agency Meiré und Meiré. To ensure an even more holistic and progressive approach, Dornbracht invited creative individuals throughout the world to share their personal view of Transitional Style by using the hashtag # createanewbalance.
The eighth edition of the Dornbracht Conversations series focuses on this preoccupation with the Transitional Style interior design trend as well as on Neri&Hu’s and de Cárdenas’ interpretations.
PANELISTS MARCUS FAIRS
Marcus Fairs is founder and editor-in-chief of the architecture and design platform Dezeen. Fairs began his journalism career writing for architecture magazine Building Design and later for Building, where he rose to deputy editor. He also freelanced for publications including Blueprint, The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday and Conde Nast Traveller. In 2003, Fairs launched Icon, the international architecture and design magazine, and edited the publication until November 2006. As founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen, which BSME’s Business Web Editor of the Year in 2013. In the same year, he was named one of the 100 most influential figures in the UK creative industries by the Hospital Club. In 2011, French magazine Architectural Digest placed him in the “Les 100 qui comptent” list (top 100 people who count) of the most important figures in global design. In the same year, Marcus Fairs moderated the third edition of the Dornbracht Conversations series with the topic “Extra/Ordinary. A further dimension on the rise of New Normal” in Iserlohn, Germany.
LYNDON NERI & ROSSANA HU
Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu are the founding partners of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, an inter-disciplinary international architectural design practice based in Shanghai, China, with an additional office in London, UK. Neri&Hu were named EDIDA Designers of the Year 2017, Interior Designers of the Year at the German Design Council’s Iconic Awards 2017, MAISON&OBJET Asia Designers of the Year 2015 and Wallpaper* Designers of the Year 2014. In 2013, they were inducted into the U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame. Their practice was the 2011 INSIDE Festival Overall Winner, won an Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Award in 2010 and was one of Architectural Record’s Design Vanguards in 2009. Apart from being architectural professionals, Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu are also actively involved in teaching and research. They have been invited to speak, exhibit and judge at many prestigious events and programmes all over the world. Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu are also the founders of Design Republic, a modern design platform incorporating a retail concept, design/cultural exhibitions and educational events. In 2015, Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu were appointed Creative Directors of Stellar Works. Neri obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley and a Master in Architecture from Harvard University. Hu obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley and a Master in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University. Among others, Neri&Hu have designed The Waterhouse Boutique Hotel as well as Shanghai Theatre in Shanghai and the Suzhou Chapel within the Sangha resort in Suzhou, China.
RAFAEL DE CÁRDENAS
Rafael de Cárdenas is founder of the New York-based design firm Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large. De Cárdenas creates artful, imaginative concepts for diverse projects spanning commercial and residential interiors, art advisory, objects and furniture, and temporary and pop-up spaces. Prior to founding his own design firm in 2006, de Cárdenas worked for Calvin Klein as a men’s collection designer and as a creative director for special effects production house Imaginary Forces. In 2012, de Cárdenas became the first and only American invited to participate in AD Interiéurs Voyages. He has been named three consecutive times to the Architectural Digest AD100 list, and has recently been honored as the 2016 Maison & Objet Americas Designer of the Year, and as a Featured Designer in AD France Collector. Recent projects include the apparel floor of the historic Au Pont Rouge department store in St. Petersburg, Russia; the Delfina Delettrez boutique in London; the Demisch Danant Gallery in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village; and residences in New York, Paris, and London, among other locations.
The Dornbracht Conversations (DC) series was launched in 2008 as a platform for public discourse between the disciplines of architecture, design and art. The subject of the discussions is always brand and product related. They tackle current issues. For example, the question discussed at DC 1 was “What is a design classic, and what value do classics have in a transversal culture?”. Artist Tobias Rehberger and designer Stefan Diez were among the participants. Dornbracht invited collector Harald Falckenberg and designer Konstantin Grcic to DC2 to debate the question “Is design art? Is art design?”. In 2011, DC 3 was held in Dornbracht’s Iserlohn Communication Module facility, dedicated to the topic of “Extra/Ordinary. A further dimension on the rise of New Normal”. In this conversation, Andreas Dornbracht, designer Michael Sieger, head curator of the Vitra Design Museum Mateo Kries, architect and designer Matteo Thun, Art Director Mike Meiré, and author and critic Thomas Wagner looked at new and improved views of design. The event was documented on dezeen.com, an online design magazine founded by Marcus Fairs, who also acted as host for the event. In December 2012, Dornbracht issued an invitation to DC 4, held at the Kunst-Werke in Berlin, an event devoted to the topic of “Public Intimacy”. In this discussion, panel participants Carolyn Christov- Bakargiev, Susanne Pfeffer, Jeremy Shaw and Charlotte Klonk discussed the loss and repositioning of privacy. The discussion was part of the accompanying programme to the exhibition ONE ON ONE, sponsored by Dornbracht, which was dedicated to perception and communication in the field of tension between privacy and public. “Biotechnosphere” was the theme occupying DC 5. The artists of the New York Collective DIS, curator Toke Lykkeberg, Managing Partner Andreas Dornbracht and Creative Director Mike Meiré discussed biology (nature) and technology (culture), and how these two areas are becoming increasingly intertwined in the age of the Internet of Things. DC 5 took place in January 2015 as part of the “COWorkers – Network as Artist” exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris. On the occasion of the 57th Venice Art Biennale, the central theme for DC 6 in May 2017 was Anne Imhof’s contribution for the German Pavilion. The discussion with the artist Anne Imhof and the curator of the German Pavilion, Susanne Pfeffer, was moderated by Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Aloys F. Dornbracht GmbH & Co. KG, with headquarters in Iserlohn, is a globally active, family-run manufacturer of high-quality designer fittings and accessories for bathroom, spa and kitchen. The Dornbracht brand claim “Culturing Life” continues the years of discussion and debate about these environments and expands the company’s fundamental design and water expertise: technological innovation to promote connectivity and comfort, and the prevention of ill health through a focus on daily well-being, will increasingly characterise the company’s future brand orientation and product development. Dornbracht is forever designing – and cultivating – life anew. A long-running cultural commitment through the Culture Projects provides Dornbracht with an ongoing source of fresh inspiration, while advancing innovation and technology leadership in bathrooms and kitchens. The intelligent, open Smart Water system makes Dornbracht one of the first to transpose the opportunities and possibilities of digitalisation to these environments. Dornbracht is part of the Dornbracht Group that, along with Alape, brings together two premium bathroom and kitchen suppliers.