Stargazer chair by Klemens Schillinger (l) and Campfire by Lino Gasparitsch, as seen at Garten, Galerie Rauminhalt, Vienna Design Week 2023

Much as the (hi)story of architecture is also a chronicle of developments and changes in the social, cultural, economic, ecological, technical, et al realities of any given region, so to is the (hi)story of a region’s parks and gardens and urban green spaces.

Whereby the (hi)story of the latter is much less often popularly employed in studying and interpreting and learning from the (hi)story of a region than the former.

With the showcase Of Gardens and People. Designed Nature, Art and Landscape Architecture the Austrian National Library, Vienna, allow for reflections on gardens and parks throughout (hi)story and in doing encourage us all to take them as seriously as we do the architecture amongst which they invariably stand…….

Of Gardens and People. Designed Nature Art and Landscape Architecture, Austrian National Library, Vienna

Amongst the great many things the experiences of the last couple of years have brought to the fore, and have unequivocally reinforced, is the importance to humans, collectively and individually, of outdoor spaces; not just for fresh air, movement, relaxation and physical well-being, but also for mental well-being.

With Garden Futures. Designing with Nature the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, explore the garden as such an outdoor space, and also as a cultural space, as a design space, as a social space, as a political space and in doing so allow for reflections and considerations on not only gardens but humanity’s wider relationships with the natural world…….

Meadow by Alexandra Kehayoglou, as seen at Garden Futures. Designing with Nature, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein

“March is the Month of Expectation.
The things we do not know”,

opined once the American poet Emily Dickinson.1

Easily enough resolved!!!

And no, not by “Persons of prognostication”, whom one should definitely always “show becoming firmness”; but by visiting an architecture or design exhibition and approaching that which you don’t know via your own inquiry and questioning and reasoning.

Our five recommended locations for transforming expectations into knowledge in March 2023 can be found in Berlin, Espoo, New York, Nyköping and Weil am Rhein…….

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for March 2023

According to Germanic folklore: A wet February brings a fruitful year.

And that, we’d argue, not only in terms of vegetation, but also in terms of your individual personal development: a wet February meaning more time spent in museums and thus an enhanced opportunity to engage in meaningful and relevant and motivating discourses and discussions. An ideal environment in which to allow your appreciations of and positions to the world around you to optimally develop, swell, ripen and nourish.

So come on February…… Rain!!!

Our five recommended growth stimulating shelters for February 2023 can be found in Cologne, Stockholm, Hornu, Hamburg and Montréal…….

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for February 2023

With spring approaching thoughts invariably turn to days spent out of doors, and, for those fortunate enough, to thoughts of leisurely days spent sat in the garden.

Leisurely days spent sat in the garden, ideally, listening to music.

¿Listening to music about being sat in the garden; sat in the garden listening to songs about garden furniture……?

Radio smow: A Garden Furniture Playlist

On the train to Cologne the signs were unmissable, the sun may have been gloriously, victoriously, shinning, as it has done since Easter, from a clear azure sky: but autumn is definitely approaching. And while it may be a bit premature to start planning for next summer, at the annual spoga+gafa garden, freetime and equestrianism trade fair in Cologne, manufacturers presented what they expect us to sit on next summer in our gardens, on our balconies, while camping, the accessories they expect us to have around us while we do such and the ludicrously testosterone charged names of the barbecues they expect us to cook with.

But will we? Should we? Can we?

spoga+gafa Cologne 2018: High Five

Designers are prone to spending inordinate amounts of time shaving a millimetre of a surface thickness. Or trying to increase the distance between two points by a couple of millimetres. Occupations which to the uninitiated can appear just a tick obsessive. In how far however relatively small changes of scale, differences of a few millimetres, can alter not only the physical appearance of a product, but the very character of a product, was elegantly explained by Danish manufacturer Houe at spoga+gafa Cologne 2017.

And that such changes can also have an aural impact, a Click becoming a Clip.

Clips Rocking Chair by Henrik Pedersen for Houe, as seen at spoga+gafa Cologne 2017

The 2017 spoga+gafa garden trade fair in Cologne hosted the 5th edition of the unique youngstar outdoor living design competition. Open to current design students, or those who have graduated within the past three years, the 2017 unique youngstar attracted a recorder number of 81 entries from 18 countries, from which a shortlist of 15 nominees was selected and presented in an exhibition at spoga+gafa 2017. At an awards ceremony on Sunday in Cologne the prize winners were announced……

unique youngstar 2017, Cologne

At the opening of the exhibition Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec – Rêveries Urbaines at the Vitra Design Museum we intimated that the first projects arising from the brother’s research into urban spaces were in an advanced state of planning.

With Oui the Kunsthal Aarhus present the first realised project.

Oui Fireplace by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec at Kunsthal Aarhus