2013 World Swimming Championship Medal Design from Lagranja.

For the 2013 World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, design studio  Lagranja was tasked with creating the design of the medals and the laniard for each category.  Lagranja wanted to create something unique, yet deeply grounded in the world of swimming. Drawing inspiration from the silicon strap used in swimming goggles, Gerard Sanmartí and his team created a design that allows the medal to be held in a completely different way, embracing it instead of hanging it. The video below shows the design thinking and process that went into creating the medals as well as a commemorative medal for judges, coaches, and other participants in the games. What a great example of pushing the design outside of the conventional norm to and into a fresh place.

Design Friday. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair.

Last Friday I did a Design Friday post on the B.F.K. Chair by Jorge Hardoy. After I posted it I got an email from someone who had read it asking about other famous “mid-century modern” chairs like the “Barcelona Chair” by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. So I thought I would do a little post on that chair today.

First off, the Barcelona chair is NOT mid-century modern. It often gets lumped in with that period of furniture do to the fact that it shows up in so many interior architecture photos from the late 40’s through mid 60’s. The fact is though, the chair was designed 20 years before mid-century modernism starts, in 1929 for the German pavilion at the International Exposition in Barcelona Spain.

At the time van der Rohe shouldered a huge responsibility to create a special building that would announce Germany’s rebirth as a country of  cultural prowess, showcase their creative achievements and commercial viability in the 10 years following WWI.

The frame was originally designed to be bolted together, but was redesigned in 1950 using welded stainless steel. The new process allowed the frame to form a seamless piece of metal, giving it a smoother and more refined appearance. In addition, cow leather replaced the ivory-colored pigskin which was used with the original chairs from previous decades. The functional design and manufacturing elements of the chair that were patented by van der Rohe in Germany, Spain and the United States in the 1930s have since expired. Which has led to numerous knock-offs and fakes being produced world wide for far less money.

The “Barcelona chair” was manufactured in the US and Europe in limited production from the 1930s to the 1950s. In 1953 van der Rohe ceded his rights and his name on the design to Knoll, knowing that his design patents were expired, and realizing that Knoll was in a position to effectively promote the chair. The collaboration between van der Rohe and Knoll renewed popularity of the original design. Knoll is still the current licensed manufacturer and holder of all trademark rights to the design. In 1965, Knoll purchased the trademark rights to the Barcelona word from Drexel. In 2004, Knoll received trade dress rights to the design from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Despite the trademarks that Knoll holds, a large replica market continues to this day. Gordon International  has continued to manufacture the chair and accompanying furniture since the mid 1970s, even after a court battle against Knoll in 2005.

“van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair is an icon of “modernism”. The chair’s design was inspired by the campaign and folding chairs of ancient times. By transposing an ancient and regal design into a modern setting, the van der Rohe enjoyed instant acclaim. The chair was shown off perfectly in the environment of the Pavilion. Royal visitors, it is said, did not actually take advantage of this newly designed seating accommodation, but the chair quickly attained the reputation of being “a design worthy of kings”.”

OFFF Opening Titles by Mischa Rozema, and Si Scott.

Post Panic have created the opening titles for the OFFF festival in Barcelona Spain this year. The title sequence was written by Mischa Rozema and British graphic designer, Si Scott, and is a reflection of their dark thoughts on a possible future for this world.The film guides the viewer through a grim scenario that embeds the names of the featured artists through out the film.

The film was shot on location in Prague, and directed by Mischa, with post production being completed by Post Panic in Amsterdam.

I love that this was conceived and shot  in a 21 by 9 aspect ratio.

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TBWA Barcelona, Nissan Park Assist Campaign.

This is a great little ambient campaign from TBWA, Barcelona for Nissan promoting their new park assist technology.

The campaign features non destructive stickers which were placed on rear view mirrors of parked cars through out the city. The stickers feature an image of a person helping you parallel park, something that almost every driver in the world has gone through at some point. Below the portion that is on the mirror itself, is a hang tag showing a Nissan car and the tag line “Park Without Assistance.” The hang tag points out additional features of the Nissan Micra, and has a link to the website for the car where additional information can be found.

This really is pretty fun, and the look on the guys face, plus those hand gestures is absolutely spot on.