As the world becomes ever-more connected, and communication becomes ever faster, a well-designed home hub is essential

Mobile technology grants us the freedom to work remotely – from home, an airport, while on vacation – meaning the working day begins and ends when we choose. As Craig Schultz of California-based architects Laidlaw Schultz says, “No longer are office hours defined by a nine-to-five work schedule; people are now expected to be at-the-ready 24 hours a day.”

This new era of working “when it suits you” has catalyzed the trend towards home offices or hubs. A place where you can not only do business, but surf the web, connect with distant friends and relatives, and while away the hours gaming.

Increasingly, designers and their clients now regard the home office as a room worthy of the kind of attention normally reserved for a kitchen or living room. Linda Holmes, interiors director at LuxDeco, an online store for luxury home furnishings, explains: “More and more homeowners are starting to realize that an office isn’t simply a workstation, but another space that offers the opportunity to express their personal style, and help pull the look of their entire home together.”

Indeed, the very notion that a home office should be an isolated unit is outmoded. Designers are now integrating offices within a home’s communal areas – whether connected to the living room, part of the master suite, or used as a multi-purpose space. In one oceanfront property, Schultz utilized all the space available to create a fully functioning home hub adjacent to the home’s primary living area.

With the advent of 24-hour work days, home-office spaces are now designed to flow naturally from the living area, rather than be separate from it, as with this Laidlaw Schultz-designed hub. Photograph: John Ellis
With the advent of 24-hour work days, home-office spaces are now designed to flow naturally from the living area, rather than be separate from it, as with this Laidlaw Schultz-designed hub. Photograph: John Ellis

Some home offices can be neatly slotted into existing space, others created from scratch. And as with any other room, the desire for bespoke furnishings is a given. Interior architect Thomas Griem, founder and director of architecture and design practise TG-Studio, observes: “Space planning is key; it is always important to utilise unused areas within your home. We have in the past created a fully functioning home hub underneath a staircase.”

One of his clients wanted a stylish and functional office area that, when not in use, blended seamlessly into the living space. Griem had ample storage built into the wall to hide office clutter and maintain the space’s clean lines, as well as enlarging the room’s windows to keep it light and airy.

Thomas Griem of TG-Studio designed this bespoke home office for a client who wanted the space to flow naturally from the living area. Discreet storage has been built into the wall to minimise clutter and preserve the elegant look of the room.
Thomas Griem of TG-Studio designed this bespoke home office for a client who wanted the space to flow naturally from the living area. Discreet storage has been built into the wall to minimise clutter and preserve the elegant look of the room.

With the move to bespoke design and furnishings comes the freedom to be more experimental with style. As Schultz says, “No longer is the home office a dark-panelled room with a mahogany desk and tufted leather chairs; now these spaces can be light, modern, and – dare I say – fun.”

Brian Pontin, sales manager for Neville Johnson, a British bespoke furniture-maker, also advocates using color to brighten up a home office: “Bold accent shades needn’t be restricted to accessories; when designed carefully and tastefully, office units can look fabulous in a smooth white gloss with the option of combining with contrasting on-trend colours, such as orange and green. By mixing painted doors, drawers, and shelving with a wide selection of veneers, gloss, and glass finishes, the home office will have that modern, cutting-edge look.”

Home offices designed by furniture-maker Neville Johnson balance beautiful design with functionality. The company offers a wide selection of finishes for its bespoke office furniture, including hand-selected wood veneers, gloss, glass, and over 1,000 paint colours.
Home offices designed by furniture-maker Neville Johnson balance beautiful design with functionality. The company offers a wide selection of finishes for its bespoke office furniture, including hand-selected wood veneers, gloss, glass, and over 1,000 paint colours.

Schultz goes even further, suggesting the use of metallic paint, chalkboard paint, or even marker-board paint, allowing you to use your wall as a magnet board, chalkboard, or whiteboard – your very own real-life Pinterest. In his modern library home office, he incorporated a blue fabric-wrapped panel underneath the shelves, which the owner uses as pin-up space when working through a project. “This can offer a new way to work and help organize one’s thoughts. Don’t be afraid to be a bit eclectic with your desk – let it reflect your personality.”

A desk, or “work station,” will, of course, be the focal point of most home offices, so it’s vital to find something that’s both practical and beautiful. As Linda Holmes says, “A desk is one of those investment pieces that we expect to last for generations, so it’s really important to find something timeless that you will love forever.” Modern technology, however, may soon render a desk less vital, if not redundant. As Schultz observes: “Thankfully technology designers have recognized that tech should really be in the background  – supporting our daily lives, not the other way around.”

For now, however, homeowners are choosing desks with ample storage solutions. One of the best-selling desks at LuxDeco, Holmes says, epitomizes this trend: “The Wellington desk by British-brand Davidson is a perfect example of enduring style and quality. It’s a pedestal design which is entirely designed and created by master British craftsmen using black sycamore wood and special lacquering techniques. Like all of our best-selling office pieces, the Wellington blends form and function impeccably, offering impressive storage capacity to aid a clutter-free space and an organized mind.”

The Wellington desk by British brand Davidson is the perfect combination of style and function: it  is hand-crafted in the UK and finished with a special lacquering technique, resulting in an attractive high-gloss finish.
The Wellington desk by British brand Davidson is the perfect combination of style and function: it is hand-crafted in the UK and finished with a special lacquering technique, resulting in an attractive high-gloss finish.

And, of course, any home office will require storage and accessories: a simple item like an Aston Martin paper knife, or a pair of elegant globe bookends by Eichholtz, for example. L’Objet has some beautiful crocodile-effect pieces, crafted from porcelain and flattered with 24-carat gold detailing which would be a stunning addition to any home office.

As Holmes observes: ‘Smaller, unique items that help homeowners to tell their own story always prove popular. People look for functional pieces that make a statement and give their workspace an identity of its own.’

*Fuente: Luxury Defined, Christies Real Estate


This Imagined Spinning Skyscraper Offers Everyone Sky-High 360° Views


Industrial designer Shin Kuo offers his solution to class conflict—not with regards to education or income, but to who has the best view.

Dubbed “Turn to the Future,” the ambitious spinning skyscraper concept features a building with units that rotate at predetermined times, giving everybody a 360-degree view of the city. The structure would showcase apartments sliding on a spiral rail around a central pillar. Each home’s gas and electric lines would automatically detach before moving and reattach in new ports at its destination to avoid fire issues, and each front door would lock before repositioning. Once the apartment reaches the bottom of the spiral, it would be whipped back up to the very top of the building by a crane.


“Urbanization has become a big trend in the world,” Kuo tells The Atlantic’s City Lab. “Because of that, buildings will become higher and higher, and more and more people who live in the lower floors of buildings will get their views blocked. Based on the results from both the Asian and the American market research, there is a [difference] in sales or rental prices between the lower floor units and higher floor units in the same building. In the future, all the top floors of buildings will be owned by people with very high incomes and the middle to lower income people will only have a limited view from their living spaces.”

Eco-conscious folks will be pleased to know that the design incorporates solar panels and a regenerative braking system—not to mention amusement rides.



Firma Gerencia RED

Praud Architects: Leaning House, South Korea


The site is close to the Chungpyong Lake and has hilly mountain on the back and view towards to the lake in front. As most of sites on hills in Korea, the Leaning House’s site also has a mismatch between topography and orientation.
Therefore, one of the first things to solve was the siting of the house in the position where it can have southern sunlight as well as view towards the lake. The southern part of the program box is lifted up so that the house can get enough sunlight from the South while the house itself orients to the East following the topography of the site. By lifting the box up, a new space was gained where Glass Box for family room can be inserted.

In the Leaning House, instead of putting a separate structure to the mass, the form of massing works as a structural system. The Leaning Box has a frame structure at the envelope of the box, and is supported by the vertical Glass Box so that it can eliminate redundant structural element. This concept is driven by the architectural vocabulary “Topology & Typology” that Praud has been developing. The “Topology & Typology” is a theoretical experiment based on Anthony Vidler’s theory on typology. “Topology” focuses on the form of architecture regarding to the relationship between solid and void, while “Typology” develops the system of the building. “Topology & Typology” tries to find out the harmony between the architectural form and the system that can be called as “Contemporarism”, architectural language of contemporary architecture, just as Modernism became the architectural language, not the style, in a certain period of time.

By lifting up the program box, a new space – the Third Space – is gained. The original requirement from the client was to have bedroom, reading room and living room, and with having the third space, it was able to put a new living room inside and terrace on the outside. The Third Space provides more gradation for the house. The outside terrace is not fully public yet not fully private either. Also, inside living room is also a semi-public area within the house before getting into more private area. This variation in gradation gives deeper spatial quality in a small house project. To have the reading of the boxes, the Leaning House treats all surfaces as part of one box and has same material throughout the surfaces with continuous pattern. Zinc is selected to wrap the whole box with a single material as it can be used for roof, siding and exterior ceiling. And continuous diagonal lines across the envelop enhances the reading of the box.

Leaning House, Chungpyong, South Korea
Program: house and office
Architects: Praud
Principal in Charge: Dongwoo Yim, Rafael Luna
Local Architect: Sjai
Landscape: Changbok Yim, Praud
Lighting Design: Changbok Yim, Praud
Area: 96 sqm
Completion: 2014

CUBO Design Architect: Cnest


The house is located on a site which can be called a cliff with a maximum elevation difference of 14m and a maximum slope angle of about 70 degrees.
The main features of this site are the views of the sea horizon and rich greenery. The house was planned with consideration of maximizing the utilization of its appeal.

A plan was sought to leave the trees and to create a scenery in which the building blends in. An intuitively germinated image was that of a floating birdhouse with a pointy delta-shaped roof, hanging from a big tree.
As a result, the birdhouse was fixed as if hooked on a block of RC, which was embedded into the ground. The cantilever with a 4m x 13m flat surface, which supports the floating birdhouse, is supported by an RC slab and narrow steel-frame branches.

The way of letting natural light into the interior space allows one to feel the purity of the sunlight, as well as intensifies the beauty of the shadows, which is at the extreme opposite of the light. Walls are arranged to dramatically invite the strong light. A gradation of shading, which is visualized by trimming and manipulating light, causes retinal shrinkage as well as reminds us of the traditional Japanese appreciation of “shadow” parts.

Cnest, Oiso-cho, Kanagawa, Japan
Program: single-family house
Architect: Hitoshi Saruta / CUBO design architect
Structural Engineer: Kenji Nawa (Nawaken-gym)
Area: 338 smq
Completion: September 2013


Pinned Up: Marcel Wanders


“Pinned Up” at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is the first major exhibition dedicated to Marcel Wanders, a Dutch designer known for products with unexpected materiality and its quirky interior.

Recognized as one of the most famous Dutch designers, Wanders has become known to the public in 1996 thanks to the Knotted Chair – a combination of high-tech materials interwoven with a traditional macramé – became the symbol of the Dutch Design in those years, thanks to the support of Droog Design.


The exhibition is divided into three different zones: the central area black, one white that you spread around, such as a peripheral route, and a third lounge area. This division represents the duality of the designer and its production is characterized by diversity and discovery.

During an interview on the opening day, Wanders tells how this bipolarity has accompanied his career and personal development as a person and designer. “We have divided the exposure in both left and right hemispheres,” he confides, “in the white area, rational, educational try to show a side of the world analytic area is positive that adds beauty to people’s lives. Another way of looking at the same world, though, “says the designer,” shows us a universe where things are less rational, a place of dreams and doubts, perhaps, a place sometimes sad and painful. These two worlds are both important and present in my life. “

The exhibition begins with a crossroads, where the visitor is asked to make a choice, starting with the light or the darkness, as if to subconsciously divide the audience between dreamers and thinkers.


The white zone is in turn divided into 10 topics, including crafts, fiction, innovation, archetypes and the change of scale. Here you can find, arranged in a linear layout and classic, some classic pieces such as the Knotted Chair, the Egg vase, chandelier Zeppelin and Lace Table, but also the most daring experiments such as the Airborne Snotty Vases, vases printed in 3D from virtual models of mucus produced by sneezing.

In contrast to this bright space, which almost reminds a showroom, the black area instead introduces a more personal and experimental work consisting of the most impressive scenery and theatrical. In this area it is clear the intent to create an immersive space, like an underwater journey through mysterious objects, such as lamps worn by half-naked women (three static performance performed in occasion of the opening), giant rotating heads and a soundscape and abstract perhaps a bit ‘pushy.


In this area there are also works in more technological as the Wallflower Virtual Bouquet and Interiors, a series of seven dynamic pictures presented for the first time on this occasion, representatives and imaginary digital environments, enriched with a few pieces of Wanders and in some cases not intended for production.
The last area, lounge area, offers visitors the chance to finally discover catalogs and advertising campaigns related to capital Wanders as creative director, highlighting some of his collaborations with other big names in the industry such as Jasper Morrison and the brand Moooi, of which he is a co-founder.


“Pinned Up” represents 25 years of Marcel Wanders, an event interpreted by the designer as a milestone and the end of a chapter, the beginning of a journey towards a new direction. “I watched a lot of my past in the past two years because of this show,” he says Wanders, “and I think it’s a very important moment for me, after which I will have to cut some things. In ten years I’ll be likely to split our projects between those who came before or after this event. “


The exhibition occupies the basement of the new extension of the Stedelijk and symbolizes the enormous variety represented by his work, from experimental materials and craftsmanship redundant decorations and sculptures out of scale. The study Wanders himself is responsible for the design of the stands, which is why you were expecting maybe the most impressive scenery and unpublished.

In this diversity, it is hard to find a common thread, but Marcel reassures us in this quest confessing that the leitmotiv of this story is that when he and his curiosity led him. It is interesting to see how Wanders through this route, despite the commercial success of some of his works, interior has not abandoned the search for materials and his ironic approach to product design. The exhibition, however, leaves the visitor with a desire to learn more about the process that led to these experiments in an attempt to understand aspects of craft and material only superficially in the exhibition.


In addition to being the largest exhibition dedicated to Marcel Wanders, “Pinned Up” represents a return to the design of the Stedelijk that the recently re-opened in September 2012, it was mostly focused on the scope of art. Curated by Ingeborg de Roode “Pinned Up” is the result of a decade-long collaboration, and will be open until 15 June 2014.


Until June 15, 2014 Pinned Up: 25 Years of Design Stedelijk Museum Museumplein 10, Amsterdam


Louis Vuitton’s Modern Beach House: Design Miami 2013


Louis Vuitton delivered this weekend with a modern, U-shaped beach bungalow entitled “House by the Shore.” Assembled in Italy and shipped to Florida exclusively for Design Miami, this gorgeous display boasts fluidity between indoor and outdoor spaces and raw iroko and okoume wood floors and furnishings.

The minimalist living space is intended to be a temporary shelter for beach dwellers, showcasing found objects as décor and what seems to be a simple tin roof. It also offers some leather furnishings, plain vintage pieces and a hide statement rug.

Another unusual feature? The space was made in a way that it can easily be assembled and disassembled whenever necessary.


Applied Design en el MoMA: 5 proyectos destacados

por Fabritzia Peredo

La estética no es lo más relevante en el diseño. En los últimos años, esta disciplina se ha dado a la tarea de explorar nuevos caminos y resolver problemas de la vida humana.

En esta línea llega al MOMA Applied Design, una exposición curada por Paola Antonelli que no busca evaluar los proyectos por sus cualidades formales, sino resaltar su función en contextos que mejoran nuestra calidad de vida o incluso pueden salvarla.

Te presentamos cinco de los proyectos más destacados:

01. Mine Kafon, por Massoud Hassani
Durante su infancia en Afganistán, Massoud Hassani aprendió a elaborar juguetes impulsados por el viento, muchos de los cuales no pudo recuperar a causa de los campos minados que rodeaban su ciudad. Ahora, como parte de su proyecto de graduación de Design Academy Eindhoven, creó un objeto igual, pero que destruye las minas terrestres para salvar vidas. Hecho con bambú y plásticos biodegradables, el Mine Kafon cuenta con un GPS integrado para detectar desde la web cuáles son las áreas más seguras y, al mismo tiempo, acabar con las minas que siguen en la zona. En el video se puede ver este objeto en acción.

02. Earthquake proof table, por Arthur Brutter e Ido Bruno
Esta mesa fue concebida para casos de emergencia durante un terremoto. Usualmente, los profesores recomiendan resguardarse debajo de escritorios y pupitres en caso de que ocurra una catástrofe de este tipo; sin embargo, el mobiliario no es lo suficientemente resistente para mantenernos en un estado seguro. A pesar de que esta mesa se percibe ligera y delicada, es capaz de soportar hasta un bloque de hormigón de una tonelada. En este video podrás apreciar las pruebas realizadas sobre su resistencia ante diferentes pesos y materiales.

03. Basic house, por Martín Ruiz de Azúa
“Tenerlo todo sin tener apenas nada” es la esencia del proyecto de este diseñador español. Se trata de un resguardo temporal, parecido a una tienda de campaña, que puede compactarse de tal forma que cabe en el bolsillo del pantalón. Se infla con el calor del cuerpo humano o del sol, es sumamente ligero, puede proteger al usuario de las diversas condiciones climáticas e incluso flota. El prototipo fue fabricado en poliéster metalizado y, aunque en realidad es un diseño muy simple, sus alcances prometen una vida nómada muy práctica y —relativamente— segura.

04. Artificial biological clock, por Revital Cohen
Este prototipo fue diseñado pensando en una mujer que necesita saber cuándo es el momento ideal para concebir una nueva vida. Cuando está física, mental y económicamente preparada, el dispositivo reacciona y comienza a funcionar. ¿Cómo lo hace? De forma digital recopila datos del doctor, el terapeuta y el asistente bancario para informar a la mujer en cuestión el momento en que estos tres factores alcanzan un equilibrio.

05. Solar Sinter, por Markus Kayser
Solar Sinter es una impresora 3D. Aunque esta tecnología ya no es novedad, el atractivo de Solar Sinter es que utiliza arena desértica y luz solar, en lugar de resinas, para crear casi cualquier objeto —como la taza que se muestra en la imagen—. El proyecto responde a la preocupación global por la escasez de recursos y el uso de energía natural. Solar Sinter da la pauta para buscar medios de desarrollo y manufactura más amigables con el entorno.