Foscarini President becomes new President of Assoluce

(Italy) – Foscarini founder Carlo Urbinati is now the new president of Assoluce, an association affiliated with FederlegnoArredo that represents some of the most prominent Italian lighting design companies.

Urbinati succeeded the outgoing president Stefano Bordone who completed two terms at the organisation.

Unanimously elected President by the 11 new members on the executive board of Assoluce, Urbinati was formerly the Vice President since joining the association in 2017. Urbinati is a credible figure in the lighting industry who became the majority shareholder and the President of Foscarini in 1988; he has since cultivated a network of visionaries to research groundbreaking technologies and materials in lighting design which subsequently has become the defining traits of the brand. In 2014, Urbinati became the sole shareholder of Foscarini – a company he has now been running for thirty years.

“I am certain that he will take on this new responsibility with enthusiasm,” said the former President of Assoluce Stefano Bordone. “Urbinati’s in-depth knowledge of the lighting industry and understanding of the association makes him the perfect candidate for the role. I believe in his ability to tackle the challenges happening in the market, especially the ones relating to the COVID-19 crisis. I appreciate the times that I have spent with Urbinati as well as the newly elected board members, I wish them all the best.”

Urbinati added: “I am very excited about this new role and working with a diverse and talented group of new board members.

“Together we will fortify the ‘artisan and unity’ vision set forth by Bordone.”

Istanbul Design Biennial open call

(Turkey) - Istanbul Design Biennial has launched an open call for designers from Turkey and the Netherlands.

Istanbul Design Biennia, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), and Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Istanbul launch an open call to young designers from the Netherlands and Turkey who are interested in forming new networks through a virtual residency programme.

Under the programme titled Designing into the Future, five emerging designers from Turkey and five from the Netherlands will be chosen to meet virtually in a curated chat room, exchange experiences and learn from each other between 31 August and 7 September 2020. The aim is to create a virtual platform to rethink design practices for the future that could transform everyday life in local contexts for the better in a sustainable way.

The title Designing into the Future emphasises design as a tool to respond to day-to-day urgencies with relevant and creative objects and environments that build trust for the future.

The virtual residency programme will invite young designers from all design fields who are interested in sharing their work or ideas that immediately respond to daily life urgencies. Designers who embrace a collective sensibility in their work and who are eager to discuss their ideas and practices for a thoughtful future are welcome to apply until 14 August 2020. 

Artemide introduces design for health and safety

(Italy) - Artemide has launched Integralis, a new system that integrates sanitising technology with its lighting solutions.

Integralis generates UV light that acts against pathogenic microorganisms without harming the space and individuals surrounding it. It can also be used in both public and private spaces - in museums, offices and shops, the technology can be adapted to perform an emission frequency that best accommodates that cadence of visitors. In small spaces, such as service areas, elevators, and waiting rooms, intermittent sanitisation is available; presence sensors, which are controlled by the Artemide app, help to manage safety and intensity.

Establish & Sons appoints new Managing Director

(UK) - Steve McGuire joins Established & Sons as Managing Director.

McGuire brings extensive experience to the innovative British design company, having previously held the position as Managing Director at Tom Dixon and executive roles with leading brands such as Molton Brown, Rituals and LSA International.

McGuire will be pivotal in guiding the brand to new successes in a world that will see significant changes to the design, functionality and use of offices, hospitality venues and public spaces post-Covid-19.

The appointment of McGuire comes as Established & Sons continues to drive successful growth following the brand's major rejuvenation in 2016.

"We are delighted to announce that Steve has joined the Established & Sons team. With over 20 years of senior management experience, his industry knowledge will be hugely beneficial in bringing the company to the next stage of development. We are excited for him to build on the strong foundations laid over the past four years," says Co-Managing Director Patrick Mueller-Hermann.

Design Director Sebastian Wrong adds: "The ways in which we work and live have been changing considerably and the post-Covid landscape will act as a catalyst and further accelerator. We believe design has a fundamental role to play in re-imaging work spaces as inspiring and sustainable environments fit for the future. The journey Established & Sons has been on to develop a compelling At Work collection with a high-level of comfort and functionality that enables flexible working, now feels more relevant than ever."

United in Design addresses industry inequality

(UK) - New UK-wide charitable initiative aims to provide an actionable road map to address the lack of diversity in the interior design industry.

United in Design was launched on 8 July, a new charitable initiative founded by designers Sophie Ashby (Studio Ashby) and Alexandria Dauley (Dauley Design). With a mission to address the lack of diversity in the interior design industry - specifically the lack of representation of Black, Asian, Ethnic minority and low socio-economic communities. The new platform aims to provide resources to businesses and empower designers to pledge their support.

Together, with an esteemed steering committee of leading editors and designers in the field, United in Design’s core objective is to deliver an equal opportunity pathway to entry into the interior design industry by creating a UK-wide movement with an actionable roadmap for increased diversity in all sectors of the industry —from design studios, makers and suppliers to individuals and magazines.

Through meaningful partnerships with established educational programmes, industry professionals and sponsors, the United in Design movement will be driven by those businesses and people who are willing to lead by example, pledging their support and making a commitment to take positive action.

On 4 June 2020, Sophie Ashby issued a public statement on the Studio Ashby Instagram account in response to the murder of George Floyd and the global anti-racism uprising - acknowledging the studio’s own shortcomings in running a diverse company and the elitist and exclusionary nature of the wider interior design world. Meanwhile - fuelled by first-hand experience of this reality, having trained and tutored at KLC School of Design, Alexandria Dauley began outreach to leading industry figures to specifically promote the benefits of programmes addressing this inequality.

Ashby and Dauley joined forces to translate words to action with the end-goal being inclusion within the public forum. In order to take the pledge and become a member of the United in Design movement, businesses (or individuals) must commit to three actions from the seven-point actional pledge, which aims to encourage partners to unlock doors and inspire others within the industry to share their wealth of expertise and time with those who need it most.

United in Design’s goal is to become an ongoing sponsored initiative that is able to nurture, coach and develop high potential candidates from Black, Minority Ethnic and low socio-economic groups - eventually funding scholarships, apprenticeships and bursaries for programme participants via annual subscription fees and events. Trustees including writer and author Michelle Ogundehin and Graeme Brooker, Founder of Interior Educators will work alongside Chairs Simon Hamilton, Grant Pierrus and Sarah Ahluwalia to shape the forthcoming initiatives.

Confirmed partners include: Creative Mentor Network - who provide training for mentors and match mentors with mentees to assist their career development, and Interior Educators - who represent well established Interior Design programmes in over 50 higher education institutions, teaching 3000 students.

As a rich reference centre for anyone wishing to enter the Interior Design industry, the United in Design website will be home to The Resource Hub, managed by former BIID International Director and interior design career coach, Simon Hamilton. It will support businesses, students and individuals all over the UK by providing guidance, information, support, opportunities and advice on how to enter the interior design industry and access training. Crucially, it will also help them to find and secure employment.

Partners signed up so far and the full steering committee can be viewed here.

The British Institute of Interior Design appoints new President

(UK) - The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) welcomes the new BIID President for the 2020-2021 term, Lester Bennett.

Bennett officially took on the role at the BIID Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 2 July. The BIID also presented its two prestigious Institute awards, the CPD Award and the Merit Award, to recognise the achievements of individual BIID Members who have made a valuable contribution to the institute.

The AGM marked the official hand-over to new BIID President Lester Bennett, who took over from Harriet Forde. Lester Bennett has 40 years’ experience gained from running his own practice, being a Design Director for a plc residential developer, a Founding Partner of Folio Design LLP and now an independent Consultant. Although his main sphere of expertise is residential interior architecture and design, Bennett has experience in commercial and retail design, industrial, exhibition and product design.

Prior to setting up Folio Design LLP, Bennett was Design Director at Westcity Wates/Westcity Developers, delivering prestigious and iconic London residential schemes such as West End Quay, The Phillimores (now Academy Gardens), Pavilion Apartments and Phillimore Square (now Thornwood Gardens). His concept work and his understanding of high end, and often cutting-edge, residential design earned these schemes national and international awards.

In addition to his work in the contemporary field, Bennett has studied, and lectured on, the history of the English House and is well versed in period interiors, informing his work on many historic and listed buildings. Lester also has a thorough understanding of cabinet making and site construction techniques, materials and processes, and is a passionate advocate for the art of hand drawing.

Bennett commented: “I feel very honoured to be the new president of the BIID, there have been so many amazing people who have fulfilled this role in the past, not least Harriet from whom I am taking over, that I am only too aware that these are big boots to fill.

"This will certainly be a challenging year, but I am extremely lucky in that I have the support of a most excellent Council and admin staff who work tirelessly for the benefit of the Institute and its members.

"I look forward to continuing the work on the initiatives we already have in place, to help our members through this difficult time, and to help develop further ideas to benefit and expand our membership.”

New Director of Light+Building unveiled

(Germany) – Johannes Möller takes over from Maria Hasselman

Messe Frankfurt has announced that Maria Hasselman as stepped down as director of Light+Building, to be replaced by Johannes Möller.

A graduate trade fair, congress and event manager, Möller gained sales experience with Prolight+Sound for several years, before spending four years as the personal assistant to the President and CEO of Messe Frankfurt. He was subsequently appointed Director of the Brand Management and Development Team in the company’s Technology Business Unit.

Speaking of the challenges facing the lighting and building services sector, he said: “My aim is to add to the experience of the fair for all concerned, including through the use of digital channels. Accordingly, the portfolio will soon be supplemented by a variety of formats, such as podcasts, online product and trend shows, as well as internet forum discussions.

“At the same time, there can be no doubt that personal encounters are irreplaceable. This applies not only to confidence-building measures and product quality analysis, but also to networking and the exchange of ideas and information. I am looking forward to achieving this aim by continuing the close working relationship with our cooperation partners, the ZVEI and ZVEH associations.”

Möller has been working together with Maria Hasselman since the beginning of the year, which gave her the opportunity to pass on her knowledge and experience, and ensure a smooth changeover. Möller will now report to Iris Jeglitza-Moshage, Senior Vice President of Messe Frankfurt.

Hasselman will retire from Messe Frankfurt in August 2020, having worked with the company for the last 20 years. “Maria Hasselman has an unrivalled ability to immerse herself in highly complex subjects and was thus able to manage perfectly the trade-fair structures and marketing of Light + Building. Moreover, we profited from her ability to interconnect the different disciplines of this extremely varied sector and to understand the individual challenges facing them”, said Jeglitza-Moshage. “I would like to have seen this year’s anniversary edition of Light + Building as the crowning glory of Maria Hasselman’s work. Unfortunately, the coronavirus put paid to this wish. We will miss her. At the same time, we wish her all the very best for the future.”

Hasselman added: “There was nothing automatic about the way Light + Building developed. One of the keys to success was interdisciplinary thinking and planning. It was no less necessary to establish links between the trade, artisans, the industry, planners and architects than between the various disciplines in the field of building-services technology. At the same time, this success would not have been possible without the commitment of our partners and the media.”

In Conversation with Jo Littlefair, Goddard Littlefair


In this next instalment of [d]arc thoughts, darc magazine's Acting Editor, Sarah Cullen sits down with Jo Littlefair of interior design studio Goddard Littlefair. In this video they discuss the new interior design scheme and incorporation of decorative lighting into the newly renovated Sheraton Grand Warsaw Hotel, completed at the end of 2019.

Video edited by Assistant Editor, Sarah Cullen.
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Aromas - Dalt Collection

The Dalt collection is designed by Pepe Fornas, a member of the design team at Aromas, and was inspired by geometric shapes such as the sphere and triangle. Working with materials like marble and blown glass, this set of elements and materials makes the Dalt collection give the perfect elegant/retro-chic touch. This collection is available in different metal and marble finishes to adapt to your space.

Novolux - Tosca

The Tosca family, based on a new industrial concept, stands out for its functional and vintage design. It is protected by a grid that reflects its character, adding a decorative value as well. The original and unprecedented collection supports any combination of customised colours and is available as a wall mount or in two pendant sizes.

Vibia - Halo Jewel

Designer Martín Azúa takes another evolutionary leap with Halo Jewel by converting it into a luminous jewel. A shimmering and pure light, although treated in such a way as to avoid glare, drawing the eye with its precious linking element that supports it.

The materials, an elegant steel structure with a matte gold finish, and the various angles of inclination, define the light fitting that transcends the material. Even the supporting piece appears to give off a luminance when touched by the light. With its black profile link it picks up on trends in contemporary jewellery design.

“With Halo I wanted to bring the light closer to people, so that it would accompany them. Although behind this proximity there’s a complex technical project,” says Azúa.

The vertical Halo Jewel model combines different units of differing heights, lending a dynamic element to large spaces such as stairwells and halls in public or semi-public zones of businesses, hotels and cultural installations.

Vondom - The Gatsby Collection

The Gatsby collection, designed by Ramón Esteve for Vondom, recalls Art Deco lighting. This lamp is based on the idea of creating a surrounding atmosphere through a suggesting play of lights by means of the lamp’s surfaces, where the material reproduces the shapes and sensations of engraved glass. Its autonomy, adjustable light intensity and the possibility of choosing the projected colour at any moment makes Gatsby a perfect technological solution. Through the symmetrical patterns that the light draws when it projects its geometrical forms, the Gatsby lamp is perfect to create an extraordinary atmosphere with an intricate design for any space.