Introducing the June 2021 Innovation Issue of Wallpaper*
Welcome to the Innovation Issue, a celebration of fresh perspectives and bold ideas. I am delighted to have Yves Behar, pioneer of experiential design and transformative technology, as our headliner. Ahead of the launch of his forthcoming book, Designing Ideas (released in July), he has created our limited-edition subscribers’ cover (as well as animated versions on Wallpaper.com), and talks in depth with Wallpaper’s transport and technology editor Jonathan Bell about how he believes design and technology can combine to tackle key challenges of the 21st century – sustainability, accessibility and diversity.
We feature Mario Tsai, who is leading the way for independent Chinese designers hoping to break into the international furniture industry; and Julius Værnes Iversen, whose Copenhagen-based studio Tableau has revolutionised the art of flower arranging and made a splash with its avant garde design collaborations.
We also call on Wallpaper’s 2019 Designer of the Year, Pierre Yovanovitch, to discuss his new namesake brand, which brings his delightfully exquisite furniture to a wider audience while maintaining his long-cherished principles of elevating craftsmanship and making to last.
The transformative role of technology is just as evident in our preview of the next generation of urban transport, as well as in our look into the future with Hyundai Motor Company, which is investing ambitiously in electric vehicles, hydrogen technology, robotics and personal air vehicles.
Returning to the here and now, we commissioned Copenhagen-based CGI studio Seen to compile the best in cutting-edge consumer tech, from the likes of Apple, Bang & Olufsen and LG, as well as niche favourite Teenage Engineering, and Kickstarter success story Transparent.
In terms of inventive architecture, we have a climate centre by Denmark’s 3XN that makes a striking visual statement despite a modest budget and environmental footprint; a multigenerational family home designed by India’s Matharoo Associates, with moveable walls that accommodate its inhabitants’ changing preferences; and the first new-build by the UK’s Remi Connolly-Taylor, cleverly inserted into an infill site in east London.
Innovation can take many forms, so we also showcase beauty products inspired by rehabilitative care for burn victims and the reproductive biology of black widow spiders; a diffuser from Poltrona Frau and Acqua di Parma that dispenses fragrance at the intensity best suited to each scent; and the Masuku One face mask, which offers bio-based air filtration made possible by a newly developed electrospinning process.
Finally, it feels fitting to revisit Formafantasma and Dzek’s ‘ExCinere’ tiles, glazed with volcanic ash from Sicily’s Mount Etna and first revealed in the pages of Wallpaper* two years ago (W*242). This groundbreaking architectural material has now become the central feature of the new Blue Bottle Coffee in Jinnan, Tokyo, designed by Keiji Ashizawa, and even inspired the café’s matching crème brûlée cheesecake. A delicious testament to the power of innovation.
Enjoy the issue!