London Design Festival 2014 Highlights

The twelfth annual London Design Festival, which took place from 13th to 21st September 2014, was indeed quite eventful. No, literally! It had something for everyone. The annual contemporary design festival celebrated designs in all forms: landmark, interiors, furniture, graphic and sculptural installations. With over 300 events held across the city, the festival showcased innovative and thoughtful designs by artists, designers from around the world. We chose to highlight some of the fun, quirky design ideas that held our attention a while longer.

A Place Called Home 

Designers Jasper Morrison, Studioilse, Patternity and Raw-Edges came together to install their interpretation of ‘A place called Home’ for Airbnb’s landmark project. 
British designer Jasper Morrison was inspired by the location and created a home for a pigeon keeper.

Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay of design studio Raw-Edges focused on a versatile living arrangement, creating a house with spaces and rooms that shift and change around a central lighting fixture.

Studioilse founder Ilse Crawford got the audience thinking about what a home meant to them 

Young British duo Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham of Patternity staged an interactive installation of oversized kaleidoscopes with repeating triangles, circles and squares.

Double Space for BMW – Precision & Poetry in Motion

Incredibly talented industrial designers Jay Barber and Edward Osgerby, together with BMW, designed Double Space, a kinetic sculpture wherein they installed reflective glass panels at V&A Museum’s Raphael Gallery in order to display the classic artwork in a distorted new light.
The Crest by Zaha Hadid

Hadid’s Crest installation is an experimental structure, commissioned by ME by Meliá Hotels International to mark the 2016 launch of their Hadid-designed ME Dubai hotel. After the event, the demountable structure is to be relocated to the Dubai Hotel.
Driverless Sleeper Car of the Future by Dominic Wilcox

London-based designer Dominic Wilcox created this life-size car with stained glass chassis. He believes that in future roads would be so safe that it would be cool to drive around in this unmanned vehicle while a person sleeps in it.



Minimalism in Design

Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Illinois (US)
Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Illinois (US)

Minimalism cannot be more aptly defined than with the expression – “Less is more,” a motto adopted by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to describe his aesthetic yet practical arrangement of indispensable components to create an impression of simplicity. He incorporated only the absolutely crucial elements to serve the requisite visual and functional purposes of it. Simply put, the idea suggests eliminating excesses, de-cluttering and making use of bare essentials. The movement started way back in the late 1960s in various forms of art and design, more specific to visual arts and music then. The minimalist artists drew references from the De Stijl (Dutch for “style”) movement, founded in the early 1920s, which was also known as “Neoplasticism.” Advocators of De Stijl movement simplified visual compositions and reduced the essentials of form and colour. The movement propagates that ideas could be expressed with the use of basic elements such as lines and planes organized in precise manner.

It is also noted that minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. The Japanese culture advocates the concept of MA (間) (pronounced ‘maah’) meaning “the pure, and indeed essential, void between all things.” The concept emphasizes the possibility of emptiness and de-cluttering where the focus is on a specific object that can exist, stand out and exude importance. When a home is cluttered, every valuable thing loses its value and where there is too much, our ability to focus on the important features of our living space diminishes. Thus the Western concept of minimalism is steeply grounded in many different cultures and revolutionary movements.

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Guess Who Moved Into Their New Home In Hidden Hills?

Here take a tour of the swanky new abode of the most-talked about celeb couple:

The house is largely done up in white interiors, which also happens to be  this hot reality show star’s favorite color.
The exquisite chandelier complements the lily-white dining room perfectly…
White follows into other rooms. Thankfully, hues of blue brings relief….
The wooden lofts adds a beautiful touch to the interiors…
Even the exposed brick walls are whitewashed to go with the rest of the decor…
To find out to whom this house belongs to, click here

Connect & interact with Interesting Architects & Designers on Archh

With the number of profiles on archh constantly increasing, we thought it’d be a nice idea to compile a list of the most interesting profiles online, right now. Here’s what we came up with –

Faisal ArshadArchitect and Academician based in Islamabad


Faisal is actively involved in the professional practice as well as the academics, a faculty member at COMSATS Islamabad.
He has over 14 years of profound & diverse experience including his most challenging instrumental role with the award winning architectural firm TAK Design & with one of the largest developers Sama Dubai. The highlights of his design portfolio include world’s longest grandstand at the Meydan Horse Racecourse in Dubai, the state of the art facility that also houses Godolphin Museum & the Hotel, all as one integrated structure. Since coming back to Pakistan in 2009, he has started his own practice working locally & collaborating with an American Architectural firm for modular housing in various provinces of Iraq.
He conducts frequent workshops at various architectural schools and lectures widely as invited speaker. He has introduced the first ever leisure based learning workshop ‘Graphico’ on Architectural Graphics & Visual Communication, which has become a regular most sought after annual feature among the students nationwide due to its distinct format. His workshops gets frequently published in the architectural magazine Archi Times.
He is on the panel of BAE (Board of Architectural Education) as a resource instructor and has held the office of Honorary Secretary IAP (Institute of Architects Pakistan). View Profile

Manish DikshitDesign Principal at Aum Architects

Manish is an International award winning Architect having over 9 years experience in designing and consultancy in Architecture, Interior and Civil Work. he embarked on his career by working with renowned architects such as Hafeez Contractor and Nozer Wadia. Throughout his career he has been involved in the preliminary design for various projects both commercial and residential and even worked as an architect with D.I.D Consultants before establishing Aum Architects. He was also a guest lecturer at the Rachna Sansad Institute of Interior Design. View Profile


She is the founder and principal of Adeeni Design Group specializing in high-end residential and small commercial interiors with projects throughout the country and abroad in London, England, New Delhi, India and on Guam. She is known for navigating between modern and traditional with exceptional ease and for infusing interiors with a sense of comfort, richness, warmth and timelessness through a cosmopolitan approach to design. Born in Austria into a family of artists, craftsmen and musicians, she is classically trained in drawing, painting, sculpture, cooking, hotel management and interior design. Interior design has allowed her to incorporate her love for all the arts on a three-dimensional platform. View Profile

Yogeshwar Kulkarni Principal Designer at Samruddhi Realty Limited

As Design and Project Principal, Mr. Yogeshwar Kulkarni has considerable expertise as Architectural Principal, which includes all the allied areas of planning, programming, interior design, graphic design, estimating, construction administration, construction management, and general construction. View Profile

Channa HorombuwaChartered Accountant and the Director of Jeeva & Channa Horombuwa Architects, Sri lanka.

Channa graduated from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and has been practicing Architecture since 1996. Using a fresh and modern approach with materials, forms & colors, his Architectural style is focused mainly on contemporary/ Modern with a touch of minimalism. Together with a team of other consultants such as Quantity Surveyors, Structural, Electrical & Services Engineers, his practice covers many areas like Architecture, Interior Architecture, Renovation and Adoptive reuse for a wide variety of projects in the range of Residential,Commercial, Educational Health Care, etc. Channa Horombuwa is a winner of World Architecture Community Awards 20+10+X 7th Cycle 2010. View Profile

Arjak MitraArchitecture Student


Arjak is pursuing Architecture from Hitkarini College of Architecture And Town planning, Jabalpur. He has an artistic approach on Projects. He likes Painting, Photography, Film making, etc. View Profile

OVA StudioDesign Office

OVA Studio is a multidisciplinary design office specializing in, Architecture, Interior Design, Master Planning and Product Design. They strive to offer “boutique” style services to their clients, a personalized one on one tailored approach to their contracts, enabling high value services for competitive fees. The team has an international design experience covering several continents (Europe and Asia) spanning over 25 years. Through its extensive network OVA Studio is able to draw specific competences to answer specific project based needs. View Profile

RehanDesign Consultant

An international award winner, multidisciplinary design consultant, works across the full spectrum of design disciplines: brand strategy, digital installations, creating true brand experience across the globe. brand architecture, brand identity, brand design, brand environment, architecture, interior, exhibits, product, websites & digital installations, creating true brand experience across the globe. View Profile

ARCHH.COM in the news ! Architecture & design press

20130611-214037.jpg has been featured in the latest edition of Home Trends magazine, which is one of the most widely read architecture and design magazines in the world today. Pat on the Back to the whole team at and congratulations ! ! Happy Archhing !

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Principles of Flat Design

Flat design – the design community just can’t stop talking about it.

And feelings are strong. Most designers either can’t get enough of this trend, or absolutely hate it.

I am somewhere in the middle. Good design is about creating something useful that works. If the answer is designed in the fashion of flatness, so be it. But the trend may not work for all projects, so it should not be forced.
So let’s examine what makes something flat. There are five pretty distinct characteristics. Here’s a look at each, plus an introduction to “almost” flat design.

No Added Effects


Flat design gets its name from the shapes used. Flat design employs a distinct two-dimensional style that is simply flat.

The concept works without embellishment – drop shadows, bevels, embossing, gradients or other tools that add depth. Every element or box, from image frames to buttons to navigational tools, is crisp and lacks feathered edges or shadows.

Nothing is added to make elements look more realistic, such as tricks designed to make items appear 3D in skeuomorphic design projects. Layers used in flat design mirror those in other projects, but the planes do not intersect leaving a distinct background image, foreground images or buttons, text and navigation.

So what makes it work? Flat design has a distinct look and feel without all the extras. It relies on a clear sense of hierarchy in the design and placement of elements to make successful projects easy for users to understand and interact with. While more and more websites are using flat design principles, it is maybe even more popular for app and mobile design. With small screens, there are fewer buttons and options, making a flat interface fairly easy to use.

Simple Elements


Flat design uses many simple user interface elements, such as buttons and icons. Designers often stick to simple shapes, such as rectangles, circles or squares and allow each shape to stand alone. Shape edges can be perfectly angular and square or include curvature.

Each UI element should be simple and easy to click or tap. Interaction should be intuitive for users without a lot of in-design explanation.

In addition to simple styling, go bold with color on clickable buttons to encourage use. But don’t confuse simple elements with simple design, flat design concepts can be just as complex as any other type of design scheme.

Need help getting started? Designmodo offers a variety of UI kits using flat styles – from the Square UI Free and Flat UI Free, a simple PSD/HTML UI kit with basic components, to Square UI and Flat UI Pro, a complete PSD/HTML UI pack for website and app design projects.

Focus on Typography


Because of the simple nature of element in flat design, typography is extremely important.

The tone of typefaces should match the overall design scheme – a highly embellished font might look odd against a super-simple design. Type should also be bold and worded simply and efficiently, in an effort for the final product to have a consistent tone visually and textually.

Consider a simple sans serif type family with plenty of variations and weights for the primary typography on a site using flat design. Add a touch of the unexpected with one novelty font as an art element, but be careful not to go overboard with use of the specialty typeface.

Type should also tell users how to use the design. Label buttons and other elements for increased ease of use and interactivity.

Focus on Color


Color is a large part of flat design. Flat design color palettes are often much brighter and more colorful than those for other sites.

Color palettes for flat design projects often contain many more hues as well. While most color palettes focus on two or three colors at most, flat design palettes may use six to eight colors equally.

The hues tend to be vibrant – think about the purest colors from the color wheel – without tints or tones. Primary and secondary colors are popular. In addition certain types of colors are also used frequently; in this iteration of the flat design trend, retro colors – including salmon, purple, green and blue – are especially popular.

Minimalist Approach


Flat design is simple by nature and works well with an overall minimalist design approach.

Avoid too many bells and whistles in the overall site design. Simple color and text may be enough. If you want to add visuals, opt for simple photography.

Some retail sites, such as Svpply (above), using flat design have done a good job placing items on a simple background to do this. (It should be noted that the photos do have some natural depth but still fit into the overall flatness of the design.)

“Almost” Flat Design


A style more designers tend to agree on is “almost” flat design.

In almost flat design, the basic theme of the flat style is used but some effects are added to the design scheme.

Buttons, for example, may contain slight gradients or drop shadows.
Designers typically pick one effect and use it exclusively in an almost flat project.

This style allows for a little more flexibility than some of the rigidness of the no effects thought behind flat design.

Designers like it because of the added depth and texture. Users like it because the style is a little less sharp and can help guide proper interaction. On the flip side, designers don’t like it because it marries two styles in a way that can lack definition of a true style.

Source : Designmodo

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