2019 design edition – A quick recap
2019, the last year of the decade was indeed very interesting in terms of the design trends, advancements and growth. The year went by swiftly, yet many events and design innovations made us stop and stare! Architecture, Interior Design, Fashion, Makeup and Technology were some of the design arenas which saw major changes and leaps. Products and electronic devices became better over the decade and in 2019 design reached another level of sophistication! Fashion design also witnessed major overhauls with some of the best collections hitting boutiques this last year.
Let us recap some of the most noteworthy design events and trends of 2019!
1. NOTRE DAME DE PARIS : The Cathedral that lived!
2019 will go down in history as the year that Notre-Dame Cathedral was devastated by fire. Before the embers had stopped smoking questions about how to rebuild were being asked. There was a worldwide architectural competition announced to redesign the roof, however protests from the French people and Christians from all over the World opined that the roof be rebuilt exactly the way it was, but not before a lot of architects published their visions for how the place of worship could be re-imagined. The French Government has since then announced that the roof shall be restored to its original 19th century form and has proposed to rebuilt it in the next 5 years.
2. THE WORLD LOSES MASTER ARCHITECT – I.M. PEI
Pritzker Prize winner Architect I.M. Pei is credited with masterpieces like Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, the Glass Pyramid at the Musée du Louvre, Paris and the Kennedy Library, Boston etc. The Chinese-American Architect was a modernist, who delved into bold, experimental designs incorporating unique geometries and simple colors. He was known for combining traditional architectural principles with progressive designs based on simple geometric patterns—circles, squares, and triangles are common elements of his work in both plan and elevation. He received the RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal for Architecture in 2010 among many other accomplishments like the AIA Gold Medal in 1979 and the Praemium Imperiale in 1989. In his wide portfolio are also noteworthy projects like 1. Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong, 2. MIHO Museum, Koka, 3. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC 4. Energy Plaza, Dallas 5. World Trade Center, Baltimore. His death was a great loss to the Architectural community, but his work lives on for many generations to see.
3. WORLD’S TALLEST ATRIUM – Leeza SOHO Skyscraper, Beijing
Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the 45 storey skyscraper boasts of the world’s tallest atrium twisting through its center. This atrium runs the full height of the building, which at 194.15 metres makes it the world’s tallest atrium, overtaking the void in the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. The curling atrium provides natural light and views into the interiors, while the ground floor acts as a public square for the new business district. This atrium is innovatively sealed by a glass curtain wall and apexes at the top in an organic shape, which visually connects every floor while creating a futuristic civic space for Beijing. Walkways at intermediate levels connect the two towers piercing through the atrium. This 45-storey 172,800-square-metre tower responds to demand from small and medium-sized businesses in Beijing for flexible and efficient Grade A office space and was completed in 2019.
4. ARCHITECTURE EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS IN 2019
2019 was also the year of various design events, exhibitions and summits. Chicago Architecture Biennial showcased the work of over 80 contributors whereas the eighth edition of the most interesting architecture Biennial in Asia; Bi-City Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture 2019; explored the main issues behind the digital revolution in urbanism. The 5th edition of the Architecture Triennale was held in Lisbon on the theme of ‘The Poetics of Reason’ and the Sao Paolo Biennial was titled Todo Dia (Everyday) which explored how the most trivial level of reality can contribute to the manufacture of architecture and urbanism. Architecture exhibitions were also held in Chile, Paraguay and Venice. Overall, a wholesome year for building design.
5. CONVERSATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Teen Activist Greta Thunberg was named Person of the Year 2019 by Times Magazine. The young voice for Climate Change rallied for awareness of the topic and a deeper understanding of our World and the willingness to change for its betterment. Meanwhile, 2019 also saw a lot of discussion about Climate Change and the architects’ responsibility with a deep-rooted, conscious awareness for sustainability and how to achieve it. Dialogues on Adaptive reuse in architecture, Circular Economy, Deconstruction and building material reclamation and reuse were heard throughout 2019. Advancements were also seen in building materials, where seaweed was identified as a good alternative to plastic and Cork and Bamboo saw a definitive rise in being sustainable building components.
6. TECHNOLOGY IN 2019
Not just in building or interior design, 2019 witnessed a surge in technology and the World was introduced to some amazing new devices and products. Right from the Dyson AirWrap – a hair styling tool which revolutionized the beauty industry, to Watergen GENNY which creates water out of thin air all the way to the Tesla Cybertruck, 2019 proved to be a massive year for the scientific and design community. Check out the 100 best Technological Inventions of 2019 here.
7. INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS THAT SWEPT 2019
Interior Design evolves everyday and 2019 was no different. A lot of interesting work surfaced setting trends and leading us into the future of interior design. The noteworthy styles which resonated throughout the World were the palm and leafy wallpapers in interiors which became a rage in 2019. Also seen was the advent of digital screens in place of walls which lit up many an interior space. Another fascinating style which came up was the cave like interiors which were adopted for small stores, restaurants and eateries. Vintage interiors mainly in the English classical style remained popular in 2019 which also happened to be the year for color block cabinetry in bright hues! Definitely an exciting end to the decade for Interior Designers.
Here’s wishing all our readers, students, designers and the whole WORLD, a Happy New Year! Let’s pledge to fight the good fight, make changes where needed and smile more! Here’s to another wonderful decade!
Jamila is one part artist, two parts foodie, and all parts traveler. She is a patron of good art and design and loves to immerse herself in books and music. Simplicity and minimalism is her motto as an architect. A writing enthusiast, she surrounds herself with all things creative. She actively shuns all “ists” and “isms” and firmly believes in a “no – label” world! She isn’t afraid to take risks, speak her mind, push forward and challenge preconceptions. She is currently pursuing Masters in Architecture at the University of Liechtenstein.