Building Industry: Euroconstruct anticipates no growth – German Architects Optimistic

The international credit crunch has taken an increasing toll of the building industry, for which reason the European Building Industry’s trade association Euroconstruct has downsized its forecast for the coming months. For 2012 the association has reduced the growth forecast by –0.3 to –2.1 percent. The German building industry has likewise reduced its growth forecast from +1.8 percent to +0.4 percent. Industry activity is not set to grow again until 2014, but then by 1.7 percent. Even so, it will take several years for growth to exceed the level of 2008.

The Euroconstruct figures indicate that the only two countries whose building industry output has increased by more than two percent are Denmark and Norway, while Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden and the UK are all below two percent. But there is good news for German architects, who are generally in a positive mood. The regular survey of independent architects undertaken by the Ifo-Institut for the first quarter of this year indicates that their business is clearly improving. The last time the mood was this good was in the mid-1990s – in the final phase of Germany’s reunification boom.

The responding architects indicated that their current level of business was now considerably better than in the previous quarters. In particular, the number of architects who described their current position as ‘good’ had increased from 26 percent in the last quarter of 2011 to 45 percent in the first quarter of 2012. The Ifo Institut says this is a uniquely high quotient. At the same time, only one fifth of respondents described their current business levels as ‘bad’ (previous quarter 23 percent).

Even so, respondents said the anticipated level of business had hardly changed from one quarter to the next. The number of architects with an optimistic view declined by three percent from 17 to 14 percent – but at the same time the number of sceptical architects declined by two percent to 13 percent.

Petals on the lawn! Red dot product design award 2012 for “shallow swing”

The design of “shallow swing” represents lightness and was inspired by the idea of petals on a lawn. The hand-crafted wooden frame curves gently and is glued together by hand with a lamination process that provides weatherproofing.

The wooden frame is covered with fabric. Gisbert Baarmann, the designer of this generously sized wooden form, calls it a “hyperbolic parabola”. A circular base has been twisted in a way which creates two pairs of high and low points opposite one another. “shallow swing” is a lightweight, dimensionally stable and yet elastic, transparent structure for dozing or gently rocking as well as offering protection from the sun.

“shallow swing” won the red dot product design award 2012. The jury´s statement: “shallow swing is a highly attractive piece of gardenfurniture for both sitting and rocking. It is the expression of an innovative design concept that brings together design and handicraft. shallow swing provides an effortless transition between the outdoor and the indoor worlds.”

Further information: shallowswing.de

Monet’s Garden shown in New York

Monet’s Garden is an exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden from May 19 through October 21, 2012.

It examines the life and work of Claude Monet, the Impressionist master by highlighting his passion for gardening and the inspiration he drew from his living masterpiece, the garden on the grounds of his home in Giverny, France. Among the many attractions of the exhibition are two rarely seen paintings by Monet, one of which has never been displayed in the United States. Also on view is Monet’s own palette with colors on its surface similar to those visitors will see on his paintings hanging nearby, and rare photographs of him and his gardens, offering intimate insight into his world.

Monet’s Garden explores the legacy of the artist’s idyllic gardens in Giverny, transforming the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a seasonally changing floral masterpiece of diverse plants, bold colors, and dramatic design. A facade of Monet’s house offers a glimpse of the artist’s view of his garden and the flowers he grew and depicted in his paintings. Other set pieces include a re-creation of his iconic Japanese footbridge and his Grande Allee, draped with flowers.

During the summer, in the Conservatory Courtyard’s Hardy Pool, the Garden’s collection of water lilies offer visitors the perfect chance to see firsthand the plants that Monet collected for his water garden and painted in his famous Nympheas series.

The New York Botanical Garden is America’s premier urban garden. Its special exhibitions, seasonal programs, and engaging activities inspire visitors of every age and interest. The Botanical Garden is an ever-changing living museum, and a showplace of natural beauty and wonder. In the setting of the Garden, visitors will witness how nature inspired Claude Monet and how he developed his art through his passion for gardening.

For more information: nybg.org

Special exhibition: “Design on stage – winners red dot award: product design 2012/2013″

From well-designed exterior luminaires and shallow swing garden furniture, to a helicopter and drawing pencils: In its special exhibition “Design on stage – winners red dot award: product design 2012/2013”, the red dot design museum in Essen (Germany) presents contemporary product design from 3 till 29 July 2012.

Every exhibit has been evaluated by international design experts during a several days lasting process, before being awarded the sought-after red dot seal. They won over the jury panel of the “red dot award: product design 2012” with qualities such as ecological sustainability, outstanding functionality or their emotional and symbolic content. The innovations come from 49 countries and will be exhibited on two floors for the first time.

Further information: red-dot.de/museum-essen

Online exhibition

International People Plant Symposium in the Netherlands from September 6th to 8th 2012

The symposium will take place at Castle ‘de Berckt’ during the Floriade World Horticultural Exposition in Venlo, the Netherlands, on September 6th, 7th and 8th 2012.

Kasteel ‘de Berckt’ is a beautifully situated convention center, only 8 km from the Floriade grounds.The theme of the IPPS 2012 is “Diversity: Toward a new Vision of Nature” and the focus will be on the benefits of nature on health and well-being.

As there is a growing dynamic knowledge of the influence of nature and gardening on people, this symposium intends to bring together individuals and groups from a vast array of sectors, all with a common interest in nature, health, horticulture, horticultural therapy and therapeutic horticulture.

“Diversity” provides a unique opportunity for individuals and organisations to gain exposure and share with a large and focused audience of like-minded people from across the world.

The organizing committee is currently arranging the program and creating a cultural program that will make the symposium an experience to remember.

Further information: IPPS2012.com