‘Annex’ is a new magazine from Artek, the legendary Finnish design firm set up nearly 70 years ago by Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl.
A while ago, I mentioned the “prototype”, the 'Manifest' publication commissioned by Artek for World Design Capital Helsinki, to which I contributed a short article on street food and the city. Now, Artek have reworked the concept, taken the publication in-house, and produced something very nice indeed.
It's edited by Artek’s Anna Vartiainen, working with design director Ville Kokkonen, and designed by Mike “032c” Meiré’s outfit, Meiré und Meiré, and with contributions from Bruno Latour, Deyan Sudjic, Caroline Roux ('The Gentlewoman' &c), and me, alongside an interview with Tomás Saraceno, and other delights besides.
Meiré und Meiré’s elegant design is very appealing, somehow balancing a dash of Helsinki/Euro-Now with early 20th century modernism. It's a large format, and won't fit easily in most bags—but although it sounds arch, that perhaps adds to its appeal.
“The monothematic paper designed by Mike Meiré and his team at Meiré und Meiré in Cologne pushes the limits of topics from outside and within the spheres of design, art and architecture to new dimensions and beyond. The design language takes on the pure play that Artek’s geometric shapes are known for. Annex’s first issue "Science and Technology” marks the beginning of a visual dialogue between clean modernism and its elegant editorial character. Annex is available by September 14.”
Anna and Ville kindly asked me to write a piece about nanotechnology and design. Ville and I spent a grey Friday morning at Aalto University’s “Nanotalo”, with scientist Olli Ikkala, to hear about their research into biomimetic nanocomposites and more besides. I found it a profoundly interesting morning, put it that way, and I’ve posted a version of that piece here. Thanks to Anna and Ville for asking, and congrats on the magazine.
Here are some quick shots of 'Annex', and you can see some more carefully framed spreads at Meiré und Meiré. Do try to pick up a copy; it’s out now.
See also: The Garage of Small Things: Nanotechnology, biomimicry and design practice (Annex)
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