Behind the Design of Kaza Liquid Forms

Author

The winner of the inaugural Walker Zanger Kaza Design Competition presented by Architecture Digest, is practicing architect, inventor, educator and environmentalist, Aybars Asci, who combined all of his interests to create his design Liquid Forms.

Based in New York, Asci is president and founder of Efficiency Lab for Architecture and an advocate of research driven design that combines conceptual clarity with analytical processes such as the use of algorithmic tools and building performance modeling.

It is little surprise then that Asci took his cues from the material, concrete, and built his idea from there.

“Throughout my career as an architect, I loved working with concrete. Its monolithic quality always evoked timelessness for me,” he says.

The way concrete is formed was Asci’s initial inspiration, and where he took the name of the tile. “[Concrete] is poured in liquid form, and it takes its ultimate form as it cures,” he says. “There is poetry in a material that finds its form as it changes phases.”

Selected by a panel of distinguished architects and designers including Rafael de Cardenas, Stephanie Goto, Victoria Hagan, Ryan Korban, Jennifer Post and Nathan Turner, Asci’s design won over the judges through its grounding in research, unique flowing shape and the potential for a multitude of design applications.

“The softness of the form and its many possibilities is very seductive,” judge Victoria Hagan says.

Fellow judge Rafael de Cardenas elaborates: “I really love the sinewy fluidity of the form and how it would dematerialize a wall with its unique play of light throughout the day into night. Though static, it’s surface suggests fluid animation.”

It’s this movement and fluidity that makes Liquid Forms so special.

Asci’s entry featured detailed research and an incredibly thorough design concept that not only included renderings, but his inspirations and thought process that drew inspiration from art, music, the physical environment and the function of tile itself.

“The ephemeral qualities of capturing movement in stone like in Bernini’s sculptures, has been an inspiration for the conception of the ‘liquid forms’ design,” says Asci. “Tiling by nature is about repetition. And repetition can be a powerful design tool when there is complexity in patterning and variations within the field of repetition – very much like the minimalist music of Steve Reich or Philip Glass. The individual ‘liquid forms’ tile is conceived to have a form that can translate the pattern to its neighboring tile differently in all four directions, and thus creating variations through repetition, resulting in a rich visual field of movement.”

Jared Becker, Walker Zanger Vice President, Design and Marketing says Asci’s realization of the three dimensionality possibilities allowed by Kaza’s unique manufacturing process was exemplary: “Liquid Forms really takes advantage of the plasticity of concrete,” he says. “The smoothness of the concrete combined with its shape give it a sleek, modern simplicity that is refined and almost aerodynamic.”

 

For the judges, it was this combination of form and function that set his entry above others.

“Creating a single tile design that can generate multiple patterns was very important to the ethos of this idea,” says Asci. “Liquid Forms tile is aesthetically versatile. All the different patterns it generates have unique visual qualities that will give architects and interior designers a rich palette to work with.”

 

So how does the designer see his tile being used? “The soft curvilinear Liquid Forms design has a tactile quality that suggests luxury,” says Asci. “It will be very well suited for residential and hospitality projects… and will be great on a feature wall in a high-end residence, or a lounge space for a hotel.”

“I am looking forward to see other architects and interior designers using the Liquid Forms in their projects. Each project will breathe a new life into it. I am exceptionally delighted that I will be part of the Walker Zanger collection of the distinguished designers. It is an honor,” he says.

 

CAPID wishes to thank our distinguished member KIM BERNARD

Executive Director Facilities Design for Walker Zanger www.walkerzanger.com

 

Moss Wall Art

CAPID‘s Michelle Chiang interviews Kevin Urquhart of Emerald Coast Plantscapes;
We know adding plants to an interior space can add to visual interest and make the space livelier. In recent years, living walls have become popular. However, maintenance for live plants on vertical surfaces can be an inconvenience. I have found something that would add greenery and interest to walls and does not require light or water! Emerald Coast Plantscapes now offers custom wall art made with real moss preserved.
 

I asked my friend Kevin Urquhart, owner of Emerald Coast Plantscapes for more details about this new product:

M (Michelle): Since it is preserved, I assume it doesn’t attract bugs, right? 
K (Kevin): It will not attract bugs. Bugs are attracted to live plants for one of two reasons: 1) they eat the actual plant, or 2) Gnats gather when there is excessive moisture so they can breed and lay their larva. In the case of the preserved moss we use this is not an issue.
M: How about dust? Can it be vacuumed?
K: To dust I would recommend a light feather duster or condensed air held at a distance, like the kind used for electronics.
M: Are there any spaces you would NOT recommend? Restaurants? Hotels? Medical facilities? Classrooms? Are there loose pieces that can fall off?
K: If you were to use it in a restaurant I would recommend placing it as far as possible away from the kitchen as there is usually a lot of grease in the air that sticks to everything then dust sticks to the grease and creates a real mess. Other than that, the only thing I would keep it away from is direct sunlight as this could fade the color quickly. There are loose pieces that could fall if the moss is bumped or rubbed up against.
M: Anything you want to add?
K: Each piece is custom made; shape size etc. We have made them as small as 2’x2’ or we can cover an entire wall. The frames are made to our specifications by a local cabinet maker and we can custom color the frames. Each piece takes on a character of its own making no two pieces are exactly alike. We have just completed a project with a piece measuring 2’ X 7’ in which we placed the client’s metal logo right into the moss.
We can add many elements to the moss such as manzanita branches, driftwood, preserved leaves etc.
We love this new form of creative expression in botanical art. As popular as live vertical wall plantings have become, we have found there are many problems associate with living wall plants. Problems such as expensive installation, maintenance issues with watering and plants outgrowing their space creating high replacement costs. So with the preserved moss you still get a very unique botanical expression with more versatility and less cost and less upkeep.

“We are very excited about the uniqueness of the moss art and the high level of interest we are receiving for custom pieces. Of course, we are also very engaged in delivering the life, warmth and beauty of live plants and services to offices from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica.”

Kevin can be reached at:
kevin@ecplants.com
805-480-9141
ecplants.com
 

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