Saturday, 26 January 2008

The National Stadium - Bird's Nest

I have always thought that Inspiration has to be one of the main ingredients in our own human nature. Inspiration and design are linked just like Hydrogen and Oxygen are. In order to create water you mix these two elements - in order to create innovative design and unique results you have to mix inspiration and innovation. This alchemy goes further when you add functionality to the mix.

Today while surfing the net I found a great example of this extraordinary alchemy in our world today. This example is the new National Stadium which will be the home for the Beijing Olympic Games this 2008. Colloquially know as the bird's nest. It is remarkable how something base in Chinese ceramics is so simple and can inspire something so unique, so functional, and so wonderfully complex.

The Alchemists of this stunning architecture piece are Herzog & DeMeuron (Swiss) and China Architecture Design Institute. Herzog & DeMeuron was awarded the Pritzker Prize, the highest of honours in architecture. Jury chairman J. Carter Brown, commented, "One is hard put to think of any architects in history that have addressed the integument of architecture with greater imagination and virtuosity." This in reference to HdeM's innovative use of exterior materials and treatments, such as silk screened glass. Architecture critic and Pritzker juror Ada Louise Huxtable summarized HdeM's approach concisely: "They refine the traditions of modernism to elemental simplicity, while transforming materials and surfaces through the exploration of new treatments and techniques."[1] In 2006, the New York Times Magazine called them "one of the most admired architecture firms in the world."'

Some interesting facts:

  • Location: Beijing, People's Republic of China.
  • Broke ground: December 2003
  • Opened: March 2008
  • Owner: Government of the People's Republic of China
  • Surface Grass Construction cost: 3.5 billion yuan (~USD $423 million)
  • Architect: Herzog & de Meuron
  • Tenants: Chinese Olympic Committee 2008 Summer
  • Olympics Capacity: 100,000
  • Post Olympic Capacity: 80,000

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Sunday, 20 January 2008

A Stacking Hommage

What do you get as a 2007 University of Arts Berlin final project? The Coolest Outdoor Chairs Ever.

Three idols of design history, the Barcelona Chair, the Lounge Chair, and Corbusier's LC2 were realised as a low-price, stack-able plastic chair, including all requirements like material, production and stack-ability as an important determinant.

These iconic designs will inject style and glamour into any outdoor patio. Hopefully these fabulous chairs make an appearance at our Victoria retailers during the coming season. Cross your fingers!

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Thursday, 10 January 2008

The Design District

In late 2007 Meade Design Group was approached by DVBA (Downtown Victoria Business Association) and IPC Decor to create an image that represents the group of businesses within what will be known in the future as "The Design District" in Victoria B.C. It was specified that this image would be applied to street signs throughout the design district as well as further marketing applications at a later stage.

If you have ever wondered what a designer thinks about and considers when making a logo, read on. Here is our case study for The Design District project.


Our goal was to create an image that brings all of the designers and businesses related with design in the area together into an image that embodies them as a community and gives them an identifiable branding. We also aimed to bring together the past of this historic area with the future growth that it has potential for.

We researched the logos of the design businesses in the area. Below are selections of some of the logos found in the design district. The majority of the logos in the area have been created with a classic sensibility and work with the surrounding architecture. We had to take these factors into account while conceptualizing branding for the design district.


Another signficant factor we considered was the architecture of the area. Here are two images that show the architectural diversity that are in The Design District.


The colours of the street and other signs will also need to be taken into consideration. The colours, particularly in China Town are quite vibrant and compete with other bold colours that are placed next to it.

For this reason, the colours we chose to use in the logo are cream, gray and charcoal. The charcoal and gray give a sophisticated look and feel when placed next to the red and blue that is so prominent in this part of town.

Identity Concept

Our concept is “D Squared” D2

We feel this name identifies the design district in a number of ways. It is classic in its creation but contemporary in its approach. It is a play upon the phrase “Design District”, taking the two Ds and squaring them with the idea that the square represents the city blocks of the area.

D2 is also symmetric in its approach and it reads well with all the serif typography used by the design businesses within the district.

We took inspiration from the classical elements in the district's architecture and decided to layout the D’s such that they create a roman numeral [ II ]. This orientation also creates the illusion of door handles, a representation that The Design District is open to all. Here is the new logo for the Design District.


With the logo established, the next task was the design of the sign. Our aim in creating the sign was to produce a distinctive and representational emblem that does not add visual pollution but instead works with its surroundings. This is our design:

Here are some explanations of the sign's design.
The shadowing of the typography signifies the design community coming together in this project, falling into place to create a unified community.

This unified community is again represented through the solid cream bar that extends up to The Design District logo.

An asymmetrical positioning makes the typography look contemporary and confident and the classic font face suggests tradition and experience. This coming together of the two elements shows the joining of past and present within the design district itself.
And there you have it - the ideas, inspirations, and considerations that have gone into the design district logo. Look for it in on a street sign in 2008.

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011