PRESS RELEASE | TRANSFORM - UNStudio designs the Zumtobel Group’s 2021/22 artistic annual report
UNStudio / Ben van Berkel, in collaboration with the Dutch graphic design duo Bloemendaal & Dekkers, have designed The Zumtobel Group’s 31st Artistic Annual Report.
Each year since 1991, a wide variety of creatives from the fields of architecture, graphic design and art have been invited by the Zumtobel Group to design their annual report in response to the theme of light. Detached from any corporate design guidelines, over the years this design freedom has resulted in the creation of singular editions, which have since become collector's items. Initiated 31 years ago by Jürg Zumtobel, then CEO of the company, this tradition is continued today by Isabel Zumtobel.
Entitled ‘Transform’, this year’s book is a reflection on three decades of design at UNStudio. Compiling this book afforded UNStudio the freedom to rethink the transformational journey and the conceptual thinking that has formed the basis of their designs since the outset of the practice. In it, they attempt to visually illustrate the transformation of conceptual models and theoretical ideas into integrated architectural systems, and to investigate where the cultural edge of the profession meets its physical and functional side.
Ben van Berkel, Founder and Principal Architect, UNStudio: “We have always believed in an architecture that could provide powerful new experiences. At UNStudio, such experiences are derived from conceptual models and theoretical ideas transforming to become physical, tactile and functional. From the outset, we set about developing architectural systems from such models; integrated systems where the experience, geometry and functionality of the building merge and become fully synthesised. But while compiling this annual report gave us a wonderful opportunity to look back and re-think the conceptual thinking that has always formed the basis of our work, it is as much about the future as it is about our own history. Now, more than ever, integrated system thinking is essential to design if architects are to be in a position to play their part in tackling climate change, bringing about social inclusivity and guarding against periods of economic downturn.”
This year’s artistic annual report consists of two volumes combined in one sleeve: an art book and a financial book. The sleeve is perforated with a laser cut pattern through which the reader can catch a glimpse of the two covers.
When sliding the books in and out of the sleeve, a visual, transformative effect is created by the perforations interacting with the patterns on the covers.
This year’s artistic annual report is designed in an unconventionally small book format (16.5 cm x 12 cm). Across approximately 300 pages, Bloemendaal & Dekkers have woven the central theme of transformation into almost every facet of the graphic design.
In the art book, gradients underline the concept of transformation and simulate the effect of glowing light. Each spread has a horizontal gradient that develops from a bright colour on the edge, to a dark centre and then back to the bright colour again on the opposite page.
The financial book, in contrast, is printed in one single colour: black. In this volume, to ensure clarity and readability of the financial figures, the gradients transform from a medium grey to a lighter grey.
Through a similar thought process, the creative part of this 2-volume edition is designed to undergo its own metamorphosis and become a book that engages with the theme of transformation in both form and content.
As a result of the dark-to-bright gradients, the book itself can be transformed into a circular object that appears to radiate light during daytime.
Through the application of a glow-in-the-dark finish to the top and sides of the pages, the book then turns into a light-emitting object in the dark. This transformational concept also reflects a design model used by UNStudio in a number of its buildings: the ‘blob-to-box’ model, which is also the focus of one of the chapters in the book.
Isabel Zumtobel, Head of Arts & Culture, Zumtobel Group: “Thinking and shaping the future together – architects and our industry consider the same things in their approach to improving impressions of space and living conditions. Architects strive to improve spatial qualities and we, the lighting industry, support them in implementing these aspirations. A major information and transformation process is underway, providing many new opportunities for these goals. The combination of design and planning with technical tools such as LED and light control allow us to address individual needs holistically.”
A separate edition of the artistic book is available from Lars Müller publishers as of today >>
Accompanying Exhibition and panel talk
An accompanying exhibition and panel talk will take place at the Zumtobel Group Light Forum in Dornbirn on 29th September 2022; register here.
The temporary exhibition, which comprises and immersive interpretation of the themes investigated in the artistic book, will take place from 30th September 2022 until the beginning of November 2022.
To visit, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The exhibition will then travel to further locations, including Paris and Berlin.
About the Zumtobel Group
The Zumtobel Group aims to create wellbeing and improve people’s quality of life through light – as a group, and through all its individual brands, Thorn, Tridonic and Zumtobel. As a leading supplier of innovative lighting solutions, the Group offers its customers around the world a comprehensive portfolio, where the focus is invariably on people and their needs. The company’s know-how about the effects of light on people, acquired over decades, forms the basis for sustainable and future-oriented lighting solutions that are increasingly energy- and resource-efficient while providing the best possible quality of light. The Group is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange (ATX Prime) and currently holds a workforce of around 5,800 employees. In the 2021/22 financial year, the company posted revenues of EUR 1,148.3 million. The Zumtobel Group is based in Dornbirn in the Vorarlberg region of Austria. For further information, please visit z.lighting/group
Annual uniques: the series of designed reports
The constant exchange and close collaboration with architects, artists and designers has always been an integral part of the Zumtobel Group's corporate culture. It is 31 years since Russian architect and designer Mikhail Anikst designed the first annual report for the business year 1991/1992. Initiated by Jürg Zumtobel, the then CEO and later Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Zumtobel Group AG until mid-2020, this rich tradition is now continued by Isabel Zumtobel. The core philosophy behind these unique annual publications has always been to demonstrate the company's close connection to art and culture at group level, and to create a design language beyond the corporate design guidelines of the individual brands.
In line with this thinking, a wide range of personalities from the company`s extensive network has been invited over the years to shape the annual report with their individual ideas, showcasing their own unique approach to the topic of lighting and the business of the Zumtobel Group. The result is a series of unique and elaborate pieces that have now become collector’s items. Alongside graphic designers like Italo Lupi, Neville Brody, Per Arnoldi and Stefan Sagmeister, who began the artistic collaboration, a number of prominent artists such as Gerhard Merz, Siegrun Appelt, Olafur Eliasson, Anish Kapoor and James Turrell and architects like Dominique Perrault, Hani Rashid / Asymptote, François Roche / Studio R&Sie(n), Sejima Kazuyo and Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA, David Chipperfield / DCA, Kjetil Thorsen / Snøhetta, Elizabeth Diller / Scofidio and Renfro and Yung Ho Chang / Atelier FCJZ, Dietmar Eberle, architect and engineer Werner Sobek as well as graphic designer Jessica Walsh / Studio Sagmeister & Walsh have put their creative stamp on the annual report. Last year's edition was designed by photographer Iwan Baan in collaboration with architect Francis Kéré. Link>
Chronology of all previously published annual reports>>
Artistic Annual Report designed by UNStudio
Graphic design by Bloemendaal & Dekkers
Illustrated book published by Lars Müller
Bookbinding by Boekbinderij Patist
Printed by Booxs
Book edge (Glowing Ink) printed by Buchbinderei Richard Mayer GmbH