Blueprint prize-winning installation

Adam Nathaniel Furman wins a Blueprint Prize for ‘Gateways’, created in partnership with designjunction for the London Design Festival.

Adam Nathaniel Furman was the winner of the Blueprint Awards 2018 for Best Small Project for ‘Gateways’, an on-site installation for the London Design Festival commissioned by designjunction and promoted by Turkishceramics, an organisation for whom Bahadir acted as president and spokesperson.

designjunction, London’s leading destination for design during the annual London Design Festival, held a design competition to celebrate the Turkish ceramics industry, both its tradition of production and contemporary diversity. The competition also sought to engage a broad range of visitors in a prominent location in King’s Cross.

Situated between two popular fountains in King’s Cross’ Granary Square, the winning installation consisted of four sequential gateways. Each gateway has the same external profile, yet each had individual elevation treatments that told a different story. The gateway openings were made smaller and given different shapes towards the rear, so that each surface treatment was visible from the front, but also so that a strong perspectival effect was generated to pull people through to the end.

Ceramics as an architectural material

“A lot of people tend to think of ceramics as bathroom floors or splashbacks in a kitchen,” Adam explained. “But everywhere there’s a tradition of big monumental buildings being covered in ceramics as an architectural material, and I just wanted to revisit that tradition using normal ceramic products that people would use in their bathrooms to show how appropriate they are to create engaging and fun objects and monuments for public space.” Each elevation represented a different architectural period, while showing off a different contemporary ceramic product, and all intended to celebrate the use of ceramic tiles to create a dramatic architectural presence.

Dominique Price, who was one of the judges on the Blueprint awards panel, said: “It’s refreshing to see a project that brings so many different types of people together, engaging us in a playful use of colour, pattern and movement in a way that makes joining the fun irresistible!”

Bahadir Kayan, the Turkishceramics President, said the aim of the installation was to showcase the versatility of ceramic products produced by Turkish companies. “We would like to show the huge variety of qualities of Turkish ceramics, which allows architects and designers to be very creative when it comes to putting different installations together,” he explained.

The project’s huge popularity with festival-goers was reinforced by the fact that Gateways was the most photographed installation of any the London Design Festival ever.

“Ceramics are a material that you can use in every situation,” Adam said. You can create patterns you can use all kinds of different colours affordably, simply and cheaply. And you can use them outside. And I’d really like people to incorporate a bit more colour and fun into their architectural ideas.”