Innovation That Delivers: Landscape Forms Celebrates Its Most Successful Year, Driven by Creating New & Transformative Outdoor Experiences
"It’s exciting that the products most celebrated in our industry right now are the ones that take outdoor space seriously…that offer innovative solutions and are wholeheartedly designed to enhance and improve people’s lives. It’s a notion we pioneered and a philosophy we’re proud to uphold.”
-Kirt Martin, Chief Creative Officer
Celebrating a great year of product design awards and recognitions. The awards span the company’s portfolio, honoring its latest offerings in outdoor site furnishings, lighting collections, and adaptable structure solutions.
2021 was a milestone year for Landscape Forms, earning a record 55 product design awards. For Chief Creative Officer, Kirt Martin, these achievements are absolutely cause to celebrate, but they also tell a larger story—a narrative about people, business and design integrity, the power of innovation, and what the future holds for outdoor space.
"Outdoor spaces are being recognized and valued more, and there’s a greater appreciation for these places and their amenities,” says Martin. “The companies who are doing amazing things in this field are being rightfully recognized by the industry and consumers alike. Yes, the recognition and awards are important from a validation standpoint, but what’s most important is the shift in people’s understanding of the value of outdoor space and their increased willingness to celebrate companies who are providing the most innovative solutions.”
Upfit is an adaptive structure with a modern style and endless flexibility to transform spaces into places that invite people to create experiences and has been recognized with many industry awards since its introduction to the market.
With outdoor spaces becoming new destinations for work, play and socializing, a deeper appreciation for their design and quality of their features has emerged in the mainstream—an ethos that Landscape Forms pioneered and has been consistently recognized for. "Here we are, a small company in Kalamazoo, competing on a national and global scale as design and manufacturing innovators,” says Martin. “That is very, very important to us—it’s confirmation that we’re creating the right products that both the market and the public value.”
And right now, the products that the market values are beginning to look and feel quite different than those that have previously defined outdoor space design. "Currently, our frontrunner products are the ones that are highly innovative, solving problems and pushing the boundaries about what it means to design for outdoor space,” Martin describes.
The Typology Collection is an innovative seating and lighting system that adds dynamic new dimension to any site, enveloping the visitor—both from above and below—in an immersive experience.
Being “highly innovative” is running theme throughout all of Landscape Forms’ 2021 product design awards, a celebration of innovation on all fronts—design, material, form, scale, sustainability, and social impact. This year’s hallmark project, the Typology Collection created in collaboration with Designworks, a BMW Group company, received a total of 21 product design awards, each touching on the collection’s unique way of conceptualizing design for public outdoor spaces. "Typology is about sculptural, conspicuous forms that are functional, but more importantly stand out as works of art. Each component alone could be the centerpiece of a site, but when working in concert, the statement this collection makes is truly inspiring,” describes Martin.
As for lighting and space definition, the introduction of the Profile family of lights was met with great reception, including 6 product design awards. Designed in collaboration with award-winning lighting designer Linnaea Tillett and Tillett Lighting Design Associates, Profile creates a palette of modular, configurable options that tailor its aesthetic and performance to fit a variety of applications. One product family—composed of an area light, accent light, column light, and trio of bollards—appropriately illuminates an array of spaces with minimalist form and an alluring interplay of light and shadow.
The Profile family of lights creates beautiful and intentional light emanating from a refined, minimalist design.
On the material front, sustainability and innovative combinations are proving paramount. The Americana lounge chair and the Glide bench, two products created in conjunction with Landscape Forms’ brand Loll Designs, garnered 13 product design awards in 2021. Both furnishings’ sustainable use of resources, the inventive combination of post-consumer recycled plastic and commercial-grade powdercoated aluminum, was celebrated for its ability to maximize durability and longevity in high-use outdoor spaces. While sustainability is a principal reason for the success of Americana and Glide, their aesthetic innovations are also key. "The Glide bench, for example, provided an interesting design challenge for us—it’s hard to design for both simplicity and also differentiation,” describes Martin. "The way we connected the bench to the back gives it a unique gesture that is simple and elegant while simultaneously being like nothing anyone has seen before.”
The Glide bench embodies the perfect balance between restraint and innovation in design. Pictured in the background, Americana is the reimagination of the classic Adirondack chair—a timeless icon of outdoor enjoyment.
Speaking a bit sentimentally, Martin concludes, “Maybe I’m just getting older, but what I’ve come to realize is that, at the end of the day, it all comes down to great people. That’s exactly what we have—great people, both internally and throughout our external partners. It’s what gives us the opportunity to have more depth to our design, to create more insightful products, and to develop innovative solutions to previously unsolved problems. And that’s the kind of success we’re all so proud to be a part of.”