Kalamazoo, MI – March 25, 2021 – Landscape Forms, North America’s leading designer and manufacturer of high-design, site furniture, structure, LED lighting, and accessories, introduces an innovative system of sculptural outdoor seating and lighting features in partnership with Designworks, a BMW Group company.
In Landscape Forms’ biggest collection introduced to-date, complementary elements bridge the realms of the sky and the ground to create a magnetic and immersive user experience. Each piece has distinct and memorable design features, but the overall sculptural quality and the artistic use of lighting within each component enable the collection to make a larger, unified statement. Through the synergistic spirit and profound level of design, engineering and manufacturing expertise that Landscape Forms and Designworks share, this collaboration challenges preconceptions about site furnishing and lighting, creating installations that serve a functional purpose yet also surprise, delight and enhance the landscape even when not in use.
On the ground, the ribbon bench serves as a centerpiece for the collection. Modular segments in a straight configuration and two different degrees of small and large radius enable the bench to meander seamlessly throughout the landscape. It defines spaces, connects spaces, guides pedestrians, and can even form amphitheater-like circular or semicircular hubs that encourage community interaction.
On each modular segment, a thin layer of extruded ultra-high performance concrete drapes like a mantle over cast metal supports to express an elegance, refinement and seemingly impossible lightness. Soft, rounded edges invite comfort and relaxation. Contrasting the smooth, radiused form of the concrete profiles, the cast metal feet and end caps—with faceted surfaces like cut gems—communicate heft, angularity and precision in manufacturing. Protrusions on the underside of the concrete profiles nestle seamlessly into a support structure, enabling the components to join without fasteners.
The central gap between the two concrete profiles facilitates water drainage, but also serves as a mounting point for optional backrests, armrests and extended functional surfaces to be implemented in strategic locations throughout the installation. Emanating from within the ribbon bench, integral downward-facing lighting illuminates the space around the feature, eliminating glare and creating an illusion that the entire structure almost levitates. Metal screens available in a variety of perforation styles protect ribbon bench’s internal components and prevent the ingress of pests.
Also illuminating the ground, LED path lights guide users throughout the space. Like a small-scale, vertical version of the ribbon bench, a concrete mantel encases the stainless steel core of the Path Light to provide a premium feel and strong continuity in design.
Ring lights and stick lights reach upward, artfully illuminating the sky and guiding people to the space. Like ethereal floating halos, ring lights are stunning fixtures recognized instantly from almost a mile away. A circular strip of LEDs creates a solid ring of ambient light that, when viewed from underneath, is like a looking glass to the sky. Stick lights break from lighting tradition such that the pole itself is one solid source of light. These vertical columns of warm white or colored light stake claim to the site, accompanying the ribbon bench across its diverse configurations, and creating prominent visual landmarks that draw people in to the site.
“Working with a world-class design firm like Designworks, a BMW Group company, is a special opportunity to push boundaries both aesthetically and technologically, and that’s exactly what we did,” says Landscape Forms Chief Creative Officer, Kirt Martin. "The resulting collection forms sculptural, conspicuous installations 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."
Increasing the vertical scope of a site and enveloping the user—both from above and below—in an immersive art experience is a foundational inspiration for this collection. “In cities we’re often lacking visual perspective, limited by a closed-in and claustrophobic view of the world,” says Tobias Adami, Creative Director at Designworks, a BMW Group company. “So our intention with this collection is to play in both the vertical and horizontal spaces of urban environments, to draw the eyes up into the sky, and to join the two domains with signature design elements both in the air and on the ground.”
“Even for a company known for its design, we’ve gone above and beyond with this statement collection,” says Landscape Forms President of Lighting, Jordan Agustin. “Both the ring light and the stick light are signature pieces that present illumination in artful ways people have never seen before. During the day, the striking form of the luminaires adds visual interest to the space, and at night, the way the light is cast is art in and of itself.”
This latest collection reinforces Landscape Forms’ decade-plus long relationship with Designworks, a BMW Group company—a true collaboration between leaders in design whose competencies, attitude and work methods continue to enhance and complement one another. “Science, design and art—Designworks is a well-rounded partner who brings it all,” says Landscape Forms President of Site Furnishings & Structure, Robb Smalldon. “The way in which the product design teams and engineering teams often switch roles throughout the process—engineers helping inform design decisions and designers helping inform engineering decisions—speaks to the level of mutual trust and shared passion on which this important relationship is based.”
“It’s always a joy to work with Designworks,” says Chief Creative Officer, Kirt Martin. “They have our utmost trust to execute consistently on such a high level for ambitious projects like this one. But most importantly, Designworks is like a family to us—we look forward to our weekly calls, excited to see what inspiration and spontaneous solutions may arise from the conversation. Though this collection was the result of over a year of collaboration, I’m already eager to see where this partnership leads next."
About Landscape Forms
Landscape Forms is the industry leader in integrated collections of high-design site furniture, structures, accessories, and advanced LED lighting. Since its founding in 1969 Landscape Forms has earned a reputation for excellent design, high quality products and exceptional service. The company is headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and includes Kornegay Design, located in Phoenix, Arizona, and Loll Designs, in Duluth, Minnesota, in its family of brands. It has sales representatives throughout North America, South America, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Asia. Landscape Forms collaborates with renowned industrial designers and consultancies, landscape architects, and architects to design and develop integrated collections of products that address emerging needs and help create a sense of place. Additionally, the company has formed global marketing partnerships with select companies that share its commitment to design. Landscape Forms has an installed base of products around the world. Clients include municipalities, transit centers, corporate, college and health care campuses; and familiar brand leaders such as Harvard University, Linked In, New York Central Park Conservancy, Bryant Park, Google, Coca Cola, Oculus, U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), Nike, National Museum of African American History (Washington, D.C.), Barclays Center, Adidas, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Microsoft, and Uber. We’ve been named one of the Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production for 2020 by Fortune magazine, Michigan Manufacturer of the Year for 2020 by the Michigan Manufacturers Association, and by 269 Magazine as one of Southwest Michigan’s Wonderful Workplaces.
About Designworks, a BMW Group Company
Designworks is the design innovation studio for the BMW Group. As an independent studio working for a large bandwidth of industries, Designworks stimulates ambitious visions of the future through practical design strategies and explorations. It pushes future experiences that are as ambitious as relevant. Designworks is ’the architect of future’ – designing holistic systems that impact and improve the world. With studios in North America, Europe and Asia, Designworks is a powerful tool supporting the BMW Group to be at the very forefront of design, technology and innovation.