Designed through a unique collaboration between sculptor Anish Kapoor, architect Arata Isozaki, and the Lucerne Festival, Ark Nova is the first large-scale infalatable concert hall ever constructed. Conceived over a year ago, the mobile structure will open to the public on October 14th and will be host to concerts, events, and workshops in tsunami-damaged areas around the country.
Made from a translucent purple membrane reminiscent of a parachute, the organic structure can inflate in roughly two hours and seats up to 500 people, and will be easily transported around the region. Additionally, wood from tsunami-damaged cedar trees at the Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima was repurposed to build seating and acoustic reflectors in the hall’s interior. You can read more about it over on Spoon & Tamago and see more photos on Lucerne Festival Ark Nova’s Facebook page.
Is it a toy? A tool? It’s both, and it’s amazing. Polar is a modular pen and stylus made of 12 neodymium magnets that can be disassembled for all kinds of quirky and functional purposes. The pen is the brainchild of Andrew Gardner over at Indiedesign and is one of many great projects to appear since Kickerstarter expanded into Canada only two weeks ago. Polar will come in both silver and 24k gold models, in multiple colors, and has an add-on of chrome-plated steel ball bearings to create additional magnetized objects. Pick one up over on Kickstarter.
I’m really enjoying these stippling tattoos from Japanese artist Kenji Alucky (slightly NSFW) that merge various aspects of fractal art and tribal tattoos into something pretty amazing. Alucky is currently in NYC at New York Adorned through November 20th. (via Illusion)
Features on interior design here on Colossal are few and far between, there are times when a space is so wholly original it’s just too hard to pass up. Case in point: Truth Coffee Shop in Cape Town, South Africa. This radically designed steampunk-themed coffee shop was created by Heldane Martin who considered the form factor of espresso machines and coffee roasters to be somewhat similar to the Victorian futuristic fantasy style found in the aesthetic of steampunk. The hope was also to personify Truth’s attempt at roasting the very best coffee by offering a perfectly executed space.
Every inch of the coffee shop is packed with visual candy from large saw-blade tabletops to beautiful overstuffed booths and an ornate array of coffee making equipment that looks absurdly complex, almost like interior of a World War 2 submarine. If that wasn’t enough, Martin also crammed the space with vintage typewriters, Singer sewing machines, and old candlestick telephones. The design even extends to the restrooms which have exposed copper pipes, old extending mirrors and victorian tap levers.
Little Robot Friends from Toronto-based Aesthetec Studio are a series of tiny robots that can listen, sense light, detect touch, and communicate using infrared light. Each robot is mounted on a CNC milled wood base and is embedded with a “brain” consisting of an 8-bit 32K microcontroller that provides space for coding behaviours or storing memories. If that’s not enough you can plug the robots into your computer to programmatically control its behavior, which evolves organically as it interacts with you and other Little Robot Friends. The project is currently going gangbusters over on Kickstarter.
Over the last few months numerous artists who have appeared on Colossal have created or been included in some pretty fantastic books that I thought I would bring your attention to. So in no particular order…
Before I Die, the book
New Orleans artist Candy Chang (previously here, here and here) has seen her famous ‘Before I Die’ project spread to 300 walls in over 50 countries and in 20 languages. Her new book by the same name shares a lot about how the project came about and most importantly includes photos of anonymous comments filled with hope, fear, humor, and heartbreak.
Art Made From Books
Published just a few weeks ago Art Made from Books includes work from no less than 27 artists (over a dozen have appeared here on Colossal) who make sculptures, collages, installations, and other artworks with the pages of books.
Outside the Lines: An Artists’ Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations
Outside the Lines is a brand new book edited by Souris Hong-Porretta that includes some 119 artists (including Keith Haring, AIKO, Shepard Fairey, Exene Cervenka, Keita Takahashi, Jen Corace, and Ryan McGinness) who have contributed black and white drawings designed to help kick-start creativity and inspire new ideas.
Origin of the Beginning
Hot off the presses, Origin of the Beginning is the first publication from Dutch artist Levi van Veluw (previously) that serves as an overview of his photographs, drawings, installations, sculptures and videos spanning 2006 to 2013. The book itself is a sort of artwork with an embedded wooden square that perforates every page of the book.
Big Appetites, Tiny People in a World of Big Food
The miniature people in these photos are dwarfed not only by food, but also by the giant imagination of photographer Christopher Boffoli. His latest book, Big Appetites, contains dozens of new photos that tell the story of tiny people who struggle to survive inside these bizare, edible worlds.
Full non-disclosure: Colossal is published from Illinois, a state in which Amazon cannot run an affiliate program, thus all of the links above are non-affiliate links and I really am just recommending these books because they are awesome. That is all.
London-based Lobulo Design (who is actually just a single desiner who goes by Lobulo) creates wonderful, vibrant designs using paper. From pop culture to anatomy and the natural world it seems like nothing is off limits. Check out much more over on Behance.