Created by Tokyo-based designer Daisuke Akiyama, this packaging concept effectively turns the small air pockets of plastic bubble wrap into miniature fish bowls. Akiyama says the novel idea is an attempt to make the irresistible plastic bubbles “psychologically more difficult to pop.” Currently the idea is just a prototype, but supposedly he’s working on marketing the idea to a manufacturer. (via NOTCOT, Spoon & Tamago)
Update: Many have questioned if the fish used in the concept are real. They are not. These are images printed inside plastic bubbles.
Based in Narita City, Japanese artist Sakae creates exquisite hair ornaments known as kanzashi. The traditional hair pieces have been around for quite some time in Japan, but these pieces—each hand-crafted from resin with a delicate brass wire around the edges—are startlingly realistic and the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. Depending on the complexity of the pieces they can take anywhere between 3 and 30 days. If you’re trying to get your hands on one of these, don’t get your hopes up. Sakae only occasionally puts one up for sale. And when she does it’s through Yahoo Auctions in Japan. Her latest auction just closed earlier this week. It attracted 215 buyers and finally sold for 400,000 yen. You can keep up with her (and her auctions) on her Facebook page or see her previous work on flickr. (via Mister Finch)
Just published by Gingko Press, Paper Play is a new 256-page book exploring the use of paper in contemporary art and design. The book features no less than 82 designers and artists who use paper in sculptures, jewelry, street art, installations and everything else you can imagine. I started listing out all the artists we’ve featured here on the Colossal who are included in the book, but it got a bit unwieldy after a dozen. Pick it up here.
Canadian design collective Daily Tous Les Jours (previously) was recently invited to bring their fantastic musical light swing installation to the Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. The interactive swing set titled simply, The Swings, is comprised of illuminated panels that also trigger audible tones that harmonize as people swing. As more and more people join in the act of swinging turns into randomly improvised melody and light show. From their project site:
The Swings allow participants to make music with their entire bodies, to connect to one another and to have a sense of ownership of public space due to the music they create. The result is a giant collective instrument that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds. The project offers a new experience in collective music making, available to enliven urban spaces, festivals, special events, and more.
The Swings were on view through July 11th of this month, but the entire installation is now on tour. If you’re interested in bringing it to your own arts event, get in touch at the bottom of this page.
Using 600 poles of bamboo and 70 radiata pine logs all harvested locally, Taiwanese Artist Wang Wen-Chih created a massive installation that served as the entrance to the Woodford Folk Festival in Australia. Working with the Sydney-based architecture and design collective Cave Urban, a team of 40 workers and volunteers spent 3 weeks building the structure. Each bamboo pole was split into 4-5 pieces and weaved together like a basket. Woven Sky, which rises 15m high and is 100m long, was completed late last year, just in time for the music festival, and served an impressive entrance point into the amphitheater stage.
For a major retrospective of Dutch furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld, the team at Studio Wieki Somers collaborated with chocolatier Rafael Mutter to create Chocolate Mill. The piece was comprised of a giant cylindrical chocolate block that was carefully organized in 10 stacked layers, with flavored shapes used to create different geometric patterns. As a crank-turned blade similar to a cheese slicer grazed shavings off the top, the hidden layers were slowly revealed. You can watch a timelapse of the piece in the video above. (via Designboom, Design You Trust)
Update: A little bit more background in this video from Robert Andriessen.
In a novel intersection of fashion and science, New York-based Slow Factory is utilizing imagery from NASA to create lines of translucent scarves. Their most recent collection, Cities by Night, is a series scarves imprinted with imagery of London, New York, and Paris captured at night from satellites and aboard the International Space Station. A second collection, Floating in Space, includes several breathtaking photographs of various nebulae captured by the Hubble. Slow Factory was founded by designer Celine Semaan Vernon, a native of Beirut who now lives and works in New York City. Several of their pieces are now available in the Colossal Shop.