Art Design

Local and International Artists Produce 21 Light Installations For the Inaugural Toronto Light Festival

February 10, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Images via Thane Lucas/Toronto Light Festival

Set within a district of Victorian industrial buildings, the Toronto Light Festival is a free 45-day festival occurring during this year’s winter months as a way to creatively draw the city’s inhabitants out of their homes. Featuring 21 diverse light installations built by local and international artists and thousands of glowing bulbs, the festival covers a total of 13 acres in the city’s Distillery District. Installations range from a series of lit figures appearing to jump from the roof of one of the historic buildings to two red, geometric cats prowling an included alleyway, with several multi-colored works in-between.

You can catch Toronto’s first ever light art festival until March 12, or follow the festival on Instagram to catch snapshots of the glowing installations.



Craft Design

Ceramic Origami Plates and Dishware by Moij Design

February 6, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Hamburg-based ceramic artist Angelina Erhorn of Moij Design creates all matter of ceramic dishware that mimics the form of paper origami sheets, both folded and unfolded. Her designs include plates, espresso cups, and vases with delicate creases and occasional stained geometric elements. You can see more of her work on Instagram and some of her pieces are available on Etsy. (via So Super Awesome)



Design Photography

The Jollylook Is a ‘Retro’ Folding Polaroid Camera Made from Recycled Cardboard

February 2, 2017

Christopher Jobson

The Jollylook is a new camera concept that merges the retro form-factor of a fold out camera utilizing polaroid film, and it’s fabricated primarily from recycled cardboard. Despite the bare-bones construction the Jollylook has an adjustable aperture, lens settings for different shooting modes (landscape, portrait, group, or macro), and a crank for extracting the polaroid once the image is taken. All you have to do is load it up with commonly available Fujifilm “instax mini” instant film cartridges. The project is currently funding on Kickstarter and reached their goal in just a few hours. (via PetaPixel)



Colossal Design

New in the Colossal Shop: Calamityware Mugs

January 31, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Retired graphic designer Don Moyer has found a delightful second career illustrating and designing a line of charmingly calamitous products to help you keep your woes in perspective. The Calamityware Mug Set, newly available in The Colossal Shop, features four identical mugs glazed with Don’s illustrations. Riffing on traditional Blue Willow porcelain patterns, the Calamityware mugs slyly integrate some unlikely and unwelcome visitors. Watch out for UFOs, a zombie poodle, aggressive pterodactyls, and, perhaps most fearful of all, the Unpleasant Blob Creature. Each porcelain mug holds 12 ounces and is made at the award-winning Kristoff Porcelain workshop in Poland. The set includes four mugs because as we all know, misery loves company.



Design History

Kayashima: The Japanese Train Station Built Around a 700-Year-Old Tree

January 31, 2017

Johnny Strategy

Photo by Kosaku Mimura/Nikkei

In the Northeast suburbs of central Osaka stands a curious train station unlike any other. Kayashima Station features a rectangular hole cut into the roof of the elevated platform and, from inside, a giant tree pokes its head out like a stalk of broccoli. It’s almost like a railway version of Laputa.

The large camphor tree is older than most records but officials believe it to be around 700 years old. The story of how this tree and station became, quite literally, intertwined, varies depending on who you ask. It certainly has to do with a great reverence for nature, but also a fair amount of superstition.

Kayashima Station first opened in 1910 and, at the time, the camphor tree stood right next to the station. For the next 60 years the station remained largely unchanged. But an increase in population and overcrowding began to put pressure on the station and plans for an expansion where approved in 1972, which called for the tree to be cut down.

But the camphor tree had long been associated with a local shrine and deity. And when locals found out that station officials planned to remove the tree there was a large uproar. Tales began to emerge about the tree being angry, and unfortunate events befalling anyone who attempted to cut it down. Someone who cut a branch off later in the day developed a high fever. A white snake was spotted, wrapped around the tree. Some even saw smoke arise from the tree (it was probably just a swarm of bugs).

And so, the station officials eventually agreed to keep the tree and incorporate it into the new elevated platform’s design. In 1973 construction began and the new station was completed in 1980. The station even surrounded the base of the tree with a small shrine. To this day, the tree still stands thanks to a strong, local community and a little bit of superstition. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

Photo by Studio Ohana.

Photo by Studio Ohana.



Craft Design

Colorful Paper Village Installations for Hermes by Zim & Zou

January 26, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Papercraft duo Zim & Zou (previously) are back at it with one of their most grandiose installations yet for Hermès in Dubai. Each piece is a miniature paper village populated with tiny characters, one centered around towers of fungi, the other based around blooming lotus flowers. Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmermann, the names behind Zim & Zou, specialize in designing and building installations out of tangible materials for advertising, product display, and as part of personal artistic pursuits. You can follow more of their recent work on Instagram and Behance.




Observe the Aurora Borealis From Snøhetta’s Swedish Treetop Cabin

January 24, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Gazing up, the first thing you notice when viewing the 33-foot tall cabin, The 7th Room, is its base, an aluminum covering featuring black and white images of the pine trees that surround the structure. Used as camouflage, this exterior panel immerses the treetop cabin into its environment, blurring the boundaries between the building and forest. Designed by architecture firm Snøhetta, the structure is also intended to bring visitors closer to nature, built with a suspended net at its center, and several floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for multiple viewpoints of the Aurora Borealis overhead.

The 7th Room is one of seven cabins available through northern Sweden’s Treehotel. You can view the other six cabins that compose the alternative hotel, like The Mirror Cube, on their website. (via Designboom)