Photographs by Edmund Sumner & Peter Cook, Courtesy Knight Architects
London bridge is not falling down. It’s folding up. Taking their cue from the way a Japanese hand fan folds open, Knight Architects have completed a bridge in London that is both simple and spectacular. In collaboration with structural engineers AKT II, the bridge experts installed 5 steel beams that open and close in sequence, rising to different angles using hydraulic jacks and assisted by counterweights. “Beautiful, efficient bridge design should satisfy both artistic and scientific analysis to be visually legible and structurally truthful,” say the architects. The moving footbridge bridge is located in Paddington, London and spans the 20-meter width of the Grand Union Canal. (via Dezeen)
This is a great video of polyphonic overtone singing by Anna-Maria Hefele, where she precisely demonstrates the almost inhuman ability to create a harmony of two notes at a time using a single breath. Overtone singing is the same technique used by Tuvan (or Mongolian) throat singers of which there are several other great videos to watch on YouTube. Also check out this demo by Alex Glenfield, or this clip lifted from I’m not sure where. (via Stellar)
We’ve seen plenty of modern takes on classic green army guys as of late, from skateboarders and surfers over at Toy Boarders, to an array of plastic breakdancing people. Yoga practitioner and entrepreneur Dan Abramson now joins the fray with Yoga Joes, a collection of green army figures doing popular yoga poses like the warrior, cobra, and downward-facing dog. The project is currently funding on Kickstarter and sets should ship in time for Christmas. Hurry, there’s only 4 days left. (via FastCo, My Modern Met)
Beautiful Chemistry is a new collaboration between Tsinghua University Press and University of Science and Technology of China that seeks to make chemistry more accessible and interesting to the general public. Their first project was the creation of several short films that utilize a 4K UltraHD camera to capture a variety of striking chemical reactions without the usual clutter of test tubes, beakers or lab equipment. I definitely would have paid a bit more attention in chemistry class if we’d had the opportunity to watch some of these. Filmed and edited by Yan Liang.
Australian artist Meredith Woolnough creates elaborate embroideries that mimic delicate forms of nature like leaves and coral. “I have been collecting skeletonized leaves for as long as I can remember,” says the artist, whose “traceries” capture the beauty and fragility of nature. Woolnough uses a special embroidery technique that involves a domestic sewing machine and a base cloth that dissolves in water after the piece is complete leaving just the skeleton. In a way, her process also mimics the natural process of leaves dying and drying up which, in turn, become the subject of her work.
The Bigger Picture is a new animated short from filmmaker Daisy Jacobs and animator Chris Wilder about two brothers struggling to care for their older monther. The film is notable for its animation technique that blends life-size wall-painted characters who inhabit full-size sets, interacting with real objects. Included here is the trailer and a nice making-of video that goes behind the scenes. The Bigger Picture is currently screening in film festivals around the world and has won more awards than you can shake a pair of leaf-covered sticks at. I seriously can’t wait to see this.
Artist and designer Eleanor Lutz has a special knack for science illustration. On her blog, Tabletop Whale, she recently shared this great series of admittedly non-scientific charts that deconstruct the wing patterns of birds and insects. After spreading across the web like wildfire the last few days she quickly turned it into a print available through Artsider. (via Kottke)